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Crowdstreet Review 2023: How to Invest in Real Estate Online

Discover how CrowdStreet stacks up in the online real estate investing world.
Lauren Bedford - Finance Writer
Written by

Lauren Bedford

Lauren Bedford - Finance Writer
Written by
Lauren Bedford
Finance Writer

Lauren is a published content writer who is passionate about helping and informing others through her content. In the last 5 years, Lauren has written about a range of subjects, including business, technology and finance.

Learn more about our editorial process

Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert
Reviewed by

Derek Sall

Verified by an expert
Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert
Reviewed by
Derek Sall
Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

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Halina Grześkiewicz - Finance Writer
Fact-checking

Halina Grześkiewicz

Halina Grześkiewicz - Finance Writer
Fact-checking
Halina Grześkiewicz
Finance Writer

Content writer with nearly 5 years of experience. Halina has written about several topics, including human resources, technology, Forex, cryptocurrencies, and personal finance.

Learn more about our editorial process

May, 13 2023
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If you’re interested in commercial real estate investing, chances are you’ve heard of CrowdStreet. With $4 billion invested, over 750 deals, and an eyebrow-raising 19.2% return rate, the platform certainly stands out from the crowd. 

Why Trust Us
Advertiser Disclosure

But is CrowdStreet the real deal?

Whether you’re looking to dip your toes into commercial real estate or you’re a seasoned investor looking for new opportunities, find out if Crowdstreet is right for you. 

This article will tell you: 

  • The ins and outs of CrowdStreet real estate. 
  • How to invest in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. 
  • What you need to know to get started in online real estate investing. 
  • Crowdstreet returns, fees, and security features. 
  • How to use Crowdstreet’s online real estate platform. 
  • How other real estate platforms stack up. 

Discover more investment opportunities: 

CrowdStreet Review: Key Features 

Account Basics

Description

Fees

1% transaction fee for investors selling their shares.

1–2% annual management fee.

Investment amount 

Crowdstreet minimum investment: $25,000 

Hold period 

Usually 3–5 years, with some deals going up to ten years. 

Returns

Realized Internal Rate of Return (IRR): 19.2%



Real estate 

Real estate opportunities cover multifamily, office, industrial, real estate, and hospitality. 

Sponsors go through a rigorous process to confirm eligibility. 

Website 

Easy-to-use Marketplace to browse and filter different real estate assets.

Security 

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption
  • Firewalls and intrusion detection systems
  • Regular security audits

Customer service 

A contact form is available on their website. 

Phone: 888-432-7693 

Customer reviews 

Trustpilot: 3.4 out of 101 reviews 

What Is CrowdStreet?

CrowdStreet is an award-winning online commercial real estate investment platform that connects investors with real estate opportunities across the US. 

Tore Steen and Darren Powderly founded the company in 2013 in Portland, Oregon. Initially, CrowdStreet only offered crowdfunding opportunities for real estate investments. 

Later they spread their wings to include private placements, institutional-grade investments, and advisory services.

In 2018, the company also launched its own marketplace, where investors can buy and sell shares in commercial real estate assets—and if they’re eager to learn, they can wise up with CrowdStreet’s educational resources, including webinars, podcasts, and whitepapers.

The company has some impressive numbers to back it up: 

  • Since 2014, CrowdStreet investors have successfully funded 732 deals with 151 realized (sold) investments. 
  • In 2022, the company had a post-money valuation of $100M–$500M
  • CrowdStreet has raised around $67.9M in funding over six rounds in total. 
  • By October 2022, thousands of CrowdStreet users had invested over $3.8 billion in over 709 projects.
  • CrowdStreet has ten investors, including TIAA and Rally Ventures. 

Looks good on paper—but isn’t it too good to be true? 

Here’s a quick overview of CrowdStreet’s pros and cons: 

Pros

  • All real estate opportunities go through extensive research and analysis before you can invest.
  • Wide selection of real estate investments and asset classes to choose from.
  • The choice to go solo or receive more help and customization from experts.

Cons

  • High minimum investment of $25,000—large investments always carry risk.
  • Real estate investments are illiquid, with an average hold time of 3–5 years, so you could be waiting a while to see returns.
  • Only accredited investors can invest using Crowdstreet.

How Does CrowdStreet Work? 

Accredited investors sign up for a free account on the CrowdStreet platform to get started. After registering, you can take a look at their selection of commercial real estate investments

Sponsors place their commercial real estate projects that are in development on the platform to raise capital. CrowdStreet charges sponsors for listing them and investors can put their money into the projects they want in their portfolios.

