Ever wish you didn’t have to sit down to buy property?
Voila! Real estate crowdfunder iFunding has unveiled an app that lets users “perform every function in the real estate life cycle,” including completing a transaction.
The app may help iFunding, which lets investors buy shares of residential and commercial properties, stand out in a niche that’s seen rapid growth. (Real estate crowdfunders Fundrise and RealtyMogul raised a combined $40 million this spring.)
“Since some types of iFunding deals tend to fund in a matter of hours or days, the app will be an invaluable way for investors to stay informed about what opportunities are available, and to initiate investment transactions with just a few taps,” said Sohin Shah, co-founder of iFunding, in a statement.
Available for Apple iOS and Android products, the app puts all of iFunding’s services at your fingertips.
Users can browse deals; invest in them by signing paperwork and initiating transfer of funds electronically; monitor progress of their existing iFunding investments by viewing information like construction activity and financial expenditures; and interact with other investors and the companies overseeing investments.
The app also fires out notifications when new deals become available or existing deals hit milestones.
Worried about security?
IFunding assigns a secure login, encrypts all data traffic and doesn’t store personal data on the mobile device when the app is not in use. It also further encrypts financial information and stores it at a third-party financial services provider.
None of these services are really available to people who invest by way of real estate crowdfunding’s offline predecessor, “real estate syndication,” partly illustrating why real estate crowdfunding has generated buzz.
While syndication deals typically require large minimum investments and aren’t very transparent, real estate crowdfunders let people make much smaller investments (iFunding’s minimum investment is $5,000) and offer a clear window into the performance of investments.
The new app “reflects our vision for democratizing real estate investing through access and transparency,” said iFunding CEO William Skelley in a statement.
But the startup is still a ways from allowing anyone to buy stakes in properties.
Like most other real estate crowdfunders, iFunding permits only accredited investors — people who make more than $200,000 — to participate in its deals.
But that could change if the Securities and Exchange Commission implements proposed regulations that would make it much cheaper for companies to sell securities to average Joes.