I wonder why EstateGuru has so many good reviews and not even a bad opinion
As a matter of fact, my EstateGuru review comes late. I took some time to perform my tests, collect info and also meet them in person at the Peer to Peer conference in Riga 2019
EstateGuru is the biggest real estate crowdfunding in Europe excluding the UK and it keeps growing
Confidence is important and EstateGuru is building a rather clean track record, with low defaults and great transparency
Let’s get down to the facts!
Reading time 5 min.
This is intended to be the most comprehensive EstateGuru guide ever written.
Benefits of using EstateGuru
The main advantage of using the real estate crowdfunding are the high interest rates in relation to a reasonable default rate.
EstateGuru average return for investors is 12,04% yearly. This is not bad from an investor point of view for a property backed loan.
Indeed, there are other platforms with high rates but not yet that established, big and with an “800 loans old” track record, out of which 350 have been successfully repaid.
So what pushed me towards EstateGuru was not only the will to know it better and write a review about it. I wanted to invest in real estate in crowdfunding and I wasn’t able to find the right platform to do it.
I have written a very hotly debated review some years ago about a popular real estate website.
It came out of my frustration of not finding a way to invest in real estate and fully exploit the potential behind real estate crowdfunding.
For me, one of the benefits of using EstageGuru is undeniably that I wanted to diversificate my loan portfolio by type, and Real Estate loans were scarcely represented.
What is EstateGuru (in brief)?
It is an online P2P debt funding platform.
Here property developers and entrepreneurs can borrow funds from international investor and investors can invest in secured property loans.
Investors come from 45 countries.
Worst things on EstateGuru
There are three things that may be improved.
Among these, one will be resolved shortly.
One feature that I value a lot when investing in loans online is the chance of investing on autopilot.
Military call it “fire and forget”, in my case it will be what I like to do with P2P lending tools:
- Transfer money
- Setup auto-invest
- Forget while accruing interests
Yes, EstateGuru provides the auto-invest option with a minimum investment of 50€ per loan.
The issue is that the minimum investment per project rises to 250€ if I want to set “a more complex automation”, filtering out loans.
I am in love with complex setups, I want total control over what I buy. 250€ allows a reasonable diversification only to investors with bigger pockets, I’d say investing above 10k€.
10.000€ / 250 = 40 (filtered) loans that is enough diversification for my standards.
Of course, this is very personal and the ordinary auto-invest at 250€ minimum can make 90% of investors happy anyway.
I am not yet investing more then 10K€ on EG now, I keep studying the tool, I invest both with basic auto-invest and manually 50€ /150€ at the time, picking loans one by one for now.
Honestly, I like to pick out loans here. Anyway auto-invest is what makes things running on autopilot, and it’s worth activate since there are not “bad loans” here, so far.
The second thing “I won’t call home about” concerning this tool is the low Geographic diversification.
It is actually improving (and double compared to similar tools), but it is still limited to 5 countries.
The third element I miss on this platform is a secondary market.
⚠️ However, I have been informed by the company’s representatives that this feature will be added to the platform already during summertime!
Making it possible to exit the investment before the term in some way is always a plus from an investor point of view.
EstateGuru will have a secondary market, and I am looking forward to try it out.
Know what you buy – EstateGuru loans definitions
(This section is more suitable for advanced investors, skip down to “how to use” if you feel falling asleep while reading…)
There are only 3 loan types here:
A development loan is a loan used to develop real property. It may include not just construction of the improvements, but also excavation, infrastructure such as storm sewers and roads, and the holding costs of the property until such time as it can be sold or can support fully amortizing permanent financing.
The property backed loan is used to release equity capital and increase the operating capital of the company.
A short-term loan used to meet current obligations before securing permanent financing, enhancing value or selling an asset.
My direct questions to EstateGuru about their loans:
What are loan stages?
Stage loans are used to continue construction works.
Many developers face the challenge in which the current value of their development object does not enable them to raise the capital that is needed to complete the development object entirely at once. As EstateGuru only lends against the current value of the collateral not the future value, then for development loans we often make use of the stage financing method.
