Becoming an Investor

SmartCrowd provides pre-vetted property investment opportunities and transparent data, giving investors the ability to diversify their real estate portfolios through a secure and regulated real estate investment platform.

  1. SmartCrowd is a regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
  2. Members get access to institutional level data and independent market valuations for free.
  3. You can create a diversified real estate portfolio and start earning passive income almost immediately
  4. SmartCrowd is entirely digital. You can invest from anywhere in the world and there’s no travelling required.
  5. You can invest a low minimum of AED 500 (approximately $140) to invest in a range of different properties.
  6. It’s hassle-free investing. No personal property management required and you don’t need to be a real estate expert (far from it).

It’s free for you to join SmartCrowd’s platform and there’s no commitment to invest once you create an account. However, for compliance reasons, if your account is dormant (you have not completed registration and/or have not invested on SmartCrowd), your account may be deleted. Don’t worry, we’ll notify you in advance to let you know what to do if you want to keep your account!

It’s simple and free! Register on the SmartCrowd platform and complete the entire process in 5 minutes.

Click here to view how simple it is to create an account on SmartCrowd: How to create your free account?

Once you’re registered, browse live properties and invest in those that align with your goals. Top up your digital wallet via a bank transfer and complete your investment. Once the property you invest in gets 100% funded, sit back, relax and watch your wealth grow.

Great question! As the first regulated real estate investment platform in Middle East & North Africa, we are legally required to ask for this information. Think of it as no different than opening up a bank account. You’d be worried if your bank wasn’t asking customers the right questions before opening up their accounts, right? It’s the same concept. 

SmartCrowd is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and is required to comply with Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls. For this reason, all investors must submit proof of identity (passport and/or national ID) and proof of residence (e.g., utility bills, bank statements, tenancy contracts, etc.) along with their employment information, source of wealth, and current annual income. All users go through a compliance check before they are able to invest. 

As per the DFSA AML Rules and in accordance with UAE Federal AML Laws, SmartCrowd has implemented a robust Anti Money Laundering framework to ensure that SmartCrowd mitigates the risk of money laundering or terrorist financing activity through its platform. SmartCrowd’s AML framework includes, but is not limited to, the designation of a Money Laundering Reporting Officer, employee AML training, and the implementation of a Customer Due Diligence process.

In each investment opportunity, SmartCrowd limits maximum ownership to 24.99% in order to ensure no individual owns a majority interest. However, the total amount that a user can invest in the platform depends on the type of investor you are: a retail investor or professional investor.

Retail Investor: All users registering on SmartCrowd platform are defaulted as retail clients. As a  “retail client,”  you are restricted to invest a maximum of $50,000 in a calendar year (January 1st to December 31st) . . According to the DFSA, an individual is classified as a Retail Client if they cannot meet the Professional Client criteria or if they opt to be classified as a Retail Client. These clients are also offered more protection because they are deemed to have less net worth, experience and understanding of relevant financial markets than a Professional Client. We are required to provide Retail Clients with certain disclosures and risk warnings that we may not necessarily provide a Professional Client. Furthermore, we will handle Retail Client complaints in accordance with specific requirements as defined by the DFSA.

SmartCrowd classifies all users as Retail Client unless the user requests to be classified as a Professional Client.

Professional Investor: If you are classified as a “professional client,” then you will have no limitation on how much you can invest using our platform. A professional client is one who has prior experience and understanding of relevant financial markets, and a  net-worth of at least one million US dollars excluding primary residence.

According to the DFSA Rule Book, COB Section 2.3.7, an individual can be classified as a professional investor if:

  • The individual has net assets of at least USD 1 million, excluding the value of primary residence. Assets that are indirectly owned can be included in the calculation and:
  • Within the previous two years, the individual is or has been, an employee in a relevant professional position of an authorized firm or a regulated financial institution OR:
  • The individual appears, on reasonable grounds, to have sufficient experience and understanding of relevant financial markets, products or transactions and any associated risks.

In either case, SmartCrowd will need to verify the above information in order to classify you as a professional client.

Investment structure and SPV

You have 100% control over the funds in your digital wallet. SmartCrowd is required to provide regular reports to the regulator on the client money account as well as conduct regular independent audits on the client’s money account. Think of your digital wallet like a separate bank account to keep your capital safe to invest on the SmartCrowd platform . You can add or withdraw your funds from your digital wallet at any time at no charge to you. 

Please note: standard bank charges may apply at withdrawal depending on your bank. These charges are independent of SmartCrowd.

SmartCrowd establishes an investment vehicle, called a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the purpose of purchasing the investment property.

Each property on SmartCrowd has its own corresponding SPV. And each SPV is broken into 1,000,000 shares. For ease of calculation, if a property is worth AED 1 million, each share in that property is worth AED 1. If an investor invests AED 500 – he/she owns 500 shares in that investment or 0.05% of the property. As per the Dubai Land Department’s requirement, this vehicle will be incorporated and registered in the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre).

