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7 Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Investment Platforms

Chris DavisMay 14, 2020

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Real estate crowdfunding has transformed the real estate investing landscape. Once reserved for only the most affluent investors, many crowdfunding platforms have significantly lowered the barrier to entry for this alternative investment.

Low account minimums, simple fee structures and clean user interfaces make it easier than ever to include real estate in a well-diversified portfolio. It’s important to note that some real estate crowdfunding platforms, including three of our picks below, are open only to accredited investors.

What's the difference between these platforms and REITs?

Real estate investments trusts are companies that own real estate, like hotels, malls, shopping centers or rental properties. Publicly traded REITs can be purchased through a brokerage just like individual stocks or mutual funds.

Real estate crowdfunding platforms, on the other hand, pool funds together to let average investors participate in the real estate market through private REITs  which aren’t available through traditional brokerages — as well as private market real estate investments, like individual properties. These could potentially provide higher returns than the REITs available through traditional brokerages, but they may also carry higher risk.

Ready to get started? Below are our top picks for the best real estate crowdfunding platforms based on several factors, including account minimums, customer support, redemption options, fees and more.

Summary of Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Investment Platforms

BrokerNerdWallet Rating CommissionsPromotionAccount MinimumLearn More
Fundrise

Fundrise

on Fundrise's website

Best for: Nonaccredited investors

1%

other fees may apply

None

no promotion available at this time

$500

on Fundrise's website

DiversyFund

DiversyFund

on DiversyFund's website

Best for: Nonaccredited investors

$0

management fee

None

no promotion at this time

$500

on DiversyFund's website

CrowdStreet

CrowdStreet

on CrowdStreet's website

Best for: Accredited investors

0.50% to 2.5%

for funds; project fees vary

None

no promotion at this time

$25,000

on CrowdStreet's website

EquityMultiple

EquityMultiple

on EquityMultiple's website

Best for: Accredited investors

1%

other fees apply

None

no promotion available at this time

$5,000

on EquityMultiple's website

YieldStreet

YieldStreet

Best for: Accredited investors

1% to 2%

management fees; other fees apply.

None

no promotion at this time

$10,000

Read review
Rich Uncles

Rich Uncles

Best for: Nonaccredited investors

3%

upfront fee; other fees may apply

None

no promotion at this time

$500

Read review
RealtyMogul

RealtyMogul

Best for: Nonaccredited investors

1% to 1.5%

management fees; other fees apply

None

no promotion at this time

$5,000

Read review

Our picks for

Nonaccredited investors

Fundrise

on Fundrise's website

Fundrise

Fundrise

Fees

1%

other fees may apply

Account Minimum

$500

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

on Fundrise's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Fundrise is an online real estate company that lets average investors buy into private commercial and residential properties by pooling their assets through an investment platform. The company offers eREITS, or real estate funds that don't trade on a public exchange.

Pros

  • Low minimum investment.

  • Open to all investors.

  • Easy-to-use website.

  • IRA accounts available.

Cons

  • Highly illiquid investment.

  • Fees can be difficult to understand.

  • Complex investments that require investor due diligence.

Read Full Review
DiversyFund

on DiversyFund's website

DiversyFund

DiversyFund

Fees

$0

management fee

Account Minimum

$500

Promotion

None

no promotion at this time

on DiversyFund's website


Promotion

None

no promotion at this time

Why we like it

With a $500 minimum investment and no management fees, DiversyFund gives a low-cost entree into the often high-roller world of real estate investing. Still, don’t count on seeing any immediate income from the investment, as all distributions are reinvested into properties. Investors should also be aware of the special risks of non-traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs.

Pros

  • Access to commercial real estate deals.

  • No management fees.

  • Accepts nonaccredited investors.

  • $500 minimum to begin investing.

Cons

  • Highly illiquid investments.

  • Unable to choose among commercial projects.

  • Limited investment choices.

Read Full Review

Our picks for

Accredited investors

CrowdStreet

on CrowdStreet's website

CrowdStreet

CrowdStreet

Fees

0.50% to 2.5%

for funds; project fees vary

Account Minimum

$25,000

Promotion

None

no promotion at this time

on CrowdStreet's website


Promotion

None

no promotion at this time

Why we like it

CrowdStreet provides a convenient platform for accredited investors to add commercial real estate projects to their portfolio. But investors should do their own due diligence and be prepared to leave their money locked up for years at a time.

Pros

  • Access to commercial real estate deals.

  • Potential for high returns.

  • Easy-to-use website.

Cons

  • Highly illiquid investments.

  • Steep minimum investment.

  • Available only to accredited investors.

Read Full Review
EquityMultiple

on EquityMultiple's website

EquityMultiple

EquityMultiple

Fees

1%

other fees apply

Account Minimum

$5,000

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

on EquityMultiple's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

EquityMultiple blends crowdfunding with a more traditional real estate investing approach that can lead to high returns. Unfortunately, it’s only available to accredited investors.

Pros

  • Access to commercial real estate investments.

  • Easy-to-use website.

  • Possible high rates of return.

Cons

  • Only open to accredited investors.

  • High investment minimum.

  • Complex fee structure that varies by investment.

Read Full Review

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Last updated on May 14, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings for real estate crowdfunding platforms are weighted averages of several categories, including account minimums, customer support, redemption options, fees and more. Our survey of real estate platforms includes the top providers, plus notable and/or emerging players in the industry. Other factors we consider include website and investment transparency, and diversity of investment selection. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Real Estate Crowdfunding Investment Platforms

Frequently asked questions

Real estate crowdfunding involves pooling investors' money to fund a real estate project or investment. Often this is done by investing in a private REIT, but some of these platforms also give investors access to private real estate development projects. Some crowdfunding platforms let investors gain exposure to real estate for as little as $500.

While buy-in can be relatively low and the risks are in some cases similar to investing in individual stocks, it's important to note that real estate crowdfunding platforms are new to the investment sphere. How these nascent companies hold up during and after severe market downturns is yet to be seen. Keep in mind that no investment is without risk, and investments that aim for higher returns often carry more risk.

Through some online real estate investment platforms, investors can start for as little as $500. However, some of these platforms require higher minimums or that investors be accredited.

Accredited investors are allowed to participate in investments not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The designation is meant to ensure only those investors with the appropriate experience, funds and understanding of risk can take part in certain investments. Accredited investors must have income of more than $200,000 in each of the last two years (or $300,000 together with a spouse), or have a net worth of more than $1 million, excluding a primary residence.

Some of the biggest advantages of REITs include consistently high dividends (making them a popular choice among investors looking for fixed income), historically high returns and often less volatility than other asset classes. However, publicly traded REITs that can be purchased through a traditional brokerage account are generally considered safer than private REITs offered by real estate crowdfunding platforms.

Public REITs are traded on an exchange just like stocks and exchange-traded funds, and are available through most brokerage accounts. Private REITs aren’t listed on public exchanges, nor are they typically registered with the SEC.

With fewer disclosure requirements, it can be very difficult to evaluate the performance of private REITs. Public non-traded REITs — a third category — are registered with the SEC, but aren’t available on an exchange. Learn more about the risks associated with private and public non-traded REITs.