5 Things to Know About REITs

Think back to the last time you played Monopoly. You probably bought a bunch of different properties, made some money anytime someone landed on your space and hopefully only got into a brief shouting match with your sibling.

Real estate investment trusts or REITs are somewhat similar (without the shouting). They’re different from real estate trusts because they’re actually a form of investing, similar to stocks. Take a look at the top 5 things to know about this type of trust (and how you could even turn a profit from it).

#1 Virtually anyone can invest in REITs.

A REIT is “a company that owns, operates or finances income-producing real estate,” according to Nareit. Just like you would invest in another industry or purchase stocks through a mutual fund or ETF, you can do the same with a REIT. Many people use their 401k to invest in this type of stock.

#2 REIT investing is pretty solid in the long run…

While any investment comes with risks, REITs are pretty solid. Investopedia describes them as “one of the best-performing asset classes… Between 1990 and 2010, the index’s average annual return was 9.9%, second only to mid-cap stocks.”

#3 …but it’s anything but steady.

Bonds, CDs, a regular old FDIC-backed savings account — REITs are nothing like these. Expect drastic rises and falls and it’s not something you want to “get rich quick” from. REIT investing is often recommended to diversify your portfolio.

#4 There are 5 types of REITs you can invest in.

You have five options with where to invest your money. 

Residential: These REITs cover apartment complexes and manufactured houses, most often found in big cities where renting is common.

Retail: This goes towards malls or other shopping centers. This specific type of REIT generates income from renting out spaces to retailers. 

Office: Just as it sounds, this type of REIT deals with commercial office spaces.

Healthcare: Hospitals, nursing facilities, retirement homes, clinics, or other medical centers.

Mortgage: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are two of the most well-known mortgages that this type of REIT goes towards.

Just like you weigh out your options in Monopoly for the best property to buy, you want to do the same for REIT investing. For example, retail and office investing might not be the safest choice in the middle of a recession and subsequent high unemployment. However, you can also buy a mutual fund or ETF that does all the research and investing for you.

#5 You can invest both individually and internationally.

As globalization continues, international REITs continue to grow in popularity (though it’s good to note that this is more recent, so we don’t have much data for long-term success). You can also invest through a mutual fund, like a stock. Vanguard actually offers an index fund.

One thing to keep in mind: non-traded REITs have a lower return than publicly traded ones. Again, it pays to do your research (or find a professional who can). 

It’s not Monopoly, but it could make a real-life difference in your finances. REIT investing, like owning rental properties, commercial properties or vacation rentals, is another way to continue growing your portfolio.

Real Estate Investing Resources

When it comes to real estate investing, are you:

a. A complete novice who wants to get started but doesn’t know where to begin
b. A rookie who’s getting ready to buy their first investment property
c. An investment property owner who wants to grow their wealth even more
d. A seasoned vet who thinks they know it all

No matter what you answered, we guarantee this blog will help you on your property investing journey. Here’s a list of real estate investment resources to help any investor stay up to date.

YouTube Channels

Did you know that in 2019, YouTube was the most visited site on the Internet? Most people won’t be surprised by that stat, but it just goes to show how YouTube has evolved from a place of viral videos to a truly resourceful tool. Here are some of the best YouTube channels to help your real estate portfolio:

Graham Stephan

“Here’s my story of skipping college, pursuing [sic] real estate sales at 18 years old, and becoming a millionaire by the time I turned 26.” Graham Stephan’s YouTube bio says it all. While Stephan diverts his attention from real estate investing to millennials (and lots of avocado toast mentions, for whatever reason) to other financial topics from time to time, his transparency as a whole is inspiring and insightful.

Mark Ferguson

A true flip king (often balancing 15-20 property flips at a time), Mark Ferguson documents every part of his real estate investment process. Ferguson shows before and after footage, spreadsheets and other financial info, and even whether a property was ultimately worth it. 


As one BP fan writes, “BiggerPockets forum is the single greatest resource for real estate investors.” While BP also has a blog, forum, website, and podcast, their YouTube channel is perhaps a perfect compilation of each resource.


  • Meet Kevin
  • Flipping Mastery TV
  • Max Maxwell
  • The Financial Diet (not real estate, but an excellent financial video channel)


Put these on during your commute, take a walk and plug in your earphones, or even just make cleaning the house a little more interesting with a good real estate investing podcast. Many of the channels listed (and sites below) also have their own podcast, but here are some lesser-known podcasts to check out.

Apartment Building Investing With Michael Blank

On top of writing for BiggerPockets, Michael Blank’s podcast has unique perspectives regarding multifamily complexes. Blank dives deep on this somewhat niche form of property investing through conversations and intriguing interviews.

The Real Estate Guys

One of iTunes’ most popular podcasts, the Real Estate Guys were once a radio show and got their start in 1997. Fast-paced and fun, you won’t start snoozing with this podcast.

Rental Rookie

Teacher-turned-investor Emily Du Plessis explains how she finessed her transition into property investing. But with more than 160 episodes as of January, 2020, this podcast title is a misnomer — Du Plessis certainly knows her stuff. This is a great podcast in general, but the fact that it’s run by a teacher means you know you’ll learn a ton.

Blogs, Sites, & Forums


REtipster stands apart from many other blogs because it gives a lot of attention to land sales and how to sell land. Blogs, podcasts, reviews, and interviews make this an extraordinarily comprehensive site.

Afford Anything

Afford Anything tells a fascinating story of a woman, Paula, who has done it all in the pursuit of financial freedom. Paula has a podcast, a blog, a consulting service, and even a course to help investors get on their feet. Even if you’re just learning about how she scraped up $25k on a $21k salary, you’re bound to be captivated by her story.

Connected Investors

Connected Investors is almost like the Reddit of property investing. You can find topics to read up on or contribute to, or even start your own. Plus, these forums are a great way for people to network, which can absolutely help you grow your portfolio.


Countless cruise through Zillow, Trulia, and the like. What many people don’t realize is that RealtyHive is an untapped source of potential. 

We are an exclusive resource for learning about purchasing property through time-limited events, our blog is a resource for real estate buyers and sellers, and we feature listings that other sites might not show. We know that knowledge is power, and we’re more than happy to share our knowledge with you!