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Written by Logan Robison on September 18, 2020
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CrowdStreet vs EquityMultiple 2020: Best Real Estate Platform?

Commercial properties have long been thought to be a cornerstone of real estate investing, and with CrowdStreet and EquityMultiple, you can take part in this investment in a relatively passive manner. 

While real estate investing is an important part of your investing portfolio, remember that because real estate is a tangible asset, there are other considerations to be made.

For example, when you invest in Apple stock, you will never have to worry about being called upon for more investment to repair a leaking roof. However, with real estate investing, that is a very real possibility.

Not to mention, it is much easier to sell a stock than it is to sell a building. For that reason, real estate is a lower liquidity investment.

In this review, we will be looking at two platforms that make commercial real estate investing passive called EquityMultiple vs CrowdStreet.

CrowdStreet is a crowdfunded real estate investing platform that allows accredited investors to get in on private deals with $25,000.

EquityMultiple is a crowdfunding real estate investment platform for accredited investors with a minimum investment of $5,000. 

Keep in mind, in order to invest with either platform you need to be accredited. If you are not, check out our article on the best crowdfunded real estate platforms for non-accredited investors.

FeatureCrowdstreetEquityMultiple
Investment TypesIndividual properties, funds, tailored portfoliosIndividual properties, funds
Minimum InvestmentVariable (average of $25K)Variable (average of $10K)
Real Estate FocusCommericalCommercial
Requires Accreditation YesYes
Fees0.5% - 2.5%1% service fee + profit sharing
Best ForExperienced Commercial InvestorsHigh Net Worth Investors

Summary: CrowdStreet vs EquityMultiple

  • CrowdStreet gives investors direct access to real estate projects through a number of different investment avenues
  • EquityMultiple offers numerous investments as well including individual projects as well as portfolios
  • The minimum to invest with CrowdStreet is around $25,000
  • EquityMultiple’s minimum investment is $5,000
  • CrowdStreet’s fees vary from 0.50% to 2.5%
  • EquityMultiple likewise charges an annual 1% as a service fee as well as 10% profit sharing
  • Both require you to be an accredited investor in order to invest

What Is Crowdstreet?

Since its founding in 2014, CrowdStreet has published over 464 commercial real estate investment offerings.

Of those 464 offerings, 33 of those have been fully realized. Over $1.25 billion in capital has been raised and $144 million have been distributed to investors. 

Those are incredible numbers, but as you will see, it takes a lot of work to get there. 

crowdstreet performance

Investment Strategy

CrowdStreet allows investors to invest in one of three ways: Individual Deals, Funds & Vehicles, and Tailored Portfolios. Let’s dive in and discuss. 

Individual Deals

Within the CrowdStreet marketplace, users can browse different projects currently in production, or soon to be. After doing research and their own due diligence, investors can choose to participate. The minimum investments vary obviously but in general, it’s around $25,000.

On the website, users can sift through a myriad of options from apartment complexes in college towns to new developments in up and coming cities. As an investor, you can do all the research necessary to make you feel comfortable before diving in. 

Since this is obviously quite a lot of hands-on work, the team at CrowdStreet has made it easy with detailed deal documents, sponsor history, and progress tracking. 

Funds & Vehicles

If you realize that you don’t have the time to pick your own properties, you can let CrowdStreet’s experts do it for you. With trained fund managers, you can access a quicker path to diversification, a tried and true strategy, and an average lower per deal upfront investment. 

Within these funds you can choose between single-sponsor funds or CrowdStreet funds. Single-sponsor means that one real estate firm is leading the charge and will usually focus on that firm’s specialty within a certain region or asset type. 

On the other hand, CrowdStreet funds are managed and constructed by CrowdStreet employees and are set up with a variety of locations and property types

Tailored Portfolios

If you are looking for a more personalized experience, than a custom-built portfolio might be best. These portfolios are designed by a CrowdStreet advisor specifically with your goals in mind. 

These advisors will take your goals and bring them to life by investing in properties that line up with your objectives. This obviously comes with a fee, which varies depending on the size of the investment. It also comes with a hefty minimum balance of $250,000. 

crowdstreet diversify

CrowdStreet Pros

  • Flexible investment options
  • Hand picked properties
  • Personalized portfolios available
  • Commercial property focused

CrowdStreet Cons

  • Minimum investment of at least $25,000
  • Accredited investors only
  • Complex fees

What Is EquityMultiple?

