1 Minute Review
ArborCrowd is a real estate investing platform that uses a crowdfunding model to make commercial real estate investing more affordable and accessible. ArborCrowd’s team uses a strict underwriting process to qualify each offering before it makes its way onto the platform, which is easy to use and very easily mastered. Opening an account with ArborCrowd is also exceptionally easy, allowing you to begin investing in as little as a few minutes. Though the platform’s investments are only accessible to accredited investors and minimum investments are high, ArborCrowd is an excellent choice for the new real estate investor looking for top-of-the-line, hand-picked offerings.
- Transparent information
- Easy signups
- Thorough vetting process
- Thorough review process vets investments on your behalf
- Simple, easy signup process
- Transparent business plan and financial information available for each offering
- Limited number of offerings
- Offerings open to accredited investors
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Platform Quick Summary
|Tradable assets||Proprietary real estate investments|
|Platform||Easy-to-use and navigate; information on investment opportunities is easy to find and understand|
|Mobile app||No proprietary mobile app available; website is optimized for mobile.|
|Account minimum||Minimum investments for individuals start at $25,000|
|Available account types||Real estate investment|
What is ArborCrowd?
If you’ve ever wanted to invest in multi-family real estate, you probably already know that the financial barrier to entry can be too high for even high net-worth individuals to justify. Purchasing an apartment complex or other multi-family property can cost upwards of $50 million, depending on the location and number of units in the building.
ArborCrowd is a real estate investment platform that allows you to combine your available funds with other investors to purchase and subsequently exit multi-family real estate ventures over time. These multi-family investments are usually apartment complexes — some of ArborCrowd’s previous investments have been in Brooklyn, New York and Miami, Florida. These commercial endeavors were previously only available to institutional investors, high-net-worth individuals and family offices. Now, individuals can pool their money together with other investors to purchase a fraction of the investment offering.
ArborCrowd is the first real estate crowdfunding platform launched by a real estate institution. ArborCrowd is part of The Arbor Family of Companies, which includes Arbor Realty Trust. Arbor Realty Trust is a leading mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT), which is a special classification of commercial real estate companies that originates loans secured by real property. As a REIT, Arbor Realty Trust is required to return 90 percent of net earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends.
ArborCrowd operates in a different manner. Using the company’s connections as part Arbor Realty Trust, ArborCrowd identifies commercial real estate investments that have strong potential to increase in value. ArborCrowd then makes equity investments in the assets using its own capital before offering investment opportunities to the crowd through its platform. This guarantees that ArborCrowd has skin in the game. If the platform cannot secure enough investors to fully recoup its initial investment, the company remains invested in a portion of the deal.
ArborCrowd then holds onto the investment for a set number of years until the property increases in value, usually through the execution of the sponsor’s (the owner/developer of the property) business plan. Most investments offered in the past had target investment periods between 3 and 5 years. So far, 2 of ArborCrowd’s investments executed business plans and were sold ahead of schedule, and the platform successfully exited a deal through a partnership sale — all generating outsized returns. Typically, when the business plan is executed and the property realizes a predetermined value that produces a profit for investors, the sponsor sells the property and returns investors’ initial investment with a portion of the profits proportional to their investment.
ArborCrowd’s platform is exceptionally easy and well organized. Even if you’ve never invested in real estate, stocks or any other asset before, you’ll be able to quickly get started with ArborCrowd. Some of the features that make ArborCrowd’s platform easy to use include:
- Quick and simple signups: Signing up for an account with ArborCrowd is exceptionally easy. Just answer a few questions about your accreditation status, fill in some personal details and begin browsing investments. In our tests, it took about 5 minutes to open an account with ArborCrowd.
- Well-organized offerings: Browsing past and current projects on ArborCrowd’s platform is easy. Offerings are well organized, with plenty of photos and target estimates to compare and review. Tax documents and information on offerings are also exceptionally easy to find and well-organized by funding status and availability.
Well-organized and simple, ArborCrowd’s platform makes it easy to navigate current and past offerings, learn more about properties and explore the pros and cons of each investment opportunity. Click on an offering to view photos and learn more.
● Clear property explanations. When you click on an investment opportunity, you’ll be able to read more about why the opportunity was chosen by ArborCrowd’s team of real estate experts in plain, straightforward English. Even if you’ve never invested in the real estate sector before, you’ll be able to quickly weigh the pros and cons of each individual offering.
Overall, ArborCrowd’s investment platform is easy to navigate and a well-designed introduction for investors who have been overwhelmed by other real estate crowdfunding platforms.
