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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 real estate crowdfunding sites.
Best Overall : CrowdStreet
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.
User-friendly platform with a helpful chatbot
Easy-to-find investment details
Accredited investors only
Steep investment minimums
No early withdrawals
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, CrowdStreet has published more than 732 commercial real estate investment offerings. More than 100,000 investors throughout the U.S. have invested on the CrowdStreet platform.
It boasts average annual returns of 18.3% and total investor distributions of $220 million. Its investment options include funds, individual deals, and a professionally managed, tailored portfolio.
Best for Institutional Commercial Real Estate : EquityMultiple
EquityMultiple focuses almost entirely on institutional commercial real estate, and it also offers equity, preferred equity, and senior debt investments.
Good investment selection
Variety of target hold periods
Accredited investors only
Steep minimum investment
Limited redemption options
EquityMultiple recently added tax-advantaged real estate investments and fund products to its lineup. Distribution schedules vary by deal but usually are monthly or quarterly. Investment options include institutional commercial real estate; equity, preferred equity, and senior debt; opportunity zones; and 1031 exchange investments.
Its average annual returns were 15.2% as of 2022, and the company has $298 million in total investor distributions.
Best for Beginners : Fundrise
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.
No accreditation required
Well-rated mobile app
Request share redemption at any time (possible fees and redemption not guaranteed)
Since its launch in 2012, Fundrise has invested in more than $7 billion worth of real estate across the U.S. As of January 2023, it manages $4 billion worth of real estate on behalf of more than 387,000 individual investors and boasts total investor distributions of more than $224 million.
Its annual returns from 2017 through 2022 ranged from 1.50% to 22.99%. Investment options vary depending on the selected account level.
Best for Investing in Loans : PeerStreet
Unique offering among real estate investment platforms
Diversification across various parameters
Low interest rate risk because loans are a maximum of 36 months
Accredited investors only
Only offers investments in debt
Higher risk than some other crowdfunding options
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.
Its total investor distributions exceeded $280 million as of 2022, and its average annual returns ranged from 6% to 9% on select investments.
Best Property Research : RealtyMogul
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.
Good investment selection
Thorough due diligence
Monthly auto-investing in REITs starting at $250 per month
Different fees associated with each investment
Investments not easily sold or traded
Some long hold periods
Since its inception in 2012, more than 260,000 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.
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. Investment options include REITs, individual properties (multifamily, office, industrial, self-storage, retail, and medical office), and 1031 exchanges.
If you're an accredited investor and you need access to institutional-quality offerings, CrowdStreet might fit the bill for you. It has a wide range of investment options and a history of strong returns.
Accredited investors also will 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, PeerStreet 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.
Compare the Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites
|Company||Fees||Minimum Investment||Accredited Investors Only?|
|0% for investors; 0.25%–2.5% for tailored portfolios||$25,000||Yes|
Best for Institutional Commerce Real Estate
|0.5%–1.5% on equity investments; other fees vary by offering||$5,000||Yes|
Best for Beginners
|0.15% Advisory fee; 0.85% asset management fee||$10–$100,000, depending on account level||No|
Best for Investing in Loans
Best Property Research
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Real Estate Crowdfunding?
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 do so. 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?
Most real estate crowdfunding deals have a sponsor, a crowdfunding platform, and investors. Sponsors acquire, manage, and sell investments, and crowdfunding platforms connect sponsors to interested investors. Platforms explain deals to potential investors, handle regulatory issues, and collect money from investors on behalf of sponsors. Investors contribute to the funding of projects in exchange for a share of the profits.
How Can You Start in Real Estate Crowdfunding?
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 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 about 2% to about 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.
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.