How Real Estate Investing is Being Reinvented

CREAccording to a recent Gallup poll, Americans today consider real estate their best long-term investment option – with 30 percent selecting it over stocks and mutual funds, gold, savings accounts and CDs, or bonds. The wealthy think even more highly of real estate, with 38 percent of high-income respondents picking as the best investment.

Investor interest in real estate has been growing steadily since 2011, and for good reason: the U.S. real estate market is improving. We’ve seen it for a while in our Miami hometown – where home prices are rising, new development activity is booming, and only three percent of condos are unoccupied. The rest of the country is heating up too, especially for commercial and multi-family real estate.

So if you’re interested in passive real estate investing, how do you make it a reality? How do you find deals that appeal to you? How do you conduct the necessary research and due diligence on each opportunity? How do you fund a deal and stay informed on the property or project?

Traditionally, your options for answering all of those questions have been limited. Real estate investing has typically come in one of two forms – the “Country Club” model and the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) approach – that are inherently restrictive.

  • The “Country Club” Model: Rely on your network for referrals.
    It means… if you’re looking to learn about new investment opportunities, you better be well connected. You’re also likely to only find out about investment offerings for projects in your region
  • The REIT Approach: Buy shares of a pool of properties.
    It means… you’re not in the driver’s seat. Since an REIT’s board members or trustees decide what properties the trust buys, sells, or finances, individual investors have no control over which projects they invest in.

Like other types of investing, these models will work well for some investors and less well for others. Accredited investors with experience and knowledge about real estate are limited by both of these approaches, since they lack the access to seek out new opportunities and compare them against each other.

Yet now, thanks to Title II of the JOBS Act, the two traditional routes aren’t investors’ only options.

Accredited “equity” crowdfunding is disintermediating the real estate investment landscape by giving investors direct access to opportunities. Under new regulations, accredited investors can find and fund real estate deals that match their preferences and interests by browsing and comparing open offerings on platforms like EarlyShares.

In fact, EarlyShares is an all-in-one source for quality real estate opportunities. The EarlyShares executive team has a strong track record of success in the real estate industry and only works with experienced project sponsors and partners. We employ a rigorous selection methodology and are highly selective of the opportunities posted to our platform – helping ensure investors have access to cash-flow generating properties and projects.

Once an offering makes it to our site, we provide investors with all of the tools and resources they need to evaluate the investment opportunity, conduct their due diligence, ask questions of the sponsor or developer, and complete their investment transactions. We make it simple, with a seamless four-step investing process built in to our state-of-the-art platform.

It’s real estate investing, reinvented… and it’s your way to capitalize on the rebounding U.S. real estate market.

Want to learn more? Sign up as an investor, check out our live offerings, or email [email protected].

Developers, Syndicates & Sponsors: Have an exciting property or project and a record of real estate industry success? Email [email protected] to apply to host an equity or debt investment offering for your deal.

The EarlyFive: Marching On

Welcome to March! As we wrap up the first quarter of 2015 this month, we’ve got several exciting opportunities available to investors:

  • Our Co-Founder & CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes is speaking at a ‘Commercial Real Estate Financing’ event March 3 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sign up!
  • The principals of the Med Inn investment offering will host a webinar for EarlyShares investors on March 11. Register now.
  • Our March 13 investor education event is coming up fast. Learn more about it and register.

Lastly, enjoy a few new media mentions of EarlyShares in the EarlyFive roundup.

heraldFeb. 22, 2015
Meet the New Miami Herald CEO Roundtable
Miami Herald
I’m excited to be a member of the Herald’s 2015 CEO Roundtable! My colleagues on the panel and I will regularly be sharing our thoughts on business matters affecting the South Florida community.

wsjFeb. 25, 2015
Boosting Returns with Commercial Real Estate
Anna Prior, Wall Street Journal
Financial advisors are catching on to the fact that commercial real estate is a smart investment class that can produce steady income streams for clients. The WSJ here reports how one wealth management firm is allocating 10% of client investments into the types of deals you can access directly on EarlyShares.

incthumb250Feb. 27, 2015
How to Tell Your Employees That Change is Coming: 13 Tips
Young Entrepreneur Council,
13 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), including our very own Co-Founder and CSO Heather Schwarz-Lopes, weighed in on how to tell your team that the company is moving in a new direction.

youtubeApril 16, 2014
#Socialnomics (video)
Erik Qualman, YouTube
At the ICSC OAC Summit in Dallas yesterday, ICSC Chairman Robert Welanetz shared this terrific video, illustrating how social media and technology are changing our world. It’s a fun and powerful reminder that we are living in an age of unprecedented change and opportunity.

inmanFebruary 24, 2015
Could a portal merger change the face of real estate? A lesson from PayPal
Morgan Brown, Inman
eBay’s purchase of Paypal in 2002 led to the rise of ‘Web 2.0.’ Will the merger of Trulia and Zillow lead to ‘Real Estate 2.0’? We plan to make our mark on the market through our redevelopment of into a category-defining CRE investment marketplace… coming soon!

