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AcreTrader Review

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1 Minute Review

AcreTrader is an investing platform that makes it easy to buy shares of U.S. farmland and earn passive income, starting in just minutes online. The platform features actual parcels of farmland where investors can choose offerings to participate in based on their investment preferences.

Farm types range from Midwest Row Crop Farms to California Almond Orchards, but you don’t need to be an agriculture expert to get started. They have a very thorough underwriting process to vet the offerings, and present information in an easy-to-understand offering page on their website where you can get started with as little as $10k and 10 minutes.

Best For

  • Investors looking for diversification away from stocks and other traditional assets
  • Real estate investors interested in new opportunities
  • Accredited investors with multi-year investment horizons

Pros

  • Real, uncorrelated asset class with a history of consistently strong returns
  • Highly qualified team with best-in-class underwriting practices
  • The platform has some of the lowest fees that you'll find in real estate investing

Cons

  • Investment minimums are typically $10,000+
  • Only open to accredited investors at this time
securely through Acre Trader's website

Buy land. They’re not making it anymore.

Mark Twain

Who is AcreTrader For?

AcreTrader is perfect for the investor who is looking to make steady returns while achieving a more diversified portfolio. Farmland has little or no correlation with stock and bond markets, which can make it a reliable investment during both good and bad economic times.

Passive income investors also like farmland investments due to the annual “dividend” typically paid out to investors. While the underlying land value can appreciate significantly while you own the land, a farmer is also paying rent each year which can be distributed to the investors.This rental income pays investors a steady “coupon” like a bond, but unlike a bond the farmland is a hard asset that has consistently appreciated over time. 

If you aren’t yet an accredited investor, AcreTrader still encourages you to sign up as they’re working on options to bring farmland investing to everyone.

Why Farmland?

United States farmland has historically outperformed most asset classes and other forms of real estate, with annual returns of almost 12% for nearly 30 years. Farmland has also been a highly uncorrelated asset class. The S&P 500 and Farmland have had a -0.03 correlation over the past three decades, which means the performance of one has virtually no impact on the other.  

With less and less land available and more mouths to feed, farmland is expected to be a strong performer for years to come.

AcreTrader’s Platform and Features

AcreTrader Offerings

AcreTrader typically has 1-3 offerings available at any given time that its team has deemed “investment grade.” On the offering page investors can review maps, photos,  documentation, and an overview of the projected financials to get a full understanding of the farm before investing. Participating in an offering can all be done online, and takes just about five to ten minutes. You can check out their Current Offerings page to see what is funding today!

From time to time, AcreTrader presents offerings from third parties to their investors, like an Almond Orchard. These offerings might be for specialty crops where it makes sense to partner with the farm operator rather than employing a tenant-landlord agreement. These deals will have unique attributes that will be outlined in detail in the website and offering documents.

Many investors are new to the asset class, so AcreTrader keeps a learning center with extensive information on anything that you would like to know about farmland or agriculture investing. This is constantly updated with new content, and some helpful places to start are linked below:

How to Invest in Farmland: Compares AcreTrader investing with historical farmland investing options.
How it Works: Learn how farmland investing works for you on AcreTrader. 
Historical Farmland Returns: Here you can view their published research and analysis on the performance of farmland.

Webinars

The AcreTrader team hosts regular webinars in order to educate investors about the asset class. Their library of recordings can be found here and you can view some of their most popular webinars below which cover an overview of farming, and how investment returns have compared to other asset classes.

AcreTrader Webinar – Farmland Investing in Today’s Economy
AcreTrader Webinar – Farming 101

Additional Functionality

AcreTrader has announced plans to open a secondary marketplace which will allow for further liquidity for investments in their offerings. The company is also exploring options for non-accredited investors to participate in as well.

A Highly Qualified Team

At the core of AcreTrader is a highly qualified team of multi-generational farmers and investment professionals. Their background combines decades of experience in financial services and agriculture alongside billions of dollars in revenues and investments. The management behind AcreTrader often co-invests in their offerings at the same terms as investors.

AcreTrader’s Due Diligence

AcreTrader reviews hundreds of farms every week to potentially list for investors, and boasts a 96-point due diligence checklist, so you have the confidence that every farm listed on their platform has been thoroughly evaluated by their team. Ultimately, they are looking for “good water, good soil, and a good financial profile.” There is a lot that goes into this evaluation, eliminating over 99% of the farms that they review. They have published a series on how they source and value land which begins here.

AcreTrader Fee Structure

AcreTrader receives a 0.75%-1.0% annual management fee to handle all of the management and administration of the farm. AcreTrader also has a real estate brokerage that represents the farm in the transaction and takes part in the real estate commission.

This is typically around 3.0% upon acquisition (paid by the seller), and 5% is reserved to be split with the buyer’s agent when the farm is sold upon exit. This allows AcreTrader to participate in commissions that would otherwise be generated by the transaction anyway while often charging below-standard commission rates. There is not a performance fee, or carry, charged by AcreTrader for farms under management. Their goal is to have low fees to provide the best outcome for investors. 

The fees are outlined in the Operating Agreement which can be reviewed before investing in any individual offering, and the fee schedule is clearly visible to investors in forecasted financials for each offering. To view the current offerings available on AcreTrader, click here.

Note: AcreTrader has some of the lowest fee structures to investors of any real estate crowdfunding platform Benzinga has reviewed.

Platform Security

AcreTrader uses 256-bit encryption, the highest level of encryption commercially available, to ensure that every transaction, financial or otherwise, is secure with the maximum level of protection.

AcreTrader’s Customer Support

AcreTrader has a comprehensive Learning Center and FAQ section of their website that investors find incredibly helpful. Articles that answer commonly asked questions can be easily located via search and a chat window with their team can help guide you in the right direction if you get stuck. 

You can call 888-958-1470 or email info@acretrader.com for help. There’s also an online submission form for requests located on AcreTrader’s Contact Us page.

Invest in Farmland Today with AcreTrader

The platform, featuring advanced software and scalable technology, is designed to allow full financial transparency with the ability to easily view historical data and investment activity. They offer some of the lowest management fees of any crowdfunding platform we have reviewed, and the ability to diversify farmland holdings nationwide. Start investing in farmland today at acretrader.com!