Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet: Real Estate Investing for 2 Very Different People

Both of these real estate investing platforms have pros and cons. Consider your situation and goals to determine the right fit for you.
Last updated Aug. 25, 2022 | By Ben Luthi
Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet

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If you’re interested in real estate investing, you may feel put off by the amount of money it requires to do it through individual investment properties. Fortunately, real estate crowdfunding platforms like Fundrise and CrowdStreet have made it easy and affordable to learn how to invest in this asset class.

With both of these real estate platforms, you’ll get a lot more investment options, which can help you tailor your portfolio to your specific preferences and goals. But which platform is better: Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet? Here’s everything you need to know to decide for yourself.

In this article

Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet: At a glance

Fundrise and CrowdStreet target two different types of real estate investors. Depending on your financial situation, how much you have to invest, and your investing goals, one may be a better fit for you than the other. Here’s a quick rundown:

Fundrise Crowdstreet
Minimum investment $10 $25,000
Management fees .15% annual advisory fee; .85% annual management fee None
Investment options REITs and eFunds REITs, individual properties, and custom portfolios
Account types available
  • Individual accounts
  • Joint accounts
  • Entity accounts
  • Trust accounts
  • IRAs
  • Individual accounts
  • Joint accounts
  • Entity accounts
  • Trust accounts
  • Self-directed IRAs
Features Varies based on your account level Offers the choice between existing funds, custom funds, or individual deals; provides many resources, including online education, webinars, and events
Best for... Real estate investors who don’t qualify as accredited investors; new investors who want to dip their toes into the real estate market or generate supplemental income Accredited investors
Visit Fundrise Visit Crowdstreet

Fundrise: What it is and how it works

Fundrise is a real estate investment platform that provides investors with access to proprietary real estate investment trusts (eREITs) and eFunds that aren’t publicly available. The platform is available to anyone who can meet the minimum opening investment requirement, which is only $10. Fundrise’s investment offerings include both commercial and residential real estate projects.

Fundrise offers five account tiers: Starter, Basic, Core, Advanced, and Premium. Each one has a different minimum starting investment and provides access to different features:

  • Starter: You can get on the lowest account level with a $10 opening investment. The Starter portfolio provides diversification across the Flagship Fund and allows you to set up automatic investments of $10 or more per month. Plus, your dividends will be automatically reinvested. This plan is best if you’re new to real estate investing and want access to penalty-free redemption opportunities.
  • Basic: With all of the benefits of the Starter plan, the Basic level also includes the ability to set investment goals and to invest via an IRA. The minimum investment is $1,000 and you also will have access to the Fundrise iPO (Internet public offering).
  • Core: With a starting investment of $5,000, you can get on the Core level, which provides you the ability to customize your investing on a goal such as income, growth, or balanced returns. Other features include all the benefits of the Basic plan plus diversification across a wider variety of funds, potential access to invest in any open eREITs , and six months of advisory fees waived for each friend you refer to the platform.
  • Advanced: You can join this level with a beginning investment of $10,000. You’ll get all the perks of the Basic and Core accounts, the ability to invest directly into the Fundrise eFund, and access to plus plans, which provide greater diversification and tax-advantaged funds. You’ll also get nine months’ worth of advisory fees waived for each referral. 
  • Premium: Fundrise’s top account tier requires an investment minimum of $100,000 and provides access to unique offerings available only to accredited investors. You’ll get all the features of the Core and Advanced plans, as well as priority access to the platform’s investment team and a full year of advisory fees waived for each person you refer.

Fundrise pros

  • Several different plan options with low minimums for all kinds of investors
  • Access to more features the more you invest
  • Several account options
  • Access to proprietary funds

Fundrise cons

  • Charges annual fees that amount to 1% of your portfolio
  • Limits features for smaller investors
  • Fewer resources for investors than CrowdStreet
  • No ability to invest in individual properties

CrowdStreet: What it is and how it works

CrowdStreet is the largest commercial real estate marketplace and is available only to accredited investors. To qualify as an accredited investor, you must have an annual income exceeding $200,000 (or $300,000 if married) and a net worth exceeding $1 million, excluding a primary residence. This limitation makes it impossible for many real estate investors to join and invest.

In addition to REITs, CrowdStreet also allows you to invest in individual real estate properties, similar to investing in an individual stock instead of a mutual fund. If you have at least $250,000, the platform can build a tailored investment portfolio based on your needs and goals. Keep in mind, though, that CrowdStreet offers only commercial real estate investments.

CrowdStreet pros

  • Offers access to individual real estate deals
  • No management fees
  • Robust resources
  • Several account options

CrowdStreet cons

  • High investment requirements
  • Available only to accredited investors
  • Commercial properties only

Crowdstreet Benefits

  • Get access to unparalleled institutional commercial real estate
  • CrowdStreet has launched 560 deals
  • $360M in investor distributions and new deals listed with high frequency
  • Limited to accredited investors

3 important differences between Fundrise and CrowdStreet

As with any financial decision, it’s important to compare and contrast each option to determine the right fit for you. Here are the main ways Fundrise and CrowdStreet differ from each other.

