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Happy property owners shaking hands with real estate broker after a deal. Young couple handshaking real estate agent after signing contract.

Ark7 review: A simple way to invest in rental properties

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

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Updated: January 25, 2024

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3

Wise Reviews™

Commissions and fees - 3.5

Amount of deals - 2.5

Ease-of-use - 4.5

Liquidity - 3.5

Due diligence - 3.4

Ark7 lets investors purchase shares of single and multi-family rental units. Its low investment minimum requirement is a selling point, although the platform has fewer offerings than some of the larger companies in the space.

3

Wise Reviews™

Founded in 2018, Ark7 is a fractional real estate investing platform that lets investors purchase shares of rental homes. The company offers a simple way to add real estate to your portfolio without buying an entire rental property yourself or investing in REITs. And with shares starting at around $20, you don't need much capital to start.

According to its website, Ark7 has already grown to more than 60,000 investors and seen over $16 million in property value funded through the platform. It's also paid out $1.9 million to investors so far in cash distributions. These distributions are the main attraction of Ark7, and investors get paid monthly distributions from the rental income properties generate.

Ark7 pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • Low share prices so you don't need much money to start investing

  • Earn monthly cash distributions

  • Completely passive income

  • In-depth information about each listing

  • Ark7 invests in each property so it has a vested interest in investor success

Cons

Cons

  • Limited track record since Ark7 is a young company

  • No REIT or commercial real estate options

How does Ark7 work?

Similar to companies like Arrived and Landa, Ark7 lets you buy shares of income-generating rentals. With Ark7, you invest in individual properties, not funds of properties like many crowdfunding sites offer. This means you take a more deal-by-deal approach, and getting started with Ark7 is very simple.

Get started with Ark7

Browse listed properties

You create an Ark7 account with your email or Google account. From there, you can browse open offerings on their website or mobile app.

At the time of writing, there are 20 properties available to invest in. Listed properties include single-family homes, multi-family homes, and townhouses in 10 states currently. Each listing includes a breakdown of:

  • Share price
  • Monthly rent amount
  • Cash distributions
  • Total target return (cash distributions plus property appreciation)
  • Property information (build year, occupancy status, square footage, number of units, etc.)
  • Neighborhood information

Ark7 provides a financial summary that outlines income and expenses as well for a look under the hood. There's also a “use of proceeds” section that explains where all the money Ark7 raises is going.

Currently, Ark7 owns property in 10 states and is expanding across the United States. It looks for rental properties in high-growth markets and typically owns 1% to 20% of shares in properties it lists. This means Ark7 has skin in the game alongside investors, which is a good thing.

Buy shares and earn income

Once you buy shares in an Ark7 property, you're looking at a completely passive investment. This is because Ark7 manages tenants itself or with various third-party property management companies. In some instances, Ark7 uses some of the capital it raises for renovations and unit improvements so it can charge higher rent. But again, this isn't your responsibility, and you're a passive shareholder.

To actually purchase shares, you link your checking account to your Ark7 account and enter the number of shares you want to buy. One advantage of Ark7 is that shares start as low as $20 per share, which means you can invest in real estate without much money. And you can now open a Traditional or Roth IRA through the platform through its partnership with Millennium Trust Company.

Once you own shares, you receive monthly cash distributions payments from rental income. According to its website, investors earn approximately 6% annually in distributions. You can't reinvest distributions automatically at this time, but this feature is coming. And you can always buy more shares as soon as you receive your distribution.

Sell shares

You have to hold your Ark7 shares for at least one year unless otherwise specified in a deal. Once a deal is fully funded it will be released to the secondary market in phases and you are free to sell you shares to a willing buyer at that time.

Ark7 fees

Ark7 charges a one-time 3% sourcing fee in exchange for acquiring and listing properties on its platform. It also takes 8% to 15% of rental income in exchange for managing the property and tenants. 

Ark7 fees are higher compared to those from competitors like Arrived Homes. And if you compare Ark7 to crowdfunding sites like Fundrise, which charges 1% annually, you're clearly paying more. But this is in exchange for property management of a rental unit that generates monthly cash payments.

Get started with Ark7

Ark7 historical performance

Investors can earn with Ark7 through monthly distributions and potential share appreciation. As of December 2023, Ark7 has seen an average annual return of 4.32%, with a total dividend amount of $58,265.69. The previous month saw an average annual return of 4.75%, with a dividends amount of $64,166.65.

This isn't factoring in potential property appreciation, although many of the open offerings are too new for appreciation to come into play. Ultimately, this is a newer player in the real estate investing space, so we need a few more years to see the full picture in terms of returns.

Is Ark7 safe?

Ark7 is a safe investment platform that takes several steps to protect investors. For starters, every property is owned by its own LLC. This protects shareholders from being sued by tenants and from potential issues with other properties. This is a must-have for fractional real estate companies, and limiting your liability is a green flag.

The company is also regulated by the SEC and FINRA.

As for personal security, Ark7 encrypts data with the same security protocols banks and other FinTech companies use.

Just note that your investments aren't SIPC insured like you find with an online stock broker because this is real estate. SPIC insurance protects you if you brokerage company goes out of business. If they cannot replace your principal balance due to lack of funds, the insurance will make you whole.

And, of course, Ark7 doesn't guarantee returns. Risks like lack of tenants, late payments, and property depreciation all pose risks you should take into account.

Ark7 customer support

You can reach Ark7 customer support by emailing support@ark7.com or by calling 1-415-275-0701. Phone support is available Monday through Sunday from 8am to 8pm PDT. There's also a one-on-one option to chat with Ark7 support that you can schedule on its website.

Get started with Ark7

Real estate investing alternatives

With its low investment minimum of $20 and easy-to-use platform, Ark7 makes investing in rental units simple. And the fact it pays monthly cash distributions is a selling point.

However, this real estate investment platform is still growing. If you want to invest in real estate with some companies with longer track records, there are several alternatives worth considering:

Highlights Arrived Fundrise CrowdStreet Realtymogul
Rating 4.3/5 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5
Minimum investment $100 $10 $25,000 $5,000
Account fees 1%/year management fee 1%/year None 1-1.25%/year asset management fee
Private REIT
Reviews Arrived Review Fundrise Review Read Review Read Review
More Get started Get started Get started Get started

Arrived and Fundrise are our overall favorite picks due to the lower investment minimums and lack of accreditation requirements.

CrowdStreet and RealtyMogul are also excellent platform alternatives if you want to invest in individual deals or real estate funds. The minimum investment requirements are much higher, but both companies have a longer track record and more open offerings.

Bottom line

In recent years, there's been a boom in real estate crowdfunding companies and fractional investing platforms. This is always good news for investors since more competition generally means better services and lower fees.

That said, Ark7 is a newer company in a very crowded space. We like its low share prices and the fact that you get monthly payments from rental units. However, like many new competitors in the space, it doesn't have a very long track record and is still expanding to new markets.

If you're looking to invest in fractional real estate, you can dabble in Ark7 if you want some income-generating real estate in your portfolio.

About our author

Tom Blake
Tom Blake, Staff Writer

Tom Blake is a personal finance blogger. His work has featured in Business Insider, Frugal Rules, MoneyCrashers, and a number of other financial blogs. When he’s not in Canada Tom lives as a digital nomad, writing from locales like Colombia and Dubai. You can connect with Tom at his blog This Online World.

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