There are a plethora of finance and real estate investment blogs out there — how does one choose which to follow for solid financial advice?

Staying sharp on happenings related to your finances (and for us, “fintech”, ie financial technology and real estate investing) is key to knowing how to optimize invested funds. We love hearing about blogs with the ability to help both investment industry pros and newbies alike with valuable investment tips and trends. Learning how to make money investing is invaluable. Each website below offers advice about finding the best ways to invest, and some with unique ways to save. They should in no way substitute your financial advisor but may be good reads during long commutes or quiet weekends.

Without further adieu, here are some of our favorite (mainly real estate-related) and best investment blogs in no particular order.

8 Real Estate Investment Blogs to Follow

1. Mr. Money Mustache

Mr. Money is written by an early retiree who through humor and sensibility illustrates how living way beyond one’s means is the main factor preventing early retirement. In his own words “I decided to start this blog to share some of the secrets of how all this can be done. How you can create a life that is better than your current one, that just happens to cost 50-75% less.” We love this blog for those who are tired of living in the hustle and bustle of a 9-5 and want to enjoy less conventional ways of living.

2. Bigger Pockets

Bigger Pockets has 10+ years of experience focusing on real estate investing in all of its complexities. It offers a perfectly balanced selection of posts tailored to both novice and experienced real estate investors alike. Bigger Pockets also offers a podcast for ‘on the go’ listeners. If you are ready to learn about the real estate investment trends check them out.

3. Afford Anything

Afford Anything is written by Paula Pant and we recommend this for Millenials who are unsatisfied with their day job and want to make money while being free to live life as they please. Pant explains how post graduation she got a job and hated it-only to quit and spend years traveling. Pant ends up making a living by investing in real estate and explains all of her life and investment lessons in this blog.

 4. The College Investor

Maintained by Robert Farrington this blog is dedicated to Millenials who are facing student loan debt while trying to achieve financial freedom. This blog teaches the beginning steps of investing along with providing real life financial advice. Farrington believes “Building real wealth takes hard work, patience, and time. My goal is to showcase a variety of personal finance and investing ideas, and hopefully some prove useful to you.”

5. Crowdfund Insider

Crowdfund Insider is not technically a blog, they are a news and information site. Yet, staying up to date with Fintech investment news will affect investment patterns, so we recommend the Crowdfund Insider. They offer a wide variety of author perspectives which make the Crowdfund Insider quite objective.

6. REtipster

Founded by Seth Williams a few years back. Williams’ goal is to teach potential investors that you can be successful in real estate without being committed solely to real estate. Seth illustrates to readers that you can still work your day job and make money with real estate investing in your spare time. “You don’t need to have millions in the bank to buy real estate. You don’t need to quit your job (or get fired) before you can get started. You can literally start today. Right here. Right now.”

7. Investor Insights

Founded by Susan Lassiter-Lyons, a real estate investor since 1994 and an Amazon #1 best-selling author, the investor Insights blog gives great insight into selling real estate properties as well as managing. You will also learn some insider secrets for real estate investing from Susan and her team. As you will learn from the Investor Insights website, Susan is “a real estate investing strategist, private money coach and fund advisor.”

8. The Penny Hoarder

Founded by Kyle Taylor the Penny Hoarder is a blog for real people looking to save money. From posts about sales to investing, this blog covers it all. We recommend this blog for anyone who is looking to save money, as the Penny Hoarder with teach you the most unconventional ways to save. You can even follow the Penny Hoarder on most social media pages.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Statistics!

Do you have a favorite investment blog or some other tips about real estate investing companies? Share it in the comments below!

We all know that home staging can be a ‘make it or break it’ deal for some properties. Staging a home allows for the potential buyer to imagine life on the property, and helps those less creative to plan further design. There are quite a few projects that will dramatically increase the buyer’s response without breaking the bank. Here are a few home staging trends!

Curb Appeal

The first impression of the home that the buyer will have is going to be determined by the exterior of the house. Curb appeal, encompasses the property from the curb to the front door. Let’s consider some of the easiest ways to better your curb appeal:

  • Landscaping: You can of course employ a landscape architect to help you plan and invest in the landscaping of your property or you can apply some of these quick fixes:
    • Incorporate simple, organic, and dark colors into landscape planning. Instead of traditional white or grey fences, try dark blues and greys. Gardens do not need to be overdone as simplicity will go a long way, adding a rock garden or mulch is always a possibility as long as there is some incorporation of greenery. Also, consider adding metal features such as railing and metal based lighting fixtures.
    • Sustainable features: An exciting new trend is harvesting rainwater. Having a catchment for rainwater will allow a sustainable water source.
  • Replace Doors- replacing garage and front/back doors can add so much value to the property. Keep your color schemes in mind when selecting the right doors for the home. When considering potential paint colors, stay away from super bold colors as those tend to date the property. Utilize more neutral colors for any exterior painting projects with allowance for a pop of color within your color scheme.

Color Scheme

You want to keep the home as gender neutral as possible when staging and this can be difficult when considering furniture and paint colors. Ideally, the home will have a healthy balance of both male and female energy. We love Benjamin Moore’s 2016 color trends for inspiration. The perfect color scheme will be a combination of neutrals with allowance of up to three bolder colors. This scheme should act as a theme throughout the house for a feeling of continuity. This doesn’t mean each room should have the same colors, or be all white, but there should be a clear and concise design/color flow throughout the house that makes sense for the location of the property. You can see more color inspirations on House Beautiful.


One thing is clear, having a strong organic look and feel to the house will sell the property. This is as simple as adding plants and greenery to most, if not all areas of the home. You can also consider learning more about Feng Shui, which lays out very clear rules for optimal energy flows. About Home offers some great advice and educational tools for all things Feng Shui. Natural lighting is also going to play a big role in creating the organic feel of a home. Maximize any opportunity to use natural lighting

Now let’s look into room specifics.

Living Room

The living room is going to be the first place in the home where you can show some of the home’s character. Try some of these trends to give your home the design edge that will turn lookers into buyers. You want to stay away from too much white as this room needs to be functional and not just decorative. All white designs may turn the buyer away if they have children.


This design style will have a-lot of multi-functional spaces with plenty of storage. You will see quite a few industrial features and exposed brick in an urban design style.


Bold design styles will be just that! You can incorporate either bold color or bold furniture designs to wow the buyer. The key here is not to over-do it, as you are not the buyer and do not want to turn them away.

Gender Neutral

Gender neutral styles are perfect for single family homes as you want design styles that have both male and female energy. You want this design style to feel like home.


Eclectic design styles are going to draw their inspiration from varying cultures and styles. Just as with the bold design styles, you do not want to over-do it. You can capture an eclectic design by purchasing vintage pieces.


We will always love our dark kitchen designs with stainless steel appliances because it looks very modern and clean. The downfall with dark designs is that the kitchen can end up looking very industrial and feeling cold. In Home Staging Trends 2016 we are seeing more neutrals mixed with greens and oranges in the kitchen. This will make the kitchen feel more warm and like home. Kitchen design really comes down to personal preference; in the home staging trends it is safe to lean towards more neutrals so the buyer feels that they still have some room to design the kitchen themselves.


This is our favorite part of staging, after all it’s where the magic happens! (Of course, we mean sleeping). This year the bedroom space is home to some pretty cool trends. It’s time to get rid of the boring white on white, 2016 is all about creative, colorful, and eccentric bedroom spaces. Consider purchasing vanities and other bedroom features from a vintage store. Wallpaper is back, it’s fun and easy to change. There are quite a few themes for the bedroom that you can use when staging, traditional, eclectic, modern, and Mediterranean.

Check out some of the pictures below for some bedroom staging inspiration.

Laundry Room

One feature that buyers are looking for is a welcoming laundry room. This is a simple fix that involves light colors, and plenty of storage space wherever possible, and again more plants. This is one area of the home where the buyer will spend a lot of time and to know that the area has been designed (even minimally) is a huge deal.

