Smart Crowd Knowledge Hub

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I want to become a Smart Crowder
I want to understand SmartCrowd’s investment structure
I’m ready to invest. How do I begin investing?
I have made an investment. How do I manage it?
How do I exit my investment?

I want to become a Smart Crowder
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Smart Crowd is a regulated digital real estate investment platform that provides you the opportunity to effectively buy and sell shares in properties, reducing the barrier to entry to building financial assets and generating income. Our aim is to assist you with creating a diversified real estate portfolio and by providing the tools to manage your market exposure from a simple online portal.
It’s free for you to join Smart Crowd and you don’t have to commit to anything by registering.
At this stage, individuals of legal age of 18 years and above can register directly online. Legal entities and/or corporates can contact Smart Crowd at info@smartcrowd.property or at 971 50 2883149 to register.
  • First you need to sign up
  • Commence the registration process
  • You will be asked to provide personal details including employment and wealth source to comply with DFSA KYC/AML requirements. This ensures your interests, and those of the Smart Crowd community, are protected and secured by eliminating bad actors from using the platform.
  • You will then be asked to provide proof of identify (Passport and/or National ID) and proof of residence (utility bill, Bank statements, tenancy contract etc).
  • Finally, you will be asked to confirm declarations to ensure the information provided is accurate and that you understand the risks of using Smart Crowd platform. You will also have to agree to our Terms and Conditions.
We are currently live in limited capacity and only accepting interest. Please sign up and we will keep you informed when you will be able to register and start investing through our platform.
As a regulated financial institution, Smart Crowd is required to follow the Customer Due Diligence (“CDD”) regulations as outlined by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”). Your personal information and identity documents allow Smart Crowd to confirm your details and comply with DFSA’s requirements. You must upload and submit the requested information prior to making your first crowdfunding investment.
The minimum amount you can invest in a property is AED 5,000.

Individual Investment Property Level:

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

Aggregate Investment on the platform

The total amount a user can invest on the platform depends on the type of investor you are:

  • If you are classified as a “professional client,” then you will have no limitation on how much you can invest on our platform.
  • If you are classified as a “retail client,” then you will be restricted to $50,000 over a calendar year.

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. Retail Clients are afforded higher protections than a Professional Client because they are deemed to have less net worth, experience and understanding of relevant financial markets than a Professional Client. For example 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.

As a Retail Client we will apply a limit on the amount you can invest into properties over an annual period via the SmartCrowd Platform. The limit is to $50,000 over a calendar year.

Smart Crowd classifies all users as Retail Client unless the users requests to be classified as Professional Client. In those circumstance the user will have to prove they meet the Professional Client requirements as below.

According to the DFSA Rule Book, COB Section 2.3.7, an individual is a professional client 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
  • Either
    • 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

Smart Crowd will need to verify the above information in order to classify you as a professional client.

I want to understand Smart Crowd’s Investment Structure
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Smart Crowd is a real estate crowdfunding platform that enables multiple investors to browse residential and commercial properties across Dubai and invest in the property of their choice.

Our clients do not invest directly into real estate. We arrange for them to invest in an investment vehicle that holds the property. Our clients effectively own the property by holding shares in the investment vehicle.

Clients can invest as little as AED 5,000 and own a portion of a property of their choice via the shares they hold in the relevant investment vehicle. Shares will be held collectively among other Smart Crowd investors who have also chosen to invest in the same property.

Smart Crowd is registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”). The DFSA is the financial services regulator of the DIFC.

You can view details of our DFSA license HERE. ( https://www.dfsa.ae/Public-Register/Firm)

The investment vehicle is also established in the DIFC for the sole purpose of holding the real estate on behalf of the investors.

Smart Crowd will establishes an investment vehicle for the purpose of purchasing the investment property. Per Dubai Land Department’s requirement this vehicle will be incorporated and registered in the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)

This structure provides two critical protections in the event of Smart Crowd’s insolvency:

  • The shares will be considered assets of the investors; and
  • The administration of the ISPV may be transferred from Smart Crowd to another DFSA approved third party (at the discretion of the investors if they wish to continue to maintain the investment).

Most importantly, the shares are always the property of the investors as the ultimate beneficial owners.

First, it is important for you to understand Dubai’s real estate sector governance framework.

The Dubai Land Department (“DLD”) handles all legalization matters regarding the sale and purchase of land within the emirate, including the organization, documentation and approval of real estate trading operations. The DLD established the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (“RERA”) as their regulatory arm. RERA regulates the relationship between all parties involved in a real estate transaction and organizes the registration of property ownership documents.

