I love to diversify my real estate crowdfunding investments on as many great platforms as possible, which is why I constantly try out new platforms with my own money and then publish a review on this website.
In this article, I will review a real estate crowdfunding platform called Bulkestate. I first heard about the platform from a friend that is also an investor, and they promise high yields along with strict due diligence on their deals, so I really wanted to try it out. I will tell you what returns you can expect from the platform, what are the key features of the platform, and finally also share with you my latest results with the platform. Let's dive in!
Bulkestate is a real estate crowdfunding platform based in Estonia, and that was funded in 2016. Over 13,000 investments have already been made on the platform at the time of this writing, and projects usually have a term of 12 months.
They focus on funding real estate development projects with quite high returns, usually above 14%. What is unique about them is that they also offer investors to buy deals in groups, to acquire apartments at wholesale prices as together they acquire the whole building. This is not something I am personally interested in so I won't mention it more in this review, but it is an interesting feature of the platform.
Bulkestate advertises an average return of 15.32% on their site, which is in line with the yield you see on most of the projects (most of them are in the 14-16% returns range).
Having started to invest on the platform in the summer of 2019, it is way too early for me to confirm that at this stage, but the early returns I received from Bulkestate are exactly what it should be. With the projects I invested in, my overall return should be around 12.81%. My current XIRR (from raw data coming from Bulkestate) is at 10.32% and rising as more projects get repaid. I will of course update this section once I have more results from Bulkestate.
On Bulkestate, each loan is secured with a real estate mortgage, which means that even if the borrower doesn't pay back, they will sell this mortgage to reimburse the investors. According to Bulkestate, this will be enough to cover both the invested money and the interests of each loan. The only thing that can happen in that case is that your repayment will be delayed, therefore reducing the actual yield of the project.
They also have a very strict process to select deals that they put on the platform, having each project pass through a committee composed of experienced real estate & finance experts. As I mentioned earlier, they also only select projects in which the mortgage offered as security is sufficient to cover the money invested by the investors plus the interests in case of default.
Also, you can invest in each project from just 50 Euros, which is lower than other similar platforms. This means that with the same capital, you have more opportunities to diversify your investments on Bulkestate, therefore reducing the level of risk on your portfolio.
It is really easy to create an account and start investing on Bulkestate. The whole process of creating the account took me less than 5 minutes. After that, it is also really easy to deposit money on Bulkestate, as they provide an IBAN and a code that you need to put in your transfers from your bank account. I used TransferWise to do that, and the money was on my account within just one day.
Once your account is created, you can then browse deals on the platform:
As you can tell from this picture, deals tend to get funded quite quickly on the platform (more about how to solve this issue later). For each deal, you can then access a much more detailed view with all the information about the project:
On each of those pages, you will find all the financial details about the project, along with a description of the project itself. It's also on this page that you can actually invest, by simply entering how much you want to invest in the project (starting from 50 Euros) and confirm your investment.
As I mentioned earlier, deals tend to get funded really quickly on the platform. Luckily, Bulkestate offers an auto-invest function, which I've actually been using for all my investments on the platform. Here is the settings I used:
As you can see, this feature is quite basic and could definitely be improved, but at least it allows you to not miss on any deals on the platform. I especially chose a max investment on each project equal to the minimum possible investment, to make sure that I end up with a diversified portfolio on Bulkestate.
I started to invest in Bulkestate in July 2019, with a sum of 250 Euros as I usually do on most platforms I try out. Since then, I injected another more money on the platform to invest in more projects, and turned on the auto-invest feature so it automatically invests in new projects on the platform.
Since then, I received all payments on time, and even sometimes received more interests than expected. I also had some projects coming to completion, meaning I received interests + the principal that I invested, and again everything was according to schedule.
As for all platforms that allow to export data, I exported all the data to TrackInvest to have a detailed look on my Bulkestate account:
As you can see, I started with little gains as only interests were paid monthly, followed by larger gains as projects were starting to get fully repaid.
I will definitely update this section as I get more results from Bulkestate, but so I can say I am definitely happy with the platform.
So far, I am really happy with Bulkestate. The platform offers real estate development projects that went through a strict selection process, and that offer high returns for investors, usually above 14%. On top of that, the platform is really easy to use and offers an auto-invest function that's efficient and really easy to set up (even if a bit too basic). Overall, I really recommend trying Bulkestate to diversify any real estate crowdfunding or Peer-to-Peer lending portfolio.