Real Estate Crowdfunding – Emerging Opportunity or a New Trap for Individual Investors?

A topic of real estate crowdfunding will be discussed at Aspen Global Investment Forum in January.

The US commercial real estate market is an $11 trillion dollar. There is no surprise it attracts thousands of investors. But historically, financial barriers to entrée have been very high, making it impossible for an average Joe to enjoy the rates of return available for hedge funds and wealthy families. Recent changes in securities laws have changed the situation.

The JOBS Act signed by the President Obama in April, 2012 has freed entrepreneurs, including real estate developers, from certain restrictions allowing them to solicit and raise capital in small amounts from a broad number of individuals. This fall an 80 year-long ban on general solicitation was removed, allowing entrepreneurs openly promote their fundraising efforts; then in the SEC voted on the rules for crowdfunding to allow non-accredited investors to participate.

All of this has stimulated the emergence of real estate crowdfunding portals. In 2013 more than ten such websites have been created to promote the new vehicle which offers portfolio diversification and access to commercial real estate deals for individual investors as well as project financing for real estate developers.

While new portals emerge every month, there are many skeptics and opponents of the idea in general who are questioning the quality of the investments being offered through crowdfunding websites, pointing on the lack of liquidity for the shares purchased there and other potential problems.

For those who are weighting on all pros and cons before getting involved, there is a unique opportunity to get their concerns addressed and questions answered by the founders of six real estate crowdfunding companies who are gathering at Aspen Investment Forum on January 6th-7th, 2014 at the legendary Jerome Hotel in Aspen, CO.

Realty Mogul is a marketplace for accredited investors to pool money online and purchase shares of pre-vetted investment properties. The minimum investment is $5,000. They have surpassed $8 million in equity and loan transaction during 2013 alone, with real estate holdings including retail, residential, multifamily, mobile homes and hotels all across the nation.

American Homeowner Preservation  generates high-yield distressed mortgage investment opportunities which positively impact families and communities. By purchasing pools of distressed mortgages from banks at substantial discounts, AHP can offer viable solutions for families to stay in their homes. AHP began in 2008 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and has evolved into a for-profit socially-responsible hedge fund, and has recently added crowdfunding. The minimum is $10,000. The investors can earn 9% for one year investments, 10.2% for two years and 12% for five years.

GroundBreaker is a white-label crowdfunding solution available to real estate entrepreneurs. The company graduated from Cornell University’s accelerator program and closed eight projects during its beta period. Currently it has offices in San Francisco and New York City. Groundbreaker’s platform automates fundraising administrative tasks. The company’s focus is on the green technologies and engineering innovation. The minimum investment is $1,000.

iFunding focuses on commercial retail investments that offer stable cash-flow generating opportunities. Their goal is to allow investors access to prime real estate investments in an easier, more efficient and transparent manner through the use of superior technology. Investment capital raised through the iFunding is managed through an escrow service provider, allowing investors control their own investment accounts. The minimum investment is $1,000.

CrowdStreet features both equity and debt investment opportunities, including multifamily, retail, office, industrial and land opportunities. In addition to traditional direct investments, CrowdStreet will feature other structured investment vehicles offered by professional real estate companies, which could include a “basket” of targeted real estate assets. The minimum investment is $5,000.

ForeFund is a newcomer on crowdfunding market. The portal currently features pre-screened deals in four states and real market data to help make sound real-estate investments.

Other speakers at the Aspen Investing Forum include leaders of the largest online community of business angels Angel List, the second largest peer-to-peer lending marketplace Prosper, the most successful American equity crowdfunding platform CircleUp, and founders of investment/crowdfunding communities from UK, France, Israel, Netherlands and Australia.

Special early bird pricing ends on December 6th.

To learn more about the Forum, visit the event’s website:

About Crowdfund Productions: Crowdfund Productions LLC is a crowdfunding consulting and event management company. In 2013 we have hosted several crowdfunding/investment conferences in Colorado, California, Massachusetts and Illinois.

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Company Name: Crowdfund Productions
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