Currently, RERA cannot accommodate more than five to ten people on a property’s title deed. Therefore, in order to accommodate multiple investors, Smart Crowd established an investment vehicle that can accommodate as many shareholders as necessary to invest in a property. The vehicle then makes the investment in a property on behalf of the shareholders. The property’s title deed is registered in the name of the investment vehicle.

The investment vehicle is registered in the DIFC and governed by the DIFC Companies Law. This structure enables the logistical ease at the same time providing users full protection and transparency on ownership, therefore, you will always have the assurance that you have invested in your selected property. This provides you additional protection against any operational risk associated with the Smart Crowd platform.

The shares are held directly under your name. Once the property transaction is completed, you will be issued shares in the ISPV that owns the property. You will be able to verify your ownership via the DIFC public register or the DIFC NOC provided to you after the completion of the transfer.

We have structured a 3-stage approach to evaluate each investment opportunity in the most efficient way. We analyze over 100 data points across equal weighting of Quantitative and Qualitative data. You can review the details of our screening criteria in our Education Centre.

Though a broad range of crowdfunded property investment opportunities will be listed, the initial focus is on income-generating properties. Initially our residential investments include individual apartments and villas. We will target all free-hold areas within UAE, giving you an opportunity to build a well-diversified real estate portfolio.

We work with our partners such as financial institutions and property brokers as well consult with independent advisors/consultant whilst using real-time market data provided by a third party to ensure that our platform markets only quality properties that will provide the best returns.

Each property will have an assigned facility manager. All facility managers are RERA-approved and reviewed by Smart Crowd. The investment vehicle will enter into a management agreement via Smart Crowd in its capacity as the administrator of the investment vehicle, which will assign property management to the selected facility manager.

Facility management fees are covered in the annual fees charged by Smart Crowd. These charges include advertising, letting and managing the property, collecting rents, managing tenants and works 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.

I’m ready to Invest. How do I begin Investing?
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Go to www.smartcrowd.property and click on “Member Login.” This will take you to your private area where you can manage your account and start viewing available investment opportunities. Once your registration and documents have been verified we will provide you with bank information to fund your Smart Crowd account. Once the funds are uploaded to your account you can start making investments.

Your Smart Crowd account funds are held in two fully segregated custodian bank accounts (escrow account). Depending on your residency and where the funds are being transferred from, your funds will be held in either ENBD Dubai account or a custodian account operated by Global Currency Exchange Limited (GCEN) (UK company registration number: 04675786) and Global Custodian Services Limited (GCS) (UK company registration number: 08321940). GCEN is authorised and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Payment Services Regulations, 2009 with registration number 504346. GCS is also authorised and regulated by the FCA for arranging transactions in investments with registration number 595875.

GCEN and GCS only accept electronic transfers in AED (UAE Dirhams). Smart Crowd also operates a separate segregated client monies account via Smart Crowd Limited solely for cheque payments and collection of rent. This account is registered with Emirates NBD and is fully segregated from Smart Crowd Limited account.

Please note these accounts are completely segregated from Smart Crowd’s account and are identified as client money account.

Wire transfers are vulnerable to foreign exchange risk and Smart Crowd is not accountable for such risk.

We are unable to accept cash.
You can withdraw your funds (that have not been invested) at any time. You can make withdrawal requests from your private dashboard by clicking on “Manage your account” and selecting “Withdraw.” You can then fill-in the withdrawal request. We will process the withdrawal as soon as we confirm your account details. The transfer can take up to three days.

UAE Investors

No, we will not charge you for withdrawing funds to a UAE bank.

Non-UAE Investors

Smart Crowd does not charge you for withdrawing funds. However, if your bank account is outside of the UAE, our bank, your bank and/or a corresponding bank might charge fees.

We recommend checking with your non-UAE bank before withdrawing funds.

Wire transfers are vulnerable to foreign exchange risk and Smart Crowd is not accountable for such risk.

New Listings

New listings are properties for which we have exclusive rights to market on our platform in order to raise funds and purchase it on behalf of investors. The time period for which we have exclusivity ranges from 30-60 days. In order to fund these properties, they are listed on our platform for our clients to view and determine whether to invest.

Each New Listing will have a sale price, which becomes the target investment amount in order to purchase the property. Throughout the exclusivity period, investors can invest their chosen amount towards the target amount. When clients commit funds to a New Listing, their Smart Crowd account will decrease but no money will leave the client account until the funding target is reached and we are able to close the transaction.

