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For those of you out there who don’t really know this, until 2013 the SEC push restrictions on group funding of real estate deals through general solicitation, but due to the passing of the Jobs Act, it lifted those restrictions and really paved the way to the growth of crowdfunding, which is probably why you’re starting to see more and more of these crowdfunding websites popping up such as RealtyMogul, Crowdshare, fundrise, Realtyshare, Oberlo and oberlo alternatives. These sites open up new opportunities for investors to participate in deals that they probably really worried to before on their own (just like they’re worried in taking part in high ticket dropshipping). Property generally speaking is just a way of spreading out the risk as well as the reward among a larger pool of investors and these websites like to buy into these investments in smaller chunks, that makes it a lot more accessible for the average investor, rather than, say, having to put an entire lump sum down for one deal or having to fund an entire development from start to finish on your own. Both options are very expensive, but crowdfunding helps alleviate that. What are the overall advantages and disadvantages of crowdfunding you might be asking? So to get things started to talk about some of the advantages for all my eight to five hours out there who want the benefits of real estate investing but just don’t have the time. This may be a good option for you, crowdfunding is more of a capital investment. You’re a silent investor, you’re getting all the benefits of investing. You just don’t have a say in how the money is allocated. One of the major benefits is that you get to broaden your investment options (including via the use of shopify chrome extension), rather than put $50,000 into one deal you can spread that among two, three four deals using crowdfunding and create multiple streams of income. So that’s another way of thinking about it.

Also you have accessibility to accredited investors. Some of these websites will even vet their members to make sure that they have the right amount of income that they continue to fund the deals, because some of these sites have minimums of a hundred thousand, not everybody can do that. But if you can participate in these networks, you have a possibility of connecting with some of these other highly successful investors, which is very valuable.

Most of this is done online. You can track your progress, track where your Investments go there’s not much of a paper trail, of course in the digital error that always makes things a lot easier at least for some of us. The next thing too is because you’re not managing, you’re not landlording – you don’t have to deal with tenants, toilets and trash huge relief, which is a huge relief. And of course, there’s lower fees which means better returns. Some of these websites provide the removal of the middleman – no agents, no brokerage. You could save on those fees, which definitely adds up across several deals saving you money and of course depending on who you crowdfund with, you could potentially say goodbye to indefinite holding periods. Unlike the money market, mutual funds we get penalized for pulling them out, pulling money out early for crowdfunding is a little bit more flexible. But yet there are still some hoops you got to jump through. But of course, you don’t have to wait until 65 to pull your money out. In any case, it is still of vital importance to learn how to drive traffic to your shopify store.

Now, let’s talk about some of the cons. Most crowdfunding requires a minimum investment. So if you’re thinking you can get involved with a few hundred bucks or maybe a thousand, two thousand you may not be able to participate. Most websites have a minimum of $5,000. Okay, one of the other disadvantages, depending on the deal, the chances are you may not see any type of return for a few months, 6 even 12 months, especially if you’re investing in one of those development type deals, where you just have to wait for it to be built first and cross your fingers that it’s going to be a successful deal. But make sure you pay attention to those types of Investments. Next one is if you’re a control freak, this is not going to be a good fit for you and what that means is,

again, you’re a silent investor. So if for any reason you had an emergency where you need immediately pull this money out, it could be rather difficult depending on the deal and if it’s a deal that’s failing going down and you’re trying to pull out, more than likely you’re not going to find anybody to take over for you and you could potentially lose your money. So lack of liquidity is a big one for some investors. That’s one risk of investment default from real rstate developers is higher in crowdfunding than peer-to-peer. Any situation where you have a management company who go there is doing good or not. It’s going to be a lot harder for you to control it than say a peer-to-peer, one-on-one, where your input is actually being heard and executed next less experienced investors are more likely to get stuck in a crowdfunding campaign that they cannot afford, purely to the fact of lack of due diligence, many new investors will get blindsided by the amazing appeal of ROI on these websites and just put their money in, without really doing the necessary research and homework and in that sense, you’re going to set yourself up to potential heartbreak.

So always remember to do your due diligence and your homework, to alleviate some of these risks, research the track record for some of these companies, next the taxation regulations of crowdfunding can be difficult for some, whether you’re investing through an entity or sole proprietorship. Crowdfunding is relatively new, so we’re still trying to figure out the details unless you were up to date with these tax laws this can definitely slow you.

