Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites

Real estate crowdfunding sites allow everyday investors to diversify

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Real estate crowdfunding is one way for retail investors to access assets traditionally reserved for the wealthy. Real estate investment platforms, including crowdfunding sites, pair developers and other real estate professionals with individual investors who want exposure to real estate without the hassles of owning, financing, and managing properties.

While real estate crowdfunding is inherently risky, real estate investments can help diversify your portfolio and provide competitive returns. We evaluated more than two dozen platforms and narrowed them by ease of use, accessibility, investment minimums, transparency, and more. Here are our top picks for real estate crowdfunding sites.

The Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites of 2022

Best Overall : CrowdStreet


Crowdstreet

Crowdstreet

Key Specs
  • Fees: 0% for investors, 1-5% for sponsors, 0.25%-2.5% for tailored portfolios
  • Minimum investment: $25,000
  • Average annual returns: 17.7% as of 2022, depending on the investment
  • Total investor distributions: $220 million
  • Investment options: Funds, individual deals, and a professionally managed, tailored portfolio
  • Accredited investors only: Yes
Why We Chose It

More than 100,000 investors throughout the U.S. have invested on the CrowdStreet platform. Its innovative approach gives direct access to a vetted range of institutional-quality real estate investments. Accredited investors can pick a single property or invest in a fund.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, the company has published more than 540 commercial real estate investment offerings.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • User-friendly platform with a helpful chatbot

  • Institutional-quality offerings

  • Easy to find investment details once you sign up for a free account

Cons
  • Accredited investors only

  • Steep investment minimums

  • No early withdrawals

Best REIT Option : DiversyFund


Key Specs
  • Fees: 2% to 8% developer fee
  • Minimum investment: $500 depending on account level
  • Average annual returns: 17% to 18% historically, depending on the investment
  • Total investor distributions: $135 million
  • Investment options: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Accredited investors only: No
Why We Chose It

DiversyFund’s model is unique in the real estate crowdfunding space. Instead of serving as a broker that connects investors with projects, DiversyFund buys, develops, and manages a portfolio of properties, collects the cash flow, and divvies up the profits amongst its investors.

Unlike some crowdfunding platforms, it doesn’t charge any management or broker fees. Currently, you can invest in the DiversyFund Growth REIT ($500 minimum).

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No management fees for investors

  • One of the few platforms with a mobile app

  • Low minimum investment

Cons
  • Limited investment choices

  • No early withdrawals

  • Payment at the end of the investment term

Best for Institutional Commercial Real Estate : EquityMultiple


Key Specs
  • Fees: 1% on equity investments; other fees vary by offering
  • Minimum investment: $10,000
  • Average annual returns: 16.8% historically
  • Total investor distributions: $126.7 million
  • Investment options: Institutional commercial real estate; equity, preferred equity, and senior debt; opportunity zones; and 1031 exchange investments
  • Accredited investors only: Yes
Why We Chose It

EquityMultiple focuses almost entirely on institutional commercial real estate, and it also offers equity, preferred equity, and senior debt investments. The company recently added tax-advantaged real estate investments (Opportunity Zone and 1031 exchange) and fund products to its lineup. Distribution schedules vary by deal but are usually monthly or quarterly.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Good investment selection

  • Variety of target hold periods

  • Easy-to-use platform

Cons
  • Accredited investors only

  • Steep minimum investment

  • Limited redemption options

Best for Beginners : Fundrise


Key Specs
  • Fees: 0.15% Advisory fee; 0.85% asset management fee
  • Minimum investment: $10 to $100,000, depending on account level
  • Average annual returns: 7.31% to 16.11%, from 2017 to 2021
  • Total investor distributions: $124 million+
  • Investment options: Varies depending on the selected account level
  • Accredited investors only: No
Why We Chose It

Since its launch in 2012, Fundrise has invested in more than $5 billion worth of real estate across the U.S. Today, it manages over $1.5 billion of equity on behalf of more than 170,000 individual investors.

Fundrise offers five account levels: Starter, Basic, Core, Advanced, and Premium. There’s a minimum investment amount at each level and varying investment strategies and potential returns.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No accreditation required

  • Well-rated mobile app

  • Request share redemption at any time (possible fees and redemption not guaranteed)

Cons
  • Non-qualified dividends

Best for Investing in Loans : PeerStreet


Key Specs
  • Fees: Typically 1%
  • Minimum investment: $1,000
  • Average annual returns: 2% to 9%
  • Total Investor distributions: $225 million+
  • Investment options: Real estate debt
  • Accredited investors only: Yes
Why We Chose It

PeerStreet is an online marketplace where accredited investors can invest in high-quality private real estate loans. Here’s how it works: Your investment gives lenders capital to lend to real estate borrowers, then PeerStreet collects the monthly payments from the borrowers, and you (the investor) get a share of those monthly payments.

You can diversify your portfolio manually or automatically with investments from various locations, lenders, borrowers, asset classes, terms, loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, and rates.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Unique offering among real estate investment platforms

  • Diversification across various parameters

  • Low interest rate risk because loans are a maximum of 36 months

Cons
  • Accredited investors only

  • Only offers investments in debt 

  • Higher risk than some other crowdfunding options

Best Property Research : RealtyMogul


Key Specs
  • Fees: 1% to 1.5%
  • Minimum investment: $1,000
  • Average annual returns: 4.5% to 8%
  • Total Investor distributions: $136 million
  • Investment options: REITs, individual properties (multifamily, office, industrial, self-storage, retail, and medical office), and 1031 exchanges
  • Accredited investors only: No
Why We Chose It

Since its inception in 2012, more than 219,000 investors have joined RealtyMogul to access its REITs and private market offerings. Known for its exemplary due diligence, the company vets every potential property in person and scrutinizes each deal using propriety methods and models.

