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Which Is Best for You?

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Fundrise and CrowdStreet are two of the most popular real estate crowdfunding platforms, each with over 300,000 investors. However, the companies serve very different markets. Fundrise is more of a beginner’s platform, accepting non-accredited investors with a minimum contribution of just $10. Thanks to its ease of use, accessibility, low fees, and more, Fundrise is Investopedia’s best overall real estate crowdfunding platform, as well as the best platform for beginners and the best for low fees.

CrowdStreet, on the other hand, caters to wealthy, experienced real estate investors. You must be accredited to use CrowdStreet, and the minimum investment is at least $25,000. In exchange, CrowdStreet offers a greater real estate investment selection and more options to customize your portfolio, including the option to buy into individual deals. Read on for an in-depth comparison of Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet.

  • Fees: 0.15% advisory fee for all Fundrise assets plus 0.85% for real estate funds, 1.85% for innovation fund, $99 per year for Fundrise Pro
  • Account Minimum: $10 for investment accounts, $1,000 for IRAs
  • Accredited Investors Only: No

Key Takeaways of Fundrise

  • Minimum investment of just $10
  • Accepts non-accredited investors
  • Runs a venture capital fund as well as real estate funds
  • Fees:Individual Deals: No fee for investors; sponsors pay a 1.5% technology fee to use the platform, which may be passed on to investors by the deal sponsor, and sponsors may also charge additional fees CrowdStreet C-REIT: 1.5% annual management fee CrowdStreet Advisor Private Managed Accounts: Advisory fee on deployed assets in year 1, 2.0% to 2.5% based on assets; 0.25% annual fee on deployed assets after year
  • Account Minimum: $25,000+
  • Accredited Investors Only: Yes

Key Takeaways of CrowdStreet

  • Requires a $25,000 minimum investment
  • Good selection of projects for portfolio customization
  • Only offers real estate investments

Account Setup

Fundrise and CrowdStreet both have quick and simple account setup processes. Fundrise estimates it takes about five minutes to get started. You create an account through the Fundrise website or mobile app. From there, you pick an investment plan from choices that include Growth, Income, and Balanced Portfolios. Fundrise will then invest your money to follow this strategy across dozens of real estate investments.

You can also register for a Fundrise Pro account. This allows you to pick between different real estate investment funds to build your own portfolio.

CrowdStreet’s onboarding process is also quick and efficient, though qualified investors should be prepared to submit proof they meet the accredited investor income or net worth requirements. After CrowdStreet verifies your credentials, you can log into the marketplace to review possible deals for your portfolio. 

Final Verdict

While both platforms make it easy to get started, Fundrise is a little simpler because it does not go through the process of verifying your accreditation status. 

Key Features

Fundrise accepts both accredited and non-accredited investors, while you must meet the accredited investor requirements based on your income or net worth to use CrowdStreet. Fundrise requires a minimum investment of just $10 for regular investment accounts and $1,000 for individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The CrowdStreet minimum investment is at least $25,000, but individual deals can require even larger minimum contributions.

Fundrise and CrowdStreet both offer curated portfolios pre-designed for investors. Fundrise has pre-built portfolios for different goals like growth or income. You can buy into these portfolios, and Fundrise picks the investments for you. CrowdStreet offers diversified funds, allowing you to buy into different property types, project sponsors, and regional markets.

You can also build your own customized portfolio on each platform. With CrowdStreet, all investors have the option to buy into individual deals. At Fundrise, you need to pay for a Fundrise Pro account for the option to create a customized portfolio. However, you can only choose among real estate funds, not individual properties.

Both Fundrise and CrowdStreet pay dividends for your real estate investment. Fundrise gives you the option to reinvest the dividends in other projects automatically. Fundrise and Crowdstreet only accept investors in the United States.

Final Verdict

Fundrise is much more accessible to regular investors, as it accepts non-accredited investors and only requires a $10 investment minimum. CrowdStreet focuses on the wealthier, accredited investor market and has a much higher minimum. Fundrise is a better option for pre-designed curated portfolios, while CrowdStreet gives you more options to customize your portfolio with individual deals.

Fees

Fundrise and CrowdStreet use different approaches for fees. There are more upfront Fundrise fees. It charges 0.15% per year of your assets on the platform for its advisory fee. This covers the cost of the technology, tax management processing, and customer support. If you buy into one of the Fundrise real estate or venture capital portfolios, you also owe an annual management fee:

  • Income Real Estate Fund and all eREITs: 0.85%
  • Fundrise Innovation Fund: 1.85%

If you want to access Fundrise Pro to design your real estate portfolio, it costs $10 a month or $99 per year. 

