Matt Overton: #AthleteAnd Real Estate Agent
Matt Overton had just finished up a long day’s work, one that started at 8:00 a.m. and stretched deep into the evening, filled with practice, football pads and film study. But while his teammates began to wind down and recharge for their upcoming game, the night was young for the Tennessee Titans long snapper.
About 300 miles away, a client from Overton’s second job as a real estate agent was waiting to receive the final documents needed to close on a property in Indianapolis. Problem was, Overton couldn’t find his laptop.
“Turns out I had forgot my computer and I was already at the team hotel,” Overton recalled. “I made some phone calls late into the night to my real estate team, who were a huge help throughout, to get things arranged and signed."
“Juggling the duties of preparing for a football game in one state and working with clients on selling or buying a home in another was definitely challenging and made for some hectic times this past season. But my passion and energy for both kept me going, and I learned a lot.”
Besides, a little extra work has never fazed Overton. After going undrafted out of Western Washington, it would be six years – including stops in arena football and the United Football League – before Overton appeared in his first NFL game with the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. A year later, the long snapper was named to the Pro Bowl.
When he was released in 2019 by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Overton saw an opportunity to take a deeper dive into his second passion, one that was birthed in college when he helped build a house during his senior year. That year, he moved back to Indianapolis, passed the exam to get his real estate license and joined the Paul Bates Real Estate Group under FC Tucker.
What appeared to be an impossible challenge this past fall, when Overton signed with the Titans while still working the real estate market in Indiana, instead created an opportunity. This past February, Overton passed the real estate exam in Tennessee, allowing him to serve in both states and opening another door for him to continue maximizing his careers on and off the football field.
I’m blessed to be going on year 10 now, and I’m a solid believer that the adversities & challenges we face as football players, with time management, dealing with stress & competing on a daily basis in a performance-based career, prepares us for anything.
How did you first get into real estate?
One of my summer jobs in college was helping a family build a custom home from the foundation up. Being a part of the process to see what goes into building the home, along with the reward of seeing the finished product and it being sold, got my gears going toward real estate being something I wanted to do.
Fast forward to making it into the league, I was able to buy my first home after my third season. And from there, I began to save and invest in commercial property that was a private venue and event space for tailgating in downtown Indianapolis right across from Lucas Oil Stadium. Once I got a taste of homeownership and experience on the commercial and investing side, that’s when I said that I need to get licensed.
Now that I have my license in Indiana and Tennessee, I’m able to help people in both places, and a lot of those conversations trickle into the locker room, too. I end up helping and advising teammates with market analysis and the investing and purchasing side while being sort of a sounding board to walk them through the process, particularly with the unique circumstances that come with being a professional football player.
And that’s the message, really. Football can last a year or ten years, so if you don’t have a plan B, the transition can be difficult, whenever that time comes.
What made now the right time to expand your career into real estate versus earlier in your football journey or after you retire?
I know I’m in the latter part of my football career, so I’ve always taken the offseason pretty seriously in regards to continuing education, job shadows and internships. It just so happened when I was released [in 2019], that gave me the time to shift my focus some to real estate, get my license, and in hindsight, it was great to do that while football is still happening. It gives me something solid to fall back on.
And that’s the message, really. Football can last a year or ten years, so if you don’t have a plan B, the transition can be difficult, whenever that time comes. Getting a taste of the free agent life during the season in 2019, it gave me the perspective to see what the real world is like and how difficult it can be. It might sound easy for an NFL guy to bring his name into the real estate market and gain notoriety to build leverage, but it’s still a lot of work. It took me about six months to gain traction, but that gave me time to get my license, learn and get in a good place with everything.
It’s about taking advantage of networking, using your platform wisely, saving your money & striking when the iron is hot–and it's hotter than it’ll ever be when you’re in the NFL. Don’t wait until football is gone to find your passion outside the game.
What’s it like juggling your football career while being a real estate agent in two states – all during a pandemic?
It was tough, and I couldn’t have done it without my [real estate] team on the ground in Indianapolis. When they knew I was coming to Tennessee to play for the Titans, they took the reins of my clients since I couldn’t really be there. But that’s what was tough for me because I wanted the client to feel I was present and that they were a priority for me, even though I’m playing football. It was really just all about structuring my time and constantly staying in communication with my clients to where, during the season, I had three transactions with buying and selling homes.
How much have your football skills and career lessons translated to success in the real estate world?
I’m fortunate to be going on year ten now, and I’m a solid believer that the adversities and challenges we face as football players, with time management, dealing with stress and competing on a daily basis in a performance-based career, that prepares us for anything. If you can succeed there, you can almost certainly succeed in any other field you go into after you’re done playing.
It’s all about taking advantage of networking, using your platform wisely, saving your money and striking when the iron is hot – and the iron is hotter than it’ll ever be when you’re in the NFL. Don’t wait until football is gone to find your passion outside of the game. That’s why it’s so cool to see guys leveraging their name and brands and being that #AthleteAnd, to where they are transparent with what we love outside of football. It’s OK to do both and use those football skills to make the most of your passions and life.