RealtyMogul Review 2021: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

RealtyMogul is a real estate crowdfunding platform for nonaccredited and accredited investors. But the high investment minimums and complex fees will dissuade some.
Alana BensonJan 4, 2021

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: RealtyMogul offers investments for accredited and nonaccredited investors alike, but the complexity of its offerings — particularly when it comes to fees and liquidity — may turn off those who dislike reading fine print.

RealtyMogul

on RealtyMogul's website

on RealtyMogul's website

Fees

1% to 1.25%

management fees; other fees may apply

Account Minimum

$5,000

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • REIT products are open to nonaccredited investors.
  • REIT buyback program can add liquidity.
  • High targeted rates of return.

Cons

  • High investment minimums.
  • Complex fee structures that vary by investment.
  • Relatively short track record.

Compare to Similar Brokers

RealtyMogul
Fundrise
DiversyFund
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

1% to 1.25%

management fees; other fees may apply

Fees

1%

other fees may apply

Fees

$0

management fee

Account Minimum

$5,000

Account Minimum

$10

Account Minimum

$500

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion

Advisory fee waiver

for 12 months

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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Full Review

RealtyMogul allows both nonaccredited and accredited investors to invest in commercial real estate online. According to RealtyMogul, the company has paid out over $172 million to its investors, financed more than $2 billion in property value and has over 200,000 registered members.

Nonaccredited investors have access to two public nontraded REITs (though these investors are subject to further qualification, more on that below), and accredited investors have access to private placement investments as well.

RealtyMogul is best for

  • Nonaccredited investors who want access to public nontraded REITs.

  • Accredited investors who want access to private placements.

  • Investors interested in real estate beyond publicly traded REITs.

RealtyMogul at a glance

Account minimum

$5,000.

Redemption options

  • Redemption program with no penalty after three-year holding period for MogulREIT I and II, subject to availability.

  • No redemption program for private placements.

Management fee

For most investments, 1% to 1.25%. Additional fees may apply.

Investment selection

  • Public, nontraded REITs (Mogul REIT I and II).

  • Private placements.

Website transparency

This is our judgement of how easy it is to find critical information on the RealtyMogul 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

Phone and email support from 6am to 6pm PST, Monday - Friday.

Promotion

None

RealtyMogul features you should know

Open to nonaccredited investors: RealtyMogul offers nonaccredited investors access to their public nontraded REITs, MogulREITs I and II. That said, nonaccredited investors must be what RealtyMogul calls “Qualified Purchasers,” meaning that their investment in RealtyMogul’s common shares doesn’t represent more than 10% of their income or net worth. Accredited investors are able to invest in any of RealtyMogul’s offerings.

Accredited investors are individuals with a net worth, or joint net worth with a spouse, of more than $1 million (excluding their home’s value), or an annual income of more than $200,000 ($300,000 with a spouse) for each of the last two years. Accredited investors must also have the expectation of maintaining that income level going forward. Those with certain professional certificates or credentials may also qualify as accredited investors.

Investments: RealtyMogul offers public nontraded REITs and private placements. Here are the details on its two REIT products:

  • MogulREIT I: MogulREIT I is an LLC that invests in and manages a portfolio of commercial real estate investments. It is a public nontraded REIT, which means it is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission but isn’t traded on stock exchanges like publicly traded REITs are. MogulREIT I invests in commercial real estate-related equity and debt assets across several property types, including multifamily, office, industrial, self-storage and retail. This REIT typically pays monthly dividends.

  • MogulREIT II: MogulREIT II is also a public nontraded REIT. MogulREIT II invests in common and preferred equity investments in multifamily apartments and typically pays dividends quarterly. While its historical dividends are lower than MogulREIT I, RealtyMogul notes on its site that this REIT also aims for “significant value appreciation” over time (in other words, gains in share prices).

Private placements are open only to accredited investors and include opportunity zone eligible investments and diversified funds. These investments are typically not subject to some of the laws and regulations designed to protect investors, and are generally exempt from registration with the SEC.

RealtyMogul also offers 1031 exchanges. Open to accredited investors only, a 1031 exchange is a strategy for deferring the capital gains tax from the sale of a property. If you’re interested in a 1031 exchange, be sure to consult a certified public accountant, as these kinds of investments can get very complicated.

High investment minimum: The minimum varies by investment, but the lowest is $5,000. Each investment’s prospectus documents will note its investment minimum.

REIT buyback program: Many real estate crowdfunding platforms are highly illiquid, meaning the money you invest can’t be taken out for a given time frame, typically at least a few years. RealtyMogul does deal in illiquid investments (public nontraded REITs), but it offers a program that may allow shareholders to sell their MogulREIT I and MogulREIT II investments back to RealtyMogul quarterly for a reduced price after the first year. The company cautions that these buybacks are “subject to availability of capital,” however.

RealtyMogul may buy back investments at a percentage of the lesser of two figures: the investment’s purchase price or its current net asset value. That percentage is based on how long you’ve held the investment:

  • 98% if you held the investment for one year but less than two.

  • 99% if you held the investment for two years but less than three.

  • 100% if you held the investment for three years or more.

  • 0% if you held the investment for less than a year.

While losing that 1% or 2% from your investment may hurt, the buyback program offers at least some flexibility in an emergency. Still, it’s best to invest money in RealtyMogul that you won’t need for the full period specified in your particular REIT’s liquidation schedule, which outlines when you can sell your shares back to RealtyMogul and for how much.

High return targets: Realty Mogul provides the following information fees. As with all investments, actual returns vary and there is no guarantee that you will earn a return, or even preserve your initial investment.

  • Private placement: According to RealtyMogul, investments that distribute typically do so on a quarterly or monthly basis, and can range from 0% to 15% annualized, depending on the business plan and investment type.

  • MogulREIT I: According to RealtyMogul, MogulREIT I has paid distributions monthly between 7.7% and 8% annualized since its inception, net of fees.

  • MogulREIT II: Has paid distributions quarterly equating to roughly 4.5% annualized net of fees since Jan. 1, 2018, according to RealtyMogul.

Fees: Each asset class has its own fees, and each specific investment within those asset classes has more specific fees. Before investing, review each investment’s Offering Circular. Here are some of the typical fees that come with RealtyMogul’s offerings:

  • Private placement: This differs by investment but is typically 1%.

  • MogulREIT I: 1% of total equity value.

  • MogulREIT II: 1.25% of total equity value.

Customer service: RealtyMogul offers a comprehensive FAQ section and phone and email support during normal business hours.

Short track record: Real estate crowdfunding is getting more attention today, but beneath the sleek marketing is a relatively new model. RealtyMogul formally launched in 2013, meaning it hasn’t had much time to develop a track record. All investments carry risk, but new platforms may carry new risks. It’s wise to look into real estate crowdfunding in general before you invest in a platform.

» Want to compare other platforms? Read our reviews for Fundrise, DiversyFund, EquityMultiple and Crowdstreet.

Is RealtyMogul right for you?

RealtyMogul offers investors a way into otherwise inaccessible real estate deals with a little more liquidity potential than some other real estate crowdfunding platforms. If you would like to diversify your portfolio and can comfortably meet RealtyMogul’s investment minimums without over-allocating to real estate, RealtyMogul may help you do that.

» Curious about other options? Check out our guide on how to invest in real estate.

RealtyMogul deals mostly in nontraded REITs. These investments are far riskier than publicly traded REITs. If you’re interested in any real estate crowdfunding platform, it’s worth reading this warning from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on what to watch for with nontraded REITs.

on RealtyMogul's website