Craig Cecilio. Founder, President and CEO of DiversyFund. San Diego, USA

Craig Cecilio Founder, President and CEO of DiversyFund

Craig Cecilio had a plan, and that was to give the average investor access to institutional-grade real estate investments. Founded in 2014, DiversyFund has changed the way passive investors find opportunities to invest in alternative assets. How does DiversyFund do it? By using modern technology and crowdfunding to put likeminded investors together to make money

Unlike many crowdfunding companies, DiversyFund isn’t a group of tech-savvy employees attempting to be real estate know-it-alls. Cecilio and company are 100% real estate and Wall Street investment experts who have combined their knowledge and experience to help clients achieve attractive returns.

Cecilio’s vision is for investors of all kinds to make profits from DiversyFund’s crowdfunding platform, and they don’t have to be millionaires to get started.

Cecilio spoke to Totalprestige Magazine and told us about DiversyFund and how it can make passive investors money.

Craig, can you please tell us about DiversyFund and the services you provide?

DiversyFund is a crowdfunding platform that gives average investors access to institutional quality real estate investments from anywhere via their smartphone. I founded the company in 2014 following the passing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012. Our mission is to disrupt traditional real estate financing by breaking down the barriers that prevent retail investors from owning alternative assets.

DiversyFund isn’t the first crowdfunding platform for real estate investment, but it is the first to offer no-fee, fully-vetted real estate investments. DiversyFund is different, because it isn’t a broker. Rather, DiversyFund develops all projects in house, which means DiversyFund has a vested interest in the success of every project they offer to investors.

Our team at DiversyFund is comprised of dynamic real estate and tech experts committed to providing you with the best investment opportunities our market has to offer. Our extensive experience in real estate combined with our expertise in asset management, consulting, investment banking, and technology is revolutionizing the real estate industry by making the investment process simple and streamlined. Today, investors can easily start investing in a variety of real estate opportunities with as little as $5,000 via our crowdfunding platform.

What is the typical range of investment amounts you receive, and is there a minimum investment level?

Currently, the minimum investment possible through DiversyFund is $5,000. We are working to lower the required minimum investment to make our platform even more accessible. The vast majority of our investments range anywhere from the minimum to upwards of $100,000. With the average investment being about $15,000-$25,000 per individual investor.

What differentiates you from other real estate crowdfunding companies? What makes DiversyFund so unique?

DiversyFund is different, because we do all of our projects are in house. We are not a broker. We believe in every project we offer to investors and have a vested interest in each project’s success. Because we are the developer, we profit from the successful sale of the project, not fees and commissions from investors.

DiversyFund is one of the very few platforms out there that allows investors to select the opportunities they want to invest in. Other leading platforms are going away from this approach and offering E-REIT or Funds, where an investor has no control over where their money will be invested. A membership on the DiversyFund platform is free and the process to invest is made simple for anyone to take advantage of.

Tell us how your career began and what have been some of the highlights?

I got my start in real estate with syndicate lending. Since then, I have survived two boom and bust cycles in the real estate market. Over that time, I’ve been involved in every type of real estate development you could imagine, but nothing compares to what we’ve done with DiversyFund. We’re democratizing real estate development, emphasizing social impact and helping average investors create wealth in the process. This model has the potential to change the real estate financing forever.

What was your most rewarding professional experience?

My vision is to enable the everyday American consumer to invest in socially impactful alternative assets by leveraging technology and removing barriers to invest. So far, DiversyFund has invested over $100 million in real estate projects, amassed over 30,000 investors and has seen zero dollars in principal losses. There is still a huge amount of work to be done, but we’ve accomplished a lot in three years. Working to turn my vision into a reality by utilizing the power of crowdfunding has been the most rewarding aspect of my professional career.

How do you find inspiration?

I have always been relentless about networking and surrounding myself with successful individuals. I find inspiration by continuing to adapt to bullish and bearish markets through deep-rooted relationships that I have developed over the years with renowned designers, builders and marketers.

What is the most challenging part of your work?

The hardest thing about my job is knowing when to stop. I think it’s a very common trait among entrepreneurs and CEOs. We do not know when to shut down the computer and stop working. The reality is that once I leave my desk I’m still tied to work through my phone, emails and social media.

What are future strategic plans for DiversyFund?

Crowdfunding real estate investing is in its preliminary stages and it will continue to grow as more investors start to realize its potential. This will gain momentum as millennial investors begin to take over. Millennials may not be willing to invest time into hunting and vetting opportunities before investing. Instead, they rely on trusted online sources, peer reviews, user experience and the ability to track their investments online anytime from anywhere. I hope to see our user base expand from middle aged men with six figure incomes to more millennials eager to diversify their investment portfolios with real estate. To accelerate participation we are focused on reducing the barriers that limit the average investor from investing in alternative assets.

Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?

I can’t point to any singular entrepreneur, but I am motivated and influenced by the entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving and getting things done.

What is a day in your life like?

I love starting my day with a morning workout at CrossFit or a jog by the bay, I can never miss it! I make no excuses and always give 110 percent. Then it is straight to the office where I juggle phone calls, meetings with potential investors, visiting our construction sites, checking in on the team. All the while I’m continuously reviewing measurables for our crowdfunding platform.

What makes you smile?

My beautiful family, my wife and two daughters, Scarlett and Brooklyn.

What scares you?

What scares me is the abundance of real estate get-rich-quick schemes. Oftentimes, real estate gets a bad reputation, because of a few bad actors. That’s why at DiversyFund we offer the highest level of transparency in the industry. Moreover, because we have a vested interest in every investment we offer investors have the confidence of knowing that we only profit when they do.

What is your greatest achievement?

Democratizing real estate. We feel that our platform has the potential to change how real estate projects get financed as well as how investors gain access to alternative assets.

What is your secret talent?

I am a problem solver who loves to get things done. I look at problems from all angles and love to brainstorm and implement innovative solutions that disrupt tradition.

Which historical figure do you most admire?

I admire Leonardo Da Vinci. As a problem solver, I am constantly looking at ways to provide innovative, cutting-edge solutions to today’s problems.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love spending time with my family, and I am an avid exerciser, music listener and foodie.

What are you never without?

I am never without my iPhone. Among plenty of other things, I am constantly communicating with my team at DiversyFund and checking measurables for our platform. And as a father, I am always on call.

Can you tell us two of your favorite quotes?

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion” – Michael Jordan

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start investing with DiversyFund?

I recommend they go to our competitors and compare us head to head on fees, returns, transparency and the variety of investments we offer. They’ll see that our model is innovative and unique, and that we offer more attractive risk-adjusted returns.

For more information on Craig Cecilio and investment opportunities with DiversyFund, please visit DiversyFund.com for more.

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