Popularise’ looks to crowdsource storefront businesses

The sons of a big-time developer in Washington DC learned enough about the real estate industry to the point they feel it’s ‘broken’. So, rather than continue the ‘Big Head’ oriented path of the real estate industry, the chose to forge a new one via the ‘Long Tail’. That is, they’re looking to crowdsource what gets built, starting with ground-floor businesses in Washington DC.

From their website: “Today, neighborhood development is dominated by large institutional companies that use Wall Street money to finance their projects. These companies typically know nothing about the neighborhoods in which they’re developing. The decision-makers are out of touch with the realities of what residents like you want, need, and use. For example, which would you rather see in your neighborhood? A great local farm-to-table restaurant…or another cookie-cutter national chain?” See “How local indies can compete with national chains”.

So, if you live in DC, you can register on their newly launched Popularise site and vote for the business ideas that you support. The site is currently featuring two locations in up-and-coming neighborhoods. You can vote for businesses that the developers have already negotiated with, suggest your own, or vote on ones that others have suggested. How are decisions ultimately made? That answer looks promising, as their complementary crowdfunding site at fundrise.com will soon allow people to actually invest in the businesses they feel should locate in their neighborhood.

Btw, you’re going to hear a lot about crowdfunding real estate in the next few years. Why? Check out this diagram