Streitwise is a unique online real estate investing platform that was designed to give investors, both big and small, an equal opportunity to invest in real estate. At its core, Streitwise is a real estate investment trust, but it’s one of the few online real estate investing platforms that is available to non-accredited investors.
- Investors looking to diversify
- Investors with less than $200k in annual income
- Passive traders
- Consistent quarterly dividends
- Low, transparent fees
- Low investment minimum
- Convenient and easy to use
- Limited offerings
Streitwise Ratings at a Glance
Streitwise is an innovative online real estate investment platform designed to thaw the world of real estate investing to people who have traditionally been frozen out. Specifically, Streitwise differs from most of its competitors in that it is open both to non-accredited investors and investors who are not based in the United States.
Streitwise offerings are also structured so that it’s possible for investors with self-directed individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to buy shares. Even 401(k) rollovers are possible with some Streitwise offerings. Trust funds and corporations can also invest.
The Streitwise business model of setting up a platform that allows non-accredited investors to buy into a high-performing REIT sounds almost too good to be true. That’s why Benzinga put the site through its paces to see if it’s the right platform for you.
How Does Streitwise Work?
Streitwise is a real estate investment trust (REIT). That means it buys, manages and sells commercial and/or multi-family real estate and raises money from investors to fund those deals. What this means for investors is a 2-pronged approach to growing wealth. Streitwise investors receive a quarterly dividend from the rental income generated by the properties in the portfolio, and they get a portion of any capital gains generated when the REIT sells an asset.
Streitwise is run by a group of savvy real estate professionals who use a combination of their experience and analytics to identify commercial properties with unrealized upside. Once these properties are added to the Streitwise portfolio, it maximizes revenues through innovative management and strategic improvements. As of this writing, the majority of Streitwise’s portfolio is located in the western and mid-western regions of the United States.
The biggest difference between Streitwise and most other online investment platforms (or REITs of any kind) is that Streitwise is open to non-accredited investors. Although Streitwise doesn’t require investor accreditation, it does have a qualification process that investors must go through before being eligible to invest. With that said, Streitwise’s flexibility in accepting investors also extends well past accepting non-accredited investors.
In some cases, it’s possible to buy shares in Streitwise for as little as $5,000, which is much lower than the $25,000 required by most of Streitwise’s online competitors. Another major difference between Streitwise and its competitors is that it has offerings available to non-U.S. residents (subject to qualification and tax laws).
Streitwise shareholders pay a 2% annual fee for third-party management to oversee the investments. However, Streitwise pays net dividends with these fees taken out, which means what you get is what you see on your dividend statement. All things considered, this simple, up-front fee structure deserves solid 4 stars.
Streitwise is incredibly easy to use. The splash page has a link to its current offering, which is complete with video presentation and detailed circular that breaks down the specifics of the deal. This information can be viewed without investing or even signing up with Streitwise, which is a marked contrast to many other platforms.
If investors like what they see, they click on the “Start Investing” tab at the top of the webpage, where they can pledge to buy however many shares they choose. The current offering is available with a minimum 500-share purchase at $10.13 per share. That means Streitwise investors can buy into income-generating real estate for less than a down payment on a new car. All in all, it couldn’t get any easier to use Streitwise.
No online real estate investment platform is complete without a solid investor education section. Extra information matters when it comes to an operation like Streitwise that caters to non-accredited investors, many of whom may not be as investment savvy as the average accredited investor. Streitwise goes above and beyond the call of duty in this regard.
Perhaps the best part of Streitwise’s investor education efforts is its “Articles” section, which investors can easily access by clicking on the icon under the “About” tab at the top of the landing page. The article section is broken down into the following sections:
- Company news
- Advanced Investing
The company news tab links investors to an informative quarterly performance review and market analysis from Streitwise’s CEO. However, the “Education” area is clearly the heart of the section. It’s filled with incredibly informative articles covering almost all aspects of real estate investing.
