Real estate is traditionally one of the most sought-after investments. However, it had been a preserve for seasoned investors with a lot of capital. Today, you can build a real estate portfolio on an online platform regardless of your background or origin. All it takes is finding a great platform to cater to your real estate investment needs. Here are benchmarks to help you select the ideal real estate platform online to kick start your journey to become a real estate investor.
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Experienced And Professional Team
A great investment platform relies on the strength of its team. Successful real estate investment depends on having a team with appropriate knowledge of real estate fundamentals, finance, underwriting, and survival strategy. A real estate platform online connects real estate owners with investors. So, due diligence is still necessary just like when evaluating a brick and mortar real estate company. The ideal platform should have an expert team with a strict vetting procedure.
Equally important is to understand the company’s evaluation of financial projections for deals and factors influencing investment returns like the real estate value, business strategy of operator, and market quality. You have to be sure that the investment platform ensures all deals meet quality standards before availability. The leadership team behind the platform should have experience and expertise in related fields including underwriting, real estate, business strategy, and finance.
The best online real estate investment platform should have an impressive portfolio. You have to work with a team that has considerable real estate transaction experience in the niche you’re interested in. Working with a team that has adequate ‘skin in the game’ increases your chances of becoming a successful real estate investor. The investment platform should have safety guidelines in place to protect potential investors from downside risks such as potential loss of principal and illiquidity.
Performance of Underwriting Team
Ensure to look for a real estate investment platform online with a standard procedure for vetting deals. The team should not just work with numbers without verification. So, before you invest in such a company, check their vetting criteria to understand how the underwriting team does its work. All opportunities on the platform need vetting before they are made available to potential investors.
Some of the vetting aspects include:
- Underwriting process for deals
- Tallying of projected expenses with historical expenses
- Rental assumption rate backed by market research
- Assumptions backed by data from trusted third-party sources
- Comparison of exit cap with going-in and market cap rate
Client Service Team
Another benchmark when selecting a real estate investment platform online is to check their service team. The ideal platform should have a knowledgeable customer service team to assist customers. This is very important since the service team is everyone’s first point of contact with the platform. So, any poor service gives a negative impression and is likely to make you look for a platform with better service.
The best online platform for real estate investment should try to help novice investors understand the nuances of the industry. Some of the benefits of a real estate mentorship program include:
- Understanding property analysis
- Acquiring knowledge regarding property development
- Learning how to think like a property owner
- Understanding investing and financing construction projects
Although the mentorship program comes at a cost, it is worth the investment given the knowledge you are likely to acquire for a lifetime career in real estate investment.
Extra Services Offered
Reputable real estate platforms online offer various services. So, ensure to check whether a platform that catches your fancy has extra services that you need. A platform with a legal team to help clients handle the processing of EB5 and E2 visas is a wonderful choice. The Employment-Based Fifth (EB5) visa offers eligible migrant investors a chance to become permanent residents like Green Card holders. A platform offering assistance to acquire an EB5 visa makes it easy for you to find the appropriate commercial investment you can invest in to qualify.
The E2 treaty visa allows someone to enter and work in the US after investing. Depending on your country of origin, this visa is valid from three months to five years with a chance for indefinite extension. If you need this visa, find a platform to assist you during the application process to ensure that you meet the five requirements required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Getting assistance from an all-service platform saves time and money.
An online platform is a way to go when looking forward to making your first investment in real estate. Look for a company that offers a mentorship program for novices to understand the ins and outs of the industry. When from another country, look for a platform that offers assistance during EB5 or E2 visa applications.
Author: Eernesto Felder