Before last year, Ed Medley had
never invested in commercial real estate. Now, he's a part-owner of shopping
malls, mobile-home parks and apartment buildings from Los Angeles to Tennessee.
Dr. Medley's springboard into
real-estate investing was supplied by a process known as crowdfunding—the sale
of shares in a venture, in this case real-estate projects, to hundreds or even
thousands of individual investors. Dr. Medley, a consulting engineer and
geologist in San Mateo, Calif., has invested in 15 properties, with a minimum
of $5,000 in each.
"Being able to
invest relatively small amounts of money into different real-estate ventures
was appealing" as a way of limiting risk, he says.
real-estate investors feel the same way, with new websites springing up that
allow individuals to buy stakes in everything from self-storage facilities to
"The interest is
huge," says Scott Whaley, president of the National Real Estate Investors
Association in Cincinnati. "There's massive demand, both from
entrepreneurs who want to get access to capital, and from people who want to
for the original article in the Wall Street Journal.