Than Merrill--Anyone familiar?

28 Replies

So I will be attending a 2hr seminar this Saturday on Long Island in Hauppague. Its a free 2hr seminar on real estate. I am curious if anyone in the community has attended one of his seminars and is familiar with him. 

I am just getting my feet wet in this very different world so I would love some insight. Thanks in advance. 

I’ve attended the free 2 hour session. They vaguely go over their program and say how much money you can make if you sign up for it. After the even they sell tickets to their 3 day workshop where I assume they go over it again in depth. They try and hook you by saying tickets are $1200 but if you sign up today it’s $200. 

Most of these seminars are the same, so you can be assured that 1) Than won't actually there and 2) They'll try to upsell you into some sort of expensive "mastery" program.

You can do a search on here and there's plenty of posts with more info from people who've actually gone.  Here's a few:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/79/topics/449127-than-merrills-real-estate-course

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/79/topics/340532-than-merrills-real-estate-seminar

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/92/topics/393064-than-merrill-legit-or-scam

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/79/topics/288547-than-merrill-or-reia-meeting

They sell over priced seminars like all the others. Read books, read these forums, listen to podcasts and save yourself the $20k they want to charge you for all the same information

@David Medina 2 years ago I attended his free 2hr seminar in which you get tickets to attend a weekend seminar. A lot of information which lead a to the choice of buy their system packages which range from 29k to 45k. I’m sure the prices have changed. I didn’t purchase at the end of the weekend. For me it’s a lot of money i don’t have. It was overall an informative weekend

I've been to one a few years back.   

Go to the free seminar, you do learn a lot of info....USE THE OPPORTUNITY TO NETWORK!  Find other people in the group that are ALREADY in real estate.  

DO NOT pay for their coaching!  I DID NOT buy their coaching, but I did spend a RIDICULOUS amount of money for coaching from RICH DAD POOR DAD and from PROVISION (Tom Wheelwrights company..... Robert Kiosaki's CPA...wrote the book Tax Free Wealth which I highly recommend).  Like I said, I spent an enormous amount of money for their private coaching and am KICKING myself.  If you are self motivated to learn, there is NOTHING they will teach you that you can't/won't already learn by listening to webinars, reading books, reading these forums and listening to podcasts.  DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY....Speaking from experience!!

I will always be indebted to Than Merrill because after attending his free 2-hour seminar I Googled 'Than Merrill scam' and found Bigger Pockets. And the rest is history. 

There's nothing wrong with going and spending 2 hours there because there's some interesting information  but I would recommend NOT spending a cent on his other programs as you can learn everything for free on Bigger Pockets and use the money on toward a RE deal. 

However, if you're in sales or marketing I would recommend going because it's amazing (yet truly saddening) to witness people running to the back to drop money on his programs. They seem so hopeful and looking back of it I wonder how many of them actually purchased an investment property. 

They hype it up so much and the people at the back of the room likely silently judged me and others made for the exit with our wallets intact. My feeling was if they lied about Than Merrill being there (they even claimed he'd show up after we'd arrived for the free learning) then why would I fork over money (to them) for a program?

Wow...thanks everyone fot your input. Quite helpful. I have not been on BP very long but it has already been a very good experience and i am grateful for your insights. Continued success to you all.

I also attended a 2hr seminar of Than's (of course he was not there) and there is information to be gained.  Some of the main points (all of which are availalable on this site/podcast) were the evaluation of purchasing a property and making a list of all items that will eat into your profits. 

I found it interesting that when they are giving examples of flips and wholesales that the numbers they show on the screen do not always directly relate to what they are saying.

Do not take anyone with you that is swayed by pressure sales.  When I was leaving the event there was a couple walking out and one of the sales guys was walking with them and trying to pressure sell them on the next event.

I have thought about going to another 2hr event just to pass out small slips of paper with biggerpockets.com printed on them.  

I went to that seminar a few months ago in Baltimore. Than is not in attendance, just someone that works for him. It is not very informative but a great way to meet people. They try VERY hard to sell you on their weekend package though.

I attended the 3-day seminar back in 2016 before I knew anything about investing. Cost about $200.. Totally worth it because it taught Investing 101 and gave me an idea of what I didn't know about the industry and got my brain wheels turning. That's about it. Of course they tried to sell a $20K membership after but I passed.

@David Medina

When you get the free companion offer for the 3-day in your email, definitely pick someone to take with you. With any luck you can watch their brain being washed right in front of you. That's exactly what happened to me during the three-day seminar. The guy I went with went from laughing at the whole thing to offering to mortgage his primary residence to split the bill for the most expensive Mastery course they sell. When I went, I owned three investment properties and had flipped two apartments. The speaker had a dance-off on stage and reassured the losers that if they could find the courage to participate in it, surely they could handle "a silly old flip."

Exactly what a dance-off has to do with solvent-welding Schedule 40 DWW pipe, I still haven't figured out.

There are hundreds of these type things across the country. They all jump on the train and get people to run these things and if they pay so much to rent the space and convert so many people to programs they make big cash profits. I saw this in the last run up of 2005. When the peak was hitting and harder to find deals all these types came out and talked about all the big returns they hit a few years ago. Easier to sell the dream of the past for big buck programs and have an army of  ants marching nationally in hopes they occasionally find a real deal to partner on in a hot cycle market.

