The FORT Podcast: John Marsh – Co-Founder of Marsh Collective – Finding Opportunity in the Broken & Undone

John Marsh is the Co-Founder of Marsh Collective and host of the Redemptification Podcast, serial entrepreneur, and consultant helping steward over $1b in redemptive real estate in 9 small towns around America. After spending the last 25 years giving guidance to over 60 startup businesses in various industries, John’s current focus is helping others make generational differences in their communities and companies by helping patrons bridge the gap between redeeming vision and execution.

On this episode, Chris and John discuss, how Marsh Collective rebuilt the entire city of Opelika, Alabama, buying old historic downtowns as an asset class and how to develop leadership and create flourishing businesses. John also discusses how he completely changed the trajectory of his life and marriage.

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(03:07) – Why do you see brokenness everywhere?

(06:09) – What hanged in your life after contemplating suicide?

(09:22) – Forgiveness is Suffering

(12:01) – What kind of work do you do with the hard-charging entrepreneur in the perspective of their marriage?

(15:58) – John’s Real Estate Career in Opelika, Alabama

(28:15) – Building Businesses by Pivoting Into Commercial

(36:02) – How do you know you’ve found the right leader?

(42:29) – What drives an extraordinary experience?

(48:36) – What would make a fantastic multi-family project?

(54:37) – Do these tenants pay more and stay longer when you follow this model?

(57:04) – Are you bullish on the migration to small towns?

(1:00:19) – Small, Historic Towns as an Asset Class

(1:04:42) – What needs to be in place from the investors for you to work together successfully?

(1:10:55) – What does a contract structure look like when renovating an entire town?

(1:14:22) – Wrap Up and Final Thoughts


Episode Summary

With an unwavering commitment to community development and a strategic approach to business endeavors, Marsh’s dialogue throughout the episode resonates with both seasoned professionals and budding entrepreneurs in the real estate arena.

In the initial segments, the discourse unfolds with a detailed exploration of the significance of community connection and intentionality in real estate projects. Marsh underscores the necessity for projects to be infused with passion and a long-term vision, emphasizing the pivotal role of meticulous planning and investment in fostering community growth and revitalization. The conversation navigates through the journey of starting various businesses, including a salon and restaurants, revealing the innovative and strategic approaches to ensuring substantial rent income linked to the business’s gross income. These insights illuminate the diverse range and scope of real estate endeavors, from small to sizable projects, highlighting the importance of dedicated involvement and stewardship in local communities.

The dialogue further delves into the profound impact of mentorship and daily disciplines in shaping one’s life and career in real estate. The speakers advocate for the search for mentors who resonate with one’s heart, underscoring the transformative power of such relationships in personal and professional growth. The discussion evolves to explore quintessential elements to focus on, such as faith, family, fun, fitness, and finance, laying a comprehensive foundation for holistic development and success in the real estate sector.

The episode seamlessly transitions to an exploration of Marsh’s personal experiences in Opalika, Alabama. The discussion sheds light on his geographical and personal background, setting the stage for a deeper understanding of his real estate journey. The emphasis on personal interactions and the fundamental aspect of listening emerges as a recurring theme, reinforcing its centrality in maintaining relationships and pursuing a meaningful path in the real estate industry.

In the latter segments, Marsh’s dialogue is imbued with practical insights and strategies for navigating the complexities of the real estate world. The conversation spans various scales of projects, offering a panoramic view of the industry’s diverse landscape. Marsh’s commitment to nurturing talent, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and ensuring a perfect alignment with the business objectives stands out as a beacon of strategic acumen and foresight. The extensive strategy, including personality testing and intensive vetting, epitomizes the comprehensive and detailed approach to ensuring business success and community growth.

Amidst the wealth of insights, the theme of forgiveness and its essential role in overcoming challenges and rebuilding relationships resonates profoundly. The episode underscores its transformative power in personal and professional spheres, elucidating its significance in fostering harmony, understanding, and mutual growth.

The Fort is produced by Johnny Peterson

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