EquityMultiple’s platform allows users to be as hands-on or as hands-off as they want.

This is thanks to investments in technology made by the company to streamline the investing process. Just like with CrowdStreet, you do have to be accredited in order to invest with EquityMultiple. 

Investment Strategy

Commercial real estate investing opens up many more options than the simple single-family homes that are common for individual investors. Instead, EquityMultiple invests in professionally managed commercial real estate like malls, multi family, office buildings and more. 

Investors can likewise choose from projects all across the nation and in many different property types. EquityMultiple has completed $80 billion in real estate transactions since inception in 2015.

Currently, EquityMultiple has over $2.5 billion in assets and has returned nearly $24 million to investors.

Investment Options

With an impressive track record, EquityMultiple has also gone to great efforts to give its investors options for their money’s future. These options are Direct Investing, Fund Investing, or Tax Deferred Investing.

Direct Investing

This is for the more hands-on investor that enjoys doing all the due diligence required to make the right purchasing decision. Investors focus on one property at a time and are able to choose from a marketplace of projects on the company’s webpage. 

These assets however are not for quick turnaround investors. Generally investors prefer to hold these assets for as little as 6 months up to 5+ years. Again, this investment comes with a high minimum investment of $10,000.

Fund Investing

For those investors who are not as skilled in the art of deal finding, or simply don’t have the time, fund investing is a great path to take.

This form of investing is best for those looking for diversification across the portfolio. The minimum investment for this type of portfolio is $20,000. Investors find that a timeline from 1.5 to 10+ years is optimal for this strategy.

equitymultiple diligence

Tax Deferred Investing

Investors coming off a sale of another property can take advantage of Tax-Deferred investing where they are able to put off capital gains taxes.

This is done through a 1031 exchange to invest with EquityMultiple in the Tax-Deferred category. These investors have a much longer horizon of 5 to 10+ years. Investors need a minimum of $40,000.

Investment Types

EquityMultiple investors can choose between preferred equity, common equity or syndicated debt.

Preferred Equity

Similar to a stock investment into preferred shares, preferred equity give investors preference over other investors when cash flows are present.

Preferred equity holders are first in line for cash flow payments once the properties are free and clear of debt and until the preferred return has been met.

Common Equity

Common equity is just as it sounds, common. Meaning anyone can use it and there is no preferential treatment unlike preferred equity.

This, rightfully so, comes with a potential for higher gains given the higher risk associated with it. This spot in the long line of investors is less of a priority for cash flows.

Syndicated Debt

Syndicated money is from many investors to form the capital needed to complete a deal.

Due to the increased diligence of the properties funded with syndicated debt, investors feel more comfortable lending but also experience lower returns.

EquityMultiple Fees

Just as important as where you invest your money, you also need to be wise about how much you pay to invest that money.

The annual fee of 1% compensates EquityMultiple for asset management, reporting, record keeping, tax preparation, distribution administration and other services. 

There is also the profit sharing aspect. Currently 10% of all profits are returned to EquityMultiple in order to grease the wheels of the company. 

EquityMultiple also charges a flat $30 fee per year for each investment.

equitymultiple projects

EquityMultiple Pros

  • 1031 exchange capabilities
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Strict due diligence
  • Commercial property focused

EquityMultiple Cons

  • $5,000 minimum investment
  • Accredited investors only

Conclusion: CrowdStreet vs EquityMultiple

These platforms are really quite similar. They both allow accredited investors to buy into commercial real estate via a few different investment avenues.

They key differences are the minimum investment requirements and the fee structures. 

EquityMultiple has a relatively transparent and straightforward fee structure, however they do keep 10% through profit sharing. CrowdStreet fees vary based on the investment vehicle, making them less transparent about fees.

In order to invest with EquityMultiple, the minimum is just $5,000. For CrowdStreet, the minimum is much higher at $25,000.

Keep Reading:

Crowdstreet vs equitymultiple
Article written by Logan Robison
Logan graduated with a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and currently works as a financial analyst for a large retailer. His love for personal finance inspired him to start a YouTube channel, Finance for Normals, where he hopes to give everyday people the basic finance knowledge they need to succeed.

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