Your Next Landlord Could Be 100 Random People


Harsh economic conditions have demanded younger people adjust. The average age of first-time home buyers in the US has risen to 36, according to the National Association of Realtors. People are marrying later, are more likely to have student loan payments, and have more stagnant wages. All the while, property prices are rising. In Phoenix, Arizona, the median home price in 2004 was $174,815. In 2023, it’s $450,000. Average salaries from 2004 to 2021 increased 70 percent, lagging behind explosive housing prices.

That’s part of what drew Emanette Peniche to the Soapstone. Peniche, who lives and rents her home in Los Angeles—1,500 miles from the little brick house in Fayetteville—says she regrets not investing more when she first started, and now has a handful of properties in her Arrived portfolio. “I was just immediately captured by the accessibility to investing in real estate,” says Peniche, a 33-year-old who works in product marketing at Meta. She was so drawn to the model, in fact, that she gave marketing expertise as an unpaid advisor to Arrived in 2021.

The Soapstone is similar to other investment properties advertised by Arrived, like the Sheezy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, or the Mimosa in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The first homes to be advertised on the platform likely won’t be sold for two to three years, giving them time to appreciate, says Frazier, Arrived’s CEO. Then investors can cash out.

The average investor spends around $3,500 on five or six properties, Frazier says. But investments can top $25,000 and include accredited investors, says Bret Neuman, head of brand and content at Arrived. Still, most people invest less than $1,000. And, according to Arrived, it delivered $1.2 million in dividends for investors in 2022. Its portfolio of properties appreciated a total of $1.4 million over the same year, the company says.

Other fractional ownership startups take different approaches to the same idea. reAlpha, the vacation-rental company, sells shares in investment properties to be used as Airbnbs. The company says it uses AI to analyze properties and predict their viability as vacation rentals. Then it buys, renovates, and manages the properties. Y Combinator–backed Lofty AI lets people buy tokens for $50 in homes. People can then use their tokens to vote on management decisions about their properties, like how repairs should be done and whether a tenant should be evicted. 

Landa is selling shares in at least a dozen townhouses in Douglasville, Georgia, a city just west of Atlanta, and more homes in Atlanta and its other suburbs. It’s a region that has seen an influx of investors, thanks in part to controversial legislation that favors landlords—including a law that bans rent control. But major investor activity in Atlanta dwarfs this space of listings—four big real estate investors in the area own an estimated 27,000 properties.

The affinity for Sunbelt and Mountain states that stretch across the southern US should come as no surprise—fractional investment startups are simply following trends set by other real estate investors. That’s largely been the case since the Great Recession, which began in 2007, reshaped the real estate market in the US. Large investors, backed by venture capital and bolstered by new proptech, swooped in and bought not just apartment buildings, but single-family homes in historically more affordable suburbs, like those around Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Phoenix.

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