The shares are always the property of the investors as they are the ultimate beneficial owners.

SmartCrowd does not own any shares. SmartCrowd facilitates the entire process to make this method of investing possible for you.

To learn more about how Investments are structured: Click Here

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is just a fancy way of saying “a separate new entity” – it’s no different than setting up a new business.

An SPV is created to isolate and securitize the said property in a separate company. The operations on the SPV are limited to the acquisition of the specific property to ring-fence the property and isolate the risk of the SmartCrowd platform and other properties. These SPV protect investors from SmartCrowd liabilities as well as protection from SmartCrowd’s bankruptcy. The SPV is registered with the DIFC and your ownership is recorded on the public register. The SPV is also registered with the Dubai Land department providing a legal trail of your ownership in the property via the SPV.

Currently, RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) cannot accommodate more than five to ten people on a property’s title deed.

In order to accommodate multiple investors on a property title deed, SmartCrowd establishes one SPV for every investment property so that there isn’t a limit on the number of shareholders that can collectively invest in a property.

SmartCrowd will form an SPV for the purposes of holding your investment. You will hold Shares in the SPV. The SPV will be managed by Smart Crowd under the Administration Agreement. Pursuant to this agreement SmartCrowd and its Directors will sign any related documents for the SPV including but not limited to articles of association, relationship declaration, transfer of shares, ordinary shareholder resolution, divestment of investments, appointment of authorize signatory on your behalf. A Director will disclose to the other directors the nature and extent of any material interests in, any actual or proposed transaction and shall refrain from voting at a meeting of Directors on any resolution concerning a matter in which the Director has a direct or indirect interest.

As an investor, you do! The property is legally owned by the SPV and you as a partial investor have shares in the SPV in proportionate to your investment.

You are the ultimate owner and beneficiary of the property proportionate to your investment amount.

For example, if you invest AED 500 in a AED 1M property, you own 0.05% of that property via the SPV. The remaining 99.95% is held by other property investors like you! Collectively, you all earn dividends through the property. You will effectively own 0.05% of the issued shares of the SPV. The SPV will own 100% of the investment property.

Through this mechanism, not only can you invest in an affordable manner, but you can also reduce your risk because you can spread your capital across dozens of properties as opposed to one (i.e., as the adage goes: don’t put all your eggs in one basket!).

The SPV corresponding to the property investment.

Since it is not possible to list out dozens of names on a single title deed, the name issued on the title deed (ownership document) is that of the SPV corresponding to your property. Ultimately, you own direct shares in the SPV, which in turn is only responsible for holding the asset that is your investment property and paying out dividends to you. To see your name as a shareholder, simply go on to the DIFC public register and type the name of the SPV that corresponds to your property. Typically the name of the SPV starts with the initials “SC” followed by a hyphen and a number.

If the Total Funding Target is achieved and the Investment Round completes you will be sent a share certificate representing your Shares. If the Total Funding Target is not achieved within the relevant time period, all committed funds will be returned, without deduction of any fees or expenses to your SmartCrowd Account. You can then choose to use the returned funds towards another Property or withdraw the funds from your SmartCrowd Account entirely (the decision is yours!). Please note where you initiate a withdrawal of funds from your SmartCrowd Account via the Platform, we will return your funds to the bank account which you used to fund your SmartCrowd Account. Your SmartCrowd Account is a segregated account operated by Emirates NBD.

At this stage SmartCrowd does not allow for oversubscription. The shares in the investment are allocated on a first come first serve basis

 A Material Change means any change or new matter that may significantly affect the value of the Property, the ability to rent the Property, the return on the Property, or the value of the Investment. If a Material Change occurs during the commitment period, SmartCrowd will disclose prominently on its Platform details of the material change; notify committed investors of the material change, and require them to reconfirm their commitment within 5 business days; if re-confirmation is not provided within 5 business days, cancel the commitment. If a Material Change occurs after the commitment period, SmartCrowd will disclose such information along with details of the material change, any change in the rights of investors; and what steps, if any, SmartCrowd is proposing to take as a result of such material change.

In the unlikely event that SmartCrowd is unable to operate on a permanent basis, SmartCrowd will follow its Contingency Plan (CP). Where CP is initiated, all investors will be notified via email of the wind-down, provided with their current investment statement, and will be asked to use the platform to make a decision of whether to sell at current market levels or hold on to the property. If the outcome of a property’s shareholders is to majority hold the investment, the management of the property will be handed over to a predefined Property Asset Manager who will be responsible for administering the SPV, managing the facility manager, communicating with investors, and distributing dividend income. If, at the time that the CP is initiated, and the majority decision of investors is to liquidate the investment, Smart Crowd personnel will manage and oversee the sale of Property and the return of funds to investors proportionately less any costs associated. 