This means that when the first investment round of an object enables the borrower to increase the collateral value of the property by developing the object further, then in the context of the given LTV the investment amount can increase via next stages of the loan. All loans are funded solely based on the current value of the object and a precondition for every stage is a new updated valuation report of the collateral.
Can it happen that a certain stage loan (that is not the first) is just a loan that is helping to repay the previous one that is about to default? How can I know that this is not happening?
Stage loans are not used to repay previous loans on EstateGuru, as they are solely with the purpose of financing a next stage of a development / business processl.
Loans used for refinancing are separate and are called business loans with a subtype other – used for refinancing purposes. This info is always brought out in the loan description as well.
However, a refinancing loan is not done with the purpose of saving a defaulted loan – normally it is to give the borrower a little more time to ensure their business plans are fulfilled successfully. If a loan is about to default and we see no perspective in saving it, then a refinancing loan is not something we practice these cases.
What stage is the riskiest?
Risk level between the stages does not differ and the stage should not be the main indicator. Each project is worth to take a look and each criterion has to be analyzed separately. There is no maximum stage number, it all depends on the project.
The main risk evaluation is presented with LTV (loan to value). All stages of the loan are secured with the same collateral, hence the investors are all in the same position, no matter whether you have invested in the first or the last stage.
Some of the names that are not in use anymore on EstateGuru are “reconstruction loans” and “refinancing loans”.However, once a loan is refinancing, it is very clearly marked in the loan description.
EstateGuru statistics made easy
In my opinion, the numbers about their loans are good so far.
More than 800 loans were financed and new loans are added weekly. Cash drag on EstateGuru is not a problem at the moment and money is invested quite fast. It is also not reasonable to compare it with the liquidity of P2P Lending tools since real estate deals are much bigger and complex than personal loans.
Here is a EstateGuru statistics table:
From this data, I’d say it is rather safe (for my risk appetite) investing in most of these loans. Latvia loans might have the best numbers so far, but more data is needed to draw conclusions.
Occasionally, a personal guarantee is acquired from the borrower which is an additional security for the investors.
In the unlucky event of a total default, the property will be sold and EstateGuru with its lenders has the first rights.
Buyback or property baked loans?
The guarantees to which I am accustomed as a p2p investor here take a different form.
In most P2P lending website the loans are bought back from the loan originators after 30/60 days of late payments. That is nice since I don’t even realize there is a late payment and I get refunded with interests.
Here I have a property behind my loan that is solid stuff, potentially even more reliable than a small loan originator guarantee.
Selling the property can take time, but from the information I get this it is seldom required and parties come to an agreement well before.
EstateGuru tutorial 🛠 How to use
The most asked question is:
Can I use auto-invest but also spot and buy loans by myself?
Yes. Auto invest does not conflict with manual investing.
When I want to participate in a loan it is enough that I head to the “loans” section:
There is a way to filter out loans on this list on the top right corner:
To invest in a loan is a matter of seconds, but I always spare some extra time to go through the details, acknowledge about the collateral, perform a web search with the name of the business, check the registers and then proceed.
To be honest I haven’t found any suspicious thing so far with any of the projects I was involved.
It would be suspicious for me if, for example, the borrowers were the same 3 or 4 refinancing their loans in a loop.
Some time ago I have spotted a business loan website that is working with very few companies.
Here is an example of a typical loan I can partecipate on EstateGuru:
An appraisal report of the collateral is available to download but it can be in foreign languages. However, the main information from the valuation report (valuator, collateral value, property details) are presented in the loan description separately as well.
Ones I decide the loan is right for me, I write the amount, in euros, I want to invest and then I review and confirm the operation. When the loan is fully invested it goes into the next steps but from now on, we don’t have to worry much about it.
If a loan does not get funded the money is given back immediately to investors.
Is EstateGuru safe?There are not safe investments in this world Click To Tweet
Real estate investing can be risky but what I like to do is to take all the measures to make it safer.