I am not talking of this specific company but in generalities. If you go to these events leave all your credit cards at home. Events like to hype people up and then get them to call their credit card companies to increase limits etc. in the back of the room.

You likely will be much better off going to your local real estate investment association and offering to take a seasoned investor who is successful in your market out to a nice lunch or dinner on you. You would make a local connection in your market with deep insight and tips.

@Joel Owens thanks Joel. Honestly...i had planned to take a friend of mine a realtor with me. Even if this whole thing winds up jot being what i need, i plan to continue to reseach and learn here. All the posts here have great value and have prepared me for whats to come. Aside from this avanue and BP...how would a local realtors assosiation help a prospective investor in learning the ropes?

Local REALTORS association?

REALTOR is a term coined by NAR (National Association of Realtors). It has nothing to do with being licensed in most states. It also has nothing to do with investing much at all.

What I said was local real estate investment association. Usually that is a local group of investors in an area that meet up and talk about different type of investments and strategies.

Found this in Google. Long Island Investors Association. Says it is about 6 miles from Brentwood and has about 2,000 members. 

https://lireia.com/

Now just because it is a local investors association does not mean they might try and sell you something. I know nothing about this association. The goal is to try and meet other investors to connect.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@David Medina

When you get the free companion offer for the 3-day in your email, definitely pick someone to take with you. With any luck you can watch their brain being washed right in front of you. That's exactly what happened to me during the three-day seminar. The guy I went with went from laughing at the whole thing to offering to mortgage his primary residence to split the bill for the most expensive Mastery course they sell. When I went, I owned three investment properties and had flipped two apartments. The speaker had a dance-off on stage and reassured the losers that if they could find the courage to participate in it, surely they could handle "a silly old flip."

Exactly what a dance-off has to do with solvent-welding Schedule 40 DWW pipe, I still haven't figured out.

the feeder events are done by paid actors.. and its a MLM pitch plain and simple.  they pull at every emotional heart string.. you deserve this .. this is so simple do you have what it takes.. your financial freedom number.. like being self employed is something everyone wants. some do fine other fail.. and these are just training programs they don't guarantee success.. just like watching BP pod cast or reading blogs or talking on this site hardly guarantees your success.. real estate is hard.. it takes drive money and dedication .

@David Medina

I didn't learn a single thing in the 3-day seminar that I couldn't have learned from $50 worth of books from Amazon or from asking the right questions here. Not one single thing. Sorry. That's how it worked out for me.

@Jay Hinrichs

What surprised me the most is how the speaker in the 3-day put up a disclaimer slide in his PowerPoint again and again that included, in all caps. the phrase: "ASSUME THAT MOST PEOPLE MAKE NOTHING." People still flocked like pigeons to the interviews for the Mastery program. Of course they have to interview you before they decide to take your $45,000, to see if you have what it takes in you, the right stuff, the real boogie. Of course they have to be sure that you ASSUME THAT MOST PEOPLE MAKE NOTHING with their programs before you hand them your life savings.

@David Medina   - The material they teach is accurate, and from people who are active investors.  I do NOT work for them, but am familiar with them.  I can vouch the teachers are active investors.  If you attend and learn nothing, then you have done well learning in advance.  Most who want to get into real estate, have no idea what or where to begin. Fortune Builders does have a solid system to teach people the process.  Is it expensive, only you can answer that for yourself.  Can you learn the material elsewhere - sure but it too has a cost.  

@Jim K. Never been to than Merrill but I went to a similar one a couple years ago. BP saved me that money. I’ll never spend money on this type of coaching but I have thought about going back to these events and just telling people about BP and basically explain how these things are almost always a rip off. What do you think? Think Than and his crew of merry men (or actors) would be cool with that?

@Caleb Heimsoth

I've been thinking a bit about it, and I think it's a lot like Excedrin.

There are a lot of people in this country who, when they have a headache, take Excedrin. If they've been told they have migraine, they take Excedrin Migraine. If they feel they have especially severe headaches, they take Excedrin Extra Strength.

The fact that these two medications, one sold in a green box and bottle and the other sold in red, contain exactly the same active ingredients, 250 mg of aspirin, 250 mg of acetominophen, and 65 mg of caffeine, is unknown to them, because they don't read labels. The fact that they could take generic aspirin, a generic Tylenol knock-off and drink some coffeee to achieve the same therapeutic levels for maybe 1/5 of the price is unimportant.

You can talk to these people until you're blue in the face, and they'll still go out and buy Excedrin when they have headaches. The product works for them and understanding WHY the product works for them is something they'd rather not waste time thinking about. And of course they'd rather not "experiment on themselves" (clutching pearls) to prove that there's a much more affordable solution to their problems.

I'm in my forties now, and I've long been forced to accept that the world is filled with men and women who really want to be told what to do. They want the handsome, fit, obviously competent woodsman to come along and show them the way through the dark forest. They crave social acceptance and have a deep-seated need to be surrounded all the time by others who encourage them in their way of thinking, whatever it is.

But getting back to the specific thing you asked...no, you won't get a chance. They'll refund your $200 on the spot if you protest too loudly that they're completely full of it. I saw them do it.