Author Topic: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate  (Read 6383 times)

Cessna152

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My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« on: November 29, 2015, 11:12:55 AM »
I wanted to share my experience with a product I've used for a couple of years called Groundfloor. (https://www.groundfloor.us/) Share some real numbers and if it's something that interests you, give you some data to see if it's right for you.

Full disclosure, I am friends with the CEO, which is how I found out about them so early on and part of the reason I had such faith in it being a good investment for me. This post is more about the hard data that I've returned, but if you have any questions about the company or process, feel free to ask. Anything I don't know, I can get him involved to see if he can provide some answers.

Repaid Investments
Repaid Principal: $3900 (blended across 7 different investments, starting on 3/31/14)
Repaid Earnings: $630
--
$4530 ~16% Return

Open Investments
Total in Open Investments: $2100 (blended across 2 different investments)
Projected Earnings: $332
--
$2432 ~16% Return

I currently also have $1220 committed to an investment that will be closing in the coming weeks. Expected to return 23.8% ($290).

There are different term loans. I've done both 12 and 6 month lengths. All except one has been paid back on time. The one that has not been paid back on time, I've heard a lot of communication from the builder and am getting much more frequent updates as he works to get the project closed in the next couple of months. In the meantime, I continue earning 12% interest on it.

Up to the last couple of months, it's only been available to invest in GA. Recently, a new structure to how they run the investments has allowed to them to comply with a different set of laws that has opened investment opportunities to more of the states.

The kicker for me is: I wanted to be involved in real estate investment but at this point in my life, I don't have the geographic stability or means to be buying and flipping or renting things myself. This has provided me an easy way to get involved in real estate without so much upfront investment.

Hopefully this data has been intriguing to you in some way. Let me know if you have any questions.

http://blog.groundfloor.us/nov2015/ - the article and questions here are helpful for understanding more.

arebelspy

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2015, 01:37:08 PM »
How do you evaluate the risks of a particular investment to determine if the risk adjusted return is satisfactory versus alternatives? 

Perhaps the easiest way to answer this would be to walk us through an example.

How do you account for systemic risks?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 03:56:56 PM »
You can't ever account for systemic risks.  That is why they're systemic. 

Ricky

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 04:58:38 PM »
I wouldn't be afraid of trying it if it was in my state. Most RE crowdfunding sites are restricted to accredited investors - so hopefully more of these pop up.

Kouhri

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 05:10:30 PM »
Interesting, pity you have to be in the us. How much information do you get about the deals your financing? Or do you just sign up for a  grade A or B or G loan for x dollars?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 05:55:14 PM »
What dollar amount and number of projects have failed or are behind, out of what dollar amount funded and number of projects funded?

mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2015, 06:07:09 PM »
Title III of The JOBS Act will be fully in force in May of 2016.  Licensing of portals will begin on January 29th of 2016.  These investments will be available to non-accredited investors next year.  The way that the capital forms is impaired by Title III so ironically I expect for the riskier projects to be available for non-accredited investors in many cases. 

Title IV will give rise to more funds for real estate in the long run IMO.  Those funds should be available for non-accredited investors too and allow shares to be traded freely unlike what current is the norm under a Rule 506 raise. 

Cessna152

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 12:12:38 PM »
How do you evaluate the risks of a particular investment to determine if the risk adjusted return is satisfactory versus alternatives? 

Perhaps the easiest way to answer this would be to walk us through an example.

How do you account for systemic risks?

I think everyone should make their own evaluation as my situation with it is a slightly different approach. Since I knew the CEO and the business plan a little closer, I was much more comfortable with it. Plus, the money I am investing in no way is a life savings. I had some money I was willing to take a bet with and see what happened. I felt like I had pocket aces on this best just because I got the business.

In addition, the investments are secured by ownership on the property. Each loan shows you where in line you fall among other liens on the property (if any). This probably attributes to its A-G rating scale. Your position on the property means you can most likely get some money back if the person seeking investment falls through, for me that's a nice security blanket.

And based off the numbers I originally post, you can see based off real data over a 2 years time that the returns have been good for me. Hard data should speak for itself some. I'm not trying to push a service, just sharing my experience with one.

Cessna152

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 12:14:40 PM »
What dollar amount and number of projects have failed or are behind, out of what dollar amount funded and number of projects funded?

I don't know if they provide that data publicly - You can see based off my original post what experience I've had with what I've invested in.

arebelspy

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2015, 12:16:15 PM »

How do you evaluate the risks of a particular investment to determine if the risk adjusted return is satisfactory versus alternatives? 

Perhaps the easiest way to answer this would be to walk us through an example.

How do you account for systemic risks?

I think everyone should make their own evaluation as my situation with it is a slightly different approach. Since I knew the CEO and the business plan a little closer, I was much more comfortable with it. Plus, the money I am investing in no way is a life savings. I had some money I was willing to take a bet with and see what happened. I felt like I had pocket aces on this best just because I got the business.

