2021 UPDATE: Based on repeated customer complaints and lack of transparency, we no longer recommend this platform for real estate investors. Instead, check out our list of the best real estate crowdfunding platforms.
DiversyFund manages an SEC-qualified Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that builds wealth by investing in cash-flowing apartment buildings.
DiversyFund’s unique alternative fin-tech investment platform has created a way for consumers to invest directly into commercial real estate projects across the U.S.
The firm leverages a digital framework and new laws to provide investment options to the masses that were formerly only available to ultra-high net worth investors.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s dig in and find out what DiversyFund is all about!
What Is DiversyFund?
Based in San Diego, DiversyFund was founded by top industry experts with nearly four decades of collective experience and a proven track record.
DiversyFund focuses on multi-unit, residential properties, with several medium to large-sized projects in California, Texas, and elsewhere, with a focus on long-term capital appreciation from the renovation and repositioning of these multifamily properties.
Through new SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) rules and proprietary technologies, DiversyFund is now able to offer anyone a chance to diversify their savings and investment portfolios using its proven real estate tactics in just a few simple steps.
These new opportunities are made possible thanks to the JOBS Act, an economic stimulus law passed by Congress in 2012. The act meant that companies could turn to the masses for capital, and regular consumers can now invest directly in those companies, cutting out the middleman and opening up a new way for Americans to grow their retirement savings.
Dubbed Regulation A, this new rule allows any American adult to invest their money into specific, nontraditional investments that used to be only available to high net worth or accredited investors.
Accredited is defined as individuals with $200,000 or higher income per year ($300,000 for married couples) or more than $1 million in investable assets, of which just 3% of the American population fit in this category.
How Does DiversyFund Work?
DiversyFund handles the entire process from selecting the property to managing, upgrading, and selling; it then disperses the profits once the asset has been sold. And while that sounds like it might come with a hefty fee, DiversyFund charges zero. Investors can benefit from compounding interest through reinvesting dividends (rents, profits) monthly and from the overall appreciation of the properties.
With Reg A, DiversyFund saw a rare opportunity to take their real estate talents and fin-tech prowess to launch a series of streamlined REITs (real estate investment trusts). The REITs are split into shares that can be purchased, similar to a stock, but without many of the complexities of stocks and mutual funds. By the way, “REIT” is industry jargon for a group of investors purchasing a real estate portfolio.
And unlike a traditional investment portfolio that might gyrate wildly on a daily basis, real estate prices have proven to be much less volatile and are geared towards longer-term investors seeking capital appreciation.
Private REIT investments do not behave like stocks, and there aren’t a myriad of ticker symbols to keep track of, or companies and funds to continue to research.
The pure real estate component of DiversyFund’s REITs means that investors with self-directed investment accounts, including IRAs and 401Ks, can add an actual layer of diversification using a less-volatile vehicle that isn’t correlated with many other assets.
In other words, when the stock market is flat or even down, real estate prices may still rise. The majority of millionaires attribute their wealth in some part to real estate holdings, and owning a home is still a key part of attaining the American Dream.
Fun Fact: The average home cost just $11,900 in 1960. Today, the average home costs nearly $363,000! Average home values were rarely less than the year prior.
DiversyFund Pricing, Fees and Expenses
Diversyfund does not charge a fee when you buy into or exit an investment. There is also no required fee when a property is purchased.
And since DiversyFund manages the entire process in-house using an efficient digital platform, its net costs are much lower than if third parties were employed. As the property operates, organizational and offering costs are expected to come in around 1%, subject to change.
Keep in mind that we have not conducted an exhaustive accounting of all potential costs and expenses surrounding the transaction. Be sure to review the DiversyFund Growth REIT offering circular for more information.
What makes DiversyFund genuinely unique is its zero-fee, digital, and easy investment process – all uncommon in the investment industry.
Signing up takes only minutes, and new clients can fund an account by linking directly with their bank or brokerage. Accounts can be opened with investing as little as $500 and have no limit to how much you can invest. No matter what investment amount you select, the process and pricing structure remain the same, making the decision easy for any investor.
Once the account is open and you’ve decided how much you want to contribute, there are no stocks or mutual funds to research, and there is no need to extensively research a company, mutual fund, or other complex investment. Simplicity is probably the number two feature of DiversyFund’s offerings next to the unique potential of the investments themselves.
DiversyFund explores real estate opportunities across the U.S., with a current concentration in California and Texas. Its main focus is commercial properties that provide rented living spaces across different communities.
Their goal is to target middle-market properties that are operating, but might be in need of updating, improved management, maintenance, marketing, etc. to best realize their potential.
DiversyFund tends to avoid the most expensive rentals as they are most susceptible to economic downturns. The lower-end of the spectrum is also not preferred as appreciation may be limited, and rent consistency may be harder to achieve. Geographical areas should be stable with a substantial enough renter pool and appropriate income to support target rents.
The company uses proprietary models and methods to project income and resale values while accounting for the cost of operations, income, and upgrades into account. The goal is to capture income and appreciation over a period of time that we determined in the initial due diligence.
