Money-Back Guarantee Builds Trust in Real Estate Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is on track to democratize commercial real estate investing, but some say it has few investor protections.
Origin Investments’ money-back guarantee addresses that challenge.
“If a new investor isn’t satisfied with our service, or they feel that the investment wasn’t represented in an accurate and factual manner, we’ll refund up to $250,000 of their original investment in their first year with us,” Origin cofounder Michael Episcope said. “We have a well-defined, transparent real estate crowdfunding platform, and our money-back guarantee gives them the opportunity to have a risk-free experience.”
How does that work? Episcope and Origin cofounder David Scherer simply buy back the investors’ shares.
“Our job is to convey all the risks and rewards of an opportunity, and not just market the upside,” Episcope said.
Origin instituted this first-of-its-kind pledge six months ago. So far, no one has taken the firm up on the offer, but “we don’t want unhappy partners,” Episcope says. “And we believe in our service, and what we’re doing so strongly that we don’t think anyone will exercise this option.”
A promise of satisfaction does not guarantee results — all commercial real estate investments have risks — but Origin’s offer reflects confidence in its back-office operations, asset management skills and online innovations.
“It has everything to do with service and capabilities, not with whether the market is going up or down,” Episcope said.
The money-back guarantee does not cover fees and charges to investors, which are outlined in offering documents.
Details can be found on the frequently asked questions page of Origin’s website.
“We have such a strong belief in our product and our team that we are putting this out there,” Episcope said. “What we are doing is trying to build trust online. This is the first-of-its-kind and one more way that Origin is challenging the status quo.”