Pre-Sales

All new listings will be available for viewing on the platform for a set period of time before they are available for investment. This allows everyone to view the New Listing and gives an opportunity to review information and conduct any independent research. If you are interested in investing in the property, you can include it in your watchlist. Once the property goes live you will have an opportunity to complete you will be notified and you will be able to login and complete the transaction.

In the unlikely event that a New Listing funding target is not reached within the given time frame or we are unable to close the transaction due to unforeseen reasons, all committed funds will be credited back to a client’s Smart Crowd account. Smart Crowd will not charge or receive any fees or costs in this case.
You have full control over your investment decision. Smart Crowd only provides you with a marketplace of options from which to choose. We list property details including property amenities, financial data market data and real-time property valuation powered by a third party (TBC), to assist you in your decision-making. We do not provide any advice or recommendation. You decide how much and in which property you want to invest in.
All New Listings can be found under the “Properties” tab. You can obtain full property details and market data by selecting each property.
The following information is provided for each investment opportunity:
  • Description of the property, detailing the features
  • Financial information, both transactional costs as well as rental
  • Independent market data on the property and surrounding area
  • Legal, financial and property documents including but not limited floor plan, service charge history, proforma financial for the investment term; and
  • Third party property market valuation
The process is extremely simple.
  1. Choose the property in which you would like to invest.
  2. Click on the “Invest” button and choose the amount you would like to invest, assuming you have sufficient funds in your Smart Crowd account (never exceed the amount available in your Smart Crowd account and be aware of your investment limits, if you are a retail client).
  3. Accept the terms and conditions and investment contract (templates of these documents are available in the Document section of your private dashboard area).
  4. That’s it!. Upon your confirmation, the investment will appear in the Pending Investment section of your private dashboard area until the property funding target is reached, and the transaction is completed
  5. Once the transaction is completed, the property is registered and shares are issues, investment will move to Current Investments section in your dashboard
I have made an investment, how do I manage it?
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All of your investments are listed in your private dashboard area. You can view your investments under Current Investments. The Pending Investment tabs are all your investments that have not reached 100% of funding or the transaction has not yet closed
As an investor, you will have access to a dashboard so that you can monitor your investments. In particular, the dashboard provides information on:
  • Total returns
  • Expected value of your portfolio
  • Detail on your funds including Fundings; Withdrawals; Dividends Received
  • Realised Capital Gains
  • Forecast Monthly Dividends
  • Pending Investments
  • Current Investments
  • Investments for Sale
  • Investments Sold

Please note that when a new property’s funding is complete, your investment will appear in the Pending Investments section. The investment will move to the Current Investment section when the transaction is completed with the seller.

The Account History section provides information on all account activities, including:
  • All account transactions including investments;
  • Fees and Taxes;
  • All dividends received; and
  • All sale proceeds

Beneficially, you own a portion of the individual property via a DIFC investment vehicle. The investment vehicle’s revenue is derived from the rental yield of the held property. Dividends will be issued from the investment vehicle and you will receive a share of dividends in proportion to your ownership as a shareholder.

The dividends available to property owners are calculated as the gross rent collected from tenants, less the property-related costs, which include but are not limited to, service charges, repairs and maintenance, management fees, investment vehicle administrative fees.

Estimates of future dividends are provided with the listing. These estimates are based on consultation with third parties, such as local estate agents and consultants. We then apply estimates for void periods, on-going maintenance, and any other costs we envisage as per the above. 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, which cannot be regarded as an accurate indicator of future results. Smart Crowd does not provide investment advice. It may be that gross rents are lower and/or higher costs are incurred. It is important that you refer to the key risks involved with investing via the Smart Crowd platform.

Your share of dividends will start accruing from the date the property is purchased, or a later date if specified in the property description. The dividends will be paid when the rent is collected, i.e. monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually, and within five days of receipt.
You will receive an email notifying you that dividends have been received for your investments and transferred into your Smart Crowd account. You can also login into your dashboard to monitor your current investments and dividends received at any time. You can choose to withdraw those funds or accumulate them to reinvest in other opportunities.

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

We also forecast certain costs, such as upcoming maintenance, and either: (a) raise a maintenance allowance provision during the initial crowdfunding when the property is a New Listing or (b) set aside a certain amount of the gross rent for these costs as and when they arise. We make all of this information available to investors at the point of investment. If further information relating to costs becomes available, we will communicate this clearly via our website so that all investors (current and prospective) are notified via email and their personal dashboard.

It is possible that a cost is incurred that is larger than gross rent that is unexpected and uninsured. In such a scenario, Smart Crowd will consult with the investors for a remedial plan that the investors will vote on through their dashboard.