Without a doubt, one of the first places investors should jump to is an article titled “REITs: A History of Real Estate Investment Trusts,” which gives investors a primer on how REITs came to be and why they’re such good investments (e.g., tax breaks, diversification, passive income). Other topics covered include “REIT Tax Advantages,” “What is a Cap Rate” and “Investing as an IRA.” The last one is important because Streitwise allows investor contributions from self-directed IRAs.
Streitwise also has a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, which does a great job of preemptively answering almost every question potential investors could have about the platform. It’s obvious that a lot of thought has gone into this section because the topics covered are incredibly diverse. A partial list of questions answered includes the following:
- How do I invest as a company, trust or retirement account?
- What is the expected dividend yield?
- Why would I invest in office property right now?
- How has performance been through Covid-19?
The size of the FAQ section and the on-point nature of the questions asked make it very clear that it’s more than an afterthought. It’s obvious that both the questions and the answers on Streitwise’s FAQ page are carefully chosen from actual investor inquiries. All of this speaks to the platform’s commitment to investor knowledge.
Lastly, the fact that the company includes an offering circular that investors can review before spending a dime is a great asset. There is perhaps nothing better than giving a potential investor a full picture of an offering. That circular combines with the FAQ and Articles sections to give Streitwise an incredibly robust and comprehensive customer education section. While there are no videos or zoom lectures, the thoroughness of the information included earns Streitwise a 4-star rating for this section.
As of the time of this writing, Streitwise only has 1 offering, an office complex outside of St. Louis that’s combined with a similar facility in Carmel, Indiana. Both are legitimate Class A office properties, with high-profile tenants such as Wells Fargo (NSE: WFC), Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA) and New Balance signed to long term leases. Overall, it’s a solid offering with a targeted dividend of 8% to9%. Adding that kind of projected dividend to a buy-in that tips the scales at just over $5,000 makes it even more appealing.
Now to be certain, some platforms have more offerings than Streitwise. However, most of those offerings would require investor accreditation, meaning many Streitwise investors would be frozen out of them anyway. The fact that non-accredited investors and investors based outside of the U.S. can participate in Streitwise offerings for significantly less than the $25,000 minimums common on competing platforms puts Streitwise in a class by itself. The grade here is a solid 4 stars.
Investor education and slick websites are fine; however, when it comes to any online platform, investor returns are where the rubber meets the road. Streitwise shines here. It has an average annual return of 9.4% since 2017. Although past performance doesn’t guarantee future success, that kind of solid track record speaks volumes about the quality of its management and ability to get the most out of undervalued assets in emerging markets.
First of all, Streitwise deserves kudos for even offering a mobile app, something that few competing platforms have. It’s a smooth-running app that gives investors almost the full experience of the desktop platform. They can view their account, add money and access reports, all from a mobile phone. Perhaps the only knock on Streitwise here is that the app is only available on Iphones. So far, there is no mobile app option for Android users.
Online real estate investing platforms have revolutionized the way people invest. However, most still require investor accreditation before eligibility. Add that to the high minimum buy-ins and you end up with many investors still being effectively locked out, especially when it comes to REITs. The beauty of Streitwise is that they shift that paradigm entirely.
Thanks to Streitwise, a whole new class of investors can buy into the kind of high-performing REITs they have always wanted to be a part of. It’s backed up by carefully curated offerings, an attractive website and a solid mobile app. It comes together to make Streitwise a strong player in the online real estate investment platform category. Overall, this platform fully deserves a 4.5-star rating.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum investment for Streitwise?
Can you really make money from REITs?
Yes, it is possible to make money from Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs are investment vehicles that allow individuals to invest in real estate properties without directly owning them. They generate income through rental payments, property appreciation, and dividends.
What is the historical dividend of streitwise?
According to their website “from 2017 to 2023, Streitwise has generated a dividend return through 25 quarters, with a 2022 average dividend of 7.2%.”