In addition, the investments are secured by ownership on the property. Each loan shows you where in line you fall among other liens on the property (if any). This probably attributes to its A-G rating scale. Your position on the property means you can most likely get some money back if the person seeking investment falls through, for me that's a nice security blanket.

And based off the numbers I originally post, you can see based off real data over a 2 years time that the returns have been good for me. Hard data should speak for itself some. I'm not trying to push a service, just sharing my experience with one.

Okay, but how would you suggest someone evaluate the risks on a particular investment?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Cessna152

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2015, 12:27:09 PM »

How do you evaluate the risks of a particular investment to determine if the risk adjusted return is satisfactory versus alternatives? 

Perhaps the easiest way to answer this would be to walk us through an example.

How do you account for systemic risks?

I think everyone should make their own evaluation as my situation with it is a slightly different approach. Since I knew the CEO and the business plan a little closer, I was much more comfortable with it. Plus, the money I am investing in no way is a life savings. I had some money I was willing to take a bet with and see what happened. I felt like I had pocket aces on this best just because I got the business.

In addition, the investments are secured by ownership on the property. Each loan shows you where in line you fall among other liens on the property (if any). This probably attributes to its A-G rating scale. Your position on the property means you can most likely get some money back if the person seeking investment falls through, for me that's a nice security blanket.

And based off the numbers I originally post, you can see based off real data over a 2 years time that the returns have been good for me. Hard data should speak for itself some. I'm not trying to push a service, just sharing my experience with one.

Okay, but how would you suggest someone evaluate the risks on a particular investment?

A combination of loan position, LTV ratio, how many projects the person seeking investment has done... I know the area the property is being worked on so I judge if I feel they can easily turn around and sell it or not. all of this vs the amount I'm investing and rate of return.

I base the projects I invest in on how my personal portfolio is performing and decide to only invest in any rates that would improve that number then out of the projects that are available, I see if they meet my first set of criteria.

mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2015, 08:37:38 AM »
Expect for there to be a lot of negativity about crowdfunding from people with zero experience with it on this forum.  I posted about similar things on the forum when I first joined and a bunch of people with zero experience were convinced that it wouldn't work because it wasn't indexing. 

arebelspy

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2015, 08:40:10 AM »

Expect for there to be a lot of negativity about crowdfunding from people with zero experience with it on this forum.  I posted about similar things on the forum when I first joined and a bunch of people with zero experience were convinced that it wouldn't work because it wasn't indexing.

I'm not convinced it won't work, but I haven't yet seen a defense for why the risk-adjusted returns are worth it over many other investments that one could choose to make.

If you want to lend on real estate, for example, I'd much rather be a private money lender than lend as a crowdsourced funder via a portal.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2015, 08:50:53 AM »
Being a private money lender generally demands that you invest a greater percentage of the project.  In fact, most of these opportunities are not structured properly from an exemption standpoint and could cause a lot of problems if money is pooled. 

Crowdfunded investments are similar to private money investments, but are done professionally and will have professionals managing the workouts if you select the right funding platforms to deal with.   As with anything you have to do your research and get comfortable with who you're doing business with. 

thd7t

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2015, 09:04:36 AM »
I'm interested in lower cost to entry into real estate investing, but it appears that the returns you're seeing are closer to 8% annually. That's a nice return, but not necessarily worth going into a smaller pool of investments.

arebelspy

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2015, 09:05:38 AM »

Crowdfunded investments are similar to private money investments, but are done professionally and will have professionals managing the workouts if you select the right funding platforms to deal with.   As with anything you have to do your research and get comfortable with who you're doing business with.

I'm not convinced there's enough information to do this.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

arebelspy

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2015, 09:06:53 AM »

I'm interested in lower cost to entry into real estate investing, but it appears that the returns you're seeing are closer to 8% annually. That's a nice return, but not necessarily worth going into a smaller pool of investments.

They sometimes offer 12-14%, but the risk adjusted return is what I'm worried about. The risk certainly isn't 0.

At the numbers you're seeing, if low entry is what you want, why not consider a REIT?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2015, 09:11:00 AM »

Crowdfunded investments are similar to private money investments, but are done professionally and will have professionals managing the workouts if you select the right funding platforms to deal with.   As with anything you have to do your research and get comfortable with who you're doing business with.

I'm not convinced there's enough information to do this.

There isn't on many of the sites.  You have to contact them and do your diligence. 

A major advantage to me is that you can start out with a very small investment, see how it goes, and then increase later investments as you get more comfortable with things and have done more diligence on the site's processes and team.  The trouble with the industry is that many of the sites are started by venture people and/or technology people and NOT real estate people.  This isn't true for all of them though. 