In the case of property investments, the difference between the projected gross and net yields will vary on a case by case basis of each property

Gross Yield

This is the yield on an investment before the deduction of taxes, operating expenses and maintenance charges, expressed in percentage terms. The annual rent is termed the gross rent and the gross yield is calculated by dividing the gross rent (before taxes and operating expenses are deducted) by the sale price

Net Yield

This is the yield on an investment after the deduction of service charges. It takes into account only the service charges levied by the owner’s association. This is termed the Net Rent (Gross Rent less Service charges). The Net Yield is calculated by dividing the Net Rent by the sale price.

Dividend Yield

This is the yield on an investment after the deduction of expenses associated with the property. The dividend is calculated by deducting from Net Rent all operating expenses such as but not limited to management fees, maintenance & repairs, insurance costs, Smart crowd administrative fees etc. The Dividend Yield is calculated by dividing the Dividend income by the sale price. This Yield takes into account all expenses levied on the property. As such, it is a far more accurate illustration of the asset's financial performance.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on investment is a performance measure. It measures the amount of return on an investment, relative to the investment’s cost. To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment. The result is expressed as a percentage or ratio.

ROI is calculated by dividing Total Return by your investment amount.

Total return is your dividend income and any capital gains at the time of selling the property

The ROI estimates provided on the platform assume annual capital appreciation of the property value. This capital appreciation may or may not be realized.

Annualized Return

An annualized return is the geometric average amount of money earned by an investment each year over a given time period. It shows what an investor would earn over a period of time if the annual return was compounded.

* Investments in property and unlisted shares carry a risk and you may not receive the anticipated returns and your capital may be at risk

Please refer to the KEY RISK's. Real estate Investments through our platform are not risk-free. They potentially carry the possibility of the total loss of value. However, as there is an underlying insured property behind the investment and due to it being a property asset that scenario is highly unlikely.
It is in our interests to provide you the best investment opportunities possible. All properties listed on our platform go through a rigorous review and a due diligence process. Each property is carefully examined by our financial and real estate experts. We provide all supporting documentation so you can analyze it and take the most appropriate investment option.
We encourage you to diversify your investment by distributing your capital over multiple properties. For example, instead of contributing AED 100,000 to a single property, you can make small contributions of AED 10,000 in 10 different properties. This minimizes your risk by diversifying your investments.
Once making a commitment to invest through the platform, investors are given a 48-hour cooling off period in which they have the option to cancel their investment. Following the cooling off period, investors are unable to cancel their investment and must proceed with the investment process.
How do I exit my Investment?
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When you exit, you could have capital appreciation or depreciation. (see Key Risks) Currently there is one option for you to exit at the end of the investment term. We are working with the Dubai Land Department to allow for economically viable Secondary market that will allow you to exit your investment at any time as explained below.

1. End of investment term

At the end of the investment term all investors have the opportunity to vote to sell their holdings at market value. The property valuation will be made by an independent and Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA) approved valuator.

This process is outlined below:

  • The property is inspected and valued by an independent agency who is approved by RERA to provide valuation services. Considerations towards any potential liabilities that the investment vehicle may have, outstanding service charges or taxation, are also made before a per share market value is given to the investor.
  • This information is provided on the dashboard where the investor can vote on whether to sell at the market value or extend the investment term.
  • Where a majority of investors decide to sell the property, it will be relisted on the Smart Crowd platform at the new market value for up to four weeks. This process is similar to the initial crowdfunding of a New Listing.

If this process is unsuccessful, Smart Crowd will commence proceedings to sell the underlying property off the platform. The property will be advertised for sale on the open market at the valuation determined by the independent valuator. Smart Crowd Limited will administer this process. Upon successful completion of the sale, all investors in that property will exit and net proceeds will be distributed to investors. Note that third-party costs, such as legal fees, will reduce the proceeds available for distribution to investors, but Smart Crowd will not charge any fees or make any profit margin on the third-party fees.

2. Secondary Market

We envision to offer a secondary market in the near future. Once operational, at any time, you can offer your holdings to other investors on the Secondary Market at a price of your choice. Your co-owners will have the first right of refusal to buy your holding. If there are no buyers then your holdings will be marketed to all users on the platform.

In practice, the shares are relisted and marketed in the same way as a new crowdfunded investment offering. Smart Crowd will provide information to help both potential buyers and sellers to perform due diligence and determine whether they wish to buy or sell at a given price. Smart Crowd will also provide independent up-to-date market data to help buyers and sellers assess the market value of the property. However, ultimately it is the sellers’ and buyers’ decision on the final price and any independent market data or estimates should not be considered investment advice. Smart Crowd can assist if the buyer or seller wishes to conduct an independent valuation by a RERA authorized valuator.

