Why we started a Real Estate Crowdfunding platform in Asia

In Blog by Jules KwanLeave a Comment

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Welcome to InvestaCrowd, a real estate crowdfunding platform, offering a revolutionary and evolutionary form of real estate investing.

It is not often that something comes along that blows my mind. The crowdfunding concept did just that. The lightning speed at which the internet and technology is changing the old guard is simple awesome. Wikipedia tells me that the first person to coin the term “crowdfunding” was Michael Sullivan in August 2006. Crowdfunding gained traction in the United States after the launch ofArtistShare, the first online platform for crowdfunding, in 2003.

Since then crowdfunding has exploded and expanded into many other countries and industries. The main forms of crowdfunding that we know of can be broken down into 4 major groups. Donation/Reward based, Lending based often referred to as peer to peer lending, equity based and real estate based. There are many variations , styles and programs going on within different crowdfunding companies and it is literally changing everyday.

Since 2007 we have been successfully raising funds for my own real estate development projects in Asia.

Most of the time the investor group has ended up being just that, a group. The concept of groups of people coming together to fund projects in real estate or in other industries is how the human race has been financing deals since the beginning of time. Crowdfunding to me is the 21st century term we now use to explain this, and as we have the power of the internet, so the size of the crowd can now, literally, be infinite. Exciting times.

Most of the largest real estate investment companies in the world have in essence been crowdfunded. Publicly listed real estate companies, REIT’s and private equity funds are all just forms of crowdfunding that were just not called crowdfunding back in the day. However there are some very powerful forces that real estate crowdfunding brings, that the above list may not. Please bear in mind there are many different forms and types of real estate crowdfunding platforms so this is a broad strokes list and it would differ from platform to platform.

· Minimum investments generally much lower

· Full Transparency of financials and fees

· Often no fees or much lower fees as investors are investing directly with the real estate developers

· Direct contact to the project’s managers or entrepreneurs

· Social media connections to all of the other investors

· The crowd decides if a project is worth funding and how much funding that it should get

After 21 years in Australia, followed by 15 years in China, and just approaching the 3 year mark in Singapore, I have travelled to most countries in Asia (some over 30 times each), and have worked/invested in over 6 of them. Asia is a short word for a long list of complex and vastly different countries. But for today, lets say it encompasses approximately 20 countries and that cultures, food and fashion aside, they do have at least one thing in common, they love real estate.

There are much fewer investment vehicles available to the average Asian investor vs a comparable western counterpart. Many countries are in an “emerging” phase and many rules and regulations are either ancient (Myanmar has only had credit cards and internet for the past 2 years), unclear, or are in the process of upgrading (Singapore being a clear exception to all of the above). The one thing that every local can buy and can hold without too much trouble is real estate. I laughed when I heard that in China buying public stocks is called “ stock frying” as its seen as a total gamble and you might get burnt. Macau gaming numbers show that many Chinese think they may as well head to the casino, where at least you get free green tea, can smoke and play for a few hours before you lose your money (that was until the crackdown on corruption which has halved Macau’s gaming revenue. wow.)

Crowdfunding is just beginning in Asia, but we think it will eventually explode and surpass USA and Europe. In fact the word crowdfunding can still not be found in any laws or regulations at the moment in most countries over here. We know that some governments are looking into adjusting/changing their rules to support the crowdfunding industry and that it will be work in progress. Crowdfunding works best in countries where rules and regulations are crystal clear as transparency is key for the success of any crowdfunding project, business or portal offering the opportunities. Protection for investors/donors is key and paramount to the longevity and growth of the industry in any country.

I love Asia (been living here for 17 years), real estate (and luckily have still never lost money on a real estate deal) and crowdfunding (power to the people), so that’s why we have launched Investacrowd, it is time for transparency and access for all investors, not just the super rich or already wealthy. We are breaking down barriers and offering investors or all shapes and sizes the opportunity to co-invest alongside reputable/proven real estate developers in any given location, from the comfort of their smartphone. It is a truly awesome model.

We welcome any comments and thoughts on our posts and as always we are available to run through any of these points with our members in more detail, so just drop us a line anytime or logon to create an investor account today right here InvestaCrowd.

 

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