Just about everyone these days is looking to make a few extra bucks. But with the recent stock market turmoil (thanks loads, Brexit!) and paltry interest rates making savings accounts seem only slightly better than just stuffing cash underneath your Casper mattress for (lumpy) safekeeping, investors are on the prowl for the next lucrative investment. Enter crowdfunding. It’s a concept that has been defined over the past decade mainly by money-raising schemes for offbeat, feel-good, or flat-out-weird ventures: documentary films, donations for disaster relief, headphones for cats, you name it. So what’s the allure for real estate, a booming business that generally doesn’t seem to need the help of contributions from mass groups? Simply put: It allows average folks to live the speculator’s dream—to pool together their money to invest in apartment complexes, office spaces, even commercial shopping centers. Give the credit to a change in federal laws that kicked into effect in May. It opened up the concept of getting money back on crowdfunded investments—as opposed to, say, just a free T-shirt via Kickstarter—to the masses, rather than just the wealthy. As a result, crowdfunding real estate companies have been popping up at a breakneck pace, allowing ordinary men and women to dream of becoming a real estate mogul. (Because real estate moguls are all the rage these days, in case you haven’t noticed.) But are these types of projects a safe investment for those who don’t have billions (or maybe millions) in the bank like Donald Trump? The experts say: Probably not. After all, you’d be gambling on projects that may never get constructed or rake in profits. “Crowdfunding can be insanely risky,” warns Sherwood Neiss, principal of Crowdfund Capital Advisors, a venture capital firm that invests in financial technology companies. “Your chances of losing your investment is greater in crowdfunding than [in many] other forms of investing.” How does crowdfunded real estate work? Here’s the idea: Instead of getting a token gift for your cash contribution, like you would on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, fledgling venture capitalists will get an agreed-upon amount of money back from their investments—or a percentage of the profits if the projects are successful. Note that little word: if. If they don’t actually get built or turn a profit, investors could say bye-bye to a chunk of cash.