Kudos/Press Coverage of The Real Estate Crowdfunding Review (and The Private Investor Club)
Updated: Nov 14
It's an honor to be able to answer questions about real estate, investing and crowdfunding from the general, financial and real estate industry press including: USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Realtor.com, CoStar News, Curbed and more.
The Real Estate Reality Show (by GowerCrowd) on November 14, 2023
Today’s guest Ian Ippolito, a seasoned investor known for his conservative investment strategies, discusses his take on the real estate market's first significant recession since the advent of real estate crowdfunding.
Ian draws parallels between the initial impact of COVID-19 on multifamily properties and the current challenges facing the office sector. He discusses the office market's decline as a direct result of the remote work revolution leaving a surplus of vacant office space and a swatch of struggling deals, and talks about the impact on multifamily of the end of the rent increase era and the ensuing strain on investment models that failed to anticipate the current trends.
BisNow by Dees Stribling on August 15, 2023
Ian Ippolito, an independent real estate investor...said he wasn't surprised by allegations of fraud.
“From the beginning, this deal had problems all over it, and improprieties,” Ippolito said. “They were not disclosing things that they were required to under law. They weren't disclosing their losses, which is a big, big no-no. It looked impressive from the numbers, but I thought at the beginning, ‘I'm not touching this deal.’”
..."Some people will say, it's fine, these are accredited investors that can take the loss. But when you talk to these investors, they're angry. They're very, very angry. It didn't work the way they expected it to, and nobody likes to lose money.”
Ippolito said while CrowdStreet will probably suffer, the real estate crowdfunding industry will bounce back.
Bisnow by Jarred Schenke and Matthew Rothstein on July 22, 2023
Ian Ippolito, an independent real estate investor who runs the blog The Real Estate Crowdfunding Review, told Bisnow that he explored Nightingale’s initial offer for the Atlanta project when it was first released on CrowdStreet, but backed off after he found stories about Nightingale’s previous losses in a Google search that weren’t mentioned in the investor prospectus.
“I actually was very interested when I saw it at first. The sponsor has like 30-plus deals and [looks like it] never lost money,” Ippolito said. “I barely got to do any of my due diligence on this, but this one right away, the first thing I look at is the losses. So I was like, ‘OK. Done. There’s something shady going on here. I’m not going near this deal.’” ... Ippolito said crowdfunding investors need to take more time to research sponsors, because some crowdfunding deals could be “an accident waiting to happen.”
“I’m not calling [CrowdStreet or Nightingale a] used car salesman, but you wouldn’t go to the salesman and say, ‘Tell me everything about this car,’ and trust what they say,” Ippolito said. “For individual investors, it’s spray and pray, basically. Put my money in and hope everything is OK.”
"A chance to get a slice of Manhattan real estate turned into a bizarre ordeal for thousands of small-time investors"
The Real Deal by Sylvia Varnham O'Regan and Mary Diduch on December 31, 2020
"Where has their money gone? Investors say they don’t know. And many, like Trujillo, doubt they’ll see any of it again...In the last 15 months, investors have filed more than a dozen lawsuits against Prodigy, some alleging fraud. It’s shaping up to be the biggest collapse the real estate crowdfunding industry has seen.
Prodigy is not simply another business shattered by the pandemic, or an investment that just didn’t work out. An investigation by The Real Deal shows that a history of misleading marketing, poor corporate governance and questionable investment strategies made the company vulnerable to implosion long before the coronavirus struck.
“I wish I could say it was a surprise,” said Ian Ippolito, an investor and commentator who writes about the real estate crowdfunding industry. “The things they said just never made sense. They never added up.”
"The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show" by Joe Fairless/Theo Hicks on December 27, 2020
"Most people in the general public don't understand. That's because we at the top haven't been hit by this pandemic very hard. But it's a very different situation at the bottom.
We have millions of people unemployed who also can't afford to pay their rent, their mortgage and their utility bills. Much more than the Great Recession.
