Still Investing in Real Estate Through Traditional Avenues?
Crowdfunding is rapidly gaining popularity as the must-have investment option. In 2015, real estate crowdfunding was expected to grow into a $2.5 billion industry. According to David Drake, founder and chairman of The Soho Loft Media Group, real estate investors have started to value crowdfunding as an avenue that helps stabilize and diversify investments. As the real estate crowdfunding industry continues to grow, investors are more apt to embrace real estate crowdfunding instead of traditional investment options because of the higher rate of returns, ease of access, and limited liability.
Related: 10 Top Crowdfunding Websites
If the stats weren’t enough, here are seven definitive reasons why you should start investing through real estate crowdfunding.
Offers more control
It’s natural to want control over your investments and real estate crowdfunding does exactly that. Unlike real estate investment trusts (REITs), investing through real estate crowdfunding gives you the power to control which real estate properties you invest in. With real estate crowdfunding, investors are presented with all relevant information about the property prior to investing. They are even encouraged to monitor the progress of each project over the term of the investment.
Promotes asset diversification
If you want a diversified portfolio, then real estate crowdfunding is right for you. Previously, investors would make a large investment in a single project, leaving them susceptible to a higher risk. With real estate crowdfunding, investors can now contribute smaller sums of money into multiple projects, thus diversifying their risk.
Lower investment buy-in
There are many potential investors who don’t have ready access to large amounts of capital for investments. Traditionally, investing in real estate was an opportunity reserved for the wealthy. “Investing in commercial property is generally very capital intensive,” said Heather Schwarz Lopes, chief strategy officer of Early Shares. “Now investors can start at a lower price level,” said Lopes. Today, real estate crowdfunding provides more opportunities for those who have $5,000 (the minimum for many crowdfunding sites) that they would like to invest.
Latest path to passive income
The best type of investment is one that requires minimum effort to earn funds. Real estate crowdfunding has a significant advantage over the direct approach of investing. Direct investing requires that the investor be directly involved in the day-to-day operations of a project. With real estate crowdfunding, an investor simply invests in a project and enjoys the benefits of passive income, which includes monthly interest payments.
Access to more properties
Traditional investing practices don’t allow investors any kind of access to the projects they invest in. Real estate crowdfunding gives the investor access and updates to diverse, profitable properties. With the growing popularity of online real estate crowdfunding platforms, new screened and unscreened properties are added on a daily basis.
Traditional investing requires additional funds for investments and has no protection with respect to the financial liability of the investor. Through traditional investing, investors are required to pay the direct costs and any liabilities incurred as a result of the investment. With real estate crowdfunding, the financial liability of the investor is limited only to the extent of their investment.
Higher rate of return
In traditional real estate investing, there are many players handling multiple aspects of the deal. With real estate crowdfunding, investors directly invest in a property. This reduces the associated fees, allowing for additional profits that go directly to the investor.
The rise of real estate crowdfunding has paved the way for a new and more accessible form of investing. More “Average Joes” are getting into the game and investing without having hundreds of thousands of dollars in their bank accounts. With investing minimums as low as $5,000, a higher rate of return, and more diversity in properties available than ever before, there’s no reason not to invest. If you’re still a laggard and investing through traditional avenues, get with the times.
Steven Kaufman, CPA, MsEDE, is a finance enthusiast and the founder and Chief Acceleration Officer of Zeus Trust Company, which operates a real estate crowdfunding platform under the brand ZeusCrowdFunding.com, and a long-term lending platform under the brand Zeus Mortgage Bank. Kaufman is frequently interviewed on current financial markets by local and national news organizations such as FOX, ABC, CBS, CNN and Bloomberg. He completed the Strategic Marketing Management Program at Harvard Business School and has a master's degree in economic development and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston.