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There is a tendency to think of crowdfunding as one of the latest tools that entrepreneurs and startup companies are using to fund their projects and new endeavors. While this is a very familiar concept for those who have heard of crowdfunding, technology tools and platforms are branching out the reach of crowdfunding investments.
Nowadays, we are seeing an increase in platforms providing investors with the chance to join forces and capitalize on real estate properties to diversify and enhance their investment portfolio.
Not only are you able to join other investors in launching a new company and receive the benefits from those companies, now “you are also able to choose from multiple investment opportunities and gain the full return on investment targeted at the beginning of your investment process” says, Craig Cecilio, CEO at DiversyFund.
Not only are these investments showing great results for their investors, investors are also finding comfort in the fact that they don’t have to invest alone. Reducing your liabilities gives you more freedom in your choice of investments. The latest technology in investment platforms allows you to have access to these opportunities at your fingertips.Why Should I Join the Crowd?
These platforms are unquestionably fascinating, and they continue to grow every year. For example, these type of platforms produced an assessed $2.1 billion in investment for startups in 2023, and is expected to grow even more this year.
In an article by Brian Rashid, CEO of A Life in Shorts, he said “Crowdfunding is becoming a viable way to be part of massive projects that would otherwise be out of reach for individual investors.”
This is the reason crowdfunding is getting so much attention. Whether it is a startup company or a real estate property, you don’t have to invest alone anymore. You can invest with a crowd, and then share the profits in the same way.Can I Trust This Industry?
It wasn’t long ago when the Real Estate industry saw one of the worst crashes in our history. Some seasoned investors are still recovering from that time. However, like any new industry, there is a road to build trust from users ahead. Although these crowdfunding investments have the attraction of it being fair for all, lack of confidence is still there.
Brian W. Tang claims in The FinTech Book that a suggestion of distrust coming from this industry could break apart a firm.
Nonetheless, technology itself is giving us the tools to be able to have a lot more involvement in our investments without the same headaches as before. Modern technology grants investors new tools in their favor and the particular risks of investing in crowdfunding opportunities are lessen thanks to this tech.What to Look for in a Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform
You want to look for a platform with tools that allow you to:
Analyze an investment opportunity the same way the platform is analyzing it. Trust a company that shows you all their research, pictures, market studies, etc.
Keep a close eye on the development process of an investment property. Make sure they send you regular updates, so you can feel comfortable every month until payout time.
Have a profile dashboard where you can keep track of your earnings as well as new opportunities in the market. A platform you can trust is always creating new ways to help its investors grow their earnings.
Be virtually anywhere in the world, but still able to invest when the time is right for you. The world is a lot smaller these days, thanks to technology itself. Your investments should be able to be with you and travel with you anywhere you go.
Finally, partner up with a Real Estate crowdfunding platform that goes beyond the technicalities and partners up with the best designers in the industry to bring their customer top-of-the-line designs that buyers can’t resist.
Although markets are shifting in the right direction, crowdfunding is allowing investors to gain high returns without looking under every stone on their path. It all started with new startups and now it is also part of the way you can invest in Real Estate. Don’t be left behind in this industry that is showing great progress since the day it began.
Read more about trends in crowdfunding at TechCo
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What is chúng tôi & How to Fix Its System Errors Uninstalling the associated file is usually a good save
If you’re running virtual machines, you’ll need to ensure their performance is optimized and they pass the compatibility tests.
This is what the chúng tôi file is responsible for users who opt for the VMware Workstation.
INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE
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Using virtual machine tools usually comes with the need for additional software, and chúng tôi is one of them. If you use the VMware Workstation for Windows, you might have seen this file.
It runs in the background of your computer and helps to manage virtual machines. However, some users have reported some errors associated with the file, so let’s have a look at what these errors are and how to address them.
Vmtoolsd.exe is an executable file that belongs to VMware Tools, a set of utilities that improves the performance and usability of VMware Workstation and other VMware products on Microsoft Windows systems.
If you’re wondering, Where is vmtoolsd? It’s usually located in the following directory: c:Program FilesVMwareVMware
The location of this application’s installation folder and its default file name depends on the product version you are using and whether you are using 32-bit or 64-bit editions of Windows.
You’ll therefore find this file useful when running your virtual machines. The only issue that may arise is that you may encounter some errors if you’re dealing with an obsolete or compromised version.
Potential errors you may come across related to the chúng tôi file include:
Vmtoolsd.exe not valid
Error in Application: chúng tôi encountered a problem and will close
Can’t locate chúng tôi is missing
Faulty Program Path: chúng tôi failed
Problem starting application: chúng tôi is not running
Such errors can be caused by a virus attack, corrupt registry files or outdated applications. Below, we look at how you can fix these errors.2. Run DISM and SFC scans
Alternatively, we suggest a reliable third-party repair software to make sure you get rid of all corrupt and missing files.3. Run a virus scan 4. Uninstall associated program 5. Perform a System Restore
If none of the above solutions work in getting rid of the chúng tôi errors, performing a system restore may be your only hope, but only if you had created a restore point. If not, a clean install may be on the horizon.
VMware tools increase the performance of your VM and provide better compatibility with guest operating systems. However, this is only for users who operate virtual machines.
If you’re frugal about the processes you want running on your PC, you might find the chúng tôi file unwarranted. This is especially true if you are not running any virtual machines.
There’s no right answer on how many processes you should be running on your device, but your system resources should act as a guide. You want to ensure you’re getting a good balance of efficiency and effectiveness.
That being said, chúng tôi uses very little CPU and RAM resources while running, so it shouldn’t cause any problems with your performance if you leave it running all the time.
That sums it up on all things chúng tôi file. Hopefully, you now have the right information on how to address any errors that may arise by running the VMware Tools program.
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Finding the Story in the Numbers
A photo taken by data journalism student Sophie Park (Pardee’20) shows a man panhandling in Harvard Square in May. Photo by Sophie Park
Journalism & MediaFinding the Story in the Numbers A COM journalism class’ reporting on homelessness grabs national attention
Government attempts to address homelessness in Boston have long yielded messy results. Just think of the controversial closing of the Long Island Bridge in 2023, which shuttered the city’s largest homeless shelter. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, it was a subject worthy of a deep journalistic investigation.
So, last summer, when the University of Maryland’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism asked the College of Communication’s Maggie Mulvihill if her students wanted to join Nowhere to Go, a multi-college investigation of homelessness in America, there was only one possible answer: Of course. By the end of the project, her students had earned bylines in some of the biggest newspapers and websites in the country.
Part of the Howard Center’s mission, explains director Kathy Best, is collaborating with other university-based investigative programs. “That not only allows us to extend our reporting reach, but helps us fulfill another part of the Howard Center mission: producing national investigations,” Best says. And that’s exactly what Mulvihill, a COM associate professor of the practice of computational journalism, wanted the students in her fall 2023 and spring 2023 semester Data Journalism classes to be a part of when she tapped them to work on the project: “I always tell them, ‘You have to think big to be big,’” she says.
In Data Journalism, a course Mulvihill started in 2023, students learn how to request, organize, and analyze data sets in order to pull narratives from numbers. “The 21st-century journalist has to have these skills,” she says. “A large portion of government information is being digitized, so you have to be able to [navigate] that information.”
For Nowhere to Go, her students dug into data on arrests, evictions, and more in Massachusetts, working with one another and with students from the other universities to identify stories. Some of their work, including stories about illegal evictions during an eviction moratorium and increasingly punitive laws against the homeless, were published by the Associated Press and then picked up by other news outlets. In addition to their reporting for the Howard Center, class members also produced original stories for the Boston Globe—including a front-page report on the criminalization of homelessness in Boston—and for the Boston bureau of the Associated Press.
For one member of the class, watching his work take off nationally felt surreal. On the day one major story was scheduled to run, Nick McCool (CAS’20, COM’20) woke up anxious. “I immediately checked the Associated Press app on my phone to see if it had run—and there it was,” he says. “My day was made before breakfast—and then the pickups started.” Ultimately, the story ran in the New York Times and the Washington Post and on ABC News, among other outlets.Learning on the job
Exciting as those bylines were, the project was about more than that. “It’s just an incredible learning opportunity,” Mulvihill says. “We worked with fantastic editors and data journalists, and my students learned an enormous amount about how to do a large national data-driven project.” BU was one of seven schools participating in the project, along with the University of Maryland, Stanford University, the University of Oregon, the University of Arkansas, the University of Florida, and Arizona State University. Because of the coronavirus, Mulvihill says, her students had to work harder to chase information remotely, learning how to file public records requests, analyze data, and fact-check.
Her students spent the fall 2023 semester investigating police financing with a class at American University, a report they plan to publish in 2023. Not only are these projects a learning opportunity for students, but the national reach of the stories means the work has more impact. Case in point: after seeing an eviction story from Nowhere to Go, readers reached out to help one subject and her six children. “She got rental assistance, two jobs, and food,” Best says. “That kind of response is why we got into this business.”
That’s what McCool thinks, too. “Throughout journalism school, we’re taught to lift up the voices that society forgets. The sources we consulted—the ones for whom a park bench, a subway station, or a parking lot may serve as a home—confront challenges we cannot fathom,” he says. “Our reporting exposed that many of the laws that govern the society in which they live also work against them. I’m especially proud of that.”
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This 815hp Audi EV is literally Gran Turismo made real
Your eyes do not deceive you: this new, outlandish Audi racer isn’t CGI, or a teaser for the PlayStation 5’s graphical talents. In fact, it’s a full-sized, fully functional, and very, very powerful real life version of the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo.
That car was first designed for the PlayStation 4 game, of course, and never with a physical version in mind. Sniffing a Formula E promotion in the making, however, Audi’s engineers were given the task of taking the Gran Turismo car and building it for real. In doing so, it’s an Audi first.
The automaker has made physical versions of its in-game cars before, though only as full-scale models. The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo, however, needed to actually drive, since Audi wanted to use it as a race taxi at Formula E events. That meant it couldn’t just creep around like the typical low-power show car concept might.
All the same, we’re not entirely sure Audi’s team needed to go quite as far as they did – even if we’re not arguing. The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is fully-electric, with a trio of motors: each has 200 kW of power. Two are on the rear axle, while a third is on the front. In total, it gives the car a whopping 815 horsepower – considerably more, you might note, than even the most powerful R8 V10 in the company’s production car line-up.
With a curb weight of just 3,197 pounds, meanwhile, and a 50:50 weight distribution between the front and the rear, it makes for a ridiculously fast EV. Indeed, Audi claims that the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo will do 0-62 mph in under 2.5 seconds. Permanent quattro all-wheel drive is, unsurprisingly, standard.
Notably, the components for this one-off electric car’s drivetrain have their roots in production vehicles. The motors are taken directly from the upcoming Audi e-tron, an all-electric SUV that the automaker hopes to have in dealerships by the end of the year. Sadly it’s unlikely to be quite as powerful as this particular concept car, but the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo will inspire future Audi EVs in other ways.
“This car incorporates numerous elements of our new design language such as the inverted single frame in the vehicle’s color that will be typical for our new e-tron models,” Marc Lichte, chief designer at Audi, says. “Although the design of a virtual vehicle allows much greater freedom and the creation of concepts which are only hard to implement in reality, we did not want to put a purely fictitious concept on wheels. Our aim was a fully functional car.”
In total, it took Lichte and the team at Audi’s pre-production center eleven months to take the game car from purely digital to race track ready. Even if, when it gets to Rome and the Formula E race on April 14, it’ll only be doing taxi duties rather than screaming around the track.
This year the brand is celebrating six decades of innovation and a new era of electrification.
The new McLaren 750S elevates the automaker’s performance in a series production car. Image: MCLAREN AUTOMOTIVE
Sixty years ago, a relentless Kiwi engineer and race car driver had a dream: to start a Formula One racing team and build a Triple Crown-winning (Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans), race car in his name. Today, Bruce McLaren lives on as a history-maker, a maverick and an innovator and his story as a man of precision who wouldn’t settle for second best continues to inspire.
To understand McLaren’s legacy and how it lives on today in McLaren Automotive, you only have to look to the quote he is most famous for: “Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.” As the British carmaker celebrates its 60th year and looks to the next 60, 2023 will also present many opportunities to celebrate the achievements made along the way; while also nurturing its customer relationships, particularly within Australia.
“Australia is one of our key markets within Asia Pacific,” says Charlotte Dickson, Head of Asia Pacific at McLaren Automotive. The region’s appetite for McLaren cars has been growing steadily and will soon welcome a fifth retailer in Perth. “Australia goes from strength to strength for us. The one thing I love about our Australian customers is we have such good relationships with them.
They call us a brand that is, let’s say, more approachable.” When it comes to customer offerings, interactions and experiences, McLaren’s unique approachability uniquely speaks to the Australian consumer’s values —relationship-building is part of our cultural fabric, after all. “We are still an exclusive brand and we want to maintain that, but those face-to-face relationships are so important and very particular to Australia, we don’t get that as much throughout the rest of Asia,” says Dickson, hinting that customer experiences will be a very big focus for the brand in the coming months and a space to watch. “It’s very much a cultural thing, we always have a huge laugh and a lot of fun with our Australian customers.”
Charlotte Dickson. Image: Supplied
Aside from the McLaren60 celebrations, 2023 also marks a number of milestones. Ten years ago, at the Geneva Motor Show, McLaren revealed one of the most remarkable and iconic hypercars ever created, the McLaren P1. The P1 high-performance hybrid is still one of the most desirable supercars ever made. Developed from McLaren’s material and aerodynamic learnings in GT3 and Formula One racing and the iconic McLaren F1 (launched twenty years prior), the P1 set the tone for the McLaren hybrid cars that would follow, including the beautiful McLaren Speedtail hyper-GT (launched in 2023) and the brand new McLaren Artura.
“The P1 was so forward-thinking,” reflects Dickson. “Ten years ago, to have a supercar with hybrid technology with that level of design ethos and those performance stats, people were absolutely stunned. It was just phenomenal.” Hybrid technology has come a long way since the P1 and even the Speedtail, and Artura not only presents a new generation of Ultimate Series supercars, but also, a new era for McLaren. And that means, a new poster car for a new generation of customer. “It’s really reaching out to a new prospect base,” Dickson says the technology is attracting more diverse clientele.
“For example, we’re seeing more female customers purchase this car, people who want something a bit more practical —because as a hybrid, you don’t have the noise, so you’re not worried about waking up your neighbours.”
Reflecting on how the past has influenced McLaren’s future, Dickson notes that today, while other marques might have diluted their brand in the pursuit of newness, McLaren has stood by its ethos of building dreamy, high-performance cars that possess a childlike wonder and futuristic feel. “If you take those four cars [F1, P1, Speedtail and Artura] end-to-end, you can see how we have been able to push the boundaries more with technology and design and the emotional narrative,” she says. “And that’s what you get with McLaren that you don’t get with a lot of other supercars. That for me, is the most exciting part about working for the brand.”
Innovative thinking may underpin McLaren’s material engineering, powertrains and customer relations, but it also fuels the marque’s internal business and initiatives. “When we talk about innovation, it doesn’t need to be big innovation either,” says Dickson. “I think people think innovation has to be big strategies and ideas, but day-to-day and even just the work we do on a daily basis, we are always looking for new and interesting ways of doing things and consistently improving and adjusting what we do to maximise results.”
This is particularly true when it comes to unearthing and elevating fresh and diverse perspectives.“When I first started my career in automotive, at a different luxury brand, it was very male-orientated.” Dickson’s Singapore-based team has a gender balance of 50/50, she says. “There are a lot of automotive companies focusing on [diversity] right now, but it’s so refreshing with McLaren. Here, there are more females in the right positions, which I think is very important. It’s not about putting women in a role [they aren’t suited to] just because you need the quota, it’s about finding the right roles and the women who are absolutely capable of delivering the results that McLaren expects.”
Importantly, says Dickson, it’s also about giving those from underrepresented backgrounds the right training, support and an environment that allows them to diversify their skillset —that, along with retaining talent, she says, is the mark of a truly betterment-focused company. “Take our global marketing director, Andrea Bermúdez, for example. She’s been with the brand for more than nine years, she’s done regional roles, central roles and she’s worked in marketing and commercial operations.
She’s a perfect example of someone who has diversified into different areas of the business and excelled. That to me is what McLaren is about, it gives you those opportunities.” She adds, “We also focus on our young people. We have internships, graduate programs and we get people who are young and give them experience across different departments. It’s important that you put the energy into the people that you recruit and give them a development path so they have the opportunity to grow and diversify their skills.” The marque also regularly celebrates and uplifts its employees from underrepresented backgrounds through events, sponsorships and other global initiatives.
Bruce McLaren never lived to see his namesake car become the iconic marque it is today. Just seven years after the team’s debut, Formula One and Le Mans victories in his back pocket, McLaren died during testing in a fateful crash. However, in many ways, his spirit continues to fuel McLaren’s present and future. “If we think back to Bruce in the original days, it really is an unbelievable story, one that nobody else has,” says Dickson. “Bruce McLaren was so focused on performance, authenticity, winning, innovation, all traits we still have in our brand today.” She adds, “Still, we’re always questioning, always looking for new opportunities and looking for improvements, because we know, you can’t just stand on your laurels, you constantly need to keep innovating.”
The State of Ohio has taken the first step in taking down a pioneering crowdfunding site but could also be critically wounding the State’s growing entrepreneurial clout. In balancing the interests of both startups and investors, Ohio is making it clear that investor protection within the crowdfunding industry is its primary concern. While this is certainly a commendable and necessary mission, it may come at the cost of chilling the state’s startup momentum. It has already cost a prominent startup founder and crowdfunding leader her title and company.
Last week the Security Division of Ohio’s Department of Commerce publicized a June Notice of Hearing and Notice of Intent to Issue a Cease and Desist Order (PDF). The targets are the Cincinnati-based crowdfunding platform SoMoLend and its founder Candice Klein. Among its allegations, the State lists securities fraud, fraudulent financial projections, false statements regarding current and past performance, and unregistered sales of securities. On August 14, Klein resigned her role as CEO and board member to SoMoLend. While the matter will come before a hearing in October, the greater issue is not just of SoMoLend’s fate but the fate of Ohio’s entrepreneurial community.
As the underlying facts and allegations in the SoMolend matter play out, the entire US startup and crowdfunding community should be keenly watching and learning more about this matter. Because the language of Title III of the JOBS Act language is still not yet defined, this matter could have national implications once the SEC promulgates the specific rule and regulations.
Reviewing the paper trail related to the JOBS Act and the State of Ohio’s stance on it, it appears that there are some major concerns the State has in regards to crowdfunding and startup financing in general.
In its letter (PDF) dated January 9, 2013, the State lays out its views in regards to the pending Tittle III language. The State prefaces its views by stating that Congress “poorly construed” the provisions relating to reducing the risk of harm to the investor “in offerings where the investor has almost no bargaining power and little information.” In an effort to rebalance these types of transaction and protect the investor from fraud, the State goes on to suggest alterations and further clarifications of the underlying mission of the Act.
A key focus of both this letter and of the SoMoLend action is the use of forecasts and projections by investment-seeking companies. The State declares that “ [i]n the Division’s experience, forecasts and projections are often rife with fraud, bear no reasonable basis in reality, and fail to identify the assumptions made and the sources of information relied upon (often because no such information is relied upon in making the projections).” In the SoMoLend Notice, the State goes to great lengths to demonstrate that the company repeatedly and consistently used five-year projections that to date are not “on pace” to achieve the stated milestones.
While the going practice for startups in giving pitches is to present forecasts and projections, current accredited investors are responsible for conducting their own due diligence in making the decision whether to invest or not. With a crowdfunding platform the investor may or may not be a seasoned investor and therefore runs the risk of investing based on projections they cannot verify. Because, as the State explains in its letter, “[i]t is difficult to see how any young entity or start-up can, in good faith and with ‘a sound factual or historical basis,’ predict its future financial performance,” it recommends restricting the use of any direct or indirect forecasts or projections.
In place of the startup providing forecasts, the State seeks to shift the responsibility of due diligence onto the crowdfunding intermediaries and platforms who should not “blindly rely” on the startup. The State goes so far as to recommend the following:
“requiring crowdfunding intermediaries, particularly broker-dealers intermediaries recommending sales, to ask questions of accountants, officers and directors, suppliers, and customers; assess competitive risks; review the issuer’s current financial health and its future financial prospects; consider general financial issues related to the issuer’s business; and, be fully knowledgeable about the accuracy and completeness of the representations made to the investor. It may also be appropriate to require a physical on-site investigation of some issuers that lack audited financial statements or where red flags may be present.”
This statement seems to ignore the previous acknowledgment that most young startups simply do not have the history or infrastructure yet to provide accurate representations. It would seem that intermediaries and platforms are in no better position to conduct this level of due diligence than the startup itself. This whole process is especially difficult for startups that are in essence creating a new market or product category. What information, market history, and financial comparisons can be used in such instances?
This type of activity could greatly burden the crowdfunding platform and increase costs significantly. Because the State uses the term “fraud” liberally throughout its letter, it is apparent that its chief concern is just that and that it believes there is resounding fraud throughout the industry. As Andrew Schwartz, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado detailed in his Comments (PDF) to the SEC, the language in the Act currently contemplates investor loss and ensures that the majority of investors could lose no more that $5,000 in a given year. While that would be unfortunate, it would not be life altering for those investors. Placing immense regulatory and disclosure burdens on the crowdfunding platform diminishes the very essence of crowdfunding – ease, less costly, and access.
While greater scrutiny of the language and intentions of the JOBS Act is certainly a valuable and needed initiative, doing so with a bias against investment-seeking companies will only serve to diminish the impact such platforms could have on growth. A balance must be found between mitigating investment risk and increasing access to capital, which in turn creates jobs, companies, and revenue (taxes) for any state.
The SoMoLend hearing is set for October and the State will issue a final order after that time.
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