We’ve all heard of, or perhaps even participated in, crowdfunding ventures. From Kickstarter projects, to GoFundMe endeavors from the complex to the mundane, enterprising businesspeople are turning to new ways to come up with cash.

  • RealtyShares has brought crowdfunding to real estate.
  • The company has a hyperlocal focus for 2016: Miami and Chicago are part of that new initiative.
  • Investors can get into the game for as little as little as $5,000; developers can get funding in about four days.

We’ve all heard of, or perhaps even participated in, crowdfunding ventures. From Kickstarter projects, to GoFundMe endeavors, from the complex to the mundane, enterprising businesspeople are turning to new ways to come up with cash.

Inroads have been made into the realty business. About a year ago, RealtyShares launched as a way to invite small investors to join the party. For 2016, the company is branching out to focus on a select few markets in the U.S.

Five specific markets with burgeoning tech and real estate sectors have been selected for future RealtyShares investments. Seattle, Dallas, Austin, Miami and Chicago are the lucky metros.

The company hopes that it can successfully make connections between like-minded parties in these cities – also chosen because the tech-savvy there are interested in making real estate investments that speak to their sensibilities. 

For as little as $5,000, investors can get in on the action. That amount can gain entry into a variety of projects from homes and apartments to commercial projects.

In total, the crowd funds projects valued at $100,000 up to those worth tens of millions. Presently that translates to more than 200 properties that RealtyShares touches.

With RealtyShares, investors have access to a range of real estate investment options including both debt and equity investments in commercial and residential real estate properties.

RealtyShares is a boon to developers.

Rather than accessing cash in weeks or even months, RealtyShares can turn funding around in an average of four days. and it takes an average of just four days for each RealtyShares investment to be funded. That compares to weeks or months for more traditional funding sources.

In one year’s time, the company had facilitated investment in $300 million worth of real estate. By funding somewhere between 10 to 20 projects per month, it now touches property in 59 cities across 17 states.

According to TechCrunch, the average return on investment has ranged from 8 percent to 29 percent, depending on the type of project funded.

Founder and CEO Nav Athwal told that publication that most RealtyShares investors are IT professionals who are looking for new investment opportunities. That’s why the company rolled out a new product that will allow them to focus on their home bases.

That will appeal to local investors who want to become angel investors in their own cities. They not only will feel good about personally witnessing a transformation that’s perhaps on their own city block, but they’ll profit from better yields in markets that have not been overdeveloped.

RealtyShares’ mission is to provide investors diversification through high-quality private real estate investments.

Email Kimberley Sirk

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