And no, this isn’t a free-for-all. CrowdStreet puts every investment opportunity under the microscope. You can view all their findings, alongside other handy details such as property photos and market reports on the platform. 

Then you’re ready to get stuck in and invest directly in the properties. 

Of course, you’ll need a hefty minimum of at least $25,000 to invest. But once you splurge, you can track your portfolio with regular updates on your investment performance. 

For those with commitment issues, CrowdStreet also offers another marketplace where you can buy and sell shares in previously funded investments. This gives you more liquidity and the ability to adjust your portfolios. 

Want to know how much your investment could turn into over time? Use our free investment calculator.

How To Set up an Account on CrowdStreet 

If you’re ready to dive in, here’s how to open an account on CrowdStreet:

  1. Go to the CrowdStreet website, and click the “Join CrowdStreet” button in the top right corner.
  2. Provide your personal information, including your full name, date of birth, and home address.
  3. Enter your email address and password, then click “Next.”
  4. Choose whether you want to open an individual or joint account, and provide the necessary information for that type of account.
  5. Complete the financial suitability questionnaire about your investment experience and risk tolerance.
  6. Review and agree to the terms of service, disclosures, and privacy policy.
  7. Fund your account by linking your bank account and transferring funds to your CrowdStreet account.

Who can use the platform? 

You can only use the platform if you’re part of the exclusive “accredited investors” circle. And if you’re not part of the club, you’ll need to flash the cash to get in. 

To become an accredited investor, you’ll need: 

  • Net worth over $1 million, excluding the primary residence (individually or with spouse or partner). 
  • Income over $200,000 (or $300,000 for joint income) for the past two years and expect to earn the same or more in the current year.

If you achieve accredited investor status, you can use the platform to diversify your portfolio and get potentially higher returns compared to traditional investments.

How To Invest With CrowdStreet?

CrowdStreet offers three different investment approaches on its platform. 

You can choose to get some support or to go solo on your real estate investment journey. 

Here’s a summary of the investment options available: 

Individual deals 

Diversified funds 

Tailored portfolio 

Get guaranteed quality control on every investment deal. 

Use CrowdStreet REIT to diversify your commercial real estate investment portfolio. 

Set up a Private Managed Account service and customize your portfolio to suit your needs and goals. 

Have access to all the information on your deals and get direct communication with sponsors. 

Use the platform to avoid hours of research in finding individual investments that meet your criteria.

Communicate with a team of experts and get advice on financial planning and commercial real estate. 

Use the Portfolio Center to watch over your investments. 

Get access to 20 to 25 properties at the same time. 

Get help and support for building your real estate portfolio. 

Find out how to take a more hands-on approach and climb the rental property ladder

Is The CrowdStreet Real Estate Investment Platform Right For You? 

If you’re still on the white picket fence, let’s explore some of the platform’s key features to see if it matches your investment goals and preferences— 

CrowdStreet Fees 

Like many investment platforms, you have to splurge before you can start earning money. 

And although CrowdStreet won’t charge you a penny for registering, you’ll have to pony up the dough to make an investment.

Minimum investments start at $25,000, with some going up to $100,000. The sponsor sets the minimum investment, which can vary depending on the offering. 

You’ll also get charged an annual management fee of 1–2% (and 0.25% to 2.5% if you opt for a tailored portfolio). 

There are also fees for sponsors: 

  • CrowdStreet charges sponsors (the real estate companies raising capital on the platform) an upfront fee of 2% of the total capital raised through the offering.
  • Sponsors are also charged an annual asset management fee—typically ranging from 0.5% to 2% of the total equity investment in the asset.

CrowdStreet Returns 

Crowdstreet boasts a 19.2% realized Internal Rate of Return (IRR), according to their site. 

What’s an IRR exactly? 

The IRR calculates the profitability of an investment. 

It represents the expected annual rate of return on an investment over a certain time period. 

All you need to know is that a higher IRR means a more profitable investment opportunity.

Keep in mind that Crowdstreet doesn’t guarantee returns or investment performance, and results can depend on the economy, market conditions, and the success of the underlying investment. 

Also, watch out for deals that offer higher returns—as they can also come with higher risks. 

CrowdStreet Real Estate 

CrowdStreet offers plenty of real estate investment opportunities across different property types and markets. 