Down to the last but not least – if a company’s due diligence process is not extensive enough, it’s like some of these newer companies that are popping up, it could cause for poor vetting and allow some of these deals to get through that aren’t quality and you won’t know they’re bad until you put your money in and it goes, which can be scary. So it all comes down to how much research you put in. Crowdfunding real estate is like any investment strategy. It’s essential for you to do your homework and research, report putting any of your hard-earned cash into a deal. This means looking at the experience, the track record of these real estate developers, who are soliciting crowdfunding money from you. Don’t be immediately fooled by the ROI or the returns – these sites are designed to flash in front of you, so you do put your money in, so don’t be distracted by any of the shiny object and all the promises and guarantees you got to get down to the numbers, get down to the facts, get down to the details and assess your risk because remember there’s no such thing as a sure thing, especially in real estate.

In a competitive e-commerce space, it takes more than a previous purchase for a customer to remain loyal to your brand. More products, price points and shopping experiences exist than ever. As a result, consumer preferences shape the market.

Today’s consumers want a simple, secure, pleasant shopping experience. And when something goes wrong, they want it to be addressed quickly. Anything that falls short means the customer probably won’t return.

Already using one of the best e-commerce website builders to create your store? Experiment with the host of different free and paid apps that can enhance your store experience. Here are the five best customer support apps on Shopify.

Facebook Chat by Beeketing

Online consumers are more open to interacting via the internet than having a phone conversation. The Facebook Chat app gives stores the ability to live chat with customers via Messenger right from the Shopify store platform. The app itself installs with no coding and requires minimal resources to run. Customize your chat settings, such as color and chat icon, to raise brand awareness with customers and move them from conversation to purchase. The developer, Beeketing, offers several other apps to grow a store’s customer base.



Zendesk is one of the premier customer support software companies, so it’s no surprise their Shopify app is so popular. Zendesk gives Shopify stores a widget to display on every store page that helps customers get in touch with support directly. The support platform itself makes customer interaction easier, as support team members have clear, customized visibility to relevant customer data. If you’ve yet to implement a successful customer support tool, a tried-and-true solution like Zendesk is bound to fill your need.

30-day free trial


AfterShip Returns Center

E-commerce return rates can exceed 30 percent depending on the product. Even slight mismanagement of the reverse logistics process can mean considerable profit margin loss. AfterShip gives e-commerce stores a branded page to streamline self-service returns and facilitate notifications to customers.

Using an app like AfterShip gives your store credibility and can help impress customers with your return experience, which makes them more likely to buy from you in the future. AfterShip offers language switching, zones and routing rules to be set, as well as the option to export return data to CSV.

5 returns = Free

20 returns = $9/mo

100 returns = $29/mo

Easy Contact Form

To become a prosperous e-commerce merchant, you must gain trust and be transparent with customers. One essential portal that always should be left open is a way for customers to get in touch at any time of day. The Easy Contact Form app isn’t just one tool, but a bundle of over 25 free and paid marketing tools. Integrate social buttons to boost your follower count, integrate custom slide boxes to promote a sale or develop a straightforward ‘Contact Us’ page with a custom background image. ‘Easy’ lives up its name by integrating your social accounts and mailing service to ensure the contacts you collect end up in your marketing touchpoints.

Free tools available

14-day Free Trial for premium tools

Wishlist Plus

If every visitor who added something to a cart or a list ended up purchasing, your e-commerce store would grow like wild roses. But this isn’t reality. The internet can steal shoppers’ attention pretty quickly. And once they leave, there’s no guarantee they’re coming back. That’s where Wishlist Plus offers stores a lot of value. Wishlist+ integrates with any Shopify store theme and offers numerous API customization options to better blend into your shopping experience. Include an ‘add to Wishlist’ button on your site to capture insightful data about your customers, which can then be used to send re-engagement emails and win customers back.

100 wishlist items per/mo = Free

1,000 wishlist items per/mo = $9.99/mo

10,000 wishlist items per/mo = $29.99/mo

50,000 wishlist items per/mo = $59.99/mo

You can’t depend on new customers to fuel your store’s growth. The way to make long-term strides is to build your repeat-customer base. But the only way to do that is to provide stellar experiences. Start with one or more of the five best customer support apps on Shopify when shoring up your store’s customer service, returns process and opportunities for re-engagement.