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Real Estate Crowdfunding For Beginners

Real estate crowdfunding for beginners
Real estate crowdfunding for beginners

According to marketing gurus Statista, The Crowdfunding segment globally is projected to reach a staggering US$1.29bn by 2027. 

So it’s unsurprising that many entrepreneurs want to add to their real estate portfolio through crowdfunding

Our crowdfund platform experts here at Fundraising script have compiled a guide to real estate Crowdfunding for beginners. So join us as we give you the lowdown on what you need to know. 

We will cover, what is crowdfunding, the pros and cons, and regulations, and discover the two types of real estate crowdfunding, plus best practices. 

So to get started, let’s briefly overview what it is and how you can benefit from crowdfunding real estate deals. 

What is crowdfunding? 

In its simplest terms, real estate crowdfunding is a type of property investment where many investors or ‘crowd’  pool together their funds. 

Once the funds have been gathered, they are used to buy a property or given to developers as a loan to finance a property development.

Usually, the investors only contribute a portion of the amount required to purchase the real estate. 

A quick way of raising funds to purchase property 

It’s an incredibly quick and efficient way of raising the sums necessary for buying property. 

So if you are looking at starting a crowdfunding 

Also, it means that investors can have a stake in property with a smaller amount in deals they wouldn’t have access to using other methods of raising funds. 

Once the real estate has been purchased, the investors divide any returns equally.

So what do you own if you use crowdfunding for real estate? 

Read on to discover more. 

What will I own?

There is quite a wide variety of how each crowdfunding platform structures investments, which will affect what the investor will own. 

It may be that some real estate software platforms will create a separate company in terms of an LLC  ( Limited Liability Company) for each property deal. 

The LLC is interested in the entity that owns the real estate at the center of the investment. 

Any investors will then hold shares in the LLC, resulting in limited liability alongside some tax benefits usually associated with pass-through entities. 

Payment dependant notes 

When you invest in debt or certain types of preferred equity, you’re investing in notes linked to the success of a real estate loan or project investment. 

Crowdfunding platform subsidiaries make these investments. You own the note, and so do your earnings if the venture does well.

There are two ways of raising real estate funds using crowdfunding. 

The first is property equity investment. This is generally rental income on any real estate purchase and includes the capital generated by the property’s value. 

The second is a property-backed loan investment, where you effectively ‘loan’ the funds to the developer. 

So let’s find out a little more about these two types. 

Equity Investments

Investors essentially become shareholders by using the equity investment method of crowdfunding for real estate. 

By choosing this type of real estate crowdfunding, your returns will be calculated on the property’s rental income. With any crowdsourcing fees calculated at this point and paid. 

In general, this is the way most real estate crowd funders conduct their property deals.  This is because it usually has a higher return than simply debt investing. 

Pros of equity investments 

Another benefit of this type of investment is that investors earn shares in the property’s appreciation when the property is sold. 

With this investment, you can often see a very profitable return. Often it can be as much as 20 – 25%.

In some cases, this can even be more because equity investments aren’t capped. These payouts are usually paid quarterly. 

Cons of equity investments 

So although equity investments can offer higher returns, it’s worth knowing that you will fail to get any return if no profit is gained on the property. 

It’s also worth understanding that you will be second in the payout queue.

There is also a longer holding period for this type of real estate crowdfunding, whereby the holding period is usually between five to ten years. 

Debt Investments

The main difference between debt investing and equity investment for property crowdfunding is that you are essentially the lender to whoever owns the property. 

Pros of debt investing 

This type of real estate crowdfunding works because you will get a fixed return from the amount you have invested, alongside the interest rate of the owner’s original mortgage loan. 

In this type of investing, you will take priority in any payouts, with payments usually arriving monthly or sometimes every quarter. 

Cons of debt investments 

Debt investments are worked out based on the owners’ specific mortgage interest rate on loan. So, for this reason, any returns will be limited. 

When using the debt investment method of real estate crowdfunding, the platform will often take a percentage of your payout. So make sure that you do your research thoroughly. 

Now that you have seen some of the benefits and the downsides of each type of investing, you might be wondering how real estate crowdfunding is regulated. 

How is crowdfunding regulated? 

In 2012 The JOBS or Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act changed crowdfunding regulations. 

Before this, it was far more difficult for investors to advertise their opportunities. 

However, since the changes, investors can advertise directly to larger audiences via various methods, including social media and other online methods. 

This change allowed investors to gain crucial access to far more funding sources for property deals. 

So as with every type of investment, risks are involved and important factors to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at a few below. 

Best practice when crowdfunding real estate

Before diversifying into the unique world of real estate crowdfunding, follow our tips to ensure you have everything covered. 

Keep a close eye on the risk. 

Diversifying your real estate portfolio is always a benefit, but along with the benefits, there are always risks associated with any type of investment.

As we’ve seen above, there are differences between the two types of investing, so carefully weigh any potential risks to determine whether debt or equity investing is right for you. 

Understand real estate liquidity. 

It’s crucial for any investor to understand how long they will be locked into a property deal using crowdfunding. So it’s vital to ensure you are fully aware of those details before making any decisions. 

It’s worth understanding that each investment has its specific liquidity schedules and length of time for paying out on any returns. 

Liquidity is the trade-off between the price at which an asset can be sold and the speed at which it can be sold. 

Take control of your investment. 

Before getting involved with any real estate crowdfunding platforms for investment deals, it’s crucial to understand they are not investment advisers. 

However, some of the best real estate crowdfunding platforms will vet each deal before allowing investors to participate. 

It’s always worth enlisting the advice of a fiduciary or financial advisor before going ahead. 

Getting control of your investment is essential, and you may be comparing it to other ways of real estate investment. 

In our other helpful article, find out more about how crowdfunding stacks up against private equity funds. 

Real Estate Crowdfunding vs. Private Equity

Research platforms vigorously 

One of the first things any investor can do is perform due diligence on the crowdfunding software platform they want to use. 

Some of the most crucial factors to consider are 

  • How many deals has the platform worked on
  • How long has the business been in operation 
  • What kind of returns has the platform delivered 
  • The funding of the platform 
  • How credible is the management is 
  • Overall track record 

It’s worth understanding that each platform has its pluses and minuses, so for that reason, some may be a better fit for you personally. 

To learn more about crowdfunding software, check out our other helpful article. 

Crowdfunding Software: Key features, benefits & how it impacts users

And to end on…

So we hope that’s given you some background, hints, and tips on building your real estate portfolio using crowdfunding. 

So where do you start? 

Using our innovative Crowdfunding software, we offer a fully customized Real Estate Crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs to add to their websites. 

We offer a space for developers to list their projects and invite crucial investments to scale your real estate empire. 

Head over to watch a demo, or contact one of our friendly and experienced specialists to learn more. 

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