So, yes, safer investing is possible even here on EstateGuru.
EstateGuru is a large company with critical mass born in 2013.
EstateGuru is currently holding €145,596,978 in collateral.
The advantage here is that loans are all property-backed, but for me is not enough and I want also avoid the remote chance of waiting for the collection.
The main number I check to make safer investments on EstateGuru is LTV.
The lower the better. It means that theloan amount is smaller compared to the value of the same loan collateral. This means that there is a higher “buffer” on top of the loan amount, should the collateral property be sold.
One more smart thing to do is not be overexposed on few loans, but invest in more loans of different types in different countries.
Most loans are in Estonia, but I find it great to diversificate on all countries whenever I can.
Interest rate is not that important because in any case, it is very high, so I will overweight diversification over maximum yield.
The total default rate on the platform from all loans is: 2,5% and picking out my loans carefully I aim to lower this percentage even more.
So far I have zero late loans on this website.
Question about safety on EstateGuru:
What is the maximum Loan to Value?
EG only make ‘conservative’ loans. All loans are secured by physical assets at a maximum LTV ratio of 75%, and an average of 58%.
This gives a substantial cushion of at least 42% should the value of the property fall.
Who are the people behind it?
On the “about us” page there are details about them, an email button and a working link to their LinkedIn account. Most of them have a background in real estate and banking.
They have teams in 3 countries including the UK.
I met a few of them at the P2P conference in Riga and I was impressed. They don’t avoid answering questions and they seem to be a team focused on making it work.
Who can invest with EstateGuru?
- Are you at least 18 years old?
- Do you have a bank account in any of the EEA member states or in Switzerland?
Do I really own something with RE crowdfunding?
By lending, I sign an agreement with a business company involved in one or more real estate projects. The loan is backed by one or more properties. The terms include a fixed interest rate that will be paid to me.
How much to invest in real estate crowdfunding like EstateGuru?
Diversification is important, so I never invest more of 50% of my assets in P2P lending and real estate crowdfunding. On average, 50% invested this way is already a really high share for any ordinary investor with an ordinary risk appetite.
RE crowdfunding is very rewarding, I love it, but it is not 100% risk-free.
I’d try to use more websites for RE crowdfunding.
Another one that I like is Crowdestate (18,24% average return on the past 163 projects).
EstateGuru for beginners?
I don’t give investment advice. This is at the base of this blog. I freely share what I do because I know a lot of people struggle to find a balanced and informed way to invest in autonomy.
If I should take into account the ease of use, EstateGuru is one of the best websites I’ve interacted with, so far.
I found very easy to transfer money, to get verified and to invest in loans.
Should I evaluate customer service and investor relation, this aspect was also covered nicely.
Subscribing is free and doesn’t bring any obligation to get verified immediately or to invest.
How do I invest on EstateGuru?
- I visited their website
- Collected information
- Wrote them some email to find out more
- Decided it was right for me
- Subscribed using an active cashback link
- Got verified
- Transferred the capital I wanted to invest
- Got it invested within the first 30 days (in order to take advantage of the bonus)
Today, I cash in the interests and sometimes buy new loans (also) manually.
FAQs and some dictionary
(This section can be more interesting for advanced investors, skip down to “Conclusions and Recap⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️” before falling asleep while reading…)
What difference between “bullet” and “full bullet” schedule types?
Bullet repayment schedule means that loan interest is being paid periodically and principal amount is being paid at the end of the loan period. Full bullet schedule indicated that both interest and principal are being paid at the end of the loan period.
What difference between loans “Funded” and “Fully invested”?
Funded means that the project has already been approved at the notary and investors start getting interest for it.
If a project is fully invested, the borrower has 15 days + 10 working days extension (if necessary) to set up a security for the project.
How often are interest paid to investors?
As above, it depends on the repayment schedule. For bullet loans, its periodically (mostly each month). For full bullet loans, interest is paid at the end of the loan period.
After how long you declare a loan defaulted?