Here’s a summary of the real estate you can find:

  • Multifamily: These types of properties are popular with commercial real estate investors due to their stable income streams and long-term growth potential.
  • Office: Office buildings and coworking spaces are often located in urban areas, and can provide high yields for investors.
  • Industrial: This includes warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities, which have recently increased in demand due to the growth of e-commerce and logistics.
  • Retail: Retail properties have faced some challenges in recent years as e-commerce grows, but well-managed properties in good locations can still provide strong returns.
  • Hospitality: Hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic—but they can still offer attractive returns for investors in the right market with the right investment strategy.

To stop any old Tom, Dick, or Harry from posting their properties on the platform, CrowdStreet’s Capital Market team does their research before placing real estate onto the Marketplace. 

CrowdStreet Sponsors

Sponsors go through a three-round process to make sure everything is legit. 

For peace of mind, let’s dive into the eligibility requirements for sponsors and their assets:

Round

Eligibility Requirements

Round 1

  • Background check on the firm and principals. 
  • Confirm the sponsor’s track record and previous assets. 
  • Categorize sponsors into Emerging, Seasoned, Tenured, and Enterprise. 

Round 2

Crowdstreet’s team asks four questions: 

  • Is the sponsor capable of the project?
  • Do the materials show professionalism and stick to industry standards?
  • Are the deal assumptions supported by market data?
  • Does the project match CrowdStreet investor preferences? 

Round 3

  • Review legal documents and check for any discrepancies.
  • If they find any issues, CrowdStreet gives feedback to the sponsor so they can adjust to match the platform’s standards. 

CrowdStreet Website & Usability 

One of the key features on the website is the Marketplace—the place to be when browsing real estate opportunities. 

The Marketplace has a range of filters divided into Individual Deals, Funds & Vehicles, and Tailored Portfolios. From there, you can filter by: 

  • Deal Terms: Minimum investment, minimum hold period, loan-to-cost, and distribution period. 
  • Offerings: Investment structure, investment profile, property type, and region.
  • Eligibility: Investor accreditation, 1031 exchange, opportunity zone, SD-IRA eligible.
  • Sponsors: CrowdStreet, sponsor experience, sponsor co-investment, and repeat. 

When you’ve found your filtered matches, you can find everything you need to know—such as location, description, minimum investments, and images. 

The website also includes:

  • Investment Opportunities: You have access to a range of commercial real estate investment opportunities, including equity investments, debt investments, and preferred equity.
  • Investor Relations: CrowdStreet provides investor relations support for each real estate investment opportunity, including regular reporting and communication from the sponsor and the CrowdStreet team.
  • Portfolio Management: You can monitor and manage your portfolio of investments, including viewing investment performance, making additional investments, and requesting distributions.
  • Investor Education: CrowdStreet provides educational resources to help you learn about commercial real estate investing, including articles, webinars, podcasts, and whitepapers.

Crowdstreet Security

With minimum investments of $25,000, you better be certain that CrowdStreet is taking good care of your cash. And you’d be right.

CrowdStreet uses a range of security features to protect its platform and user data, including:

  1. Two-factor authentication: Requires users to provide a second form of identification, such as a code sent to their phone, to access their account.
  2. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption: Makes sure all data sent between users and CrowdStreet is encrypted and protected.
  3. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems: Protects against unauthorized access and hacking attempts.
  4. Regular security audits: Pinpoints potential vulnerabilities.
  5. Compliance with industry regulations: Sticks to the SEC’s cybersecurity guidelines. 

CrowdStreet Customer Service

Need a good rant? If you head toward the Contact page of the CrowdStreet website, you’ll find a form where you can ask any questions or request support. 

There’s also a ChatBot available at certain time that will pop up when you visit their website. 

It gets a little trickier if you want to talk to an actual human, because you won’t find a contact number on their site. Lucky for you, we did the legwork, and tracked it down for you—

Here’s CrowdStreet’s customer support number:

  • 888-432-7693 (Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time)

But be warned—CrowdStreet has gotten negative reviews on Trustpilot about the lack of both customer service and responses when investments take a turn for the worse. 

The company also has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is partly because they've had trouble keeping up with communication when investors have concerns.

Other Online Real Estate Investment Platforms

When it comes to investing, there’s no judgment for playing the field—in fact, we encourage it. 

