PODCAST: Title III Crowdfunding Changes with Mark Roderick

Crowdfunding continues to grow in popularity. It is a way to democratize the world of real estate investing, which historically has only been open to super-wealthy Americans. Its growth and positive outcomes have led to several changes being made in the space. Mark Roderick, our guest today, joins us to unpack these developments and the positive influence that they will have on real estate investing. In this episode, Mark presents an overview of the current crowdfunding space.

Title III Crowdfunding Changes with Mark Roderick

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Learn more about Mark and his expertise as a crowdfunding attorney
  • An overview of the crowdfunding basics and the difference between Title II, III, and IV.
  • Find out about some of the excellent changes the SEC has made related to crowdfunding.
  • How broker-dealers with a wide product mix make real estate accessible to more people.
  • ‘Title’ refers to the different types of crowdfunding as per the JOBS Act of 2012.
  • Why the Title III changes will make it easier to syndicate, even if you’re not a broker-dealer.
  • An explanation of what a funding portal is and the simple steps to set one up.
  • Learn about some of the drawbacks of establishing a funding portal.
  • Some of the changes Mark expects will happen with Title III advertising.
  • Other changes that the SEC has made around crowdfunding.
  • How Mark gives back and where you can get hold of him.

What “Solicit” Means Under Title III

Before the JOBS Act came along, listing a security on a public website would itself have been treated as an act of “solicitation.” That’s the odd thing: Title III portals aren’t allowed to “solicit,” yet in the traditional sense of the term that’s the most important thing Congress created them to do.

The fact is that Congress was ambivalent when it created Title III portals. They are allowed to list offerings of securities, but are not allowed to do other things often associated with the sale of securities, including holding investor funds or offering investment advice. They are regulated by the SEC and FINRA, but with a light touch compared with other regulated entities. They are privately-owned, but are required to provide educational materials to investors, police issuers, provide an online communication platform, and ensure that investors don’t exceed their investment limits – in short, they are required to assume a quasi-governmental role.

Title III portals are a new animal, part fish, part bird. Which makes it that much more difficult to decide what “solicit” means when they do it.

Based on the statute, the SEC regulations, the legislative background of the JOBS Act, and the history and overall context of the U.S. securities laws, I think a Title III portal engages in prohibited “solicitation” anytime it tries to steer an investor to a particular security. If it’s not trying to steer an investor to a particular security, then it’s probably okay.

I’ve included some practical guidelines in the chart below. Although there are plenty of gaps, I hope this helps.

Click the following for a print ready version of the complete chart: Rules for Title III Portals

Rules for Title III Portals