The Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites

Which crowdfunding sites are worth investigating? Below are our top 10 choices for real estate crowdfunding platforms.

Best overall
Crowdstreet

OUR #1 PICK FOR EXPERIENCED INVESTORS

With a simple-to-use website, multiple investment types, and higher-than-average returns, CrowdStreet is our favorite option for accredited investors who want to invest in commercial real estate.

Highlights
  • Large selection of projects available
  • Well-designed platform for investors
  • Stringent approval process (high-quality projects)
  • 17% average return on fully realized deals
Fundrise

BEST FOR BEGINNER INVESTORS

  • Low minimum ($1,000) for beginner investors
  • No accredited investor status required
  • Easy to use mobile app
  • IRA offering available
Arrived Homes

BEST FOR INVESTING IN INDIVIDUAL SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

  • Low minimum ($100) for beginner investors
  • Purchase fractional shares in single-family rental homes
  • Transparent fee structure (1% AUM plus sourcing fees)
  • Tenants are shareholders too
EquityMultiple

BEST FOR TAX-EFFICIENT REAL ESTATE INVESTING

  • Wide array of investment options
  • 14%+ returns over time
  • Simple-to-use online platform
  • Tax-efficient investments available
Streitwise

BEST FOR REIT INVESTING

  • High dividend payouts
  • No accredited investor status required
  • IRA offering available
RealtyMogul

BEST FOR AUTOMATIC REAL ESTATE INVESTING

  • Huge customer base and investment holdings
  • Multiple Investment options
  • Automatic investments available on REITs
  • Easy-to-use investing platform
Ground Floor

Best for Investing in House Flips

  • Low minimum $10 for beginner investors
  • No accredited investor status required
  • Short term loans for fast returns
  • No investor fees
DiversyFund

Best for Multi-Family Real Estate Investments

  • Access to multi-family real estate investments
  • Low minimum investment ($500) for beginner investors
  • 5 year holding period
Roofstock

Best for Buying and Selling Rental Homes

  • Access to hundreds of single-family rentals
  • Very low fees to buying and selling rentals
  • Additional services available such as seller services and property management
  • IRA investing available
Peerstreet

Best for Private Lending Investments

  • Access to hundreds of loans from private lenders
  • Higher rate of return than traditional loans
  • Lender and fee transparency
  • FDIC insured holding accounts

A Closer Look at the Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites

Here's an in-depth analysis of our favorite real estate crowdfunding platforms...

Our #1 Pick for Experienced Investors

Crowdstreet

FeatureDetails
Fees

Individual projects - Varies by sponsor

Crowdstreet funds - Varies by fund (0.5% - 2% on average

Minimum InvestmentVaries by deal, usually around $25,000
Annual Returns (average)12.6% - 20%
Investment Options4 portfolio options with various eREITs and eFunds
Accredited Investor Status Required?Yes

Crowdstreet was founded in 2014 as a way to offer accredited investors access to quality commercial real estate projects. 

With over $1.5 billion invested and over 470 projects funded to date, they have grown to become one of the largest and highest-quality crowdfunded real estate platforms in the US.

Crowdstreet is open to accredited investors only, with a net worth requirement of $1 million (excluding your primary residence), or annual salary of $200,000 or more. Some projects and funds may have higher net worth and salary requirements. 

Crowdstreet offers access to individual projects, as well as funds that are similar to a mutual fund, with exposure to a basket of real estate projects. 

Pros

  • Large selection of projects available

  • Well-designed platform for investors

  • Stringent approval process leads to high-quality projects

  • Higher-than-average returns for accredited investors

Cons

  • Highly illiquid investments 

  • Available to accredited investors only

  • High minimum investment of $25,000 for most offerings

Crowdstreet is hands down our #1 overall choice for accredited investors. In fact, our company founder, Paul Tracy, personally invests in the Crowdstreet platform and can't stop raving about it.  For more details, please read our full review of Crowdstreet here. 

Open an Account at Crowdstreet

 

Best for Beginner Investors

Fundrise

FeatureDetails
Fees1% total (0.15% advisory fee, 0.85% management fee)
Minimum Investment$1,000
Annual Returns (average)9.47% (in 2019)
Investment Options4 portfolio options with various eREITs and eFunds
Accredited Investor Status Required?No

Founded in 2012, Fundrise now manages over $1 billion in assets for over 150,000 individual investors. It offers non-tradable REITs which invest in private commercial and residential real estate investment projects.

