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by David Drake

Real estate in today’s technology-driven economy thrives on information, which is currently being made available through online solicitation and syndication of deals. As a result, investors looking to be at the cutting edge of real estate investing today need to know how to leverage technology in order to make higher returns and access markets previously beyond their reach.


Since the advent of peer-to-peer lending, platforms such as LendingClub and Prosper have been bringing automation to debt finance and has opened up a new vista for online investing. Technology has always been a major driver of the surge in the volume of witnessed across the globe.


I have followed closely the latest technology development in real estate investing, especially in which is fast becoming a major investment vehicle in the world today.


In real estate, online syndication of deals has mostly been used to facilitate investment in projects; however, there is a growing trend among investors who are now leveraging this service to invest in startups mostly in their early stages.


Venture funding has been flowing into the real estate tech startup space in recent years. In 2014, venture funding in real estate tech startups peaked at $605 million from $241 million in 2013.


Investment opportunities in real estate tech startups abound in the following areas: property management, research and analytics or tech tools (such as the solutions offered by CrowdEngine and FundAmerica), online listing and brokerage, mobile applications (as that offered by iFunding) and crowdfunding (online investing, both debt and equity).


By adopting this method, VCs, family offices, hedge funds and private equity firms can now invest directly in startups alongside retail investors (accredited and non-accredited investors). This has the advantage of mitigating the risks involved in investing in startups in their early stages.


Moreover, the cost of sourcing institutional quality deals and conducting proper due diligence, especially outside an ’s market and social network, has been significantly eliminated as the entire process has become automated.

Below is the list of the top 90 real estate crowdfunding platforms in the US tracked by Times Realty News, an investment I made to capture the developments in the real estate crowdfunding industry. It’s amazing to watch how real estate transactions are becoming increasingly syndicated online across the globe.


The prospects are enormous, and we are only beginning to scratch the surface of an explosion in online investing far beyond what we’ve witnessed in the peer to peer lending and the current crowdfunding revolution.


According to Scott Purcell CEO of FundAmerica, “people may not see it since we’re early on. But crowdfunding is already making an impact on society, our economy and culture. Everything! It’s just like the Internet.  And it’s barely begun.”




Note: This article originally appeared on Investor Intel with this link on June 22, 2015


David DrakeDavid Drake, Contributing Journalist.
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