In this Estateguru review I will go through everything needed to know and more about their platform and lending operations. This might be one of the most stable alternatives out there today in the P2P lending category. *Further down in the review I’ll show you how to create an account. ( updated August 2020 )
Estateguru is one of the biggest and most known Real Estate crowdfunding platforms in the EU. They focus only on loans towards Real estate and Businesses as of now. This way they always come with property collateral as a security for most loans. Since Estateguru opened its doors it has grown more and more each year because of the good history and returns of the loans published there.
There are over 44 000 investors on Estateguru today and together they have invested over €190 000 000 on the platform. The average interest is at 11.88% for the loans as of the beginning of 2020. I would say this return rate is pretty good for projects that are backed with property and mortgages today.
Estateguru Background & Transparency
Estateguru opened its doors 2014 in Estonia. The CEO and co founder Marek Pärtel had been in the Real Estate world for more than 10 years before he started Estateguru. It’s nice to see that he actually has been working in this area and that they keep to Real Estate and not private loans. Doing what you know and doing it right is a good concept to follow. I wish more platforms would stick to what they are good at like Estateguru.
Estateguru show workers and owners on the website incl LinkedIn profiles and emails. Most of them have backgrounds in banking, real estate and finance which is a good combination for this kind of P2P platform. They have a workforce of around 30 people today, all which can be seen on the website.
For the transparency part of Estateguru they have a bunch of statistics that you can look at. Both in your account over your own investments and on the main page for the loans, risk ratio, returns and history. A good thing is that they have a great amount of information on the loans that are listed which helps us investors a lot.
They also have the annual reports for the company available on the website which is a show of good faith.
KYC (know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundry) are in place to be in line with EU laws.
How does EstateGuru work?
Estateguru let’s Companies and Developers present their projects to them for evaluation. They need to have a detailed plan for both the project and the selling phase. All projects must be backed with mortgages or other securities to be approved by Estateguru. When listed on the platform, the projects usually get a financing round of up to 2 week to be funded by investors. When it’s fully funded the money is released to the borrower. After this they start to repay the loan as said in the agreement at scheduled dates to all investors.
Developers and Companies use platforms like Estateguru since it will go faster then traditional banking. It will also most likely have better rates on the loan for them than non banking options would.
The repayment structure can be set up to suit the business plan and cashflow which in some cases are very important.
If a project isn’t fully funded within the financing rounds timeline on Estateguru the investors will receive the money back when the time expires.
Who can invest on Estateguru and what country are the loans being borrowed to?
- Who can invest? Everyone that is over 18 years old and has a bank account in one of the EEA countries or switzerland. You will be asked to send in ID to show who you are because of the KYC & AML restrictions.
That’s it, now you can transfer your funds and start to pick out the loans you want to invest in.
- What countries are you borrowing to? As of now they have 7 different countries that they let lend money. These countries are: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Spain, Portugal and last Germany as of March 2020.
What type of loans can you invest in?
On Estateguru there are 3 main types of loans you can invest in. You have Development loans, Business loans and Bridge loans. All which are secured in some way so that if it defaults there is a big chance to recover the investment. Here is a quick explanation of the different types:
- Development loans: These are loans that usually are the start of a housing project or infrastructure projects and so on. It can either be in the planning stage or development stage. The loans come with security on the land usually and personal guarantees of the lender.
- Business loans: These loans are usually taken by companies to get a boost of operational capital. Business loans come secured to properties and materials together with company pledges sometimes.
- Bridge loans: Loans like this are made when housing developments or projects are at the end stage. Usually to finalise the last building steps or selling the house / project. Bridge loans usually are secured with mortgages and owners personal security.
Repayment structures for the loans on Estateguru
When you pick a loan to invest in there are different types of repayment schedules that come with it on Estateguru. There will be information about this in the loan descriptions for each loan so you know how it works before you invest. There are 3 types of repayments structures offered today and these are: Annuity, Bullet and Full Bullet. I will explain briefly how they work below.
- Annuity: This structure is when you get repaid both a part of Interest and a part of the principal over the period of the loan each month. I would say this is the most prefered structure today for investors since you get back capital that you can invest again faster. But it’s not the most common structure on Estateguru.
- Bullet: It’s when you get the interest paid out monthly from the loan you invested in. The whole principal will be paid back at the end of the loan period together with the last interest.
- Full Bullet: This is when they pay out both interest and the principal for the whole period at the end of the loan period. This is usually called Balloon payment on other platforms. With this option your money is tied up for the longest time but that is not necessarily a bad thing as long the project works out.
