5 Industry leaders, including South African's, set stage for Real Estate Crowdfunding to go from early adopter to mainstream at MIPIM

Private Property South Africa
Scott Picken

MIPIM is the largest real estate event in the world, with 21 000 people attending and literally the most astute property professionals globally, from governments, institutions, developers and investors coming to Cannes, France, annually. It is where they share everything learnt from the previous year and focus on the year ahead. For 26 years, it is where the people who manage all the money in real estate globally, come to refine their strategies for the year ahead.

This year the organisers made an unprecedented change and for the first time ever, focused on Digital Revolution and the impact it is having on real estate. Big Data, Smart Cities, Crowdfunding, BIM, the Sharing Economy, Open Data, Millennials were fiercely reviewed to determine their disruptive changes.

Crowdfunding, a phenomenon which is fast having an impact around the world, was broadly represented and was a clear indication of how this phenomenon is going from early adopters to mainstream retail and institutional. The 5 industry leaders in Real Estate Crowdfunding were present, Realty Mogul, Fundrise, Prodigy Network, LendInvest and Wealth Migrate, each offering their experience and insights to the esteemed attendees, while also been challenged by the old guard who are used to the status quo.

Justin Hughs, Founder & CTO of Realty Mogul and Dan Miller, Founder and President of Fundrise, were panellists at the session “The Power of the crowd: a game changer in commercial real estate.” Brian Newman, Director of Business Development at Prodigy Network, was involved in two session, “Next Generation USA Real Estate: Next investment Opportunities?” and “Mayor’s Think Tank: Disruptive strategies for attracting investment in cities.” These 3 portals are widely accepted as the top 3 real estate crowdfunding portals in the USA. Christian Fayes, Founder and CEO of LendInvest, the largest Real Estate Crowdfunding platform in the UK for debt, presented at, “Does the digital revolution mark the end of relationship lending.” Scott Picken, Founder and CEO of Wealth Migrate, was involved in the session on, “Crowdfunding: industry game-changer?” Wealth Migrate is recognised as the leading global portal for Real Estate Crowdfunding. Now a global company, based out of the Netherlands, it was started out of South Africa and helps global investors invest safely in all the major markets like USA, Australia, the UK, etc in residential, industrial and commercial real estate, offering the most experienced and best real estate providers to partner with.

Picken was also invited to present a keynote at the premier event of MIPIM, where 8 technology companies were invited to present about how they are disrupting the real estate sector. The session was called, “Digital economy challenges real estate sector: disruptors at the door.” Other contributors were, Michael Mandel, Founder and CEO from Compstak, Brandon Weber, Founder & CEO of Hightower, Ross Bailey Founder and CEO of Appear Here, Simon Henry, Founder and CEO of Juwai, , Chris Marlin, Founder and President of Lennar International, Julliette Morgan, Partner at Cushman & Wakefields and Henry Stuart, Founder and CEO of Visualise. This gave the attendees a fascinating window into the future, with actual companies discussing their successes and what they were achieving in real estate, using technology.

There was also a local presence from Europe with Souleymane-Jean Galadima from WiSEED, the largest Real Estate Crowdfunding portal in France as well as contributors from Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Czechoslovakia and Germany. There was a noticed lack of representation from Australia, Africa or Asia, with Asia expected to be the biggest markets in the future. Picken, did point out though, that is why their focus at Wealth Migrate is on providing solutions in Asia in 2015 and why they were invited to present at MIPIM Asia in Hong Kong in December 2014. With an office in Singapore and Hong Kong, their expansion into Asia is gaining momentum with key relationships in the region. Dr Dolf de Roos, world-renowned authority on international real estate and President of Wealth Migrate, is presenting in Malaysia at the end of the month. On the 12th of February 2015, Malaysia was the first country to drop the accredited investors restrictions completely and Dr Dolf de Roos is highly respected in this country, dealing directly at a government level and is now providing Real Estate Crowdfunding solutions to Malaysians. Along with these other areas, Wealth Migrate also has offices in Centurion and Cape Town and is focusing heavily on South Africa, the rest of Africa and empowering woman.

The overriding message from the industry at MIPIM was that they were concerned about young technology pundits focusing on real estate and not being experienced in the intricacies of real estate and financing. There were other concerns of compliance, money laundering, offering solutions to unaccredited investors, different legislations around the world and how to scale. The top 5, went into huge detail to explain how technology can actually make the process more efficient, safer for investors and to explain their domain expertise in real estate first and foremost.

According to the Real Estate Crowdfunding Industry report for 2015, which was released in March 2015 by Massolution, the industry tipped a billion dollars in investment globally in 2014, is expected to be over $2.5 billion in 2015 and $250 billion by 2020. This is on top of the fact where Accenture, Ernest and Young, KPMG and Deloitte, placed crowdfunding in the top 10 trends for 2015 as key transformational and disruptive new technologies and business models.

Picken says, "It felt a bit like going to a taxi organizers convention and talking about Uber. However each one of the top 5 real estate crowdfunding firms wants to embrace the industry and work with them to understand their concerns and explain how technology can enable what they are doing. Technology has enabled and changed many industries and it begs the question, "why will real estate be any different?" At the end of the day, the fact all top 5 were invited to MIPIM, was a strong sign that this early adoption of real estate crowdfunding has now moved into mainstream, with the most respected people in real estate and governments wanting to understand its adoption. It truly is becoming a global phenomenon and as a passionate South African we are proud to be one of the global leaders creating this change."

“Only the future will tell what the ultimate disruption, change and efficiency that technology will bring to real estate. If retail, travel, books, communication, taxi’s, publishing, etc are anything to go by, it is going to be an interesting decade ahead for real estate.”

For more information go to http://www.wealthmigrate.com

realestate #crowdfunding #mipim

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