One of the most impressive parts of ArborCrowd’s platform is the level of attention to detail and information offered for each investment. Some of the information you’ll find on each potential real estate investment includes:
- Location: Before it offers a property, ArborCrowd thoroughly researches the area and the local population growth, diversity of employment and several other factors to prove the property’s potential for profitability. In the executive summary of each offering, you can read more about local amenities, why this area, in particular, was chosen and real estate trends in the surrounding location.
- Photos: ArborCrowd’s investments are in residential multi-family apartment complexes. You can view photos of apartments, exteriors of the property and common areas residents have access to. This way, you don’t need to invest blindly — you can actually see images of the property you’re putting your money into.
- Market fundamentals: Have you ever wondered how real estate experts choose which areas to invest in? ArborCrowd is exceptionally transparent in its research and offers a section of “market fundamentals” that explain why this particular area was chosen. Employment rates, local housing market supply and demand and population growth are some of the factors you might find in each offering’s market fundamentals section.
ArborCrowd gives investors a comprehensive executive summary for each of the properties offered. View photos of the property you’re investing in, explore local amenities and learn more about the benefits and challenges of each project with just a few clicks.
- Financial analysis: Financial information is very easy to find on every project. You’ll be able to quickly view information on debt, equity, expenses, operating income and more for each project in its offering overview or private placement memorandum.
- Timeline and business plan: ArborCrowd clearly presents the business plan and deal timeline for each of its projects. If the property was purchased from a previous owner (which is usually the case in all but ground-up construction projects) the business plan addresses how the sponsor plans to generate profits for investors through operational and capital improvements intended to add value.
ArborCrowd also offers a “Learning Center” section of its website where you can read articles on real estate investing trends and press releases from ArborCrowd’s team. Some previous article topics include the effect of the novel COVID-19 virus on the real estate market, preparing for the next economic downturn and how to evaluate a real estate investment opportunity. The Learning Center is an excellent tool for both beginning investors and seasoned professionals to learn more about the platform’s potential investments.
ArborCrowd offers investors a few methods to get in contact with customer service.
- By phone: To contact ArborCrowd by phone, dial 844-365-1200. No specific customer service hours are mentioned on the company’s website.
- By email: To contact ArborCrowd by email, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- By internal message: If you’d like to send a message to ArborCrowd using the platform’s internal messaging system, you can fill out a contact request form.
Currently, no specific customer service method exists for those with hearing limitations. We’d love to see ArborCrowd expand its telephone communications to accommodate investors with these limitations in the future. However, ArborCrowd is very responsive to emails and can accommodate video calls upon request.
One of the most impressive features that ArborCrowd offers is its level of insight and selectivity in its investment offerings. ArborCrowd gains access to real estate opportunities that general investors do not otherwise see thanks to connections with the Arbor Family of Companies. ArborCrowd is very selective with its investment opportunities — the company screens upwards of 500 opportunities per year but only 9 have made it onto the platform to date. Only investments that meet ArborCrowd’s rigorous underwriting process are offered to investors and not before a thorough vetting of the fundamentals, timeline and business plan have been completed.
This method does come with drawbacks. Because of the level of research the team does before offering a real estate investment, ArborCrowd usually offers only 1 investment opportunity at a time. A limited equity raise amount means that an opportunity can fill up before you have a chance to invest. However, this method offers a level of safeguards and monetary protection that we believe outweigh the potential downsides.
Investing in real estate can be scary for the uninitiated. ArborCrowd doesn’t just make real estate investing more accessible with its crowdfunding model — it also makes it exceptionally easy. We love the platform’s simple signup process and easy-to-understand explanations on why each individual investment was chosen. We also love the strict research and transparent financial information available for each offering.
ArborCrowd isn’t a perfect real estate investing platform. Like some other crowdfunding investment platforms, ArborCrowd isn’t open to everyday individuals — you’ll need to already be an accredited investor and you must be willing to make a minimum investment of $25,000. While ArborCrowd’s selectiveness is definitely a plus when it comes to investment choice and investor protection, it can also mean that the platform quickly becomes overwhelmed with offers, resulting in a waitlist. In the future, we’d love to see ArborCrowd expand its customer service offerings to accommodate those with hearing limitations.
Overall, ArborCrowd is an excellent choice for both novice and seasoned real estate investors alike. With exclusive offerings, a comprehensive and functional platform and a diverse range of underwritten investment opportunities, we love ArborCrowd’s unique model.