Agent Careers
than Merrill exp realty

Since 2004, Nathaniel “Than” Merrill has transacted more than a $1 billion dollars in residential and commercial real estate investments through his companies. But he kept facing a problem, which is to help his investor clients grow beyond the San Diego region where Than conducts business.

With eXp Realty, he feels his problem is solved and growth is now unlimited.

“We have investor-clients who are licensed agents and wear both hats all over the country,” said Than. “And we’ve built an independent brokerage in San Diego and it’s been an investor-friendly brokerage for a number of years, but we never had the ability to grow it beyond just the small brokerage here, servicing investors and clients here in San Diego. So, constantly people were asking ‘Who do you recommend I hang my license with? Can we work with you guys?’”

In Than Merrill’s previous life, he played defensive back for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

Once Than understood eXp’s model, he knew he found his answer.

“When eXp came along, I was extremely impressed with the business model. It’s a completely disruptive business model and that’s why it’s one of the fastest-growing brokerages in history. 

Than and his team, including business partners Paul Esajian, JD Esajian and Konrad Sopielnikow, joined eXp in April 2020 and they couldn’t be happier. 

“What I really love about eXp Realty is how you’ve leveraged your agent community and how some of the top producers in your community are sharing and constantly training within the platform,” said Than. “Most local brokerages you’re learning from the office manager. Or maybe you’re learning from the broker or maybe there’s 50 people in the company and you’re learning from somebody who is maybe top in that company, but not top in the nation.”

To hear more of Than’s approach to real estate investing, click here to listen to his interview with eXp President of U.S. Growth, Dave Conord, or click the video below.

Than graduated from Yale in 2001 and then had a short stint in the NFL as a defensive back with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2004, he started his real estate journey when he co-founded CT Homes, a real estate investment company in New Haven, Connecticut.

Since then, he has leveraged his real estate know-how into some other ventures, including Equity Street Capital, a commercial investment company focused on apartment communities, retail properties, and office buildings and FortuneBuilders, a real estate educational company located in San Diego, California. It’s through FortuneBuilders that Than taps into his passion of teaching investor-agents how to build financial wealth.

Than feels his companies’ philosophies dove-tail perfectly with eXp’s business model of revenue sharing and stock awards, which can help agents accelerate their financial freedom.

“You can make a great living as an agent. But ultimately, if you can have a little bit of ownership through stock and if you can create some revenue share for yourself, you now have leveraged income where you’re not trading as much time for money like you traditionally do buying and selling homes. So I think it marries two ways of earning income beautifully, which most other brokerages don’t.”

Learn more about Than’s companies and FortuneBuilders.


Interested in jump-starting your real estate career? Learn how eXp Realty puts agents first.


These figures are not a guarantee, representation or projection of earnings or profits you can or should expect. They also do not include expenses incurred by Agents in operating their businesses. eXp Realty makes no guarantee of financial success. Success with eXp Realty results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, diligence, skill, persistence, competence, and leadership. Your success will depend upon how well you exercise these qualities.

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