Not too many commercial real estate companies can say they’ve been featured in TechCrunch, the techhiest of all tech Web sites. But Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Realty Mogul has, thanks to its unique idea of allowing investors to pool their money online to buy shares of pre-vetted commercial real estate investments. The founders of Realty Mogul call this “crowdfunding.”
And now the minds behind Realty Mogul are taking their company into the Midwest, expanding into Kansas and Tennessee by offering investors the chance to pool their money and put it into commercial properties in these two strong markets.
To date, Realty Mogul has closed on 18 properties for a total of more than $16.3 million. Investors have invested more than $3.3 million with Realty Mogul so far. That’s impressive considering that all this activity has taken place in the last five months.
“There is a lot of interest in what we are doing,” said Jilliene Helman, founder and chief executive officer of Realty Mogul. “People like the idea of being able to invest in a real, tangible asset like a commercial property. I prefer that to investing in paper-assets. Unlike with stocks and bonds, you have the ability to feel and see your investment. That adds value to it.”
Kansas and Tennessee — especially the Memphis market — made sense for Realty Mogul thanks to the lack of volatility there, Helman said.
“Even in the economic downturn, housing prices in those markets stayed relatively stable,” Helman said. “There are long-term growth opportunities in both of those markets.”
Now Realty Mogul has closed on commercial properties in four states: Tennessee, Kansas, California and Washington. In Kansas, Realty Mogul closed on a 72-unit apartment building in Ogden on the outskirts of the Fort Riley army base.
Realty Mogul is now looking at other states to enter, most notably Texas.
For Helman, who previously worked in the wealth-management industry, the potential for growth doesn’t end with Lone Star state, either. When she looks to the future, she sees a steady stream of new investors working with Realty Mogul to buy shares of high-performing commercial properties.
“There are so many benefits to investing in a group,” Helman said. “You gain access to investments that you otherwise would not have access to. You also get passive investments. You don’t have to actively manage that investment. You don’t have the hassle of clogged toilets, trash pickup or maintenance. It gives investors the chance to invest in commercial property while avoiding the hassle of worrying about property maintenance.”
Source: Dan Rafter – REJournals.com