CrowdStreet does not charge investors an upfront platform fee. Instead, it charges a 1.5% technology fee to sponsors listing investment deals on the platform. Each investment deal will then list the fees you owe as an investor in the project. If you buy into the CrowdStreet REIT, it charges a 1.5% annual management fee plus any sponsor fees.

Compare Fees

Category Fundrise CrowdStreet
Platform Fees 0.15% per year None
Management Fees 0.85% per year for real estate funds, 1.85% for Fundrise innovation fund 1% to 4%, depending on the offering
Investment-Specific Fees Each offering will have specific expenses Charged by investment sponsors, depends on the deal
Other Fees $10 per month or $99 per year to use Fundrise Pro 1.5% technology fee charged to sponsors

Final Verdict

Fundrise charges more fees upfront to use the platform and browse investments. CrowdStreet waits until you invest to start charging fees, and the cost depends on what the project sponsor decides. While the companies use different approaches, the overall fees are similar.

Transparency

We considered how transparent Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet were in disclosing key information for investors regarding investment liquidity, fees, and the reporting options/frequency for investment performance. Both platforms were highly transparent and did an excellent job of providing this information to potential investors.

Liquidity

Real estate crowdfunding typically restricts liquidity and your ability to cash out early. Fundrise’s real estate investment funds have a five-year lock-up period for your money. However, every quarter, it gives the option for early redemption. You submit a redemption request to cash out some of your shares ahead of schedule. Fundrise redeems shares on a first-in-first out basis, meaning it will cash out the shares you owned the longest first. It also does not guarantee you can cash out early.

While Fundrise does not charge a penalty for early redemption of its flagship fund, it could charge up to 1% as an early redemption penalty for cashing out of its eREIT or eFund early.

CrowdStreet’s real estate deals also have a lock-up period of three to five years, though some can last as long as 10 years. Each deal has its rules for the lock-up period and possible redemption options. In general, CrowdStreet does not provide much liquidity. This is one reason it limits access to wealthy accredited users who can afford to make long-term investments. 

Final Verdict

Fundrise provides more liquidity and early redemption options than CrowdStreet, though both platforms expect you to make long-term investments without flexible access to your cash.

Investment Selection

Fundrise primarily offers real estate funds and REITs. It provides two flagship funds: a real estate fund focused on long-term appreciation and an income real estate fund focused on more immediate income and dividends.

If you have a Fundrise Pro account, you can choose between real estate funds for some portfolio customization. However, you can’t select individual real estate projects. Outside of real estate, Fundrise offers private credit investments and an Innovation Fund using venture capital to invest in tech startups.

The CrowdStreet marketplace allows you to search through real estate opportunities. You can filter investments through the following criteria:

  • Investment strategy: CrowdStreet’s strategies range from Core (least risk) to Opportunities (most risk)
  • Investment structure: CrowdStreet offers debt (collateralized investments), equity, mezzanine debt, portfolio, preferred equity, and REITs
  • Geographic region: Options throughout the United States

CrowdStreet only provides real estate investments. It doesn’t offer any other type of alternative investment.

Final Verdict

CrowdStreet has a better real estate investment selection because it allows you to pick and choose between individual projects. Fundrise limits your investing to managed funds. However, Fundrise allows you to invest in venture capital while CrowdStreet only has real estate investments.

Sectors and Domains

Fundrise’s investments span the full range of sectors and domains. Its investments include single-family homes, apartment buildings, industrial properties, storage facilities, and commercial real estate.

CrowdStreet concentrates on commercial and industrial projects. These include offices, parking garages, storage units, and hospitality projects like hotels. If CrowdStreet invests in residential deals, it focuses on large multi-family projects. It generally does not invest in single-family construction or rentals because the projects are too small.

Final Verdict

Both companies cover a wide range of sectors and domains for their possible investments.

Educational Offerings 

Fundrise’s education center includes frequently asked questions (FAQs), articles, and a podcast. These cover investing in private real estate, credit, and startup markets. Fundrise also has a YouTube channel with a few short videos covering real estate investing. The Fundrise educational offerings are a mix of general investing articles and market commentary.