DiversyFund Growth REIT Properties:
- Goshen, a small-scale student housing development in Linda Vista, California
- Park Boulevard, a 59-unit mixed-use development in San Diego, California
- Summerlyn, a 200-unit apartment complex ripe for upgrades in Killeen, Texas
- Corsicana, a 211-unit value-add apartment complex under contract in Corsicana, Texas
According to DiversyFund data, the company achieved an annualized net return of 18% in 2017 and 17.3% in 2018 from projects they managed before the launch of the Regulation A Growth REIT.
Individual components’ projected internal rates of return (IRRs), the potential rates of return on capital investments inside the Growth REIT, are expected to be between 15% and 21%.
And once you’re invested in a project, you will get periodic updates on how the project is evolving. Best of all, DiversyFund does not charge a commission or direct fee for their services like a typical brokerage account.
DiversyFund investors should feel comfortable knowing that the SEC requires annual audits to be conducted. This helps ensure that your funds are being handled responsibly in accordance with the law.
DiversyFund also puts investors first before getting paid itself, by offering a 7% preferred return, meaning that investors have priority on fund returns up to 7%.
For more details, check out the DiversyFund Growth REIT offering circular and investment supplements for more information.
Pros and Cons
- Availability of investment options once reserved for only wealthy Americans
- Easy signup and funding
- Track record of success
- Full digital access to the account, educational content, and updates on properties
- You can invest as little as $500 with no limit
- Low volatility option for every investor
- Diversyfund handles the entire process from start to finish
- Zero fees to invest
- Longer investment fruition time
- Not a guaranteed investment (nothing in the stock or bond market is either)
- Not a liquid investment – disbursements are made at the end of the investment cycle (target is 5 years)
- Visit the DiversyFund website and create an account
- Enter your personal details or connect with a social media platform like Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Validate your account and provide a funding source through DiversyFund’s secure third-party portal (don’t worry, your login information isn’t shared with DiversyFund)
Accounts can be set up individually, jointly, through a business, or even as a trust for a loved one. Given the longer-term, lower volatility goals of real estate, DiversyFund’s investments could be used as a excellent investment starter for a baby, child, or teen.
Ask your accountant about any tax advantages you might gain through a trust. Account-holders or trust administrators must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident.
Once you’ve selected how much you want to invest, the transfer takes just a day or two and will show up in your DiversyFund account when they are available.
Once your funds are locked in, you’ll receive information and updates about the property you’re invested in. Growth funds at DiversyFund are meant to remain in operation for a target period of 5 years, but that frame may be shorter or longer at the discretion of the manger. Once a property is sold, distributions will be made back to investors who can then choose to stay invested or withdraw funds.
All of DiversyFund’s client accounts are held in a Finra registered brokerage account, which is also insured by the SIPC Securities Investor Protection Corporation. DiversyFund and its affiliates take your personal information seriously and do not share it with others.
DiversyFund has worked hard to assemble a library of useful, educational content, which is housed in their Learning Center.
The Learning Center offers answers to a plethora of topics from REIT basics to account setup.
For answers to common questions, you might check out their FAQ page here first. The company also employs a team of service and account advisors to walk you through the process if you’re in need.
And while Diversyfund’s setup process is easiest accomplished online, they are passionate about making sure everyone gets the individual help they need.
Alternatives to DiversyFund
There aren’t many direct competitors offering what DiversyFund does with the same technology, experience, and reach.
DiversyFund’s leadership is key to its success, with a track record to back up its claims. Just as you would hire a gifted realtor or money manager, DiversyFund’s team is a best-in-breed choice.
There are certainly other REITs out there, with some focused on malls, others on storage buildings and nearly everything in between.
What makes DiversyFund unique is its repeatable process using extremely specific criteria that’s been proven in many different economic climates.
The focus on residential rentals is also key as consumers’ might buy less at a mall or nix that storage unit during hard times, but they will always need a place to sleep. Moreover, its digital structure helps keep overhead extremely low, which can add up during the holding period.
As a consumer, you could certainly go out, purchase an investment property, fix it up and flip or rent it out. While many Americans have done this successfully, there are a plethora of stories about the vast majority or might break even or lose money. Flipping and/or managing rentals is also an expensive and often difficult task that could involve tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and even more in loans that go against your personal or business credit.
And since Diversyfund handles the entire process from start to finish, investors won’t have to deal with the stresses of collecting rents, maintaining properties, or marketing a property when it’s time to sell.
Is DiversyFund for You?
Real estate should be a part of any balanced portfolio. As stated earlier, real estate often played a part in generating massive wealth for the nation’s wealthiest.
People will always need a roof over their heads, and Diversyfund’s focus on the rental market captures that need, especially as home values rise to record levels.
A diversified real estate investment also offers an uncorrelated, lower volatility option for every investor that may help offset underperformance in other assets like stocks or bonds.
The Reg A REIT format allows investors to pool their money and leverage that strength to not only save money on borrowing costs but interest as well.
If you’re a longer term investor that has at least a 5-year investment window, you should consider allocating a percentage of your investment portfolio to real estate.
Given the complexity of even the most simple real estate transactions, we believe that DiversyFund’s platform, staff and methods make the process much less intimidating.