Here’s a comparison of some of the top dogs in the online real estate investment space: 

 

CrowdStreet 

Fundrise 

YieldStreet

Fees

1% transaction fee for investors selling their shares

 1–2% annual management fee

Real estate funds have an annual 0.85% flat management fee 


0.15% advisory fee 

0% to 2.5% management fee


Flat annual fee from $100–$150 in the first year, and $30–$70 every following year

Minimum investment 

$25,000

$10

$5,000

Returns (IRR)

19.2% 

5.29% 

9.7%

Hold period

3–5 years, with some deals going up to 10 years 

Recommended 5 years

3 months–6 years

Trustpilot reviews 

3.4 out of 101 reviews 

2.1 out of 343 reviews 

2.1 out of 10 reviews 

When comparing CrowdStreet to other platforms, real estate specialist and founder of Real Estate Verge Anastasia Gaido said, “CrowdStreet’s fees are competitive compared to other platforms, but what sets it apart is its commitment to providing above-average returns. Their user-friendly interface and thorough due diligence process also makes it a preferred option for both inexperienced and experienced investors.

So let’s dig a little deeper to see if other real estate investing platforms could be a better match— 

CrowdStreet vs. Fundrise

If you’re a newbie or you just like to keep things simple, Fundrise might be more up your street. 

The minimum investment is only $500 for Fundrise IPO—and you can start at as little as $10 for the Innovation Fund

They also offer plenty of investment plans, including eREITs and eFunds, that are diversified across a range of real estate properties and regions.

CrowdStreet is more geared towards accredited investors with more experience under their belt. Their approach is more hands-on than Fundrise, as you can directly invest in property online and interact with the sponsors of each deal.

In terms of returns, CrowdStreet is winning the race with a 19.2% IRR. Fundrise is lagging behind with 5.29%.

On the plus side, Fundrise is very transparent about their results and publish all their worst and best returns each quarter. 

CrowdStreet vs. Yieldstreet

In the battle of the streets, YieldStreet appeals to those looking for more alternative real estate opportunities with less capital to get started than its upmarket competitor. 

As well as offering commercial real estate investments, Yieldstreet gives you access to alternative investments, such as litigation finance, art finance, and marine finance. 

So if the standard real estate offerings on CrowdStreet don’t tickle your fancy, you know where to go. 

While Crowdstreet’s minimum investment is often $25,000, it typically ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 for YieldStreet.

And there are extra fees—with YieldStreet charging a 0% to 2.5% management fee, and CrowdStreet taking fees from both investors and sponsors. 

Cadre vs. Crowdstreet

If your pockets are well-lined, Cadre could be the one for you.

Its minimum investments typically range from $50,000 to $100,000 (CrowdStreet usually starts at a lower $25,000).

Both platforms are only available to accredited investors, but Cadre might appeal to those with more experience—it offers a wider range of investment options, including commercial real estate, multifamily properties, and funds (CrowdStreet mostly focuses on commercial real estate).

Moving onto the dreaded fees, Cadre charges a 1% annual asset management fee and a 1% transaction fee (CrowdStreet charges a 1% transaction fee for investors and extra fees for sponsors). 

Fun fact: Cadre came under fire in the past when Jared Kushner (Donald Trump’s son-in-law) didn’t reveal his investment in the three-year-old company after becoming a senior adviser to Trump.

CrowdStreet vs. Realty Mogul

Not accredited? No problem— 

Realty Mogul is free for both accredited and nonaccredited investors

Nonaccredited investors can get their hands on two public, non traded REITs, while accredited investors have access to private placement investments. 

And you have plenty of choices with Realty Mogul—they offer a range of online investment opportunities, including commercial properties, multifamily properties, and single-family rentals. 

While CrowdStreet asks for a minimum investment of $25,000, Reality Mogul is much more affordable (with a minimum typically ranging from $5,000 to $10,000). 

Realty Mogul also makes it much easier to get support, with the phone number and email address easily accessible on their website (take notes CrowdStreet).

Key Takeaways

  • CrowdStreet is a great pick for accredited investors who know what they’re doing in the world of commercial real estate. 
  • The key benefits of using CrowdStreet include its wide range of commercial real estate investments, alongside legitimate sponsors who you can contact directly. 
  • Contacting customer service could prove more difficult—their contact information is hard to track down, and they’ve received complaints about their lack of support. 
  • Always do your research before making any investment decision—make sure the minimum investment amounts and fees suit your budget, and weigh up all the risks before putting any money down.

FAQ

Is CrowdStreet legit?

Yes, CrowdStreet is a legitimate company that runs an online real estate investment platform. The organization is also registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a broker-dealer and funding portal.

The platform has received positive reviews from many users and has been featured in reputable media outlets such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. 

