Education Center

Knowledge leads to informed decision making. Expand your understanding of commercial real estate with the articles, videos, whitepapers and curated links in the CrowdStreet Education Center. Learn more about the terms used in our glossary.

I’m looking for:

The Next 18-Hour Cities

18-hour cities are defined as second-tier cities with above-average urban population growth that offer a lower cost of living and lower cost of doing business relative to first-tier or “24-hour” cities. In the U.S., 24-hour cities essentially translates to our gateway cities of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Article

Investor Testimonial - Derek Blum

Testimonial video from CrowdStreet investor member Derek Blum. (The testimonials presented may not be representative of the experience of other clients and are not a guarantee of future performance or success.)

Video

Investor Testimonial - Nick Rothenberg

Testimonial video from CrowdStreet investor member Nick Rothenberg. (The testimonials presented may not be representative of the experience of other clients and are not a guarantee of future performance or success.)

Video

Investor Testimonial - Eric Doebele

Testimonial video from CrowdStreet investor member Eric Doebele. (The testimonials presented may not be representative of the experience of other clients and are not a guarantee of future performance or success.)

Video

How to Invest in Retail Real Estate

The U.S. is the world’s largest retail market, accounting for over one fifth of global retail sales according to eMarketer. Despite a public perception that e-commerce will put brick and mortar retail out of business, the sector has a track record of delivering solid returns. In fact, retail real estate is the asset class that has historically commanded the highest price per square foot, by far, of any type of commercial real estate. In this article we will start with an overview of the retail asset class, discuss e-commerce and its effects on the space, review demand drivers and provide tips on understanding retail leases.

Article

Adding Value to Commercial Real Estate Assets

You see the term "Value add" often applied to commercial real estate assets. In fact, many offerings on the CrowdStreet Marketplace carry this tag. But what does this term really mean? Investors often ask me, “Can operators truly add value or are they simply riding the upswing of a real estate cycle to generate profits?” While cyclical effects can provide wind at the back of an operator it is, indeed, possible to create real value in CRE assets. In certain instances, the potential to create or “add” value is substantial. In this article, we explain how commercial real estate operators can potentially create value in commercial real estate assets and provide an illustrative example as well as a case study.

Article

The Returns Fallacy: Contemplating Volatility in Real Estate Targeted Returns

The assumption that the path to high realized portfolio returns is simply the sum of a series of high individual targeted returns is a recipe for disaster. Despite this, it is tempting for investors to take information at face value. This is why it is common for less sophisticated investors to fall prey to what I refer to as the “Returns Fallacy”. In this article we describe the Returns Fallacy and describe techniques investors can use to improve their realized investment returns.

Article

Sponsor Testimonial - Urban Development + Partners

UD+P is a vertically-integrated sponsor specializing in renovation and new construction in urban settings with a goal of enhancing the unique characteristics of each neighborhood and community.  UD+P came to CrowdStreet looking to modernize their existing capital formation and investor management processes.  CrowdStreet Sponsor Direct provided UDP with a secure online portal featuring a transaction center, investor reporting and communication tools which signifcantly streamlined their investor management process.  UD+P's Investor Communications Manager, Tina McNearthney explains the positive impact this has had on their investor management and overall investor satisfaction.

Video

Sponsor Testimonial - Guerrilla Development

Guerrilla Development is a real estate company focused on creating inventive and experimental commercial real estate projects.  Guerrilla came to CrowdStreet in 2016 while planning the Regulation A+ capital raise for their Fair-Haired Dumbbell office development and they were in urgent need of a software solution that could handle online solicitation of the project as well as the expected heavy volume of investor transactions.   Guerrilla selected CrowdStreet Sponsor Direct to manage these backend tasks and was very pleased with the results, as Guerrilla Development's owner, Kevin Cavenaugh, explains.

Video

CrowdStreet at the Forefront of Next Generation of Non-Traded REITs

Non-traded REITs have come under fire recently for high fee structures and front-end loads that have sometimes exceeded 10-20%. However, if these high fees are removed, the Non-Traded REIT investment structure itself may provide significant potential benefits to investors. In this article we highlight the potential investor benefits of the “next generation” of low-fee, non-traded REITs.

Article

Sponsor Testimonial - Vesta Hospitality

Vesta Hospitality, established in 1996, is a respected hospitality industry leader offering a complete range of services including management, development and acquisitions.  They came to CrowdStreet in 2014, interested in experimenting with online capital formation.  CrowdStreet Sponsor Direct provided them with a powerful online funding portal which was directly integrated into their existing website.  The engagement was highly successful and had a sigificant impact on how Vesta approaches capital formation, both online and offline.

Video

CrowdStreet Editorial: ULI Emerging Trends 2017

The 2017 edition of Emerging Trends in Real Estate® (“Emerging Trends”) was published on October 26th in conjunction with ULI’s Fall Meeting in Dallas, TX, which CrowdStreet participated in as a sponsor and panelist. Emerging Trends is a trends and forecast publication now in its 38th edition, and is one of the most highly regarded and widely read forecast reports in the real estate industry. It provides an outlook on real estate investment and development trends, real estate finance and capital markets, property sectors, metropolitan areas, and other real estate issues throughout the United States and Canada. In this article, CrowdStreet will provide its thoughts on some of the most pertinent highlights of this year’s publication.

Article

Where’s my Cash? The Real Story Behind Cash-on-Cash Yield

Investors often approach a deal with the same fundamental question – what’s the bottom line return? Yet the answer to that question is not always simple. There are different metrics that paint a picture as it relates to: 1) exactly how much will an investment pay out; and 2) when an investor is likely to see all or part of that return in their hands. While we published an article earlier this year on the definition of cash-on-cash returns, we now take the next step. In this article, we begin by revisiting the definition but then move on to highlight the differences between cash-on-cash yields and cash distribution yields.

Article

Understanding the Commercial Real Estate Transaction Process

A commercial real estate transactions is a complex, multi-step process. The benefits to investors of understanding the commercial real estate transaction process are 1) understanding the level of uncertainty at each phase of the transaction process and how execution risk diminishes over time 2) learning to better discern sponsors’ expertise and 3) gaining an appreciation for the amount of work involved for sponsors to bring deals to investors. In this article, we kick off the first of a three-part series on the commercial real estate transaction. Part I will cover the steps from developing an investment thesis to acquisition award (or “winning” the deal).

Article