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PODCAST: Democratizing Real Estate Investment With Small Change's Eve Picker

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

Small Change Founder Eve Picker

In this episode, Small Change CEO Eve Picker sits down with Bisnow to speak about the real estate crowdfunding platform she founded and changing perceptions about who should be developing and investing in real estate.

Small Change pairs investors with developers who are creating projects that are doing something to improve cities or the world; it has developed its own “change index” to measure the impact of the proposals.

Right now, Small Change has five live offerings to investors, including a young woman who is planning an urban spa in San Francisco and wants the community to invest in it, and women of color who are working on revitalization projects in Baltimore. Picker said there has been renewed interest in making investments that are making a positive impact and increasingly, big-name developers are approaching Small Change to use the platform as a way of offering community members the chance to invest in their local area.

“I noticed this happening in the last 18 months, the pandemic has been a horrible thing, but it’s had some upsides to it, and the Black Lives Matter campaign had a pretty major impact on developers who are working in neighborhoods that have had to stop and think for a moment, ‘OK, what am I doing here and how am I going to include the community?'" Picker said on the podcast.

“In cities like New York, government agencies are insisting on better engagement … I think that as crowdfunding becomes older, those larger developers are hearing about it, and it’s going to move from being a crazy pioneering to being a serious way to raise money."