For a copy of SmartCrowd’s CP please write to [email protected]

SmartCrowd will charge a 4% transaction fee for arranging the investment at completion of the Property acquisition, such fee is to be calculated on the Total Funding Target. This fee will be split in two tranches. 1.5% will be billed at the time of the transaction and the remaining 2.5% will be billed at the time of the exit. The exit fee of 2.5% will be calculated on the greater of the Total Funding Target or the “Exit Value” (the value at which the Property is sold at the end of the Investment Term). 

There will be annual administrative fees of 0.50% of total cumulative investments. For example, if you have invested AED 10,000 in year 1 then at the end of the year you will be charged AED 50 (AED 10,000 * 0.50%If you then further invested AED 10,000 in Year 2 bringing your total investment with SmartCrowd to AED 20,00. At the end of Year 2, you will be charged AED 100 (AED 20,000 * 0.50%). If you exit any of your investments that will reduce your AUM which will result in lower annual administrative fees. Administrative fees will be debited from the investor’s wallet on December 31 every year and will be charged on a pro-rata basis. SmartCrowd will earn fees from Sellers for using the platform to sell properties ranging from 1-5%.

As a regulated entity, we are required to have a conflict of interest policy to identify, disclose, manage and mitigate any conflicts between us and our clients. We have put in place a Conflicts of Interest Policy which identifies those situations giving rise to actual or potential conflicts of interest and which provides details of how such conflicts are managed. Where the arrangements under our conflicts of Interest Policy are not sufficient to ensure, with reasonable confidence, that risks of damage to the interests of the client will be prevented, we will disclose sufficient details of the actual or potential conflict to you in order to enable you to take an informed decision as to whether to continue to deal with us notwithstanding the existence of such conflict.

Some Conflicts of Interest might arise from the following but are not limited to:

(1) SmartCrowd might use third parties such as brokers, affiliates, and distribution channels to market and promote the SmartCrowd platform for which SmartCrowd would pay commission or share revenue for onboarding investors.

(2) SmartCrowd in some cases will earn fees from Sellers including Developers/Brokers for using the platform to sell properties. This fee is usually a percentage of the property price.

(3) SmartCrowd will earn fees on the exit from the sale proceeds

(4) SmartCrowd might use service providers in which they have an economic interest or are part of the SmartCrowd group of companies.

SmartCrowd works with financial institutions, property brokers,  property insures and consult with independent consultants who provide their expertise. Alongside this, they use real-time market data provided by REIDIN, a reputable leader in real estate market data to ensure that our platform offers only quality properties that will provide healthy returns. Each property will also have an assigned facility manager. Each service providers evaluated on a periodic basis to ensure optimal service is being provided. SmartCrowd does not  receive any remuneration, fee, payment or commission from a real estate agent, property manager, valuer, custodian, or any other person providing a service related to the property. 

SmartCrowd works with financial institutions, property brokers,  property insures and consult with independent consultants who provide their expertise. Alongside this, they use real-time market data provided by REIDIN, a reputable leader in real estate market data to ensure that our platform offers only quality properties that will provide healthy returns. Each property will also have an assigned facility manager. Each service providers evaluated on a periodic basis to ensure optimal service is being provided. SmartCrowd does not  receive any remuneration, fee, payment or commission from a real estate agent, property manager, valuer, custodian, or any other person providing a service related to the property. 

Property Selection

SmartCrowd bases its selection process on a 100-point proprietary screening tool to provide users with only the best properties. Our specialized team carefully vets the properties available and considers a third-party valuation before setting a score. The higher the score, the more likely a property will be listed on the platform. For this reason, only a small percentage of the properties viewed end up on the platform. 

We work with financial institutions, property brokers and consult with independent consultants who provide their expertise. Alongside this, we use real-time market data provided by REIDIN, a reputable leader in real estate market data to ensure that our platform offers only quality properties that will provide healthy returns. 

We evaluate crucial aspects of the property such as area, surrounding development, service charges, building quality, number of amenities, developer, and expected supply. Overall, SmartCrowd does all the work on your behalf. So, you can sit back and relax!

Yes. You have 100% control over your investment decisions. SmartCrowd only provides you with a marketplace of select, and pre-analyzed options to choose from.  

SmartCrowd lists property details, including property amenities, financial data, market data, and real-time property valuation powered by an independent third party to assist you in your decision-making.

SmartCrowd does not provide any advice or recommendation. You decide how much and in which property you want to invest in. 

You may exercise your right to withdraw from an investment up to 48 hours (“cooling off period”) from the date of the Property reaching its full funding target by notice on the Platform, emailing us at [email protected]

If you exercise your withdrawal right above, you will be entitled to withdraw the Investment Amount from the client money account subject to completion of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes.

