Investing in real estate is a great way to both diversify your portfolio and earn passive income and/or capital gains. However, owning real estate can present some challenges, especially for a first-time investor.
For starters, the best way to generate profits from real estate is to have specialized knowledge of what properties are good deals. In other words, while everyone knows that “location, location, location” is what makes winning real estate investments, a new investor may not have any idea of just what “location” is ideal.
This is why using real estate apps has generated such excitement. Now you can invest collectively in a real estate portfolio managed by experts from the palm of your hand, often at a low cost. But as with other forms of investing, some platforms are better options to use than others. Here’s a list of some of the best real estate investing apps that you can pick and choose from, depending on the type of investor you are.
Happy Nest is a good real estate investing app to take a look at because it charges no fees. In only a few minutes — and with just $10 — you can set up an account and immediately begin investing in a diversified portfolio of income-producing investments. Much like pioneering savings app Acorns, Happy Nest also allows you to link your credit or debit cards and round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, with the extra money getting invested directly into your Happy Nest real estate account.
Happy Nest primarily invests in properties that rent to Fortune 100 companies like FedEx and CVS. Recently, the company has expanded its portfolio to include industrial and multi-family properties, with the belief that this type of diversification reduces risk, raises stability and increases long-term returns.
DiversyFund is another option that may appeal to beginning investors because it is simple to use and has a minimum investment of just $500. As with Happy Nest, DiversyFund also charges no management or transaction fees. However, DiversyFund focuses exclusively on multifamily assets, which the company claims historically outperforms the S&P 500 index and provides a hedge against inflation.
Currently, the company’s portfolio consists of the following:
- 12 multifamily assets
- $175 million in estimated value
- 1 million square feet of rentable storage
- Assets diversified across six states
- Over 500,000 community members
The app offers an auto-invest feature so you can continually add to your portfolio. It also features extensive information regarding real estate in general, so you can increase your understanding as you build your portfolio.
Groundfloor dubs itself a “savesting” app, as it offers everything from a basic savings account and loan options to an investment account backed by first-lien real estate. The investment app allows users to choose between individual renovation projects or automatic investing according to your own personal criteria. Assets are invested in residential real estate.
Groundfloor repays investments every four to 12 months on average, so if you continually invest for four consecutive months, you should start receiving distributions monthly thereafter. The app boasts average annual returns of 10% over the past eight years, and it has no investment fees or maximum balance restrictions.
The app has over 200,000 investors and more than $240 million under management, and it only requires $10 to get started.
CrowdStreet is an interesting option because it is the polar opposite of the apps for beginners listed above. For starters, CrowdStreet only invests in commercial real estate properties. However, rather than handing your money over to a blind pool completely run by professional managers, CrowdStreet offers you direct access to specific sponsored real estate listings that you have to choose to invest in on your own. If your offer is accepted, you become a direct owner of that listing, along with other investors who have pooled their money together to make the investment.
For example, you might choose to invest in the “Evanston Multifamily Portfolio,” which consists of a five-property, multifamily portfolio in downtown Evanston, Illinois. This type of investment requires more knowledge on the behalf of the investor, so CrowdStreet is only available to accredited investors that can invest at least $25,000.
As of Sept. 2022, the app has raised $3.93 billion, has launched 661 deals and has provided an internal rate of return of 18.5%.
One thing to note is that although CrowdStreet doesn’t charge any management fees, you will have to pay listing sponsors for access to their deals. But if you’re already an experienced real estate investor, CrowdStreet might appeal to you more than some of the other available apps.
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