Real estate investing with a little money is difficult. Many people struggle to buy their first residence, let alone have enough money for a down payment on a pure real estate investment. Statistics show that millennials are not checking the same life event boxes that their parents were at any given age – in large part due to financial constraints and the availability of jobs with a reasonable work to life balance.
Since real estate has long been a way to leverage a relatively small amount of capital and a bank loan into a profitable income stream, the rising price of houses has not been good for younger folks looking to get into the game.
But contrary to all the money that older generations have made in residential real estate, it appears commercial real estate, and investing in micro commercial real estate in particular, is the way to start investing for younger generations.
Low Barrier to Entry Investments in Real Estate
My suggestion, and one of many reasons why Leptonic, Inc. created the Micro Real Estate website, is that income producing real estate should be accessible across economic classes. Some of the hardware items on our website are no doubt expensive (shipping container farms and Level 3 EV Chargers), but vending machines and helium hotspots can be bought for under $500 dollars.
Now, you’re not going to get rich overnight from a vending machine or two, but hopefully over time you will be able to grow the number of machines that you have and produce enough income that vending machines are your full-time business. There’s even a lot of tech that could be improved in the vending machine industry, so operating the machines doesn’t need to be the only source of revenue for a vending business.
Or, lets look at electric vehicle (EV) chargers. Level 1 EV chargers are basically just for EV owners to be able to plug into a 120V outlet for a slow charge overnight. Level 2 chargers are typically public chargers that a significantly faster than Level 1 chargers, but take 4 to 8-ish hours for a full charge – a valuable amenity for a commercial property. Level 3 chargers are the big kahunas, they can charge a car in under half an hour.
So, Level 1 chargers are inexpensive, but you couldn’t really have a business that owned a bunch of Level 1 chargers and have EV drives pay to use those chargers – they’re too slow. Level 3 charges charge a EV quickly, but they are very expensive to buy and install – upwards of $50,000.
So, the sweet spot for an entrepreneur in this space would be Level 2 chargers. They typically cost $1,000 to $5,000 and about another $1,000 for installation. So, though that is definitely more expensive than a vending machine, there is a lot of growth potential in the EV charging industry and there may also be government grants available to you. Plus, you can pitch to commercial property owner that they will make money too.
Mix and Match Machines and Hardware
There are several other ways to invest in real estate with a little money include buying and setting up a helium hotspot to provide WiFi in public spaces and earn helium cryptocurrency. A helium hotspot can be bought for under $400 dollars and if you also ad an antenna, then you can drastically increase the WiFi coverage area that you provide to generate more income on Micro CRE.
ATMs are on par with vending machines in terms of start up costs – which could range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Digital out of home advertising (DOOH) can also be used to generate more income. You can buy the screen and find a place to put it, then join an ad network to generate passive income from the ads that are displayed on you screen.
Opportunities Abound with Micro Real Estate
So, I hope these examples help illustrate some of the different way you can get into some form of non-residential real estate, and that micro real estate and micro-properties may be a good fit for real estate investing with a little money. Real estate agents can even get in on the micro CRE action.