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What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts? Thumbnail

What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts?

Real estate investment trusts (REITS) offer a unique blend of real estate ownership and stock market liquidity.  They’ve become popular for their potential to bring in steady income and grow your investment over time.  In this blog, we’ll break down what REITs are, how they operate, and why they matter in investing.

What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts?

A REIT allows people to invest in real estate assets without directly owning or managing them.1 They work under a specific tax structure where they must distribute a significant portion of their income to shareholders as dividends.  This unique structure gives investors the benefits of real estate ownership and the ease of trading stocks.

How REITs Work

REITs provide investors with diversified exposure to various real estate sectors, including residential, commercial, industrial, and retail properties. This diversification helps mitigate risks associated with specific types of property or location.

One of the most attractive features of REITs is that they distribute at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends to shareholders. This consistent income stream makes REITs an appealing choice for income-focused investors.

Unlike direct real estate investments, which may require a lengthy sales process, REIT shares are often traded on stock exchanges, offering investors the flexibility to buy and sell their holdings easily.2

REITs are managed by professional teams with expertise in real estate investment and management.

Types of REITs

There are three types of REITs:1

Equity REITs

These REITs own and manage income-generating real estate properties. The income generated through these properties is primarily rental income.

Mortgage REITs

Mortgage REITs invest in real estate mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Their income is derived from the interest on these loans.

Hybrid REITs

Hybrid REITs combine elements of equity and mortgage REITs and offer a diversified investment strategy by combining property ownership and mortgage lending.

Benefits of Investing in REITs

As with any investment, REITs have benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the key benefits:

Steady Income— REITs guarantee a regular flow of dividends for investors through mandatory income distribution, making them an appealing choice for portfolios focused on generating income.

Portfolio Diversification— REITs provide diversification advantages by exposing investors to different real estate sectors and locations, thereby lowering the risk linked with concentrated investments.

Professional Management— Investors benefit from the expertise of professional management teams responsible for property acquisition, management, and selling.

Liquidity and Accessibility—The ability to buy and sell REIT shares on stock exchanges provides investors with liquidity and easy access to their investments.

Potential for Capital Appreciation—In addition to dividend income, investors may benefit from capital appreciation as the value of underlying real estate assets increases over time.

Risks Associated with REIT Investments

While REITs offer many benefits, they also come with some potential risks. Here are a few:3

  • Interest Rate Sensitivity—REITs are sensitive to changes in interest rates, and rising rates can negatively impact their profitability and stock prices.
  • Market Fluctuations—Economic downturns and real estate market fluctuations can affect the performance of REITs, impacting both income and capital appreciation.
  • Property-Specific Risks—Certain REITs may be more vulnerable to specific risks, such as changes in local real estate markets, tenant defaults, or property depreciation.
  • Regulatory Risks—Changes in tax laws or regulations affecting REITs can impact their operation and profitability.

How to Invest in REITs

Most REITs are publicly traded and can be bought and sold on major stock exchanges, providing easy access for investors. A broker, investment advisor, or financial planner can analyze an investor’s financial objectives and recommend appropriate REIT investments.2

Investors can also gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of REITs through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that specialize in real estate. Alternatively, some investors may choose to invest directly in individual REITs, allowing for a more targeted approach to real estate sectors or strategies.

REITs have transformed the investment landscape, offering a unique blend of real estate ownership and stock market accessibility. Given their potential to offer consistent income, their diversification benefits, and their professional management, REITs have become staples in many investors’ portfolios. However, as with any investment, investors should conduct thorough research and talk with their advisors before investing in REITs.

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/reit.asp 
  2. https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/investment-products/real-estate-investment-trusts-reits#
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/031915/what-are-risks-reits.asp

Real estate investments are subject to a high degree of risk because of general economic or local market conditions; changes in supply or demand; competing properties in an area; changes in interest rates; and changes in tax, real estate, environmental, or zoning laws and regulations. REIT units/shares fluctuate in value and may be redeemed for more or less than the original amount invested. There is no assurance that the investment objective will be attained.

The Financial Advisors with Cappuccino Financial are Registered Representatives and Investment Advisor Representatives with/and offer securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.  Fixed insurance products and services are separate from and not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.  The Financial Advisors associated with this website may discuss and/or transact business only with residents in states which they are properly registered or licensed.  No offers may be made or accepted from any resident of any other state.  Please check Broker Check for a list of current registrations.

Information presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security.  This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Joey Cappuccino and Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

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