Collab Review 2023: The student housing crowdfunding platform

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
June 30, 2023


4.7 rating based on 5 ratings

Learn More

In a Nutshell: Collab is a groundbreaking real estate investment platform that democratizes access to the student housing market. Its innovative task-driven ecosystem offers investors the unique opportunity to contribute to property operations and earn additional income. Their decentralized property management system and the principle of shared ownership have made them a popular choice among investors and community members alike.

This Collab review will examine the specifics of their investment strategy, property offerings, task-driven model, communication tools, and more.

Service TypeFees Promotion
Real Estate Investment PlatformVariesNo
Pros & Cons
  • Accessible investment opportunities with a minimum investment starting from as low as $500
  • Community-driven model allowing tenant investors to earn money by taking on optional property management tasks.
  • Transparent and secure payment process for completed tasks and referrals.
  • Emphasis on effective, real-time communication.
  • Limited property offerings, mainly centered on student housing near prestigious universities.
  • Potential low liquidity due to the nature of real estate investment.

The real estate market continually presents various investment opportunities. Among these is the student housing sector, a lucrative niche that has seen exponential growth. The market’s potential lies in the burgeoning college-age population, estimated at 46 million by 2031.

However, for many potential investors, the thriving student housing market is somewhat inaccessible. This is where Collab, a revolutionary real estate asset management and investment platform, comes into play.

In this comprehensive review, we will look at Collab’s offerings, pros, and cons, giving potential investors all the insight they need to decide if this unique platform aligns with their investment strategies.

External Collab Review & Ratings


What is Collab?

Established in 2020 by Qian Wang, a seasoned entrepreneur and MIT alum, Collab is a pioneer in decentralized student housing real estate asset management and investment. It aims to bridge the gap between investors and the lucrative student housing market, enabling community members to own, invest in, and manage properties.

Utilizing a community-centric management system, Collab provides optimal investment opportunities while fostering a welcoming environment for its investor community and tenants. For those seeking active participation in the student housing sector and wealth accumulation, Collab presents an ideal platform.

The Visionary Behind Collab: Qian Wang

Qian Wang, an MIT alum with a keen understanding of architecture and real estate development, is the visionary behind Collab. With his first foray into residential development dating back to 2002 in China, Wang relies on three core principles for success: timing, location, and team.

His unique experiences abroad have provided him with a breadth of knowledge and insights that paved the way for his latest venture, Collab. This innovative platform aims to reshape the traditional real estate industry by eliminating intermediaries, thereby fostering a direct relationship between tenants and investors.

Collab’s model is truly disruptive, breaking down managerial tasks into smaller responsibilities that tenants and investors can perform. It puts a spotlight on student housing, where tenants become agents, showing vacant units to potential occupants. Furthermore, Collab utilizes crowdfunding, offering small investors the opportunity to specifically allocate their funds and even allows tenants to invest in their own buildings.

Wang’s drive for learning and growth, a trait honed during his time at MIT, is central to his ventures. Through Collab, he hopes to prove that technology can offer an alternative, more efficient model for real estate development and asset management. The ultimate aim is to disrupt traditional norms, optimize efficiencies, and emphasize the importance of the key industry players: the investors and the tenants. This dynamic approach to real estate investment underscores the innovative spirit of Collab, reflecting the vision of its pioneering founder.

Why Choose Collab?

Benefits for Investors

Collab offers a unique and lucrative investment opportunity by allowing investors to directly access student housing assets in proximity to leading universities. This sector of real estate investment is characterized by its stability and consistent demand, making it a promising venture for those seeking reliable returns.

Investors on Collab’s platform can anticipate an annualized cash dividend between 4% – 5%, highlighting the platform’s competitive yield potential. This not only provides a steady income stream but also holds the promise of substantial equity growth over time.

Furthermore, Collab breaks down the traditional barriers to real estate investment by requiring a minimal investment as low as $500. This makes the opportunity accessible to a broad range of investors, whether they are experienced or just beginning their investment journey.

The platform itself is built with user experience at its core, offering an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Moreover, Collab provides an end-to-end vertically integrated platform for asset management, simplifying the process of tracking and managing investments.

Opportunities for Community Members

Collab doesn’t just cater to investors. It also extends its benefits to students, alumni, and community members interested in the real estate space. For those familiar with the student housing environment, Collab serves as a relatable platform to venture into property investment.

Additionally, community members can actively participate in property operations and platform development, opening up avenues for earning income. This unique feature of Collab not only fosters a sense of community and shared ownership but also offers the potential for personal financial growth.