Profiting From Your Investments

You receive your returns proportionate to the percentage of the property you own as a shareholder (Issued via the SPV) on a monthly basis. The returns available to property owners are calculated as the monthly rent collected from tenants, minus the property-related costs, which include but are not limited to, service charges, repairs & maintenance, property insurance, and management fees. If the property has risen in value, you will also get to earn investment returns through capital appreciation after exit. 

Estimates of future returns are provided with the property listing on the platform. Our estimates are available for review as part of the investment process. However, it is important to note that this information is based on past performance and expected returns given current market conditions, which cannot be regarded as an accurate indicator of future results. 

SmartCrowd does not provide investment advice. We only provide you with the tools and transparent market information to help make your investment decision.

Although SmartCrowd recommends a holding period of 5 years, investors can exit their investment in two ways: (1) by voting to sell the property, or (2) by listing their shares on the Share Transfer Facility.

  1. Voting to Sell – At the end of the recommended holding term, a mandatory vote is called where investors are given the option to sell their investments at market value (each property is evaluated by an independent Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA) approved valuator).

However, this vote can be called sooner by SmartCrowd, or any of the investors for valid reasons (i.e. there’s opportunity to make a handsome profit). The vote is based on the proportionate weighting of your investment. That means, if you own 10% of the shares in a property, your vote carries a 10% weight. We don’t allow anyone to own more than 24.99% of a property. This is designed to ensure that no one is a controlling party.

  1. Share transfer facility – We launched our Share Transfer Facility in the second half of 2022, allowing you to sell your shares at periodic intervals within a year to other investors on the platform (given that your property qualifies for the Share Transfer Facility – typically properties older than a year). The trasnfer facility is operationsl for 2 weeks every 6 months in March and September. This allows you to plan your exits or increase your exposure in certain propertyies by buying shares from other investors. .

Remember, real estate should not be treated as a speculative asset. It is a great investment for those who have the appetite to weather out short-term economic fluctuations

In each investment opportunity, SmartCrowd limits maximum ownership to 24.99% to ensure no individual owns a majority interest.

Maintenance, Management & Insurance

Each property will have an assigned facility manager. All facility managers are reviewed by SmartCrowd and disclosed in the investment offering on the platform.

The investment vehicle will enter into a management agreement via SmartCrowd in its capacity as the administrator of the investment vehicle, which will assign property management to the selected facility manager.

Facility management fees are typically 5% (for long-term rentals) and 18.75% (for short-term rentals) of the gross rent deducted from the rental income. These charges include advertising, managing the property, collecting rent, managing tenants, and working with RERA for any issues. This charge excludes VAT, legal expenses, and certain costs, such as standard maintenance charges and any repair and maintenance expenses.

Yes. Each property is covered with standard property insurance that ensures your capital is protected against catastrophic damages such as floods or fires. 

We don’t expect investors to make further capital contributions. Gross rents fund all costs including bills and fees. Property insurance mitigates the risk of catastrophic damage, such as flood or fire. 

Managing your SmartCrowd Account

MFA or Multi-factor authentication is an added layer of security that when enabled is required to be able to grant you access to your SmartCrowd account. MFA protects your account from an unknown person trying to access your data and act on your behalf.

Enabling MFA is optional but highly recommended in order to keep your SmartCrowd account secured and only accessable to you

Yes, you can always disable your MFA by visiting Account Security under My Profile in your SmartCrowd’s dashboard

Please contact us at [email protected] with the email subject “Deactivate MFA” one of our support team members will be in touch with you to process your request

What are the payment options in SmartCrowd?

By using an instant bank transfer, you link your bank account directly with your Smart e-wallet through a fully secure and encrypted 3rd-party payment provider regulated by the DFSA, that allows you to send instant bank transfers at 0 fees within your SmartCrowd dashboard towards your investment or Wallet deposit. Some users will have to log back in and click ‘complete payment’ after the 24hr cooling period when using this method for the first time. Please note that this payment option is only available to certain banks in the UAE.

You can also easily use your debit card in order to fund your wallet or make an investment in a property directly. Please note that credit cards are not allowed due to regulatory restrictions of using credit payments towards your investment. Please also note that debit card payments is subjected to 2.5% card processing fee that is added on top of the investment / deposit amount.

By selecting the offline bank transfer option, you will be redirected to a page that contains SmartCrowd’s bank account details and will be asked to complete the wire transfer offline either by visiting your bank or by using your banks online banking method. Usually the payment takes 3-7 days in order to be processed by the bank so please make sure to send us a proof of transfer to [email protected].

Please note that your investment will be held for 6 days only until the payment is processed from your side, if you fail to make the payment, your shares will be released back and your investment will be rejected.

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