Over time the better sites will win out.  Our new site will launch in earnest in 2016.  We've spent almost 2 years assembling all of the pieces needed to do it the right way. 

thd7t

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2015, 09:12:13 AM »

I'm interested in lower cost to entry into real estate investing, but it appears that the returns you're seeing are closer to 8% annually. That's a nice return, but not necessarily worth going into a smaller pool of investments.

They sometimes offer 12-14%, but the risk adjusted return is what I'm worried about. The risk certainly isn't 0.

At the numbers you're seeing, if low entry is what you want, why not consider a REIT?
I currently use a REIT for just that, but am still investigating alternatives.

mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2015, 09:13:09 AM »

I'm interested in lower cost to entry into real estate investing, but it appears that the returns you're seeing are closer to 8% annually. That's a nice return, but not necessarily worth going into a smaller pool of investments.

They sometimes offer 12-14%, but the risk adjusted return is what I'm worried about. The risk certainly isn't 0.

At the numbers you're seeing, if low entry is what you want, why not consider a REIT?

The risk isn't 0 with ANY investment.  I'm not sure how this comment adds any value. 

REITs are pretty correlated with the broader market and suffer from constraints on distributions that the SPEs for the crowdfunded investments don't suffer from.  There are, of course, other tradeoffs and each project needs to be evaluated independently. 

daverobev

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2015, 04:25:21 PM »
I guess the site is big enough now that people will sign up to, ahem, promote something they may be close to, rather than anything else (now, I'm clearly no saint in this in that I have referral links in my sig and have posted a couple of things that I kind've think are cool but also are referrals).

I'd be interested in putting small amounts in, just like I'm currently doing with P2P lending. But of course, it has to be available to non-US people.

mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2015, 06:31:00 PM »
I guess the site is big enough now that people will sign up to, ahem, promote something they may be close to, rather than anything else (now, I'm clearly no saint in this in that I have referral links in my sig and have posted a couple of things that I kind've think are cool but also are referrals).

Get the f outta here.  I'm not promoting anything.  I don't want anyone's money from this site.  I just want to correct the inaccurate information spewed about crowdfunding when I see it. 

arebelspy

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2015, 05:22:25 AM »

I guess the site is big enough now that people will sign up to, ahem, promote something they may be close to, rather than anything else (now, I'm clearly no saint in this in that I have referral links in my sig and have posted a couple of things that I kind've think are cool but also are referrals).

Yeah, mods deal with a fair amount of spam. People see a group with money and can't wait to sell to them.

It's usually not malicious, they think they gave a good product we'll like, but in the end, it's still spam.

(Referring to this in general, no specifically to Mr orange's crowd funding site he brought up.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

thedayisbrave

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2015, 08:51:24 AM »
I'm familiar with Groundfloor.  It started in my city (Raleigh, NC) but due to crowdfunding legislation mumbo jumbo it moved to Atlanta.  I'm still hoping it'll come back to my area...

This is the first I'm hearing of Title III of the JOBS Act, though.  Maybe I've been stuck under a rock.  I thought it was something way far away... surprised to find out it's next year? Are crowdfunding investments opening to non-accredited investors in all 50 states? That has been my primary limitation in investing.

There is something similar called RealtyMogul as well.  This definitely is a model that appeals to me, on both sides.  Banks don't really like Mustachian (low income, high net worth) individuals... honestly it's pretty ridiculous how difficult it is for me to get a loan these days.


mr_orange

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2015, 09:01:47 AM »
This is the first I'm hearing of Title III of the JOBS Act, though.  Maybe I've been stuck under a rock.  I thought it was something way far away... surprised to find out it's next year? Are crowdfunding investments opening to non-accredited investors in all 50 states? That has been my primary limitation in investing.

Mark Roderick has the best literature I have found on Title III here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/288788332/CrowdFunding-Title-III-Primer#scribd

It remains to be seen how things will play out with Title III because the rules about becoming a "portal" are not fully cast in stone yet.  On January 29th of 2016 people can start applying.  Between that date and May they'll be figuring things out as they go along.  I have spoken with consultants that help people become broker-dealers and they don't know the rules yet either.  We're considering being both a portal and a broker-dealer next year. 

The states have nothing to do with Title III aside from being a pain in the ass.  This is a federal exemption that will trump state law despite the efforts of firms like Groundfloor to thwart Congressional intent.  Massachusetts and Montana sued the SEC this year after the final rules were announced and I suspect that the final implementation was pushed to May of 2016 to give enough runway for things to fully play out in the courts.  If there is a legal cloud over things I don't expect many would-be portal operators to invest the money and effort in spinning things up with FINRA. 

