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How to Invest in Real Estate Online

By Mihaela Lica Butler | September 26, 2023

Real estate investment has traditionally been perceived as a complex and inaccessible market. However, with online real estate investing platforms, real estate has become more accessible and convenient. 

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Online real estate investing platforms are digital platforms that connect real estate developers with individuals who want to invest in real estate. These platforms act as intermediaries, facilitating the investment process and providing a platform for investors to browse and select investment opportunities. Through these platforms, investors can gain exposure to real estate assets without the need for direct ownership or the hassles of property management.

How do Online Real Estate Investing Platforms Work?

The functioning of online real estate investing platforms typically involves the following steps:

  1. Project selection: Real estate developers list their projects on the platform, providing detailed information about the properties, potential returns, and investment terms.
  2. Investor registration: Investors create an account on the platform, complete any necessary verification procedures, and provide information about their investment preferences.
  3. Due diligence: The platform conducts due diligence on the projects listed, ensuring they meet specific criteria and align with industry standards.
  4. Investment process: Once a project is approved, investors can review the available investment opportunities and select the ones that align with their investment goals and risk tolerance. They can typically invest through either debt or equity options.
  5. Monitoring and management: After investing, the platform keeps investors updated on the project's progress and provides regular reports. Investors can monitor their investments through the platform and receive distributions or returns according to the terms of the investment.

Benefits and Risks of Using Online Real Estate Investing Platforms

Benefits

  1. Access and diversification: Online real estate investing platforms allow investors to diversify their portfolios by gaining exposure to various real estate projects across different locations and asset types.
  2. Lower barriers to entry: These platforms often have lower investment minimums than traditional real estate investments, making it more accessible for individual investors to participate.
  3. Streamlined process: By utilizing digital platforms, the investment process becomes more efficient and convenient, with easy access to information, project details, and investment opportunities.
  4. Potential returns: Real estate can be a lucrative investment, and by leveraging online platforms, investors can unlock the potential for both regular income and long-term appreciation.

Risks

  1. Liquidity and lock-in: Real estate investments made through these platforms are often illiquid and may have limited opportunities for early exit. Investors should prepare to hold their assets until the project reaches completion or a designated exit point.
  2. Market risks: As with any real estate investment, online platforms are also exposed to market risks, such as fluctuations in property values, economic downturns, or changes in local regulations.
  3. Platform risk: Investors should carefully evaluate the platform's reputation, track record, and credibility. Conducting thorough due diligence on the platform and the projects listed is crucial to mitigating potential risks.

While online real estate investing platforms offer unique opportunities, investors should approach these investments cautiously and conduct their research before making any decisions. These platforms are only suitable for some investors and may require certain financial knowledge and risk tolerance.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms

Real estate crowdfunding platforms have become increasingly popular, allowing investors to participate in real estate projects without the traditional entry barriers. These platforms have made it easier for individuals to diversify their investment portfolios and earn attractive returns.

  1. Fundrise: Fundrise is one of the leading real estate crowdfunding platforms, offering a range of investment options. They allow individuals to invest in private market real estate, including residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties. With a low minimum investment requirement, Fundrise provides access to a diverse portfolio of properties across the United States.
  2. EquityMultiple: EquityMultiple is a platform that allows accredited investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate projects. Their platform offers a range of investment opportunities, including equity and preferred equity investments. EquityMultiple's focus on institutional-quality deals and its commitment to transparency make it a top choice for real estate investors.
  3. RealtyMogul: RealtyMogul is another prominent crowdfunding platform allowing investors to participate in debt and equity investments. Investors can access various real estate opportunities through their platform, including commercial properties, apartment buildings, and office spaces. RealtyMogul offers both individual and institutional investment options.
  4. CrowdStreet: CrowdStreet is a marketplace that connects individual investors with institutional-quality commercial real estate projects. Their platform offers a range of investment opportunities, including equity investments and funds. CrowdStreet's strong track record and emphasis on investor education make them a top choice for real estate investors.
  5. PeerStreet: PeerStreet provides investors access to high-quality, short-term real estate loans. Their platform allows individuals to invest in these loans secured by real estate properties. PeerStreet offers competitive interest rates and a transparent investment process, making it a popular choice for those seeking fixed-income real estate investments.
  6. Groundfloor: Groundfloor is a real estate lending platform that allows investors to fund residential real estate projects. They offer short-term, high-yield investment opportunities backed by real estate collateral. Groundfloor's innovative model will enable investors to select individual projects to invest in, providing a unique level of control and transparency.
  7. RealtyShares: RealtyShares is a real estate crowdfunding platform that provides access to numerous investment opportunities. They allow investors to participate in both debt and equity investments, with options including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. RealtyShares offers a user-friendly platform and a diverse selection of real estate projects.
  8. Roofstock: Roofstock is a unique real estate crowdfunding platform focusing on single-family rental properties. They allow investors to purchase fully-vetted rental properties in markets across the United States. Roofstock offers a user-friendly platform, comprehensive property data, and the opportunity to earn passive income through rental properties.
  9. DiversyFund: DiversyFund offers investors the chance to invest in commercial real estate through their crowdfunding platform. They focus on value-added opportunities, aiming to provide attractive returns through property renovations and improvements. DiversyFund offers a low minimum investment requirement and a range of investment options.
  10. Trinity Investors: RealCrowd, now part of Trinity Investors, is a platform that connects investors with private real estate investment opportunities. They provide access to various property types, including office buildings, apartment complexes, and retail properties. RealCrowd offers a transparent and efficient investment process, allowing individuals to diversify their portfolios with real estate investments.

Investing in real estate online offers a range of opportunities to diversify your investment portfolio and generate passive income. Two effective ways to invest in real estate online are through real estate investment trusts (REITs) and online real estate investing platforms (or real estate crowdfunding platforms).

Before investing in real estate online, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria, especially for platforms that require accredited investor status. Additionally, conduct thorough research, consider your risk tolerance, and consult with a financial advisor if needed.

By following these strategies and making informed investment decisions, you can maximize the potential benefits of investing in real estate online.

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Mihaela Lica Butler is senior partner at Pamil Visions PR. She is a widely cited authority on public relations issues, with an experience of over 25 years in online PR, marketing, and SEO.She covers startups, online marketing, social media, SEO, and other topics of interest for Realty Biz News.
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