A Balanced Investment Opportunity

Like any investment platform, Collab isn’t without its limitations. The investment options could be confined primarily to student housing properties, and due to the inherent nature of real estate investment, liquidity may be on the lower side compared to other asset classes.

However, the advantages of investing through Collab far outweigh these limitations. The platform provides a stable and attractive annualized return, offers a low entry barrier for investing in the lucrative student housing market, and engages its community members in a unique and profitable way. All these factors make Collab a compelling opportunity for investors looking for mid to long-term growth and income.

Collab’s Community-Centric Approach

Collab is revolutionizing the traditional real estate investment model through a community-driven approach that emphasizes collaboration and shared ownership. This innovative vision is realized through several key components:

  • No Full-Time Property Managers or Expensive Agents: Collab moves away from the need for expensive intermediaries, shifting control into the hands of community members. This not only reduces costs but also enhances the efficiency of operations, ultimately benefiting the investors.
  • Task-Driven Ecosystem: Collab’s platform offers a unique feature where community members can opt to take on various tasks ranging from property maintenance to problem-solving. This engagement not only fosters a sense of shared responsibility and ownership but also provides an additional income source.
  • Task Categories: ‘Available Tasks’, ‘My Tasks’, and ‘Favorite Tasks’ are three categories that allow members to browse, track, and save tasks according to their preferences and skills. This user-friendly system facilitates efficient task management.
  • Effective Communication: Recognizing the vital role of communication in community-driven operations, Collab has set up tools for real-time project monitoring and cross-functional team interaction. This collaborative environment ensures everyone stays updated and coordinated.
  • Secure and Prompt Payments: For completed tasks, Collab guarantees prompt payments handled with utmost security and transparency through its robust system, ensuring peace of mind for its community members.
  • Refer and Earn: Beyond task completion, community members can also boost their income by referring qualified vendors to the Collab platform. Real-time online payment for successful referrals further enhances the earning potential.

In essence, Collab is more than just a real estate investment platform. It’s a dynamic and inclusive community that values participation and shared efforts, leading to a rewarding and unique investment experience.

A Peek into Collab’s Investment Portfolio

Collab prides itself on its strategic approach to property acquisition. While the current offerings might appear limited in number, this should be seen as a reflection of Collab’s commitment to carefully selecting properties that present high value and potential returns.

UC Berkeley – 1742 Spruce

Situated near UC Berkeley, the property at 1742 Spruce enjoys a perfect occupancy rate of 100%. This location demonstrates a strong connection to the student population, providing steady rental income and low vacancy rates. Furthermore, it offers substantial value-add potential, with 42.3% of the funding already secured.

The minimum investment for this property stands at $500.00, making it an attractive choice for those willing to invest in a property with proven stability and significant growth potential.

UMass Boston – 19 Buttonwood #3

The property at 19 Buttonwood #3 is an upcoming opportunity located near UMass Boston. Despite still being in the funding phase, it has already achieved a 100% occupancy rate. The key highlight of this investment is its status as new construction, indicating state-of-the-art amenities that are likely to attract potential tenants. The minimum purchase amount for this property is incredibly accessible, standing at just $20.00. Keep in mind, though, that as it’s still in the pre-funding phase, no distribution percentage is available yet.

UC Berkeley – 2340 Hilgard

Another promising property, 2340 Hilgard, is located close to UC Berkeley, already boasting a 100% occupancy rate even in its pre-funding stage. With the minimum investment threshold set at $100.00, this property provides an affordable entry point into the real estate market. While the value-add potential and distribution percentage are not available yet, prospective investors can look forward to the prospect of tapping into the thriving student housing market around UC Berkeley.

Collab’s unique approach to real estate investment is underpinned by a seemingly modest yet robust portfolio of eight active properties (and 6 more condo units coming soon), comprising approximately 200 beds in total. This strategic focus on quality over quantity allows Collab to stand out in the intensely competitive landscape of real estate investment.

Key to Collab’s success is the astute selection of properties that offer significant growth potential and consistent rental income. A rigorous vetting process is employed for each prospective property, ensuring not only that it aligns with Collab’s distinctive investment philosophy but also that it offers a promising return on investment for the community members.