Using Retirement Funds to Invest in Real Estate: An On-Demand Webinar

In this EarlyShares-Advanta IRA webinar, Scott Maurer, Marketing & Education Director at Advanta IRA Services, introduces investors to self-directed IRAs and explains how to use them to invest in real estate.


Using Your Retirement Funds to Invest in Real Estate from EarlyShares on Vimeo.

The EarlyFive: Cold fronts & digital frontiers

Leading off this week, we’d like to offer our sincerest sympathies and “warmest” wishes to readers in the U.S. outside South Florida. (Miami’s doors are open for you to come escape the cold!)

A few quick EarlyShares updates:

To warm your spirit in these chilly temperatures, we shared a few lighthearted items in this week’s EarlyFive.

mash-mainFeb. 19, 2015
Crowdfunding may be the next digital frontier
Lindsay Rothfeld, Mashable
We’re not huge fans of the term “crowdfunding,” but we are huge fans of what it represents: democratized access to capital and enhanced exposure for new ideas and opportunities. In this piece, a VP at Indiegogo theorizes that crowdfunding will be as important and ubiquitous as social media in the not-so-distant future.


Forbes_Icon_400x400Feb. 12, 2015
5 Cities Poised to be the Next Silicon Valley for Real Estate
Nav Athwal, Forbes
Silicon Valley is the premier tech center of the U.S., but its real estate scene is oversaturated. Several emerging tech hubs exhibit characteristics similar to “the valley” before its boom: low housing costs, low unemployment rates, desirable tech salaries. Miami is one, making ours a prime market for real estate investments.


daily-mailFeb. 20, 2015
The coldest day ever! Temperature records broken across the country as Manhattan hits 1F 
The Daily Mail
Miami is in the midst of its own cold spell (“que frio” is a frequently overheard comment) but our chill has nothing on the rest of the country. As a former New Yorker, I loved seeing these incredible pictures of a frozen NYC.


ent-twitterFeb. 20, 2015
Domino’s Wants Customers to Tattle on Franchisees Who Haven’t Updated Their Signage
Kate Taylor, Entrepreneur
A new entry for the “Smart Marketing Ideas” file: Since they rebranded from Domino’s Pizza to just Domino’s in 2012, the chain is offering free pizza to customers who post pictures of mislabeled signs with the hashtag #logoinformants. Love the creativity!


icreativedNov. 2014
33 Painfully Accurate Graphs About Daily Life
We came across this great series of graphs, which illustrate some of the basic, painful truths of everyday life, and had to share. Hope they speak to you as much as they did to us!

Deal Roundup: Don’t miss our latest real estate offerings

Wikipedia,, Yelp… Don’t you love it when all of the information you need is available in one easily reviewable place? So do we.

That’s why we put together this quick roundup of all of our current commercial real estate deals. Consider it the TLDR (too long, didn’t read) summary of each. If an offering piques your interest, register for EarlyShares and request access to it to learn more.

colony-hills-1The Mobile, AL Multifamily Portfolio from Colony Hills Capital is a diversified portfolio of five high-performing multifamily communities in a fast-growing market.

  • Estimated Cash-on-Cash: 8.46% (beg. 5/16)
  • Estimated Investor IRR: 27.5%
  • Expected Hold Period: 3-5 years
  • Minimum Investment: $25,000
  • NOI has increased more than 24% since portfolio was acquired in May 2013

investcoThe Philadelphia Residential Fund from InvestCo is a residential real estate fund with properties that are 100% occupied at current market rents.

  • Estimated Cash-on-Cash: 12%
  • Estimated Investor IRR: 15.2%
  • Expected Hold Period: 5 years
  • Minimum Investment: $19,500
  • Significant opportunity for future rent growth and property appreciation

medinnMed Inn Suites & Residences from Omega Grid Development Corporation is a 44-unit extended stay hotel development in the Miami Health District.
  • Estimated Investor IRR: 21.2%
  • Profit Participation: 75% to Investors
  • Expected Hold Period: 4 years
  • Minimum Investment: $20,000
  • Deal sponsor has already invested $808,825 of $1.2MM committed

sun-pointSun Point from Saglo Development Corporation is a shopping plaza located next to an Amazon fulfillment center in an undeserved area of Ruskin, Florida.
  • Estimated Investor IRR: 19.4%
  • Estimated Cash-on-Cash: 11%
  • Expected Hold Period: 5 years
  • Minimum Investment: $25,000
  • Property was purchased for $7.25MM and appraised at $8.3MM

central-plazaCentral Plaza from Saglo Development Corporation is located at a high-traffic intersection in an area of St. Petersburg, Florida that is in the midst of a multi-year revitalization plan.
  • Estimated Investor IRR: 13.4%
  • Estimated Cash-on-Cash: 10%
  • Expected Hold Period: 10 years
  • Minimum Investment: $25,000
  • Property was purchased for $7.265MM ($99 per SF, below replacement value)

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