EstateGuru has the legal right to start preparing the documentation package for ending the loan contract after a periodic interest payment of a loan has been overdue for 45 days.
Once the payment is overdue for 60 days, EstateGuru has the right to conclude the loan agreement and send the case to the security agent and bailiff agent.
However, our goal is always to resolve all claims as fast as possible to ensure maximum return for our investors and the auction process is definitely not a fast solution.
Hence, we take this case by case and if we have a validated reason to believe that the case might be solved through alternative means and faster than it would through an auction process, then we investigate this option even if the claim is for a longer period than 60 days.
Can it happen to see also refinancing loans in the list of loans or it now fits under other names?
Refinancing loans are categorized under business loans, and it is always shown in the project description when the loan is a refinancing.
What happens to my money if EstateGuru goes into bankruptcy?
EstateGuru is a facilitator of real estate investments. All investment contracts are signed between the borrower and the investor, EstateGuru only facilitates this transaction. Client funds are separated from EstateGuru’s funds. Should EstateGuru go bankrupt, client funds can still be accessed.
Are there fees for investors?
No fees apply to investors. All expenses are covered by the borrower.
How is my money invested on EstateGuru secured?
All the loans are backed with a mortgage.
How much does it cost to deposit money into my EstateGuru account?
Investing in real estate with little money
It is possible to invest in real estate with little money using crowdfunding platforms like EstateGuru.
Minimum investment per project is just 50€ and the duration of the loans is, on average, rather short (12 months).
So, yes, it is possible to become a real estate investor starting with as little as 50€.
The advantage compared to a real-life deal is that not only the minimum capital invested can be limited, but also that I will start to cash in interest from the beginning. On average after one month I will start to see my cashflow (if loans are bullet).
EstateGuru alternatives and competitors
The 4 most popular alternatives to EstateGuru (12%) are:
CrowdEstate Vs EstateGuru
CrowdEstate is small but fast-growing in 3 countries and offers very high yields. It may be a more aggressive alternative / complementary choice to EG.
It is important to note that aside from the secured loans, Crowdestate’s range of loan types is higher and they also offer unsecured loans and loans that are secured with other securities, other than real estate. Hence, the difference in returns.
I had the pleasure to meet some of the staff, they made quite an impression on me.
Housers Vs EstateGuru
Housers is the most popular choice for sure. I don’t use it, I don’t like the statistics so far, some users complain about some defaults. Yields are lower than 10% with a 10% performance charge.
Normally I like to learn from others mistakes (like I successfully do with Bondora), here I don’t find a way to get a nice risk/reward ratio for my taste.
Grupeer Vs EstateGuru
Grupeer is doing great but it is newly born (2 years old).
One cool feature I spotted lately is the chance to follow the progress of construction works through a webcam 24h available on some projects.
It means nothing, but it says a lot about the willingness of being transparent and open with investors.
I had the pleasure to meet some of the staff. Nice and focused.
Property Partner Vs EstateGuru
Property partner is a UK giant for buy to let. It is large, established and open to investors out of the UK.
In the name the destiny: EstateGuru is, by far, one of the best p2p website names ever invented and it is indeed a successful one, so far.
Conclusions and Recap⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
EstateGuru is one of my successful DIY investing tools with zero default so far.
12% interest on average per year with such a good transparency is ok for me.
- Where is it: Estonia
- Birth: 2013
- Free or pay: Free to use and to invest
- Currency: € only
- Minimum investment per loan: 50€
- Interest: 7,5% – 13%
- Loan duration: 1/2 years on average
- Secondary market: missing
- Guarantee: Property backed
- Auto-invest feature: yes 50/250€
- Minimum investment per loan: 50€
- Bonus: 0.5% cashback on investments made in the first 90 day
- Additional temporary bonus of 25€ here if investing +1000€ in the first 30 days
The best thing about EstateGuru?
Transparency. They also have to most clear and detailed FAQ sections ever.
Now, forget about me and visit EstateGuru on your terms
Have I missed something?
What is your experience so far?
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