Let me preface this by saying that I know little to nothing about real estate. I pay my rent every month, and it ends there for me. I also know very little about crowdfunding beyond pitching in $10 to make sure the Veronica Mars movie got made, mostly because I can't handle the thought of a disappointed Kristen Bell. However I'll be getting a crash course on Shark Tank this week, as an entrepreneur is going to pitch an idea that marries both of these confusing concepts in order to make them a bit easier for the average person to digest. According to the Shark Tank hopeful's' website, Tycoon makes it so "everyone can be a real estate tycoon." Wait, is this about to be like RollerCoaster Tycoon? If so, I am in.
Unfortunately, though, it's not — and no, before you ask, it's not like Zoo Tycoon either. Instead, Tycoon is aiming to make real estate investing easier to get into. Generally, to invest in properties, you need to already have a ton of cash or find someone who is willing to loan you a ton of cash. Tycoon uses crowdfunding to knock down both of those barriers. After signing up for the site and filling out the necessary paperwork, all you need is $1,000 to begin investing. Where does the rest come from? Other investors who are perhaps wealthier than you who are willing to kick in money in exchange for a stake in the property. And as long as you know what you're doing, everybody wins. Where's the bad in this?
Of course, Tycoon doesn't make it impossible to fail at real estate investing and everything that comes with it, but it does simplify things. Their website even offers up a blog as a learning center to help budding investors, and the concept is incredibly interesting. Via a database on Tycoon, you can find a property you're interested in and get started, or you can add a deal you found elsewhere to the site in hopes of drumming up enough interest and capital to make your plans a reality. This is new ground that Tycoon is breaking, and with how popular crowdfunding has been lately, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a total success.
I definitely think Tycoon CEO Aaron McDaniel is onto something that's going to make the sharks very interested. After all, they're investors, too, and how much easier would a site like this have made their climb to success?
Image: Michael Desmond/ABC