However, the Secondary Marketplace should not be considered as a trading facility, where investors relist shares and choose their own price. This is to ensure that relisted shares do not misrepresent the market value of the underlying asset at any given time. Depending on the price you are offering, the opportunity may or may not attract prospective buyers (and therefore may or may not sell). It should be kept in mind that, while the facility provides a potential opportunity for an early exit, there is no guarantee of a completed sale. In this scenario, your opportunity to exit is limited to the above.

Smart Crowd charges an exit fee of 2.5% of the asset value.

Please note that resale properties will be subject to RERA’s land transfer fee of 4%. plus 10,000 AED Admin fee from the Land Department. This fee currently makes the secondary market economically unviable. We are working with the Dubai Land Department and DIFC to reduce the fees in order to have a thriving secondary market to increase the liquidity of your investment.

No, It is not guaranteed that a willing buyer will purchase your shares for stated price. Smart Crowd provides you access to a market for your shares; however you should be prepared to hold your shares long-term.
Other matters
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Smart Crowd's fees are applied in the following ways:

  1. A platform-based crowdfunding fee of 1.5% is payable on the property price deducted once the legal process has been completed. This fee covers the costs associated with setting up the investment vehicle, payment processing, escrow services and anti-money laundering compliance checks.
  2. Smart Crowd charges an exit fee of 2.5% of the property price. This is to align our interest with the investors to provide them confidence that Smart Crowd will do everything in their power to ensure an exit takes place as part of their fees are dependent on it.
  3. An annual investment vehicle administrative fee, equivalent to 10% of the rental amount which includes the maintenance of the investment vehicle, facility management costs, costs to monitor and administer the facility management team to ensure they are maximizing the return on your investments and reporting on your investments made available through your personalize dashboard.

Smart Crowd provides a straight forward investment property experience by ensuring you have qualified options that have passed a physical and financial analysis. All paperwork and legal structures are in place for investors who can rely on Smart Crowd to work with registered brokers, RERA, developers and trustee offices to close transactions.

Smart Crowd charges an exit fee of 2.5% as explained above.

Please note that resale properties will be subject to RERA’s land transfer fee of 4%. plus 10,000 AED Admin fee from the Land Department. This fee currently makes the secondary market economically unviable. We are working with the Dubai Land Department and DIFC to reduce the fees in order to have a thriving secondary market to increase the liquidity of your investment.

Yes; however, it is recommended that investors residing outside of the UAE must first investigate seek advice as to whether they are subject to any local regulations that prohibit or restrict them from proceeding. Payments to Smart Crowd must be made in United Arab Emirates Dirhams, and may be subject to additional bank or card charges.
During our Innovation Testing License (“ITL”) phase we are only accepting residents of UAE.

Smart Crowd acts independently of the investment vehicles. Investors retain the legal share of the investment vehicle and the crowdfunded property asset held within it. Each property investment is separate from Smart Crowd’s assets and liabilities, as well as any other property investments on the platform.

If Smart Crowd were to fall into financial distress, an alternative administrator could be appointed to continue the administration of the ISPV in accordance with the terms of the investment.

Any funds in your account that have not yet been invested in property are held in a segregated account in accordance with DFSA rules. This is a separate bank account that is separate from Smart Crowd’s monies and will be returned to investors in the event of Smart Crowd falling into financial distress.

If you are in any way dissatisfied with Smart Crowd products or services you may file a complaint.

We will make sure your complaint is handled fairly, consistently and promptly.

Immediately upon receipt of your complaint the Senior Executive Officer (“SEO”) will be informed. Within seven days of receipt of the complaint, the SEO will send you a letter acknowledging receipt. Smart Crowd will try to resolve/redress your complaint within 60 days. During the complaints process we will update you at least 30 days from the date of receipt of your complaint on the progress.

You will be given the contact details for the individual handling the complaint.

Any referral to external parties, including regulatory bodies, may involve transferring and disclosing personal data, as defined under the DIFC Data Protection Law. You have the right to object at any time on reasonable grounds relating to your particular situation to the processing of your personal data.

Smart Crowd will investigate the factual and legal circumstances of the case and, based on these investigations, decide Smart Crowd’s position.

Once the complaint’s investigation has been concluded, you will promptly be informed in writing of the result.

To make a complaint, please send your complaint in writing to info@smartcrowd.ae