However, as with any investment opportunity, never skimp on doing your research and consider the risks before investing.

Check out more money-making opportunities with the top investment apps

Can you make money with crowd investing?

Yes, you can make money with crowd investing. But like with any investment opportunity, there are also risks involved with no guarantee of profit. 

Crowd investing platforms like CrowdStreet let investors pool their money together to invest in real estate projects that they might not have been able to access on their own.

By investing in a diversified portfolio of real estate assets, you can earn returns from rental income and property appreciation. But there are also potential downsides, such as illiquidity, lack of control, and the possibility of losing some invested capital. 

Want a more hands-on approach? Find out how much it costs to buy your own property

What is the average return on CrowdStreet?

Crowdstreet has a 19.2% realized Internal Rate of Return (IRR), according to their site. 

However, this figure is just an average and doesn’t guarantee future returns. Each offering has its own unique risks and you should carefully review all disclosures before making any investment decisions.

Real estate investments online usually aim to generate returns through rent and property appreciation. The actual returns can vary depending on the investment, location, and market conditions. But some real estate platforms have reported average annual returns of 8–12% for their investors.

Try out our free investment calculator.

How much money do you need for CrowdStreet?

The minimum investment amount on CrowdStreet typically ranges from $25,000 to $50,000, but this varies depending on the sponsor and property type. 

Keep in mind that investing in real estate online involves risks and potential losses, so it’s important to carefully consider your financial situation and investment goals before making committing. 

Learn how to use a 200k investment to make $1 million

How does real estate crowdfunding work?

Crowdfunded real estate involves investing in real estate projects through online platforms. The process involves pooling funds from multiple investors to finance a real estate project. 

The platform serves as a middleman for crowdfunding real estate investing, connecting developers and sponsors with investors. Developers and sponsors can create a project on the platform, provide details about the property, and set a fundraising goal. 

Investors typically invest a smaller amount of money than traditional real estate investing would require. Once the project is funded, investors receive a proportional ownership stake in the property. They can earn returns through rental income or by selling their ownership stake in the property. 

Is it safe to invest with CrowdStreet?

CrowdStreet takes various measures to make sure your funds are kept safe, such as using secure encryption technology for online transactions. 

But it’s worth considering that CrowdStreet mainly offers investments in commercial real estate, which can be affected by market fluctuations and other risks. So make sure you have a thorough understanding of the investment before making any decisions.

And like any investment, there’s always a chance of loss—so always think about the risks and do your own due diligence before investing. 

Is Fundrise or CrowdStreet better?

Fundrise is a good option for beginners or those who prefer simplicity, with a minimum investment of $500 for the IPO and as little as $10 for the Innovation Fund. They offer a range of investment plans, with the option for quarterly liquidity. 

CrowdStreet is more geared towards experienced, accredited investors who prefer a hands-on approach to investing. They offer direct investment in properties and interaction with sponsors. 

While CrowdStreet has a higher IRR of 19.2%, according to their site, Fundrise is transparent about its results and publishes all returns each quarter, with current average returns of 5.29%. 

Sources

See all

CrowdStreet Inc | Better Business Bureau® Profile. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.bbb.org/

Client Returns. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from https://fundrise.com/client-returns

CrowdStreet—Funding, Financials, Valuation & Investors. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/crowdstreet/company_financials

Marketplace Performance, CrowdStreet Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from https://www.crowdstreet.com/marketplace-performance

SEC.gov | Accredited Investor. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.sec.gov/education/capitalraising/building-blocks/accredited-investor

The Real Estate Start-Up Jared Kushner Co-Founded Is Now Worth $800 Million | Vanity Fair. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/the-real-estate-start-up-jared-kushner-co-founded-is-now-worth-800-million

Editorial team

Meet the team
Lauren Bedford - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Lauren is a published content writer who is passionate about helping and informing others through her content. In the last 5 years, Lauren has written about a range of subjects, including business, technology and finance.

Kacper Kozicki - Editor

Editor

Editor, copywriter, and multilingual translator with expertise in producing tailored content for global online brands. When not editing articles for LifeAndMyFinances.com, he enjoys rummaging through paper dictionaries, walking in nature, and making travel plans.

Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert

Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

Halina Grześkiewicz - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Halina Grześkiewicz

Content writer with nearly 5 years of experience. Halina has written about several topics, including human resources, technology, Forex, cryptocurrencies, and personal finance.

Save time and money with LifeAndMyFinances

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