1. Accessibility

If there were a prize for which platform is more accessible, Fundrise would win, hands down. The platform doesn’t require you to be an accredited investor to join, so it doesn’t matter what your income or net worth is. You just need to have enough cash to meet the minimum investment requirement.

With CrowdRise, you can join only if you meet the income and net worth requirements — which you’ll need to verify before you can become a member.

2. Fees

Fundrise charges advisory and management fees that amount to a 1% annual cost based on your portfolio’s value. That’s about average for a traditional managed investment fund. On the flip side, CrowdStreet doesn’t charge any fees to its participating investors.

3. Investment options

CrowdStreet provides more options to people who qualify, including REITs, custom portfolios, and individual deals. That said, you can invest only in commercial properties through the platform.

Although Fundrise doesn’t offer access to individual properties or custom-built real estate portfolios — you can invest via REITs and eFunds — you can invest in both commercial and residential properties.

Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet: Which investment app should you choose?

Neither of these real estate platforms is inherently better than the other, and both of them made our list of the best investment apps. So it’s important to know your situation and your goals to determine the right fit for you.

For most real estate investors, CrowdStreet likely won’t be an option because of its accredited investor requirement. What’s more, new investors and individuals with lower net worths who are just seeking to build some passive income will find Fundrise a lot more accessible.

If you qualify for both based on your income and net worth, you’ll want to consider a few different factors to determine which is the better fit for you.

First, which investment options are you interested in? If you want funds and individual deals, CrowdStreet is the better option. But if you prefer the diversification of a REIT and don’t want to invest a lot, Fundrise may be the better choice.

The other important factor to consider is cost. Fundrise will cost you more because of its advisory and management fees. So if you have enough cash to invest with CrowdStreet and want to maximize your return, avoiding fees will help you do that.

FAQs about Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet

Can you really make money with Fundrise?

As with any investment, investing in real estate doesn’t guarantee you’ll make money. And although past performance doesn’t guarantee future returns, Fundrise provides its track record on its website. Here are the company’s average annualized returns for the past several years:

  • 2019: 9.47%
  • 2018: 9.11%
  • 2017: 11.44%
  • 2016: 8.76%
  • 2015: 12.42%
  • 2014: 12.25%

One thing to keep in mind is that REITs and eFunds provide diversification, which you can’t get with individual real estate properties. A diversified portfolio improves your chances of avoiding negative returns, though it doesn’t guarantee them.

Is CrowdStreet a good investment?

Like Fundrise, CrowdStreet doesn’t provide any guarantees when it comes to returns. However, it provides some historical performance numbers based on deals that have sold since 2014 to give investors an idea of what they might expect:

  • Internal rate of return: 23.1%, which is based on the expectation of future cash flow over the course of the holding period.
  • Equity multiple: 1.51X, which represents the total cash distributions from an investment divided by the equity invested.
  • Hold period: 2.2 years, which is the amount of time between the purchase of a deal and its sale.

CrowdStreet also shows its lowest return (a 95.8% loss), highest return (a 91.9% gain), and average return (14.2%) based on realized deals.

Is CrowdStreet for accredited investors only?

Yes. In order to join CrowdStreet, you must be an accredited investor. To qualify, you must have a net worth of at least $1 million, not including your primary residence, and also earn at least $200,000 annually (or $300,000 if you’re married). You’ll need to verify your status as an accredited investor before you can join Crowdstreet.

Which is better CrowdStreet vs. Fundrise?

Neither real estate investing platform is better than the other for all investors. As you're considering how to invest money through Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet, consider your eligibility, funds available to invest, financial goals, and personal preferences.

For example, if you want to invest in office buildings or multifamilies, either platform could be good for you. But if you’re looking for single-family rental properties, Fundrise could be the best real estate platform for you. Carefully review the features, resources, and terms of each option to determine which platform is the better choice for you and your situation.

Bottom line on Fundrise vs. CrowdStreet

If you’re wondering how to invest in real estate, an online platform could be a good place to start investing. Real estate could be a way to create supplemental income and achieve long-term growth when it comes to your wealth.

For real estate investors of all levels, crowdfunded platforms can provide you with excellent access to REITs and other real estate investment opportunities. Both Fundrise and CrowdStreet are popular real estate investing options, but depending on your situation and goals, one may be better than the other. You should do your due diligence to make that decision for yourself while taking your personal risk tolerance and financial goals into account.

Crowdstreet Benefits

  • Get access to unparalleled institutional commercial real estate
  • CrowdStreet has launched 560 deals
  • $360M in investor distributions and new deals listed with high frequency
  • Limited to accredited investors

Author Details

Ben Luthi Ben is a personal finance and travel writer who loves helping people achieve their money goals. Along with FinanceBuzz, his writing has also been featured on U.S. News, NerdWallet, Experian, Credit Karma, and more.