March 31, 2016
At SXSW this year we had the chance to meet some really amazing .Co’s. One of them was RealStarter.Co, a real estate crowdfunding platform for investors, real estate promoters, developers, and anyone else who wants to get into the market. We had the opportunity to sit down with the cofounders of RealStarter, Bryan Hancock and John Blackman to talk about why they founded RealStarter and the advantages of focusing on Texas, and Austin in particular.
With the popularity of crowdfunding in recent years, the founders of RealStarter had the idea to bring it to real estate, where there had previously been no presence. They wanted to create a platform that would connect real estate investors with developers in the same way that platforms like Kickstarter find investors.
“People have been using crowdfunding for a long time, they just haven’t called it crowdfunding” says Blackman. “Kickstarter and IndieGoGo kind of kicked off the mindset of what crowdfunding is, and we just applied that to real estate development. And with the Jobs Act passing in 2012, its’ really starting to open the doors of what’s possible for crowdfunding in equity scenarios.”
The company is based in Central Texas and sees it as a growing market with a lot of promising investment potential. According to Hancock, there are 150 people moving to Austin daily, and the city is adding a lot of commercial and residential development to keep up with the demands. It was relatively easy for them to start up in Texas because they are familiar with the laws and bureaucracy. According to Hancock:
“One of the values we bring to local real estate developers is knowing the space, knowing a lot of the better developers and promoters here, who are going to put out the best projects, which will ultimately deliver the best returns for investors.”
RealStarter has recently released a SAAS for developers or promoters who are interested in turning their own websites into a crowdfunding platform.
You can learn all about RealStarter and what they’ve been up to in this video:
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