Realty Mogul, an online marketplace that allows accredited investors to pool money online and buy shares of pre-vetted investment properties, has announced the first-ever crowdfunded self-storage facility. Through a private placement traditionally offered only to larger institutional investors, the platform helped raise $1 million to convert an existing self-storage property in Fayetteville, N.C., to a StoreSmart-branded facility, which will have a new management team.
The infusion of capital to the newly acquired 168,540-square-foot, 24-building storage facility will smooth the transition to a new operating center for StoreSmart, which operates 20 facilities in six states, according to the Inside Self-Storage 2013 Top-Operators List.
"The fundamentals of both the property and its market area are solid," said Jilliene Helman, CEO and co-founder of Realty Mogul. The facility is in a strong market but had below-market occupancy due to some much-needed renovation as well as some leasing and management issues that Helman believes StoreSmart can correct. "We believe that the strategic renovation and rebranding program proposed by StoreSmart can bring the facility up to standards consistent with a class-A self-storage facility and get the occupancy rate back to market levels," she said.
The Realty Mogul marketplace allows investors to become equity holders in real estate opportunities that were historically difficult to access. Through the use of the Web platform, investors can browse and screen real estate investments, view investment details and sign legal documents online.
"We're very pleased to be the first real estate crowdfunding company to get a self-storage facility under our belt, and delighted that we had such a robust reaction from our investors," said Helman. "Our team had been actively searching the market for just such an opportunity, and this new self-storage transaction now joins the many multi-family apartment buildings and retail shopping centers that we've already handled nationwide."
Realty Mogul will continue to move into other real estate sectors, according to Helman. "Commercial real estate is comprised of several major asset classes, and we intend to be a player in most if not all of them," she said.
Realty Mogul gives investors tools to browse investments, conduct due diligence, invest online and have 24/7 access to an investor dashboard that allows them to see how their investments are performing.