Getting Started with Collab: A Step-By-Step Guide

Joining the Collab community and starting your journey in the world of collaborative real estate investing is simple and straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started:

  • Explore Collab’s Offerings: Your first step is to familiarize yourself with Collab. Browse through our platform to explore our properties and offerings. You can study dividend yields, returns, wealth and more to find an opportunity that suits your investment goals.
  • Create an Account: Once you’ve found an opportunity that catches your interest, the next step is to create your Collab account. Simply fill out the form to join our community. Add your bank account or credit card details to prepare for your future investments.
  • Purchase Shares: Now you’re ready to become a real estate investor. When an offer goes live, click “purchase” and follow the steps to complete your investment. If your preferred property is yet to become available, you can use the “Notify Me” feature. We’ll send you an email as soon as the property is ready for investment.
  • Engage in the Community: Becoming an investor is just the beginning. You’re now part of the Collab community. Stay updated on your investments through your investor dashboard. Get involved by picking up tasks or referring to qualified vendors. Remember, the more you participate, the more you stand to benefit.
  • Monitor Your Investments: Regularly visit your investor dashboard to track the growth of your investments. Here, you’ll find detailed information about each property you’ve invested in, along with principal and dividend statements.
  • Enjoy Your Returns: Collab’s unique model ensures you start earning dividends soon after investing. Enjoy the returns of your investment and watch your wealth grow.

Remember, at Collab, we’re more than just a platform. We’re a community of investors, renters, and community pros working together to democratize real estate investment and property management. Start your journey with Collab today!

Collab’s Operations and Investment Model

As a cutting-edge platform in the real estate space, Collab operates on an innovative model that offers both opportunities for investment and community engagement. Here’s a more in-depth look at how Collab functions.

Property Acquisition and Management

Collab’s primary operation involves the acquisition of student housing rental properties. These properties are incorporated into an LLC, and shares of that LLC are then sold to the general public, creating an inclusive investment opportunity.
What sets Collab apart is its decentralized property management system, which handles day-to-day operations ranging from sourcing tenants to overseeing repairs. This decentralization enables effective and efficient management while fostering a sense of community among investors.

Profit Distribution

Investors in Collab receive monthly cash dividends from the rental income. Furthermore, investors also stand to gain from any appreciation in property value. Collab is motivated to source the best deals in the market with high growth potential, with the rental profits being distributed to shareholders on a monthly basis. This aligns Collab’s interests with its investors’, given that Collab maintains a minimum of 5% ownership in each property.

Property Ownership

The properties acquired are owned by series companies that are registered with the SEC. Each series LLC owns one property, and investors buy shares in these LLCs, essentially making them fractional owners of the properties. This model ensures transparency in ownership and provides a straightforward investment pathway.

Cost Responsibilities

Investors need not worry about the typical costs associated with property ownership. These costs, which include real estate taxes, property insurance, repairs, and maintenance, are taken care of by Collab. This provides a hassle-free investment experience, with Collab managing all operating expenses and day-to-day tasks.

Investment Commitment Duration

Collab typically targets an investment hold period of 3-5 years. However, the platform reserves the right to exit investments outside this timeframe if it’s deemed beneficial for the investors. Additionally, Collab is currently developing a secondary market, which would potentially offer investors an opportunity to sell their interests. This development, however, does not guarantee liquidity or pricing, and investors should be prepared for the projected hold period.

Final Thoughts

Collab represents a significant shift in the traditional real estate investment landscape. By embracing a community-driven, decentralized property management approach, it offers a unique blend of real estate investment and active participation that empowers its members. This innovative model not only allows for a potentially higher return on investment but also fosters a sense of shared ownership and collaboration.

While the current selection of properties might seem limited, it’s important to recognize that Collab’s strategic approach to property acquisition is geared towards providing its investors with carefully selected, high-growth potential assets. Their investment opportunities, whether fully funded or upcoming, showcase a strong connection to student populations near prestigious universities – a factor that promises consistent occupancy and returns.

Moreover, the platform’s transparency, effective communication channels, secure and prompt payment system, and opportunities for earning through task completion and referrals add to its appeal. Combine this with the ease of getting started, and you have an investment platform that is accessible and rewarding.

As Collab continues to grow and adapt to the ever-changing investment environment, it promises to offer a dynamic and collaborative investment experience. It’s not just about investing in properties – it’s about joining a community that works together, grows together, and shares the fruits of success together.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a novice venturing into real estate investment, Collab provides an exciting and innovative platform to diversify your portfolio and make a difference.

Related Real Estate Investing Reviews:

Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. After working many years in the website marketing industry, he decided to take on blogging full time and also get his finances headed in the right direction. Also check out his contributions to and Benzinga.