RealtyShares Review – Do You Plan to Invest with Them?

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My friend was telling us the other day how they were extremely fortunate to have bought their million dollar home a few decades ago, because they scraped together a $3,000 down payment to buy a $15,000 home they now live in. They will never tell you they are investing geniuses, but multiplying their initial investment by at least 300 times since the home is worth north of $1 million bucks today qualifies as a legendary return in my book.

Hearing these stories always gets my juices flowing. Just like that, my off and on desire to start investing in real estate is turned on and revved up to the max.

I’ve toyed with the idea of investing in rental properties in the past few years. What makes me hesitant every time I think about the topic is the amount of work involved in managing multiple rental properties. I already have full time work here at, and I really don’t need more stress. If anything, the potential income from investments should give me more freedom and time, not less.

Plus, I live in Southern California and prices of properties in my neck of the woods are very high. I once saw a small shopping plaza for sale and the rent you could get was 1.5% of the listing price. Woah? Who would buy anything risky that pays just 1.5% a year?

Enter RealtyShares.

You’ve probably seen the rise of real estate crowdfunding platforms, where companies curate different property investments and allow multiple investors to invest in a slice of each investment deal. One company, RealtyShares, caught my attention because they allow direct investments into each property.

Here’s what I found out about the platform.

What Does RealtyShares Offer?

Think of them as the middlemen, where developers go to get funding for their real estate projects and where investors like us provide the funds. As an investor, you get to see a summary of the specific property you’ll be investing in, whether it’s an equity or a debt deal, the plan to generate returns and a bit about the company that is operating and managing the asset. You also get a summary of the market and more specifics on how the returns are calculated, important when you are evaluating each potential investment.

Side Note: With an equity deal, you are going to be participating in the potential appreciation of the property like an owner would as well as get potential periodic payments (historically quarterly or monthly depending on the specific deal). In a debt deal, you are basically loaning money to the developer for this project and acting as a lender to receive interests for putting your money at risk.

The company actually made an easy to understand video about how the platform works. Check it out here:

Get started here.

What I Like About RealtyShares

One of the reasons to use a platform for real estate investments is that RealtyShares vets every opportunity that is presented to them and rejects roughly 97% of what they see. This is pretty valuable for most of us who don’t have the time to sift through all the potential opportunities that are out there.

The other positive is that I can invest with just a few thousand dollars. Aside from being able to use a small amount of capital to get my feet wet, investing in small chunks also means that I can invest in many different properties, spreading out my risk not just with the type of properties but also geographically throughout the country.

Many novice real estate investors can’t appreciate this enough, but unlike investing in a rental property, the sponsor will collect the rents and potential coupon payments for you. That means not having to contact the renter if they are late on payments, or needing to always drive around collecting checks and wasting time and gas.

Another positive is that you have access to deals nationwide. I can find out investment opportunities in the local area using traditional methods, but deals outside of my immediate area would be hard to spot when they become available.

Finally, the platform is free to join and for those who want to browse potential investments. I think this is a good model. I mean, who would want to pay a fee just to take a look at what the potential is anyway? RealtyShares will take its cut from the deals you invest in, but it’s a fee you’ll pay for any broker anyway.

Signing Up for RealtyShares and the Cooling Off Period

The process was pretty simple since it literally took about a minute. Fill out some basic information, choose a username and password and off you go. You can’t invest right away though, as regulations require a 30-day cooling off period. Those who want to invest before the 30 days is up can complete the full investor profile and schedule a call with their investor team though.

Click Here to Sign Up

What Would You Do?

I’m a bit late to the real estate party already, but there are still plenty of profitable deals out there. Just as everyone was filled with envy of my friend’s $15,000 home purchase a few decades ago, even those who bought before the financial crisis made out okay as long as the numbers made sense before they wrote the check. They key is the entry price, and companies like RealtyShares are making it easier than ever to evaluate and be notified of each deal.

It could take quite a while before enough interesting deals pop up in the system for me to be fully invested and be properly diversified across different deals, but that’s not a bad thing since I want to learn the platform a bit more too.

What do you think? Would you get your feet wet if you were me? How would you approach this?

Here’s where you sign up if you want to take a look too.

I just found out that until the end of August, RealtyShares will give you $100 after you make your first investment. With the minimum investment amount at $2,000, that’s a 5% return within 30 days of making your first investment. Plus, you get the returns of whichever investment you choose. This is a great deal so don’t miss out on this if you have any plans to invest with any real estate crowdfunding sites.

Use promo code: Partner100 – Expires 10/30/2017

Get a free account here.

Editor's Note: I've begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I'm only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it's much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence.

They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it's free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Beau W. says:

    Has anyone that invested in Realty Shares given an update on how their investment has been doing so far? Im interested in putting some money in a realty share investment.

  • pia says:

    I have been really wondering about these real estate crowdfunding sites. In Australia we have a few of these sites but not much has been said about them beyond PR releases and a few articles in the media here and there. I am hesitant to put in anything at this point but on the other hand, would love to try it out.

    • David @ says:

      Have you signed up for an account? I imagine the ones available in Australia are free to sign up too so I will start there and browse the different investments. Start with local deals as they should be safer for you to evaluate and come back to let us know what your experience is like!

  • Juhani Tontti says:

    This is far from a passive investment. An investor must research the planned deal carefully and this will require expertise.

    • Guru Dave says:

      I just picked a few investments and dove right in without thinking too much about it a few months ago. The interests keep rolling in and there have been no problems thus far. It’s been pretty passive for me but maybe it’s all luck.

      • David @ says:

        That’s brave of you, and good to hear that everything is going a-ok so far. I do think you need to evaluate each deal carefully like Juhani is saying, but that’s just me.

  • Issac Huey says:

    Turning $3,000 into a million with one property is one of those stories that will likely not be repeatable in our lifetimes since inflation is just not going to be crazy high again anytime soon.

    Having said that, I think there’s some merit to Realty Shares. I need to see the deals though in detail before I decide if it’s right for me.

    Has any particular deal tempt you to put money in yet? The platform is important but I would determine whether to invest with them on each particular deal and not worry as much about which middlemen to use.

    • David @ says:

      You make a good point about inflation not going to be like the double digit 70s anytime soon unless we get some type of a crazy population boom. And even then, those who are born will take a few decades to become the massive consumer class that fueled the price increases of the 70s.

      I haven’t started investing yet but I like the franchises because these deals are usually short term and I imagine even failed operations will be able to hang on for at least a few years.

  • Zach says:

    I’ve invested via Realty Shares and I only consider deals where I can actually drive to the buildings and check out the surroundings. The income is predictable once the deal starts going but I’m not treating it as passive income because I want to know what’s going on with the investment.

    I would recommend the platform but only if you want to do the work. I can’t imagine anybody just blindly investing in the deals without fully vetting each opportunity.

    • David @ says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. There seems to be plenty of people who just blindly picks the investments but like you, I’m in the camp that thinks each deal needs to be looked at carefully.

      I hope to join you as a fellow investor soon!

  • Joe Johnson says:

    I’ve looked into these commercial real estate platforms and they all claim to be passive income but I beg to differ. Maybe you can call it that once you actually pick an investment but since some may default, it’s clearly not passive income if you have to spend a ton of time analyzing each deal.

    • David @ says:

      You are right Joe. These real estate investments shouldn’t be called passive investments because deals fail all the time and it’s important to do your due diligence.

      However, it’s much less work to invest with Realty Shares than say a rental property because you won’t have to manage the payments and maintenance. There’s also much less paperwork to buy in and ultimately exit your investment too.

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