Fundrise Review 2021: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

Fundrise is an online real estate company that gives investors access to private real estate deals, but be wary of underlying costs.

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Fundrise makes it easy to become a real estate investor, but be prepared to do your own due diligence to make sure you understand each investment's risks and underlying costs.

Fundrise

on Fundrise's website

on Fundrise's website

Fees

1%

other fees may apply

Account Minimum

$10

Promotion

Advisory fee waiver

for 12 months

Pros & Cons

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.

Compare to Similar Brokers

Fundrise
EquityMultiple
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

1%

other fees may apply

Fees

0.5% - 1.5%

other fees apply

Account Minimum

$10

Account Minimum

$5,000

Promotion

Advisory fee waiver

for 12 months

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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Full Review

Fundrise is an online real estate company that lets average — read: not wealthy — investors buy into private commercial and residential properties by pooling their assets through an investment platform.

Fundrise's main products are real estate investment trusts, or REITs, which generally invest in income-producing real estate, either through buying and managing buildings or by holding mortgages. The company calls its products “eREITs.” Fundrise also offers eFunds, in which investors’ pooled money is used to buy land, develop housing and then sell it to home buyers, and its Interval Fund, which offers higher liquidity and diversification than its other funds.

Investors purchase shares of the Interval Fund, eREIT or eFund by buying one of Fundrise's portfolios: Starter, Supplemental Income, Balanced Investing or Long-term Growth. Fundrise determines the mix of eREITs and eFunds in each plan, as well as the underlying properties. Fundrise also offers Advanced and Premium account levels, where investors may get access to a greater number of real-estate projects, plus other features and benefits.

Fundrise is best for

  • Investors with a long-term outlook.

  • Those seeking diversification outside of stocks and bonds.

  • Investors willing to do their own due diligence.

Fundrise at a glance

Investor requirements

None. Investments are open to nonaccredited investors.

Investment minimum

  • $10 minimum for Starter Portfolio.

  • $1,000 minimum for Basic plan.

  • $5,000 minimum for Core plan.

  • $10,000 minimum for Advanced account level.

  • $100,000 minimum for Premium account level.

Redemption options

Starter and Basic account levels have no early redemption penalty, and the Interval Fund imposes no early redemption penalty at any account level.

Fees

Asset management fee of 0.85% and advisory fee of 0.15%, but other fees may apply.

Investment selection

Investors choose among four investment portfolios, which hold a varying assortment of eREITs, eFunds and the Interval Fund.

Website transparency

This is our judgement of how easy it is to find critical information on the Fundrise website, including platform fees, account minimum and redemption options (if offered).

Investment transparency

This is our judgement of how easy it is to find critical information about investment offerings, including investment fees, risks, risk mitigation efforts, the process for vetting investments and how investment returns are distributed to investors.

Customer support options

Email and phone support Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EST. Greater access for Premium members.

Fundrise features you should know

Available to nonaccredited investors: While some online real estate platforms are available only to accredited investors — defined in U.S. securities law as having a net worth of more than $1 million, not including their home’s value, or annual income of at least $200,000 for individuals or $300,000 for a couple — many of Fundrise’s products are available to all investors. (Other real estate platforms open to nonaccredited investors include RealtyMogul, Rich Uncles and DiversyFund.)

Low investment minimums: If you like the idea of getting into private real estate deals but don’t have big money to play with, Fundrise might suit you.

Easy-to-use platform: Signing up takes about 10 minutes, if that, assuming you’ve already read the lengthy investor disclosures (and you should read those first). You provide your address, phone number and Social Security number, and then choose whether to fund your account via an ACH transfer (i.e., linking your bank account), by entering your bank information on your own or by using a wire transfer.

Redemptions: Fundrise offers a redemption program that allows investors to sell shares back to Fundrise for a fee. That fee, which is paid into the eREIT or eFund, is calculated as a reduction to the share price value: 0% if in the first 90 days; 3% reduction if the shares were held at least 90 days but less than three years; 2% if shares held at least three years but less than four years; 1% if shares held at least four years but less than five years. There’s no share-price reduction to redeem shares held five or more years.

Fundrise may suspend or delay redemptions during periods of extreme economic uncertainty: It did so in March 2020, amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, before returning to normal operations on July 1. Other companies in this space have similar practices, and it's something worth knowing as you look into investing in real estate.

Interval Fund: As a more liquid option than eREITs and eFunds, investors can take part in Fundrise’s Interval Fund, which features improved access to your invested money in the form of quarterly repurchase offers. Unlike eREITs and eFunds, there’s no penalty for liquidating Interval Fund shares quarterly.

In addition to added liquidity, the Interval Fund is larger than Fundrise’s other funds, meaning it can hold more assets and may offer higher diversification than its other funds. It also provides all of the benefits offered by eREITs and eFunds.

Non-traded REITs: Fundrise's eREITs don’t trade on a public exchange — they’re highly illiquid. That means there's no guarantee there will be buyers for investors who want to sell shares. (Check out this warning from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, for more on risks to watch for with non-traded REITs.)

There are significant risks to investing in non-traded REITs, but there can be rewards, too. Fundrise's average annualized platform returns were between 8.76% and 12.42% between 2014 and 2019, according to Fundrise.

Alternatively, you can invest in publicly traded REITs, which trade on an exchange like a stock. Many top brokers offer a large selection of REITs.

» Prefer a brokerage? See NerdWallet's top picks for online brokers.

Possible additional fees: Fundrise says it saves investors money by creating a relatively direct link between investors and real estate. There’s no broker-dealer acting as a middleman at Fundrise, and that saves on costs. However, with any real estate deal, there are costs that are difficult for investors to see. While Fundrise clearly notes its asset management and advisory fees, Fundrise also notes that its funds reserve the right to charge additional fees, such as development or liquidation fees, for work on specific assets. While these fees may be found in the dense offering circulars, they're not easily accessed on the main site.

» Compare before investing: Best real estate crowdfunding platforms

Is Fundrise right for you?

There's a lot to like about real estate as a way to diversify your portfolio, and the Fundrise platform is easy to navigate.

But it's also true that crowdfunded real estate platforms such as Fundrise have yet to be tested during a real-estate driven downturn. For example, in the event of a housing crash, Fundrise could be forced to postpone redemptions for some investors. (There are unknowns here, so if you’re risk-averse, know that there’s more than one way to invest in real estate — we outline five methods here.) We should also note that while the Interval Fund has no penalties for early redemption, the eREITS and eFunds in the Core, Advanced and Premium service levels may still impose an early redemption fee of up to 3%. Investors concerned about this might prefer investing through a standard brokerage account, which gives you access to a wide range of investments. (Here's how to open a brokerage account, and what to consider before you do.)

If you already have a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, and you have time to let your money sit for at least five years, then investing via a platform like Fundrise can be one way to add real estate to your portfolio. Just be sure you're aware of the risks and do your own due diligence.


See Fundrise advisors fee and account disclosures here. The funds in Fundrise’s standard portfolios pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee. In addition, investors pay a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee. For details on other situational, potential fees that may be borne by the individual funds and eREITs, please see the disclosure in each offering document available at fundrise.com/oc. You can also learn more about Fundrise’s fees here.

on Fundrise's website