I frequent angel networks in addition to playing in the real estate crowdfunding space.  The angels are convinced that Title III with non-accredited investors will be a disaster because people will lose all their money.  The rules limit what people can invest.  Whether or not you think this is a good thing depends to a great degree on whether or not you think the government should be legislating your behavior with regard to your money.  For real estate the risk dynamics are much different and I see non-accredited investors clearly benefiting from the new rules if the FINRA overlords don't make things too cumbersome on the portal operators.  There will probably be a strong lobby from the old-world model to over regulate the portals to protect their interests. 

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. 

thedayisbrave

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2015, 09:10:02 AM »
This is the first I'm hearing of Title III of the JOBS Act, though.  Maybe I've been stuck under a rock.  I thought it was something way far away... surprised to find out it's next year? Are crowdfunding investments opening to non-accredited investors in all 50 states? That has been my primary limitation in investing.

Mark Roderick has the best literature I have found on Title III here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/288788332/CrowdFunding-Title-III-Primer#scribd

It remains to be seen how things will play out with Title III because the rules about becoming a "portal" are not fully cast in stone yet.  On January 29th of 2016 people can start applying.  Between that date and May they'll be figuring things out as they go along.  I have spoken with consultants that help people become broker-dealers and they don't know the rules yet either.  We're considering being both a portal and a broker-dealer next year. 

The states have nothing to do with Title III aside from being a pain in the ass.  This is a federal exemption that will trump state law despite the efforts of firms like Groundfloor to thwart Congressional intent.  Massachusetts and Montana sued the SEC this year after the final rules were announced and I suspect that the final implementation was pushed to May of 2016 to give enough runway for things to fully play out in the courts.  If there is a legal cloud over things I don't expect many would-be portal operators to invest the money and effort in spinning things up with FINRA. 

I frequent angel networks in addition to playing in the real estate crowdfunding space.  The angels are convinced that Title III with non-accredited investors will be a disaster because people will lose all their money.  The rules limit what people can invest.  Whether or not you think this is a good thing depends to a great degree on whether or not you think the government should be legislating your behavior with regard to your money.  For real estate the risk dynamics are much different and I see non-accredited investors clearly benefiting from the new rules if the FINRA overlords don't make things too cumbersome on the portal operators.  There will probably be a strong lobby from the old-world model to over regulate the portals to protect their interests. 

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Agreed.  Thanks so much for the link and the response, very very informative.  I'm an aspiring angel though I do invest in physical real estate currently... the "accredited investor" label has always irked me, because I've seen firsthand that just because you have a high income or net worth, doesn't necessarily mean you know how to invest your money.  Purely anecdotal of course, but the principle to me just doesn't make sense. 

I'll be interested to see how it plays out, too.  I work for a company that is also trying to change the real estate game (not crowdfunding though).  You seem to know tons about this stuff... would love to pick your brain sometime!

daverobev

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2015, 09:24:02 AM »
I guess the site is big enough now that people will sign up to, ahem, promote something they may be close to, rather than anything else (now, I'm clearly no saint in this in that I have referral links in my sig and have posted a couple of things that I kind've think are cool but also are referrals).

Get the f outta here.  I'm not promoting anything.  I don't want anyone's money from this site.  I just want to correct the inaccurate information spewed about crowdfunding when I see it.

Are you the OP? No? Because that what who I was referring to.

Mr. Green

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2015, 06:27:11 PM »
I have also dabbled in crowdsourced real estate this year. I invested $20,000, at 5k a pop, into 4 different projects. As opposed to a REIT, I like that I can pick and choose what I'm investing in. All four of my investments are in different geographical regions. They are also different types of projects. One is a multi-million dollar custom home build in Tahoe. Another is an investment into a rolling series of fix/flips in the area, basically as many as the company can crank out in the allotted investment period, along with a wind down strategy. Another is a specific nine home portfolio rehab. In all cases I get to see the details about who is getting my money and documentation about what they're going to do with it and why it should be successful. The borrowers periodically report back to the crowdsource platform about progress that is made so the investment can be tracked relative to the plan that was laid out. I'm 7 months into the first investment with the others trailing a few months behind. Over the next year we'll see how things shape up as projects start coming to completion.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 06:33:57 PM by Mr. Green »

Cessna152

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2015, 08:48:00 AM »
I guess the site is big enough now that people will sign up to, ahem, promote something they may be close to, rather than anything else (now, I'm clearly no saint in this in that I have referral links in my sig and have posted a couple of things that I kind've think are cool but also are referrals).

Get the f outta here.  I'm not promoting anything.  I don't want anyone's money from this site.  I just want to correct the inaccurate information spewed about crowdfunding when I see it.

Are you the OP? No? Because that what who I was referring to.

Odd.. I see 25 posts here digging deep into real conversation around crowdfunded real estate, and then there's your spam. Kettle is black from where you stand, sir.

kenmoremmm

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Re: My Experience with Crowdfunded Real Estate
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2018, 02:06:35 PM »
just wanted to check if any RE crowdfunders have updates on their experiences/performances.