Fundrise is a crowdfunding real estate site that’s open to all investors. With low minimum investments and a simple-to-use mobile app, Fundrise is a great option for beginners who want to dip their toes into real estate investing.

Pros

  • Low minimum ($1,000) for beginner investors

  • No accredited investor status required

  • Easy to use mobile app

  • IRA offering available

Cons

  • Funds not easily accessible (without penalty)

  • Higher taxes due to non-qualified dividends

  • Additional fees may apply per project

To learn more about our favorite real estate crowdfunding platform for beginner investors, read our full review of Fundrise here. Otherwise, if you're ready to get started, click the green button below to open an account.

Open an Account at Fundrise

 

Best for Investing in Individual Single Family Homes

Arrived Homes

FeatureDetails
Fees

One-time sourcing fees (varies per property)

1% AUM annual fee

Minimum Investment$100
Annual Returns (average)

5% - 6% annual dividend

Annual real estate market appreciation

Investment OptionsREIT shares in single-family rental homes
Accredited Investor Status Required?No

Arrived Homes (known as “Arrived”) is an online real estate investing platform designed to allow investors to purchase shares of equity in single-family homes. Arrived is new on the scene of crowdfunded real estate, but with financial backing from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, it is growing rapidly.

Arrived is open to all investors in the U.S. (18 years old and up), and has a unique structure for its investments. Instead of packaging multiple properties into a standard REIT, all individual homes are structured as stand-alone REITs with a $100 minimum investment, allowing investors to purchase shares in multiple properties for a small investment. 

As an equity owner in each property, investors receive quarterly dividends from rental income, as well as a share in property appreciation.

Investors can quickly sign up for a free account on ArrivedHomes.com, and start browsing available investments right away.

Pros

  • Ability to purchase fractional shares in single-family rental homes

  • Very low minimum investment ($100)

  • Transparent fee structure (1% AUM plus sourcing fees)

  • Tenants are shareholders too

Cons

  • REITs not publicly traded (harder to sell shares)

  • Limited number of properties

Arrived Homes is hands-down our favorite real estate crowdfunding platform for investing in single family homes. For more information, read our full review of Arrived Homes. If you're ready to get started, click below to open an account.

Open an Account at Arrived Homes

 

Best for Tax-Efficient Real Estate Investing

EquityMultiple

FeatureDetails
Fees1% annual fee (on average). Other fees apply per project.
Minimum InvestmentAs low as $5,000, typically $10,000
Annual Returns (average)14.50%
Investment Options3 portfolio options with various investments including debt, equity, funds, CRE securities, opportunity zones and 1031 exchanges.
Accredited Investor Status Required?Yes

EquityMultiple is a commercial real estate crowdfunding site that provides accredited investors access to private real estate deals. It offers multiple investment options, including debt, equity, opportunity zones, and even 1031 exchanges. These investments are part of 3 portfolios with different investment goals. 

  • Fund Investing - Best for diversification

  • Direct Investing - Best for investing in specific properties

  • Tax-Deferred Investing - Best for tax benefits

EquityMultiple only works with accredited investors ($1 million net worth/$200,000 annual income). Offering a wide range of investment options, the company helps users manage their risk tolerance while giving them direct exposure to commercial real estate. High returns – with monthly and quarterly distributions – are also available.

Pros

  • Wide array of investment options

  • 14%+ returns over time

  • Simple-to-use online platform

  • Tax-efficient investments available

Cons

  • Open to accredited investors only

  • High minimum investment

  • Non-liquid investments

Learn more at EquityMultiple.com

 

Best for REIT Investing

Streitwise

FeatureDetails
Fees3% up front fee, 2% annual fee
Minimum Investment$1,000
Annual Returns (average)9.57%
Investment OptionsREIT only
Accredited Investor Status Required?No

Streitwise is a privately-traded REIT sponsored by Tryperion Partners, which provides investors with access to equity in their real estate investments. It offers a quarterly dividend with an average of over 9% in annualized returns. 

Streitwise isn’t a crowdfunding real estate site, but it does offer a REIT fund for investors to participate in. Streitwise does have a 5% first-year fee (plus 2% annual fee), but this is actually lower than the industry average for REIT investments (which is closer to 10%).