Buyback guarantee on Estateguru?
In this Estateguru review we have to talk about this subject. Estateguru does not have your typical buyback guarantee that many other platform loan originators have that would kick in after say 30-60 days. This is not a bad thing though if you look at how they structure the loans provided on the platform.
Instead Estateguru has property & mortgage backed loans that in case of a failed project will be sold to recover your funds. In some cases this is more secure then if you get a buyback guarantee promise from a small loan originator that is defaulting, say on Mintos or other platforms like that.
As of the start of 2020 there is still no loss of capital for any investors on Estateguru. Since the projects are secured in case of a default they will be negotiated with the lender to either find more funds to finish the project or to sell the property to recover funds. Historically Default rates are only at 2.5-3%, and the late loans at only 1.5-2%. These are great numbers for the 6 years they have been open.
The biggest difference from a buyback guarantee that kicks in after say 60 days is that selling a property or assets can take more time. This will be done eventually and your funds get returned.
Longest time I have seen a defaulted project to repay it’s investors on Estateguru was 15 months. After that time they still earned 4.4% interest for the waiting time when it was repaid. Usually this time is around 4-7 months though. That’s not bad at all in the world of investing money and accounting to how many loans they have published.
Auto invest feature on Estateguru
On Estateguru they have 2 options for Auto invest. First of a very basic one that gives you 3 criterias to set if you don’t care so much and just want to make it automatik.
And then the more advanced option but it’s for people that want to invest minimum €250 or more in each loan. Advanced options will unlock as soon you fill in that amount or more. I would say that I prefer the Advanced Auto invest option. It lets you pick out more important criterias so you can have more risk control. For myself, I would keep manually investing until I have enough money there to use the Advanced option.
Basic Auto invest option:
It will let you set minimum €50 as an amount to invest in each loan.
Then the time frame or Period as they call it for the loans. Example up to 12 months.
Lastly, what type of repayment structure, one of the three options Annuity, Bullet or Full Bullet.
Advanced Auto invest option: Here you get the 3 first criterias as for the Basic option. Except you set minimum amount to €250 or more in each loan to unlock the rest of the settings.
Then you also get to pick Security on the loans, for example if it’s first stage or second stage investor claims if there would be a default.
Set the Interest for the loans you want it to pick out for you. This I feel is important to choose yourself.
Pick what type of LTV (Loan to value) the projects have.
And last if you want the auto invest to pick Refinanced loans or not.
Secondary market on Estateguru
Estateguru launched their Secondary market in 2019 which many had been waiting for. This is a good way to have an option for an early exit if needed for the investors. Now the investors have a way to sell the loan to free up some cash at any time. This you can do with the same value as when you bought the loan or you can add a discount or premium on the loan. If you put a discount on the loan it will most likely sell faster. If you put a premium on it, the chance is that it will not sell that fast or at all if it’s not a very attractive loan.
When you use the secondary market on Estateguru as a seller you have a fee of 2%. If no one buys the loan within 14 days, it’s automatically canceled and you will have to put it out for sale again.
As a buyer on the secondary market there are no fees. After you buy a loan on secondary market, you can’t sell it before it’s gone more then 30 days.
They have a way to filter the loans on the secondary market with 3 options for now. These are Selling price, Remaining period and Expected return which is called AROI. It’s basic for now, but I’ve heard that they are working on an update and more things will be added.
Signup bonus – Get 0.5-1% extra on your investment
Estateguru has a good referral program for both new and old investors to earn extra when someone register through a referral link instead of direct on the website. Investors get a promotional code that can be used for referring others to the platform. This bonus will be credited to your account on Estateguru when making your investments.
In the case of Estateguru, both the referred and referring individual will receive 0.5% on the amount invested for the first 3 months after opening the account. (In April 2020 this is doubled to 1%)
These referral codes can be sent on email or even be embedded in links on a webpage. Like those you find in my Estateguru review so you know that you will get a bonus for using them. Like if you go through this one to register.
Interest rates at Estateguru
You can find interest rates from 8% up to 13% on Estateguru today. Mostly I would say you can get them at 11%–12% If you can wait a couple of days, which is good for Real estate P2P lending.
Some of the projects also have special promotions where the borrower adds a bonus, 1-2% extra for big investments. These bonuses usually come if you make an investment of €10 000 or more. It will be described in the information of the loan so you can’t miss it. If there is a bonus on any loan it will be marked as something like this: 12%+1%. Down here is picture of three loans, where two of them have a bonus on 1% :
Estateguru review – Customer support
The customer support on Estateguru is working like expected. They have open office hours between 09:00-18:00. You can reach them by email or via telephone Monday to Friday. On weekends it’s closed but most people can wait so that’s not a problem.