CrowdStreet has a substantial educational library. It also provides training on real estate fundamentals, market commentary, and a solid FAQ section. In addition, CrowdStreet runs live webinars and events to teach its users about potential deals. 

Final Verdict

Fundrise and CrowdStreet both have decent educational offerings, though CrowdStreet’s selection is more extensive thanks to its events and webinars.

Customer Support 

Fundrise and CrowdStreet both depend on technology-based customer support. You can submit any questions by contact form or email with both companies. Neither platform allows you to call customer support by phone.

You can request a callback from Fundrise’s customer support. It also offers a live chat tool during business hours, Monday to Friday. CrowdStreet does not provide live chat. Fundrise has its own mobile app whereas CrowdStreet does not, although you can log into CrowdStreet’s website using your mobile device and the functionality is decent.

Compare Customer Support Offerings

Category Fundrise CrowdStreet
Phone No No
Contact Form Yes Yes
Email Yes Yes
Live Chat Yes, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET No

Final Verdict

Fundrise provides more support options through its live chat, mobile app, and the option to request a callback by phone.

The Bottom Line

Fundrise and CrowdStreet are two of the best real estate crowdfunding platforms, though the right fit depends on your situation as an investor. Fundrise makes more sense for smaller investors, especially beginners new to real estate. It accepts non-accredited investors, allows a minimum investment of just $10, and makes it easier to cash out of an investment ahead of schedule. For these reasons, we rated Fundrise as the best platform for beginners and the best overall crowdfunding platform.

On the other hand, if you’re an accredited investor with a sizable portfolio and plenty of real estate investment experience, consider CrowdStreet. It offers more types of real estate investments as well as more information about the projects themselves through live webinars. CrowdStreet also makes it easier to customize your portfolio because you can buy into individual deals, whereas Fundrise limits you to managed real estate funds. CrowdStreet is ideal for savvy investors who can identify profitable opportunities.

Is Fundrise Legit?

Yes, Fundrise is legit. It has been in business since 2012 and has nearly 400,000 investors. Three of its central funds are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Fundrise ranks favorably compared to other real estate crowdfunding platforms and is one of the best overall platforms and the best platform for beginners. 

How to Withdraw From Fundrise

Fundrise accepts redemption requests for shares every quarter or every month, depending on the investment fund. If it approves your request, Fundrise will cash you out for the value of your shares. You can then withdraw the money out of Fundrise to your bank using ACH transfer.  

Is CrowdStreet Legit?

Yes, CrowdStreet is a legitimate company. It has more than 300,000 investors who have invested over $4.2 billion across more than 798 real estate deals. CrowdStreet has been in business since 2014. It is one of the largest real estate crowdfunding platforms around. It uses strict screening criteria to decide what projects are listed on the platform, accepting only around 5% of possible deals.

How Does CrowdStreet Make Money?

CrowdStreet makes money by charging fees to the sponsors listing real estate investment deals on the platform. CrowdStreet also charges investment management fees for investors using its REITs. Finally, CrowdStreet charges advisory fees for designing individual portfolios for investors.

Is CrowdStreet or Fundrise Better?

The choice between Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet comes down to the type of investor. Fundrise is better for smaller, non-accredited investors new to investing in real estate. Fundrise accepts non-accredited investors and requires a minimum investment of just $10. CrowdStreet is better for larger, accredited investors. It provides more types of real estate investments with more options to create a customized portfolio vs. Fundrise and other CrowdStreet competitors. 

How We Review Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms

To evaluate and review real estate crowdfunding platforms, Investopedia’s team of researchers, data collectors, and industry experts spent nearly two months conducting in-depth industry research, company survey data collection, and hands-on evaluations of 19 companies. We grouped the 38 criteria that we collected, like investment selection and minimums, holding periods, and curated portfolios, into eight categories. We then scored these criteria and weighted the categories to determine which real estate crowdfunding platforms are best for both accredited and non-accredited investors:

  • Fees: 15%
  • Account Services: 15%
  • Investment Selection: 15%
  • Liquidity: 12.5% 
  • Transparency: 12.5%
  • Sectors and Domains: 12.5%
  • Customer Support and Usability: 10%
  • Educational Offerings: 7.5%

Through this all-encompassing data collection and review process, Investopedia has provided you with an unbiased and thorough review of real estate crowdfunding platforms. Read our full process for more information on how we review real estate crowdfunding platforms.

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