The company looks for well-leased properties or those with existing leases, and it works only with real estate partners with proven track records and experience managing assets. It does not invest in non-cash-flowing investments, such as raw land or ground-up construction. Investors can choose from three objectives: passive income, growth, and diversification.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Good investment selection

  • Thorough due diligence

  • Monthly auto-investing in REITs starting at $250 per month

Cons
  • Different fees associated with each investment

  • Investments not easily sold or traded

  • Some long hold periods

Compare Platforms
Company Minimum Investment Fees Average Annual Returns Investor Distributions Investment Options Accredited Only?
CrowdStreet $25,000 0% for investors, 1-5% for sponsors, 0.25%-2.5% for tailored portfolios 17.7% as of 2022, depending on the investment $220 million Funds, individual deals, and a professionally managed, tailored portfolio Yes
DiversyFund $500 2% to 8% developer fee 17% to 18% historically, depending on the investment $135 million Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) No
EquityMultiple  $10,000 1% on equity investments; other fees vary by offering 16.8% historically $126.7 million Institutional commercial real estate; equity, preferred equity, and senior debt; opportunity zones; and 1031 exchange investments Yes
Fundrise $10 0.15% Advisory fee; 0.85% asset management fee 7.31% to 16.11%, from 2017 to 2021 $124 million Varies depending on the selected account level No
PeerStreet $1,000 Typically 1% 2% to 9% $225 million Real estate debt Yes
RealtyMogul $1,000 1% to 1.5% 4.5% to 8% $136 million REITs, individual properties (multifamily, office, industrial, self-storage, retail, and medical office), and 1031 exchanges No

Final Verdict

Real estate crowdfunding platforms offer entry into real estate to a wide range of people, from experienced, accredited investors to individuals who are just starting out. The right platform for you depends on your needs and expectations. If you're an accredited investor and you need access to institutional-quality offerings, CrowdStreet might fit the bill for you. DiversyFund is a good pick for those seeking zero management fees and a reasonable entry points. Accredited investors will also find a good selection and low fees at EquityMultiple. Investors who are not accredited and need a low entry point will find it at Fundrise. If you're an accredited investor who needs low interest rates, Peer Street is a good choice for you. RealtyMogul is a good option for investors who are not accredited and are looking for a reasonable investment minimum.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Real Estate Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a way to fund a project or venture by pooling small investments from a large group of investors. The idea is that when enough people make small investments, it’s possible to raise substantial amounts of money quickly. One of the most well-known crowdfunding sites is GoFundMe, a platform used to raise money for everything from creative projects to medical bills.

Real estate crowdfunding raises capital for real estate investments. When developers or real estate professionals find investment opportunities, they may not want to fund the entire investment themselves (or they may not be able to). Thus, they turn to crowdfunding to let individual investors help finance the project. The process enables investors to invest in real estate without owning, financing, or managing properties.

How Does Crowdfunding Work in Real Estate?

Real estate investment platforms connect investment opportunities with funding. Most real estate crowdfunding deals have a sponsor, a crowdfunding platform, and investors. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

  1. The sponsor is the individual or company responsible for the project. The sponsor acquires, manages, and sells the investment.
  2. The crowdfunding platform connects the sponsor to interested investors. It explains deals to potential investors, handles regulatory issues, and collects money from the investors on behalf of the sponsor.
  3. The investor contributes to the project’s funding in exchange for a share of the profits.

How Can You Start in Real Estate Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding platforms connect sponsors and real estate investors. To get started in real estate crowdfunding, research the various crowdfunding sites to find an opportunity that interests you—whether that’s an individual property or a fund that owns dozens of properties.

Pay close attention to the platform’s vetting process for deals as well as its sponsors. The top platforms employ high levels of due diligence to make sure that sponsors—and any deals offered by the sponsors—have been rigorously evaluated.

Can You Crowdfund in Commercial Real Estate?

Yes, real estate crowdfunding platforms give individual investors access to commercial real estate projects, such as hotels, apartment complexes, medical complexes, self-storage, and retail. Without crowdfunding, these large-scale investments would otherwise be unaffordable to most individuals.

Can You Make Money from Crowdfunding?

Yes, there is potential to earn competitive returns in real estate crowdfunding. The platforms we reviewed boast annual returns ranging from 2% to nearly 20%. Still, real estate crowdfunding is considered a risky investment. Just like the stock market, there are no guaranteed returns, and you could lose your entire investment. In addition—depending on the investment and unlike the stock market—your money may be tied up for years.

Real estate investment platforms connect investors with investment opportunities. Carefully research the crowdfunding platform, sponsor, and opportunity before investing any money.

How We Chose the Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites

To choose the top real estate crowdfunding sites, we considered a variety of factors, including:

  • Investment minimums
  • Platform fees
  • Total number of investors
  • Total investor dividends
  • Historical annual returns
  • Reinvestment opportunities
  • Website transparency (how easy it is to find platform fees, minimums, and redemption options)
  • Better Business Bureau ratings
  • Educational offerings

We also investigated each company’s online reputation—including average monthly search volume, recent news, customer reviews, and complaints—to ensure the platform is well respected and legitimate. 

Article Sources
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  1. Crunchbase. "CrowdStreet: Summary."