And they're on life support with unemployment insurance, moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, suspension of student loans etc. But, all that is expiring soon. And unless something is done about it, there will be a tsunami of foreclosures and evictions. And this could have devastating effects on many real estate and other investments."
by Dawn Lim for The Wall Street Journal on August 12, 2020
Crowdfunding sites amassed at least $250 billion for real-estate and private-equity deals by this year, according to an estimate from Ian Ippolito, founder of trade publication the Real Estate Crowdfunding Review.
by Nick Kraakman for The Money Tree on July 31, 2020
How are you looking to invest in real estate: Via direct investment? ... Syndicate? ... Partnership? ... crowdfunding site?
We interviewed the guru of real estate crowdfunding... Ian Ippolito. He has researched them all and he talks about the tips and tricks of real estate crowdfunding.
by Peter Grant for The Wall Street Journal on June 9, 2020
There are more than 330,000 small investors who have invested in office buildings, hotels, apartments and other property through crowdfunding property firms, according to Ian Ippolito, the founder and editor of the Real Estate Crowdfunding Review, a trade publication. Fueled by looser federal crowdfunding regulations combined with the growing use of online services for a multitude of needs, these startups have raised more than $10 billion, estimates Mr. Ippolito, who also invests personally in some crowdfunding deals.
By Joe Gose for Commerical Property Executive on February 27 2020
Platforms that allow retail investors to participate in the market are experiencing steady growth but have yet to weather a market slump. For all their early success, however, it is worth remembering that crowdfunding platforms have prospered during an long real estate expansion. Crowdfunding observers acknowledge that the strategy must still prove that it can weather a slump. “In a downturn we’re going to see deals that were underwritten too aggressively or that took on too much leverage—all kinds of variables that we just can’t see right now,” predicted Ian Ippolito, a tech entrepreneur turned real estate investor who founded Real Estate Crowdfunding Review, a Tampa, Fla.-based firm that tracks the industry. “There will be a round of consolidation, and the players that emerge will be the strongest.”
By Nichole Stohler of The Richer Geek on May 30, 2019
"In today’s episode, I’m discussing real estate crowdfunding with expert Ian Ippolito, founder of TheRealEstateCrowdfundingReview.com.
An investor and serial entrepreneur, Ian was impressed by the potential of real estate crowdfunding, but frustrated by the lack of quality site reviews and investment analysis. He created TheRealEstateCrowdfundingReview.com to fill that gap. Today the site is read avidly by over 12,000 users each month, and has a private investor club with 2,000+ accredited investors with over $2.1 billion in investable assets."
Connecticut Apartment Sale Shows The Growing Use of Real Estate Crowdfunding
By Mark Heschmeyer of Costar News on July 30, 2018
Crowdfunding industry numbers are difficult to come by because most top players keep their financial cards close to their vests, said Ian Ippolito, editor of TheRealEstateCrowdfundingReview.com. However, he notes, there has been an increase in larger deals on the top platforms in the past couple of years.
"Whether the quality is increasing is debatable, since quality usually decreases as the cycle ages and currently there is generally much more cash than great deals," Ippolito said. "I’ve definitely seen plenty examples of late cycle dynamics like returns getting squeezed, and risk increasing vs previous years. But this is the situation across the entire market and not just crowdfunding."
By Adam Gower of GowerCrowd, Episode 227 on April 8, 2018
Ian Ippolito came from the world of tech entrepreneurship. He had run a couple of companies and started some companies. In 2013 Ian sold a company called VWorker...enjoyed a nice exit and found it was time to move from being a tech entrepreneur to his new job, managing the finances of his family. He had to get up to speed quickly on real estate crowdfunding, due diligence, PPM's, etc...
By Joe Fairless of "Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever" on March 22, 2018
Ian wanted to know more about the different crowdfunding websites. He put together something comparing them and eventually made his website because of all the demand he was getting from other people. Now you can visit his website and review multiple platforms to help make an informed decision.
Best Ever Tweet: “Do they actually have some skin in the game?”
