EstateGuru focuses on real-estate loans. The projects are rather conservative, usually yielding around 11% for durations of one year or more.
My opinion on EstateGuru
While the interest rates offered by EstateGuru‘s projects are lower than at Crowdestor or BulkEstate, they provide great investment opportunities for those who want a more conservative portfolio. It’s also an excellent complement to CrowdEstate‘s real-estate loans.
EstateGuru’s long list of successful investments (as well as the way they managed the defaulted projects) help build confidence in this platform. It took me a long time to invest there, as I initially targeted more speculative loans. However, I’m planning to grow this portfolio regularly, in order to have a more balanced loans portfolio.
EstateGuru’s pros & cons
- Large loans volume
- Long history of successfully reimbursed loans and efficient recovery process
- High level of transparency
- Secondary market isn’t free
- Restricted auto-invest for small portfolios
Overview of EstateGuru’s loans
Loans durations are usually above one year; their yearly interest rate is around 11%. Most loans will have their interests reimbursed monthly, but a few of them will have a different reimbursement frequency. Remember to verify the loan details if you’re looking for regular repayments !
While EstateGuru mostly operates in Estonia, this marketplace also offers loans from Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Spain. In August 2019, Portugal joined this list as well. Finally, in early 2020, the first loan from Germany was available on the platform.
For investors with large amounts available, a 1% bonus is available for selected loans when the invested amount is above a given threshold (usually €10 000 or €20 000).
Most loans are secured by a first-rank mortgage, which makes them relatively safe; it’s also one of the reasons why EstateGuru’s recovery process for defaulted loans resulted in no loss for investors.
While the financed amounts vary greatly from one loan to another, they recently ranged from €33 000 to €800 000.
One of EstateGuru‘s greatest strengths is the large amount of loans available; sometimes, there are several new investment opportunities a day ! For investors with a large portfolio, this allows for some extreme diversification.
There’s no buyback guarantee. However, EstateGuru‘s website lists a long string of successfully repaid projects. Moreover, their recovery process is rather robust, as illustrated by the platform’s great track record.
Platform’s transparency and reliability
One striking aspect of EstateGuru is that this platform especially shines when it comes to defaults recovery.
Indeed, as of late January 2020, none of the 17 already recovered loans incurred any loss for the investors. Even better, the average return for defaulted projects was 11.7% – a figure that’s very close to the return for successfully repaid projects -. One of the worst cases was the project named Koru põik; investors had to wait for 15 months for the recovery completion, which resulted in a low 4.46% return.
At the same date, 3.4% of the total loans portfolio are in default, while 2.6% are late. Both figures are down compared to the last time I checked them a few months ago !
Investors who are curious to know what happened when a loan defaults should read their blog post about their first defaulted loan. Another useful read may be our article about real-life outcomes of borrower’s defaults at several platforms.
In addition, the platform is very transparent. First, most of their team is introduced on the website, along with links to their LinkedIn profile. We can easily verify that the top-management has a lot of experience in finance and real-estate, which is very reassuring.
In addition, EstateGuru isn’t shy about revealing statistics. The number of investors, funded volume and status of loans are publicly available. Moreover, once a quarter, they send a newsletter regarding what they call “Problematic Loan Portfolio Overview”, which focuses exclusively on the defaulted and late loans. Here’s an overview of the figures from the last newsletter.
Even their annual reports are available on the site; the most recent is for 2018.
Overall, between the high level of transparency, the increased safety of first-rank mortgage and the excellent recovery process, I consider EstateGuru as the most reliable platform for real-estate crowdlending.
Impact of Covid-19 outbreak on EstateGuru
EstateGuru doesn’t seem to suffer much from the crisis. The most visible impacts are a lower number of new projects, reduced loans amounts, and slightly increased interest rates.
Since October 2019, EstateGuru features a secondary market. As I’m updating this article in November 2019, there are around a few hundred loans for sale; at a glance, about half of these seem to be defaulted or late loans. Paradoxically, most of them are sold at a premium, which obviously may not interest many prospective buyers.
Unlike most other platforms, selling a loan on the secondary market isn’t free; there’s a 2% fee.
Manual investing at EstateGuru
Due to the auto-invest restriction evoked below, I only invest manually at EstateGuru. Investors are notified of new loans availability by e-mail. Although they usually get filled up quickly, it’s totally possible to manage a portfolio manually.
The projects are described in great details, including information about the collateral and borrower. I only regret the lack of an independent risk assessment, as provided by CrowdEstate.
For some reason, if you choose to invest less than €250 per loan, you don’t have access to detailed criteria; you can only choose the maximum loan duration. Otherwise, you will be able to use many criteria including interest rate, LTV, loan type and loan security type. This restriction will unfortunately force most investors to invest manually.
Website’s ease of use
EstateGuru’s registration process
Opening an EstateGuru account is rather quick, in spite of the additional KYC (know your customer) checks.
Investors first need to provide basic information about themselves. The second step is to take a picture of themselves using a webcam, as well as one of some identification. Checking the documents is supposed to take as long as two days, but in my case my account was ready after a few minutes.
Account funding and funds withdrawal
The most common way to fund your account is via a SEPA transfer. As usual, the platform provides you with an identifier that you have to use as the reference for the transfer. The funds were available on my investor’s account two business days after I sent them, which is the standard delay for processing incoming transfers.
Like for most platforms, withdrawals used to be free. This will change from March 1st, 2020. Indeed, they will then cost €1 in order to offset the cost of the platform’s switch to a new payment institution.
Website’s design and ergonomics
EstateGuru‘s website’s was redesigned in late 2018. It’s now much more readable and its usability was greatly improved.
Available languages & translations quality
The English translation on EstateGuru‘s website is excellent
The reporting is rather complete : transactions list, portfolio, account balance… I especially appreciate the fact that data can be exported as PDF, CSV or Excel file.
In Autumn 2019, EstateGuru added an interesting feature displaying a visual overview of the portfolio’s diversification, according to many criteria :
- Purpose of the loan
- Loan type
- Loan amount
- Property value
The FAQ is very detailed and well structured. Similarly, the “How to invest” document is rather complete; however, as the top of the page lists the available loans, users may believe that they land on the wrong page.
Finally, the platform’s blog regularly features interesting articles.
The help desk can be contacted by phone during business hours; it’s also possible to get in touch by e-mail.
Communication from the platform
Investors can configure which notifications they wish to receive, a feature that many investors will welcome. Indeed, by default, EstateGuru will send a notification for each new loan on the platform; as there are many of them, many messages will reach the investors’ inbox.
Other notifications include a monthly activity report, as well as news about the investments on your portfolio.
Actual performance of my EstateGuru portfolio
At the end of April 2020, the XIRR for my EstateGuru portfolio was 8,12%.
The performance actually fluctuates a lot, as part of my portfolio is invested in loans yielding quarterly interests. Right after these interests are paid, the XIRR is around 11%, close to its theoretical value.
Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.
Portfolio creation date
I created my EstateGuru portfolio in October 2018.
EstateGuru's main competitors
For a detailed comparison of the different real-estate and business crowdlending platforms, check out this article.
EstateGuru's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of May 2020
Who can invest at EstateGuru
You must be at least 18 years old and have a bank account any of the EEA member states or in Switzerland in order to lend through EstateGuru. We also have to perform certain “know your customer” checks on you before you can start investing on EstateGuru.
Please note that this review may contain affiliate links. It means that I will earn a commission if you decide to invest after clicking through the link – at no additional cost to you, of course -. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions I make if you decide to invest through my links.