Pros

  • High dividend payouts

  • No accredited investor status required

  • IRA offering available

Cons

  • High fees compared to traditional crowdfunding sites

  • Funds locked for a minimum of 1 year

  • Non-qualified dividends

Learn more at Streitwise.com

 

Best for Automatic Real Estate Investing

RealtyMogul

FeaturesDetails
FeesVary by investment
Minimum Investment$5,000
Annual Returns (average)4.5% - 8% (REIT)
Investment Options2 REIT options, private real estate, 1031 exchange
Accredited Investor Status Required?Only required for private real estate investing

Founded in 2013, RealtyMogul has now served over 200,000 investors with over $600 million currently invested. The company platform offers over $2.80 billion in real estate investments, providing access to a wide array of private real estate and REIT options. It’s known for having an extremely stringent due-diligence process, investing in less than 1% of the projects presented to their team.

RealtyMogul REITs are open to non-accredited investors and provide two options: 

  • MOGULREIT I: Income - Holdings include senior debt, mezzanine debt, and equity structures

  • MOGULREIT II: Growth- Holdings include preferred and common equity in apartment buildings.

RealtyMogul offers access to 1031 exchanges for investors who prefer to defer taxes on their real estate investments. The company also provides access to private real estate equity for accredited investors only.

Pros

  • Huge customer base and investment holdings

  • Multiple iInvestment options

  • Automatic investments available on REITs

  • Easy-to-use investing platform

Cons

  • Additional fees can add up quickly (especially in REITs)

  • $5,000 minimum investment

  • Higher taxes due to non-qualified dividends

  • Long lock period for private real estate deals

Learn more at RealtyMogul.com

 

Best for Investing in House Flips

Ground Floor

FeaturesDetails
FeesNo investor fees
Minimum Investment$10
Annual Returns (average)10.50%
Investment OptionsCollateralized debt
Accredited Investor Status Required?No

GroundFloor is a crowdfunded real estate investment site that allows investors to lend money (e.g., a hard money loan) to borrowers who purchase and flip distressed properties. Investors earn interest on the loan, which is typically paid back within 12 months. These projects are all graded on a risk/reward scale, allowing investors to choose the level of risk they’re most comfortable investing in.

GroundFloor has generated average returns over 10% over the past 6 years and investors are able to choose the property they’ll loan money to. Loans are 12- to 18-month terms, giving investors a quicker return than typical equity real estate investments.

Pros

  • Low minimum $10 for beginner investors

  • No accredited investor status required

  • Short term loans for fast returns

  • No investor fees

Cons

  • Higher default and foreclosure risk

  • Loan updates only available monthly

  • No equity investing options

Learn more at Groundfloor.com

 

Best for Multi-Family Real Estate Investments

DiversyFund

FeatureDetails
Fees

$0 management fee

Acquisition and development fees vary per property

Minimum Investment$500
Annual Returns (average)Varies
Investment OptionsTwo REITs (Debt and Growth)
Accredited Investor Status Required?Yes

DiversyFund is an online real estate investing platform that offers non-traded REITs to investors. The only available fund currently is the Growth REIT, which has a $500 minimum and is open to non-accredited investors. This REIT is a non-traded fund, meaning there is no secondary marketplace to sell the shares you own.

DiversyFund invests in multi-family real estate, specifically apartment buildings with large occupancy (100+ units). Investment dividends are reinvested back into the property, which currently has a 5-year value-add lifecycle, after which the properties are sold and returns are distributed to investors.

While DiversyFund offers access to multi-family real estate for a very low minimum, investments are locked up until the disposition of properties, which is currently slated as 2023 at the earliest.

Pros

  • Access to multi-family real estate investments

  • Low minimum investment

Cons

  • Illiquid investment

  • Dividends not distributed to investors

  • Mixed reviews about customer service and leadership team

  • Only one REIT available (Debt REIT on hold)

  • Developer fees may be high

Learn more at DiversyFund.com

 

Best for Buying and Selling Rental Homes

Roofstock

FeatureDetails
Fees

3% listing fee ($2,500 minimum)

0.5% purchase fee ($500 minimum)

Minimum Investment$5,000
Annual Returns (average)N/A
Investment OptionsPurchase property, sell property, institutional services
Accredited Investor Status Required?No

Roofstock is an online marketplace where investors can buy or sell residential rental properties. It will also be launching Roofstock One, an investing platform where users can purchase equity shares in a property.