They all speak English so for mostof us it’s no problem to comunitace with them. And if your from Estonia or Latvia ur even better of 🙂
I always get an answer in 1-2 days so I would say this is standard on email. I haven’t had the need to call them so I can’t speak for that service but I would believe it works fine.
Their blog is also updated frequently with news which is good to check once in a while, you find it here.
And last but not least the Help section on Estateguru is filled with almost all questions and answers you would need to figure things out for yourself. This FAQ section is one of the most well written out of most platforms I have been in contact with so far. So I can only say that they did a great job on this one.
Open an account at Estateguru
It’s very easy to open an account on Estateguru. I will list a quick 4 step guide to how it’s done. It took me 5 – 10 minutes to verify the account.
1. Go to Estateguru, click the Register button on the right top of the website. Fill in your Email and a password to start with. (you get 0.5% extra on all your investments when signing up through my links for 3 months)
2. Go to your email, and there should be a “continue your registration” email from Estateguru. Click on the link inside. Now you are redirected to the website again to fill in the rest of your personal information. At the end you need to do a phone verification, they send you a code on the phone number you add to the account. Type it in on the website and you’re done.
3. Identify your ID as the last part, which they guide you on fast.
4. Now you are done and can make a transfer to the platform. After 1-2 days the money appears on the account ready to be invested.
Deposit to Estateguru
Transfering money to Estateguru is rather straightforward. Just make a SEPA bank transfer and it will be added to your account within 2 Business days. They want you to make one transfer from your bank to verify your Iban. You can use Trustly or Internetbanks like Revolut also as an option to deposit also if needed.
There is no Fees connected to Deposits.
Withdrawal from Estateguru
Just like when you deposit this is very simple. When you have available money to withdraw you just make a payment to your IBAN that is connected to the account. You can add a different account as long as it’s all in your name and no one else’s. And of course you must have made at least one deposit from that bank account for them to accept withdrawals to it. The money will be shown in your bank within 2-4 business days.
There is no Fees connected to Withdrawing capital from Estateguru.
What is LTV and why is it important?
LTV is known as Loan-to-Value for the loan that the borrower takes for the project. This is the ratio between the loan amount and property value. Many platforms set this to what the project will be valued at when it’s finished but that is misleading in my eyes. Since the projects aren’t finished yet it can’t have that valeu before it’s ready.
On Estateguru they set the LTV on the property as it is when taking the loan before it’s done. This way, if a project fails there should be less problem getting back the investments for the investors if it would default and needed to be sold. Estateguru only takes on projects where it’s maximum 75% LTV. This is one of the main things that have saved Estateguru from loss of capital for investors over the years when a loan has defaulted.
It’s a sea out there with P2P and crowdlending platforms today so the list could be long. Some are more risky and some are just in a whole other space then others. Since Estateguru is mostly towards RealEstate I will list some of the other big platforms in this area.
Rendity *avg 7% interest. Crowdestate *avg 17% interest. Bulkestate *avg 14% interest.
For more P2P platforms look at my P2P comparison page here.
My opinion on Estateguru
If you have read this far in my Estateguru review you might want to know what I think about them.
From my point of view Estateguru is a good platform in the P2P jungle. I mean they have existed for 6 years now and not lost any capital for the investors to this day. The loans come with collateral as security and that they calculate the LTV on the real value of property vs loan given and not the future value, it’s showing me they care about investors money. They have a decent interest rate and the team behind is trustworthy. So they are great selection for a P2P portfolio in my eyes.
I wish they would have more loans that had annuity repayment structure rather than Bullet options. But that is individual of course, I just like to get the money back fast so it can be reinvested quickly to earn me even more.
Another thing is that it would be nice to see more loans listed at any given time. For now it can be 2-5 projects open and it can be hard to get a diversified portfolio from start if you have much to invest and want to spread it between hundreds of loans. I understand that it’s better to list less loans that is safer than just take everything that comes in so it’s not a big problem at all.
Important: Even if there is a Buyback Guarantee / Fund, Group Guarantee, collateral connected to a loan and so on there is always a chance you can lose your whole investment. There is nothing such as risk free investment, this goes for P2P, Stocks, Bonds, Property or anything else. Don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose.
This was it for this Estateguru review, I hope that it was helpful. I’ll keep updating it when new settings or news comes in the future.
Leave a comment or send me an email if you have questions or just want to discuss something.