Check out these updated laundry rooms for inspiration.


Old cluttered attics always make for great additional bedroom space, and basements can be transformed into additional living/family quarters. Attics can also be transformed into a studio space for creatives.

As the developer, you want to keep the options open to the buyer by not assigning the attic to one specific purpose. You can do this by utilizing the natural light and leaving the space open to interpretation. As for the basement, keep the designs very open with lots of lighting fixtures, as the basement is going to have low natural lighting. You want to avoid having a lot of dark features that will make the space look smaller and unwelcoming.

Again as long as the basement is finished, you can get away with minimal staging, the important thing to remember for basement and attic space is that unless specified the buyer is going to be happy to know that their biggest concern is adding furniture.

Check out these ideas for basement/attic spaces


One of our favorite trends for converting old sheds is making  a “she-shed”. We see more home owners converting their sheds into the female equivalent of a “man cave”. The space is used for creative endeavors or simply just as a spa escape…in the yard! As a developer you would not go too far into the personalization process of this space; yet you can present the option to buyers by making the space more feminine with open concepts and clean designs. If this is too ‘anti-feminist’ for you, you can of course use the shed as an outdoor child’s play area, or…storage!

We hope that you found some great inspiration and staging ideas from this article and would love to see some of your staging pictures.
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Please email them over to hello@sharestates and you may be featured in our next staging post!

Crowdinvesting is expected to continue to grow by the billions in 2016, and if ever there were a time to start investing, now’s the time. Many investors like to  diversify their investment portfolio as it can be seen as the best way to limit risk. Below, are five key reasons why real estate crowdfunding presents the best option for potential investors.

Why is Crowdfunding Such a Great Option for Real Estate Investment?

 1.  Net annualized returns between 10–20%

Though it may sound too good to be true, the science behind such high return rates is in the lack of middlemen. There is no need for broker or private fund fees since the crowdfund is connecting the investor directly to the property. The money that is saved from lack of middlemen adds to the quality of the net annualized return that investors will see. These returns are rare in a low yielding and volatile investment environment.

2.  Underwriting systems (due diligence)

Many real estate crowdfunding platforms have extensive underwriting processes for the investments they offer to their investors. Since all data acquired for a risk assessment is shared with investors, these online platforms provide a very transparent experience. A few of the key factors for underwriting are location of the investment property, loan-to-value ratio, and sponsor track record. Underwriting is one of the most fundamental aspects of the crowdfunding process.

3.  Overall health of real estate sector in 2016

In PWC’S 2016 edition of Emerging Trends in Real Estate United States and Canada they predict that the year will continue the upward swing for real estate investments. According to this PWC report, the total volume of acquisition for real estate investments, for the 12 months ending on June 30, 2015, was US 497.4 billion. This acquisition volume is up 24.6 percent over to last year. It is predicted that 2016 investors are going to have capital availability greater than or equal to that of 2015. So what does that mean for you? Now, is the time to INVEST, INVEST, INVEST. Attitudes toward the real estate sector are stable and growing more positive daily, and crowdfunding gives you the most control over your investment.

4.  Reinvest funds option or withdraw

Still a little apprehensive about investing in real estate? Though we are far from the 2008 real estate market, you may still not be convinced that now is the time to start investing in the real estate sector. Much to the investors’ benefit, the vast
majority of crowdfunding platforms extend the option of withdrawing or reinvesting to their investors. This means that investors can choose to reinvest in another property of their choice, using their earnings. This gives you as the investor even more control over what happens with your money.

5.  You can invest side-by-side with billion-dollar institutions

A less-considered benefit of investing with a real estate crowdfund is that in some cases you are investing in properties alongside huge institutions. That not only helps to build your investment portfolio, but it guarantees you a higher than normal ROI depending on the risk associated with of your investment.

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Below is a social media guide for the 5th Annual Real Estate Women’s Forum. Use it to engage with speakers and other attendees. Enjoy!