Roofstock boasts lower-than-traditional fees for real estate transactions, with a 3% listing fee for selling properties, and only a 0.5% purchase fee for buying a rental property. Compared with a traditional 6% fee for selling a home, this is a significant savings.

Users can quickly sign up for a free account and navigate the marketplace to find a property, place a bid, negotiate the price and terms, and close a sale all online. You don’t need to be an accredited investor to buy or sell real estate with Roofstock.

Pros

  • Access to hundreds of single-family rentals

  • Very low fees to buying and selling rentals

  • Includes insights into property neighborhood, crime level, schools, and employment

  • Additional services available such as seller services and property management

  • IRA investing available

Cons

  • Fractional-share investing paused (relaunching as Roofstock One)

  • Property not available in all states

  • Investments are illiquid

Learn more at Roofstock.com

 

Best for Private Lending Investments

PeerStreet

FeaturesDetails
Fees0.25% - 1% fee (varies per property)
Minimum Investment$1,000
Annual Returns (average)6% - 9%
Investment OptionsResidential and commercial debt
Accredited Investor Status Required?Yes

PeerStreet is a real estate investing platform that gives accredited investors access to private lending investments for residential and commercial real estate. These loans are from partner private lenders and banks, and investors receive a percentage of the monthly interest payments.

PeerStreet offers a simple-to-use online platform, with hundreds of loans to choose from that each come with a detailed overview, investment history, and expected rate of return. Each loan also lists the name of the loan originator, allowing investors to review the bank or lender that holds the loan. Returns are higher than typical loans, with 6% - 9% APR (or more) on most investments. These loans are typically for special projects, such as property rehabilitation, and carry a higher interest rate.

Investors in PeerStreet must be accredited, which means providing evidence of a $200,000 (or more) income over the past two years, or a $1 million net worth, excluding your personal residence.

Pros

  • Access to hundreds of loans from private lenders

  • Higher rate of return than traditional loans

  • Lender and fee transparency

  • FDIC insured holding accounts

Cons

  • Illiquid investment

  • Only available to accredited investors

Learn more at PeerStreet.com

 

The Basics: What Is Real Estate Crowdfunding?

Real estate crowdfunding is a way to invest in commercial real estate without needing to purchase or manage property. Crowdfunding sites connect real estate developers and professionals with investors who want to fund these projects for a percentage of the profits.

While some sites are reserved for accredited investors, many have no requirements and allow individuals to invest using their platform. The invested funds are used for the purpose of purchasing, improving, and developing commercial real estate projects. 

Equity investments may include private individual real estate, multi-family homes, or large commercial projects. The funds can also be used to lend to real estate borrowers, or participate in 1031 exchange deals for tax deferral purposes.

How Does Real Estate Crowdfunding Work?

Real estate crowdfunding sources capital for real estate projects, allowing individuals to invest small amounts into a real estate project in return for a portion of the profit. Crowdfunding platforms act as the intermediary between the investors and the project owners, charging a fee for their services.

There are typically two types of investment options:

  • Equity - Shares of ownership in the real estate project, offering investors a share of the profits

  • Debt - Funds borrowed by the project owners (with interest paid to investors)

While traditionally reserved for accredited investors, many crowdfunding sites now offer investment options for non-accredited investors, too.

Real Estate Crowdfunding vs. REITs

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company which invests in income-producing real estate. REIT shares are tradable securities that give investors ownership in the company. To keep their status as a trust, REITs are required to distribute 90% of their profits back to shareholders in the form of dividends. 

There are typically no minimum investment requirements or lock-up period for publicly-traded REITs.

Real estate crowdfunding is similar in that it allows individual investors to fund real estate projects, but the investments are pooled together by a sponsor and distributed to the participating projects. This gives investors direct ownership in private real estate projects. 

Crowdfunding has traditionally only been available to accredited investors, but many new options have become open to all investors. These investments are considered “illiquid” with lockup periods as long as 7 years on some projects.

Pros of Real Estate Crowdfunding

  • Potential for high annual returns (12% or more)

  • Transparency as to project details and updates

  • Asset diversification for your investment portfolio

  • Monthly or quarterly distributions

Cons of Real Estate Crowdfunding

  • May earn more by directly investing in real estate ownership

  • Illiquid investment, sometimes locked for years

  • High execution risk

  • High minimum investment ($10,000+) on some projects

Is Real Estate Crowdfunding Worth The Risk? 

