to invest in stocks, bonds and funds, as the Internet helped level the playing field in traded assets. Prior to 2000, sophisticated trading tools were the exclusive tools of the high priesthood of Wall Street investing. These exotic trading terminals and stock price wire feeds (such as those offered by Bloomberg) went from charging fees that only a professional could afford to making their service ubiquitous and free. Today, opening an account with a retail broker from an entity like Schwab, TD Ameritrade or eTrade gets an investor a tool nearly as powerful as a Big Board market maker uses. Potential retail real estate investors await a similar break- through, first for the hundreds of thousands of active in- vestors who participate in investor associations or buying clubs, then for the wider market looking for higher yields and secured investment in rental real estate.
liver a retail real estate investing experience as a service, much like the traded asset world, just with an exchange model more akin to the pace of real estate. The real estate investment market has traditionally been a do-it- yourself market. Over the last 15 years, the shift has been to attract more conventional investors to real estate via REITs and direct ownership under professional turnkey management. This latter category seems destined to become the dominant model, given the institutional weight behind the trend. The future of real estate investing offers opportunity for every- one as housing investment matures from a hobby (though hardly a niche) to a mainstream industry. Meantime, a number of entities are building the culture and technology infrastructure to deliver this investment experience. •
NEXT GEN: REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT ASASERVICE
AndrewWaite, founding publisher of Personal Real Estate Inves- tor Magazine, has been developing and selling investor software with Nitro Mobile Solutions since 2010. He has now joined Nitro to head enterprise sales to investment companies and investors. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe that within the next 12 to 24 months there will be an aggregation of many of the turnkey real estate investment providers and mid-cap real estate investment operators to de-
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