Real estate crowdfunding is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to invest in real estate. That includes commercial real estate investing, which historically has attracted only wealthy investors. But through real estate crowdfunding, investors of all financial levels can participate in this lucrative asset class.

Many real estate crowdfunding platforms require investors to have accredited investor status, which we’ll explain below. But in this guide, we’ll look at the five best real estate crowdfunding sites for non-accredited investors.

If that describes you, and you want to hold at least some of your portfolio in commercial real estate, please read on.

What Is Real Estate Crowdfunding?

Real estate crowdfunding is a means to invest in real estate for investors of all sizes. Though it typically involves investing in commercial real estate deals, like retail properties, large apartment complexes, hotels, warehouses, and similar properties, investments may also be on a smaller scale. For example, some platforms give investors access to single-family property investments.

Real estate crowdfunding functions as an online marketplace. It brings real estate dealmakers, usually referred to as sponsors, together with investors who are willing to provide funds for the investments. With most platforms, investors can choose between multiple investment deals. A single deal may have hundreds of individual investors.

Property investments may involve either an equity or debt position. If it’s an equity position, investors can receive steady income – in the form of net rents – or capital appreciation as properties are sold. In the case of debt investments, investors will receive regular interest payments, and a return of investment principal at the end of the term.

Real estate crowdfunding isn’t the same thing as investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs), though they may include REITs as an option. REITs are like mutual funds, except they hold real estate investments instead of stocks or bonds.

The term “REIT” is usually reserved for publicly traded funds that are available through major brokerage firms, trading on public exchanges. By contrast, the REITs offered by real estate crowdfunding platforms are not publicly traded. That means they are available only through the real estate crowdfunding platform that offers them.

Want to learn more? Check out REITs vs Real Estate Crowdfunding: Which Is Best for Investors in 2022?

What Is a Non-Accredited Investor?

Let’s first start by defining what an accredited investor is. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), you qualify as an accredited investor if you meet one of the three following conditions:

  1. You have earned income of at least $200,000 – or $300,000, together with your spouse or spousal equivalent – in each of the two previous years, and have a reasonable expectation for the same income level in the current year, OR …

  2. Your net worth is over $1 million, either individually or jointly with your spouse or spousal equivalent, but excluding the value of your primary residence, OR …

  3. You hold a Series 7, 65, or 82 license in good standing, so that you’re licensed to sell investment securities.

This is a formal definition, and if accredited investor status is required you will need to provide verification that you meet one of the three qualifications listed above.

Accredited investor status is typically required by real estate crowdfunding platforms for high-risk investments that are expected to provide above-average returns. For example, accredited investor status will usually be required if a real estate crowdfunding platform allows investors to participate in individual property deals.

However, accredited investor status is hardly an across-the-board requirement by real estate crowdfunding platforms. As you’ll see in this guide, we’ve identified eight platforms that permit investing by non-accredited investors.

Generally speaking, you will not be permitted to participate in individual property deals as a non-accredited investor. Instead, you’ll be able to invest through proprietary funds and non-publicly traded REITs offered by crowdfunding platforms that welcome non-accredited investors.

You’ll also find real estate investments for non-accredited investors require a lower minimum initial investment. It may be possible to invest through a real estate crowdfunding platform with as little as $10.

Which Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites Allow Non-Accredited Investors?

Based on our research, we’ve been able to identify eight popular real estate crowdfunding sites that allow non-accredited investors:

Fundrise

  • Very low investment minimum.
  • Five different investment plans to choose from.
  • Invest for income, growth, or both.
  • IRA option offered.
  • Early redemption plan available.

Fundrise Review

Streitwise

  • Provides high dividend income.
  • Early redemption plan available.
  • IRA option available.
  • Has a dividend reinvestment plan.

Streitwise Review

Groundfloor

  • Very low minimum initial investment.
  • Loans complete and payout, typically in less than 12 months.
  • No fees.
  • You can invest in multiple loans, with a small investment.
  • Available for IRAs.

Groundfloor Review

RealtyMogul

  • Well-established platform with a large investor base.
  • Choose between two REITs, one focusing on dividends, the other on capital appreciation.
  • One of the best early redemption programs in the industry.
  • Available for IRAs.

RealtyMogul Review

DiversyFund

  • Low minimum initial investment.
  • Available for IRAs.
  • High average annual returns.
  • Strong emphasis on long-term capital appreciation.
  • Invests in large apartment complexes.

DiversyFund Review

Arrived Homes

  • Very low minimum initial investment requirement.
  • Low fee structure.
  • Specializes in single-family rental homes.
  • Available for IRAs.
  • Pays quarterly dividends.

Arrived Homes Review

Roofstock

  • Specializes in single-family rental properties.
  • Buy and sell individual properties (direct ownership).
  • No minimum initial investment required.
  • Available for IRAs.

