Former Atlanta Falcons LB Brandon Copeland’s Next Venture Is A Real Estate Reality Show

Former Atlanta Falcons LB Brandon Copeland’s Next Venture Is A Real Estate Reality Show

Former Atlanta Falcons LB Brandon Copeland’s Next Venture Is A Real Estate Reality Show

Brandon Copeland was sitting in the corner seat when the salesman entered the center of the open stage set. Almost immediately, it felt like the NFL linebacker-slash real estate investor was the point guard, trying to get the conversation going.

In the new Netflix reality series Copeland is part of ‘Buy My House’, the personality of the 31-year-old comes into its own.

The show, which debuted Friday, looks a bit like “Shark Tank,” the set even somewhat resembles the show’s four investors, Copeland, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman and real estate mogul Danisha Wrightster in a semicircle around a carpet sitting in comfortable chairs — but instead of venture capital, the focus is on real estate.

Of the four, Copeland has the most bite — and arguably the best comedic timing of the bunch with a knack for one-liners in between his serious listings for homes being bought by would-be sellers.

“If the apocalypse happened,” Copeland asked a salesperson in the first episode. “Do you think we can bunker in this house?”

In the second episode, there are jokes about the Atlanta Falcons—who Copeland played for at the time of filming—with a salesman from Gainesville, Georgia, a few miles from the Falcons’ practice facility.

The properties are scattered all over the country, ranging from unique properties, properties you would expect on a typical real estate site, million dollar properties and properties that cost much less.

It was an experience Copeland had never been a part of on multiple levels. It was also one he couldn’t pass up.

“I understand the potential that a show like this has, not only to change my life forever, but Shark Tank has also changed the lives of many people,” Copeland said. “I look at things differently because of Shark Tank. I understand valuations a little differently because of Shark Tank.”

He hopes this show will help people better understand real estate and real estate investing — something he thinks most people can relate to — too.

It was two weeks before 2021 training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, and here he was, working on set at his other job. Copeland was in a Hollywood-style trailer — his own trailer — in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had trainers fly in for two-day training sessions before and after 12-hour shooting days.

“The first day,” Copeland said. “I had an extreme impostor syndrome.”

Copeland reached out to friends while he was on set and they positively cheered him on. So did the producers, who noticed that Copeland wasn’t bidding on properties as they early thought. Copeland himself, as a reminder of how he got to where he is, pulled out his own portfolio. The houses he had turned over. The commercial real estate deals he has made and the leases he has made for his properties with multinational companies.

The fact that Copeland was here was still a little surreal. He was initially skeptical of the idea when producers reached out to him two years ago. He had heard offers before. He even has his own production company — one of the many companies that he continues to run.

But they kept contacting him. Tom Forman, the executive producer of “Buy My House” and the CEO of Critical Content, had Copeland on his shortlist of people to work with for years. Forman knew the Copeland story — a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, worked at a hedge fund in the off-season, flipped houses in Detroit, taught financial literacy at Penn while playing in the NFL for nearly a decade — and thought he an intriguing one might be option for one of his shows.

Copeland and his brother, Chad, analyzed the potential opportunity. Intrigued by the concept, which would make him buy real estate without visiting, the difference between this and other offers he’s had in the past was that this show already had a deal – committed to Netflix. It made this a tasty option.

“I liked his resume. Loved the interesting way he got into real estate investing,” Forman said. “I loved his ghost and reached out to him while we were casting the show and said we’ve got your eye on you and think we’ve got the perfect vehicle.”

Forman said no one was contacted to join the show right away — it was different from typical real estate investments, instead bringing in hundreds of people to consider investments.

Copeland would be different from the other moguls the show would have. Kelman, Liebman and Wrightster work full-time in real estate. Copeland not.

In preparation for the show, Copeland watched more “Shark Tank” than he had in the past. When he flipped through the television and saw it, he was studying the episode. As the shooting approached, he stopped watching because he didn’t want to be an impersonation of Mark Cuban or Daymond John. He wanted to be himself.

Besides what Copeland has done financially in his career, both on and off the field, this was a different kind of game. He competed with CEOs and financial mavens. When he was in the room with these people, the talkative Copeland would usually be quiet and ask as many questions as possible to learn. Now he would be on the same stage beating them for deals.

Copeland’s strategy for starting the show was no different from real life: be disciplined. Be smart. Be decisive. That’s why he needn’t have worried when Forman was concerned that Copeland wasn’t bidding on houses.

When Copeland saw a property he was intrigued by, he fought for it. Difficult. As seen in multiple episodes, he was strict about not going above a certain price – he slipped deep in his seat in a controversial negotiation in the third episode.

“If he’s not interested, he’s just not interested at all,” Wrightster said. “What you’ll see is that when he’s interested, he totally jumps in. He wasn’t intimidated at all.”

The process was unusual in many ways. First, the panel was given general information about a property in advance to do basic research – the neighborhood in a city or town, the type of property. This gave them some background to ask intelligent questions, but not enough to figure out the details.

They then get to see the houses together on a video before meeting the potential sellers. This is where things differed for Copeland from anything he had been involved in before. Wrightster said it was clear that Copeland had a strategy, focused on certain cities and cash flow, development opportunities.

Usually Copeland does not interact much with the sellers of a property or plot of land. He knows the information. Tries to learn more about the seller, but doesn’t actually meet him. It allows him to remove emotions. He couldn’t do that here. Sellers stood a few feet away from him, trying to convince someone on the panel to buy their home. Here he had the history behind the house and the homeowners themselves – some with incredibly emotional backstories – were wide open to the investors. Negotiations, which are often not public, are open and transparent.

“You have to meet everyone and you hear their stories and what they’ve been through in some of these places and what they mean to them and you can’t hide from it,” Copeland said. “It’s, I won’t say a challenge, well, part challenge, but a different dynamic than any of us or most of us have ever invested.”

The group of four bonded during the week-long shoot. They’ve been in a constant group text for a year. Having senior lords in the real estate space now as part of Copeland’s circle has offered him something different


While Copeland thought he was busy, seeing how they manage their time gave him a different perspective on how to better manage his growing businesses with family time.

The week of shooting actually changed some of his investment strategy. Although he had already moved out of a single-family home and into larger housing projects and commercial properties, it taught him about loans he should and shouldn’t take.

Previously, he was comfortable with recourse lending, which would allow for assets to be seized if the loan is not repaid. Now — “you won’t catch me signing a recourse loan.” While he understands that his competitor-slash colleagues’ businesses are different from his own, his decisions and experiences on the show have taught him several ways to catch potential red flags in deals.

It accelerated his already knowledgeable business acumen as he pushes his real estate ownership into what Copeland hopes is an empire. One potential television deal or deal being made on television at a time.

“I completely understood the show and hopefully people will be a part of it,” Copeland said. “But I also thought it was one of those things that I would regret saying no to this for the rest of my life.”


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