By Robin Frankel of BankRate.com on Jan 30, 2018
Crowdsourcing to own real estate is a relatively new phenomenon, primarily used for large-scale or commercial investments. Only in the past few months has it become an available option in the U.S. for individual homebuyers. If you’re considering crowdfunding to help you become a homeowner, here’s what you need to know. “In the past, the only way to get to a mortgage was to go to the bank. The idea of crowdfunding is, take away the bank, and instead of having one bank give you money, there’s a whole bunch of investors giving you money,” says Ian Ippolito, editor and founder of The Real Estate Crowdfunding Review.
By Clare Trapasso of Realtor.com on Sep 25, 2017
Over time, accredited investors typically receive anywhere from 11% to 45% annual returns on their equity crowdfunding investments, says Ian Ippolito, a retired investor who founded the website The Real Estate Crowdfunding Review. Since these types of investments have only recently been opened up to the masses, the annual returns for regular investors are about 8.2%. That's expected to rise if all goes well when the property is sold five to seven years down the line. But if the development doesn't get fully built or doesn't make any money, then investors may get nothing—and even lose their investment.
Real estate crowdfunding: What's the Buzz?
Tierra Grande Magazine: Real estate center of Texas A&M University by Charles E. Gilliland on Apr 4, 2017
"One site that has attempted to impose some order on the abundance of platforms is The Real-Estate Crowdfunding Review, which provides a free ranking of the top 100 sites. It was founded by Ian Ippolito, a self-described “serial tech entrepreneur.” Tech-oriented and skeptical of traditional investment wisdom, he narrowly escaped disaster when advised to invest in stocks in 2008, just before the crash. More cautious after that experience, he looked for alternative investment opportunities."
Old Dawgs Real Estate Network Podcast Episode 97, by Bill Manassero on May 1, 2017
"I call myself a passive investor. But there are investors who are even more passive –passive investors who help fund other passive investors’ like me – who do not deal with the day-today activities of managing the asset but who entrust the profitable management of that asset to someone else generate a nice return for their investment. And there are investors who may not know the asset manager but invest through crowdfunding. That type of investor is precisely who our guest is today. Ian Ippolito is an investor and serial tech entrepreneur. He has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, TIME, Fast Company, TechCrunch, CBS News, FOX News and more. Ian was impressed by the potential of real estate crowdfunding, but frustrated by the lack of quality site reviews and investment analysis. That’s why he created The Real Estate Crowdfunding Review to fill that gap."
Bloomberg News / Herald Tribune by Patrick Clark, on May 16, 2016
"Calling yourself a crowdfunding platform and actually functioning as a marketplace are separate things, according to Ian Ippolito, a real estate investor in Tampa who has been tracking the proliferation of real estate crowdfunding platforms. Last summer, Ippolito evaluated more than 100 sites for transparency, low fees, active investment opportunities, and venture capital backing, among other criteria that make a crowdfunding site attractive to investors. Only one in five of the sites passed the sniff test.
USA Today network/ News Press by Patricia Bourns on February 10, 2017
"As a serial entrepreneur looking for where to invest his money, Ian Ippolito has become an expert on crowdfunding, He's researched 150 crowd real estate investing opportunities to date, and writes The Real Estate Crowd Funding Review to share his knowledge. “Obviously they can’t all be that awesome,” Ippolito said. “I went through their legal documents and asked people, ‘How did it go for you?’” The Tampa-based investor found 25 that were solid, and “five or six that were really good, where they had a lot of volume, which they need to survive.”
Curbed by Nate Berg on March 2, 2017
In the nascent field of real estate crowdfunding, Ian Ippolito is one of the most knowledgeable... Real estate crowdfunding was still a new concept, but it exploded on the fintech scene as soon as the 2012 law change went into effect. ... So Ippolito started researching. He learned which crowdfunding sites focused on equity, where investors essentially become shareholders in a property, and which focused on debt, where investors are direct lenders to a property owner or mortgage holder. He compared the minimum investments that each site required and analyzed what kinds of returns they’d likely provide. He looked at what kinds of properties each site was offering, and how many projects they had to offer investors. After a few months, he felt confident enough to start investing. He also saw another business opportunity and launched The Real-Estate Crowdfunding Review, a website that compiles all his research and features rankings, and reviews all of the roughly 150 real estate crowdfunding websites now operating."