What do Kurt Warner, Asante Samuel, Than Merrill, N.D. Kalu and Roger Staubach have in common besides playing NFL football? They’re all in the real estate business. And a growing number of current and former NFL players are doing the same thing. The average NFL career last about 3.5 years. That means players have to find a way to make the money they made while playing last a lifetime. That’s why its becoming more common to hear NFL players talking about real estate investment trusts and investment opportunities.
These players understand real estate investments can continue to pay dividends long after they can no longer play football. Ex-Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was known for his ability to see the entire field and anticipate what was going to happen. He did the same thing when it came to planning his post-NFL career. In 1977 he started a real estate company. When he sold it in 2008, he netted $640 million. Now that’s a touchdown.
Defensive end N.D. Kalu played for several NFL teams. He also founded the Kalu Group, a Houston, Texas based real estate brokerage, 5 years before he retired in 2008. The company buys distressed properties, refurbishes them, then leases them out to low-income families. San Diego Chargers outside linebacker and Philadelphia native Shawn Bullard began investing in real estate during his senior year at Temple University. Now his company, Konkrete Investments, LLC, is one of Philadelphia’s only real estate development firms that’s only owned by African Americans. He’s also one of the city’s youngest developers.
The Nickerson Realty Group located in the Weddington, North Carolina is owned by former 16 year NFL veteran Hardy Nickerson and Amy his wife. Founded in 2005, the company offers real estate investment consulting, relocation services and traditional real estate services to corporate executives, entertainers and athletes.
Than Merrill, founder of FortuneBuilders made a name for himself in real estate after 1 year in the NFL on the HGTV show “Flip this House”. On it he and his team turn fixer-uppers into really nice properties for resale. And Dan Hreider a former running back with the Pittsburgh Steelers is also involved in real estate. He recently bought the 100 year old 3 story Historic Hamilton Suites apartment building in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. He also bought an apartment building nearby.
These are just a few NFL players using real estate as a ticket to a good life after football.