Real estate investment of the future = Crowdfunding?

The current financial model for real estate investment is pretty depressing for the creative-minded, where an overwhelming majority of real estate investment capital is reserved for object-oriented buildings at least a block in scale (ie office parks, strip malls, towers, subdivisions…)

However, just as YouTube is slowly redefining television and wikipedia has rendered encyclopedias obsolete via crowdsourcing, just wait until $ are applied to this customer-driven phenomenon then used in real estate.

For a hint of what’s to come, check out what happens when $ are applied to crowdsourcing, resulting in crowdfunding:

What the funded target gets: $1 to 2 million to develop a non-intrusive timeshare community as an alternative to massive landscape-changing resorts.
What crowdfunders contribute: $210
What crowdfunders get: 7 nights each year in a 100-unit eco-community on Fiji they co-design with 4999 others.

What the funded target gets: An island in Fiji
What crowdfunders contribute: $30 per band plus votes and reviews supporting them.
What crowdfunders get: The opportunity to see their favorite unknown bands record their first album and a return based on sales over two years.

What the funded target gets: $50,000 to record an album.
What crowdfunders contribute: $10 per band.
What crowdfunders get: A limited edition CD of the band’s recording.

Liverpool Cultural Cafe (profiled here)
What the funded target gets: $1 million to bistro/bar/live music venue to develop local entertainment talent.
What crowdfunders contribute: $40 per donation.
What crowdfunders get: Ability to influence the venue’s development as well as Liverpool’s up and coming talent.

My Football Club
What the funded target gets: $3.5 million to buy a professional soccer team.
What crowdfunders contribute: $70 per share.
What crowdfunders get: Voting on strategy and personnel decisions with 49,999 others. An armchair coach’s dream.

A Swarm of Angels
What the funded target gets: $2 million to produce a movie.
What crowdfunders contribute: $50 per share.
What crowdfunders get: Voting on creative decisions with 49,999 others.

What’s next? Crowdsourced Beta Communities?
What the funded target gets: $10-20 million to build the kind of place in the image above.
What crowdfunders contribute: Commitment to buy a home and/or lease commercial space in the development ($100,000 to $500,000).
What crowdfunders get: The kind of community they’ve always wanted but nobody cared to build, plus a great return on their investment because of that.

Read more in BusinessWeek.

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