Investing in real estate crowdfunding does carry significant risks, but it can also be extremely lucrative. The value depends on your investing strategy, overall portfolio mix, risk tolerance, and other factors.

If you’re an accredited investor with extra funds to invest in longer-term projects, crowdfunding might be a great option. It can provide annualized returns in excess of 12% and help you diversify your overall portfolio, as well as provide passive income. 

For example, investing in an apartment complex real estate project may have a 5-year lockup period, but could provide you with higher returns, as well as monthly dividends from rent collection.

On the other hand, investing in crowdfunded real estate carries major risks, including economic downturn or market supply change (that could reduce your returns). Many crowdfunded real estate investments lock up your investment funds for years at a time.

For example, if you invest in an apartment complex project that’s looking to improve the facilities and increase rents – but the economy goes south – you may be stuck with low, underperforming rents while your funds are locked into the project for years.

How to Get Started With Crowdfunding Investments

If you’re looking to invest in real estate crowdfunding, here’s how to get started.

Find a Reputable Real Estate Crowdfunding Company

Always look for a company that’s been in the industry for at least 5 years and has access to qualify projects. Review its historical returns and how much it has paid out in dividends to date.

Find the Right Investment

Do you want passive income, or do you want to invest in a long-term project with a large payout at the end? Do you need your funds accessible? What amount can you invest? Make sure you understand your investment options before choosing any investment.

Most crowdfunding companies have multiple options to choose from, so find one that aligns with your goals before investing anything.

Understand the Fine Print

Crowdfunding can be a complex investment, so understanding the details of the investment are key. Learning about fees, distributions schedules, project timelines, and other factors can help you avoid any surprises down the road.

Collect (or Reinvest) Distributions

If you choose to invest in a project that pays out distributions, many companies let you choose to deposit those into your bank account or reinvest them into the project. If you’re looking for usable income, you can collect those distributions. But if you want to maximize your returns, opt to reinvest them back into the project.

Pay Your Taxes

One of the downsides to crowdfunded real estate investments is that distributions are typically non-qualified, meaning they’re taxed at your ordinary income rate. If you reinvest these distributions, you might receive a surprise tax bill at the end of the year. 

We recommend meeting with a certified tax professional to understand how these investments can affect your personal taxes.

 

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Ask an Expert
All of our content is verified for accuracy by Rachel Siegel, CFA and our team of certified financial experts. We pride ourselves on quality, research, and transparency, and we value your feedback. Below you'll find answers to some of the most common reader questions about The 10 Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites for 2021 - Pros, Cons & Our Favorites.

Is My Money Protected In Real Estate Crowdfunding?

There’s always a risk of loss in any investment, and real estate crowdfunding is no exception. Since you’re investing directly into a real estate project, your success is highly dependent on the project sponsor (that manages the day-to-day details). If the project fails or the sponsor goes bankrupt, there’s a risk of losing both your principal and earning on the investment.

Most quality crowdfunding platforms (such as Fundrise) offer full bankruptcy protection to protect your assets, but not all of them do. This is a crucial detail to understand before investing in any crowdfunding site.

Should Crowdfunding Be My Main Investment for Retirement?

Short answer: No.

Crowdfunded real estate platforms offer individuals access to private real estate deals, exposing them to an asset class typically reserved for wealthy investors. But no matter how high the promised returns, it isn’t wise to put all of your eggs in one investment basket.

Crowdfunded real estate should be part of a larger investment strategy, which may include other asset classes such as stocks, bonds, and commodities. Diversification is key to the success of any retirement investing strategy.

That said, holding your crowdfunded investment in a self-directed IRA can help you avoid short-term tax rates and increase your exposure to an alternate asset class.

Who Can Benefit from Real Estate Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is best for investors who want to invest in real estate without the hassle of construction loans, property maintenance, and dealing with tenants. With minimum investments as low as $500, the barrier for entry has been significantly lowered for individual investors.

It’s also a great option for individuals looking for a passive income investment, as many offer quarterly or monthly distribution payouts.

Rachel Siegel, CFA
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Rachel Siegel, CFA is one of the nation's leading experts at ensuring the accuracy of financial and economic text.  Her prestigious background includes over 10 years creating professional financial certification exams and another 20 years of college-level teaching.

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All of the opinions expressed herein are the author's alone, and not those of any bank, brokerage, credit card issuer, lender, insurance company, outside financial institution, or any other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post or any other third parties.