Roofstock Review

Modiv

  • Low minimum initial investment.
  • Early redemption available after six months.
  • Offers steady dividend income, plus long-term capital appreciation.
  • Commercial properties rented by well-known companies.

5 Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites for Non-Accredited Investors

Out of the eight real estate crowdfunding sites for non-accredited investors, we’ve zeroed in on the five we believe to be the best. The criteria for including these platforms in the top five are presented below for each site.

1. Fundrise

FeatureDetails
Best ForIncome and growth
Minimum Investment Required$10+ to $100,000+
Investment OptionsProprietary funds and REITs invested in commercial and residential properties
Average Annual Returns5.86%, net of fees
Fees1% annual fee on funds and REITs; 1% redemption fee within the first five years
IRA EligibleYes
AvailabilityAll 50 states

Fundrise is one of the most popular real estate crowdfunding platforms in the industry for many reasons. They offer proprietary funds and REITs invested in both commercial and residential properties.

The minimum initial investment of $10 for the Starter plan is just the beginning. In all, Fundrise offers five different plans, Starter, Basic, Core, Advanced, and Premium. The minimum investment for each increases progressively, as do the returns and risks. But the combination of the various plans enables you to start small, then expand your investment horizons as your portfolio and risk tolerance grow.

Overall, Fundrise offers a combination of high returns and low fees. Returns have been between 8% and 16% per year since 2017, and Fundrise notes an average income return of 5.86%, net of fees.

But one of the features of Fundrise that may be most compelling for new and small investors is their generous early withdrawal program. While most real estate crowdfunding platforms require you to remain invested for the full term of the investments offered, Fundrise has a redemption policy that may enable you to withdraw your funds early, on a quarterly basis.

Pros:

  • Minimum initial investment of just $10.
  • Offers five different plan levels, to accommodate future investment goals.
  • Choose income, growth, or a combination of both.
  • Good track record of average annual returns.
  • Low annual fee of just 1%.

Cons:

  • You cannot choose the properties you invest in.
  • Early redemption feature is not guaranteed.
  • Limited customer contact (email only).

Learn More at Fundrise.com

2. Streitwise

FeatureDetails
Best ForDividend income
Minimum Investment Required500 shares, or about $5,000
Investment OptionsA single REIT that invests and retail space and apartment complexes
Average Annual Returns8% – 9% target annual dividends, plus capital appreciation
Fees3% up front, +2% annual management fee
IRA EligibleYes
AvailabilityAll 50 states

Streitwise is available to non-accredited investors, but with certain stipulations. Your investment must equal no more than 10% of the greater of either your individual or joint net worth (excluding the value of your home), or your individual or joint income in each of the two most recent years, in addition to your expected income for the current year.

Streitwise offers a single REIT that invests in both commercial real estate and apartment complexes. This will give you a solid diversification within the real estate space. This real estate crowdfunding platform is especially strong with dividend income, with target annual returns in the 8% to 9% range.

Streitwise does offer an early redemption program, but it’s not as flexible and generous as that offered by Fundrise. Instead, they offer a multi-tiered plan. First, no withdrawals may be made within the first year after making your investment. After the first year, and up to two years, they’ll redeem 90% of the net asset value of your investment. This continues to stair step higher, until after you’ve owned your shares for at least five years, at which point 100% redemption will be available.

Pros:

  • Fund targets annual dividend returns as high as 9%, paid quarterly.
  • A dividend reinvestment plan is available.
  • Streitwise does offer early redemption, though it is subject to very specific limitations.

Cons:

  • Streitwise offers only a single investment option.

There is a 3% upfront fee, which is similar to a load fee with mutual funds.

Learn More at Streitwise.com

3. Groundfloor

FeatureDetails
Best ForShort investment time horizon
Minimum Investment Required$10
Investment OptionsLoans collateralized by fix-and-flip 1 – 4 family property deals
Average Annual Returns5% – 26%, with an average of 10.50%
FeesNone
IRA EligibleYes
AvailabilityAll 50 states

Groundfloor is a unique real estate crowdfunding platform on several fronts. First, they have an incredibly low minimum initial investment of just $10. A $100 investment can be spread across 10 different loans.

Second, Groundfloor offers only debt investments. These are loans secured by fix-and-flip deals involving single-family residential properties. It gives investors an opportunity to participate in this exciting real estate rehab process, but with much lower risk.

Third, and perhaps most important, most loans complete and payout in under 12 months. This is substantially below the average investment term among real estate crowdfunding platforms, which typically ranges between five years and seven years.

Groundfloor uses a loan grading method that allows you to choose the mix of risk and reward you’re most comfortable with. For example, the lowest risk loans are graded “A,” but have the lowest returns. The highest risk loans are graded “G” and pay rates several times higher than A rated loans.