The 5th annual Real Estate Women’s Forum will be held at the New Yorker Hotel on February 25. This event will bring together over 500 of New York’s key Real Estate players to network, share ideas, and learn. We have put a social media guide together to help in the networking process.

Real Estate investment and shares in FinFair 2015 Conference


Below is a list of all of the 2016 speakers with links to their professional social media pages! Please utilize this information, enjoy!


Gail Ayers

CEO, CREW Network




Jacqueline Barr

Design Principal, Ted Moudis Associates




Brittany Bragg

COO, Crown Acquisitions


Christine Chipurnoi

Co-President, CREW Network




Helena Durst

Chief Administrative Officer, The Durst Organization




Collete Dixon

Principal, Prudential Real Estate Investors



Carolee Fink





Marsha Firestone

President, Women’s President’s Organization




Theresa Garelli

President, CREW Network




Laurie Golub

General Counsel, HFZ Capital Group



Leslie Himmel

Founder, Himmel + Meringoff Properties



Katie Keenan

Principal, Blackstone




Lisa Knee

Partner, EisnerAmper




Diane Lewis

Professor of Architecture, Cooper Union




Kristen Lonergan

Partner, Greenberg Traurig




Jane Lyons

Co-President, CREW Network




Toby Moskovits

CEO, Heritage Equity Partners



Michele O’Connor





Andrea Olshan

CEO, Olshan Proerties




Jodi Pulice

Founder&CEO, JRT Realty Group




Nina Roket

Partner,Olshan Frome Wolosky




Carol Rosenthal

Partner, Fried Frank




Samantha Earls

VP, Rudin Management



Jenifer Steig

Partner, Cheshire Group



Hilary Spann

Executive Director, J.P. Morgan




Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan

President, Stribling




Susan Tjarksen

Principal & Managing Broker, KIG




Elise Wagner

Partner, Kramer Levin



Watch Allen Shayanfekr speaking with Steve Nson of Dealmaker Zone about

Allen will discuss general industry trends in this interview. You can also expect to learn more about our underwriting process,  how to invest with Sharestates, as well as what asset types and development phases we fund. View the video below!







Become an Investor

Ready to start investing with a real estate crowdfund site?

Real estate Crowdfunding is the next big investment vehicle and the perfect way to diversify your investment portfolio. As a new industry headed for big things doing research before investing is important. At we love to educate.

Join Now To Discover Simplified Real Estate Investing

Check out the video below to learn more:

Have you recently invested with Tell us about your experience below!

Curious about how works? Give us 75 seconds and you will know!

From both the investor and borrower standpoint can prove to be one of the best Crowdfunding sites. Due to high net returns and access to deal flow Sharestates is positioned to provide optimal service.

Check out the video below to learn more:

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Have you recently worked with as a borrower or Investor? Tell us about your experience below for a chance to be featured in our next post!

Ready to take your investment portfolio to the next level?
 Investing in real estate can be the best option for making your money work for you. There are several ways to invest in real estate. In combination with other investments, real estate Crowdfunding can optimize your investment portfolio.

Join Now To Discover Simplified Real Estate Investing

Check out the video below to learn more:

Have you recently invested with Let us hear about your experience by filling out the below application.

Watch our CEO, Allen Shayanfekr speak at the First Annual Real Estate Brunch in New York. Allen will explain the Sharestates platform as well as its origin and purpose at the First Annual Real Estate Brunch on April 26th 2015.

Join Now To Discover Simplified Real Estate Investing

Check out the video below:

Check out our CEO, Allen Shayanfekr explaining the ins and outs of Stay tuned in for a sweet Q&A session which will answer some of your real estate crowdfunding questions.

Allen explains the history of, our initial launch, and the first rounds of deal sourcing. Allen states: “We realized along the way that a key need of ours for sucess was to have an insitutional investor along side high net-worth accredited Investors as a way to mitigate risk. It gave them some peace of mind to know that a larger billion dollar company had already vetted our platform and projects and they are investing side by side with them.”

Join Now To Discover Simplified Real Estate Investing