And if that isn’t enough, Groundfloor charges no fees to investors. The returns aren’t the most generous in the space, but they are more predictable.

Pros:

  • Begin investing with as little as $10.
  • Small minimum requirement enables you to spread your investment capital across multiple loans.
  • You can choose the loans you invest in.
  • No fees.
  • Short-term deals that usually complete and pay out in under 12 months.

Cons:

  • Offers only a single type of investment, loans collateralized by single-family residential fix-and-flip properties.
  • Returns are generally lower than they are on competing real estate crowdfunding platforms.
  • No equity-type investments offered.

Learn More at Groundfloor.com

4. RealtyMogul

FeatureDetails
Best ForHigh quality deals
Minimum Investment Required$5,000 and higher
Investment OptionsTwo REITs, one investing in general commercial properties, the other in large apartment complexes
Average Annual Returns4.50% to 8.00% in dividends (net of fees), plus capital appreciation
Fees3% upfront fee, +1% annual fee
IRA EligibleYes
AvailabilityAll 50 states


RealtyMogul is one of the best-established real estate crowdfunding platforms. It has participation by over 219,000 investors, with more than $700 million invested on the platform. RealtyMogul accommodates both accredited and non-accredited investors, though non-accredited investors are limited to participation in two REITs: MogulREIT I and Mogul REIT II.

MogulREIT I invests in commercial real estate, using a combination of both equity and debt investments. Its primary focus is on generating dividend income. Dividends are distributed on a monthly basis. The fund invests in both commercial property deals and multi-family apartment buildings nationwide.

Mogul REIT II invests primarily in multi-family apartment buildings, and pays dividends on a quarterly basis. Its primary purpose is focusing on long-term capital appreciation.

One of the strongest features of RealtyMogul is its strict due diligence process. The website reports that the company has accepted just 337 of more than 30,000 real estate deals submitted. That’s an acceptance rate of just over 1%.

There is an early redemption option available once you have been invested for at least one year. After the first year, you can receive 98% of your investment, then 99% after the second year. Once you have been invested for at least three years, you’ll be eligible for a 100% redemption.

Pros:

  • Generous early redemption program.
  • Offers one of the strongest due diligence programs in the industry.

Cons:

  • The minimum investment of $5,000 may be high for small investors.

Learn More at RealtyMogul.com

5. Diversyfund

FeatureDetails
Best ForLong-term capital appreciation
Minimum Investment Required$500
Investment OptionsProprietary REIT invested in multi-family properties
Average Annual ReturnsTargets 10% – 20%, net of fees
FeesNo annual fee, but developer fee ranging from 2% – 10% charged within fund
IRA EligibleYes
AvailabilityAll 50 states


DiversyFund is a real estate crowdfunding platform that offers a single REIT, which is invested in multi-family properties. The primary emphasis of the REIT is to generate long-term capital appreciation. Because of this focus, the REIT has been generating returns approaching 20% per year.

You can begin investing with as little as $500. DiversyFund charges no fee to investors. All fees are paid within the REIT, and returns are net of those fees.

Like most real estate crowdfunding platforms, your investment with DiversyFund is illiquid. When you invest, you should expect your money to be tied up for a minimum of five years. The platform does not offer an early redemption option.

That said, DiversyFund invests in one of the most stable and resilient sectors of real estate, which is large apartment complexes. Apartments tend to be in demand in all economic and financial conditions.

Pros:

  • DiversyFund is on the high end of the real estate crowdfunding platform return range, with returns of 17%-plus in 2017 and 2018.
  • You’ll be investing in large commercial properties that are purchased, renovated, and held for several years to maximize capital appreciation.
  • Strong diversification within the fund, holding different types of properties in multiple geographic locations.
  • Low minimum initial investment of $500.

Cons:

  • Like most real estate crowdfunding platforms, you should expect your investment to be tied up for at least five years.
  • There is no provision for early withdrawals – your investment is completely illiquid.
  • Customer contact limited email and chat.

Learn More at DiversyFund.com

Summary

Not only is commercial real estate a profitable investment, but it’s also an important part of a well-diversified investment portfolio. By investing through real estate crowdfunding, you’ll be adding an investment in a tangible asset to a portfolio comprised primarily of stocks and bonds.

That diversification will be important, not only because of the additional income potential it will generate, but also because the types of investments real estate crowdfunding involves are non-correlated with conventional, publicly traded investments such as stock and bonds: their performance often moves in a direction opposite of the financial markets. It’s possible your real estate crowdfunding allocation will perform profitably even when the financial markets are in a tailspin.

If you want more complete diversification in your investment portfolio, consider holding a small percentage of your assets in real estate crowdfunding investments.

Want nothing but the best? We've found the 10 Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites.

References:

https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/general-resources/news-a...
https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/investm...
https://www.kiplinger.com/article/investing/t023-c032-s014-the-power-of-...

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