• Log in
  • Get Started

Table of Contents

3 ways to invest in REITs

What to consider before investing in REITs

The bottom line

LearnInvest your moneyHow To Invest In REITs

How To Invest In REITs

Oct 18, 2022


6 min read

Some REITs are traded on major stock exchanges, giving individual investors the opportunity to invest in real estate without needing to buy or manage the property.

Buying shares of a real estate investment trust (REIT) is one option for investors who want to add real estate to their portfolios but don’t have the capital, expertise, or desire to buy property. These are specialized companies that pool money from investors to buy or finance real estate that produces income. REITs are required by law to issue at least 90% of their taxable income to their shareholders through dividends, making them exempt from most federal income taxes. 

Most publicly traded REIT shares are sold on major stock exchanges, so investors can sell and buy REITs as they would shares of a company. Investing in REITs is a way to get exposure to real estate passively, because the actual buying and managing of the properties is handled by the REIT’s executives.

3 ways to invest in REITs

There are several types of REITs. Although many are publicly traded companies, some are not available to individual investors. Each category can include companies with a focus in different sectors, such as retail, apartments, data centers, healthcare facilities, and more. One can invest in REITs on public markets or buy non-traded ones, and institutional investors may also purchase shares of private REITs.

  1. Publicly traded REITs

Equity REITs, usually referred to simply as REITs, are publicly traded companies that own or manage properties like office buildings and shopping malls, and they make money from leasing the spaces to tenants or selling the properties. After expenses, equity REITs must pay at least 90% of their income to investors via dividends, and many pay 100%, according to Nareit.

Mortgage REITs, often referred to as mREITs, are another type of publicly traded company. They’re different from plain equity REITs in that they provide the financing for income-generating real estate. They seek to profit by earning more on the mortgages and mortgage-backed securities they hold than their cost of borrowing to fund those investments. 

To invest in these two types of REITs, investors can buy their shares just as they would of any other publicly traded company on the major stock exchanges. They can also opt to buy shares in REIT mutual funds or in REIT exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

  1. Public non-listed REITs (PNLRs)

Public non-listed REITs (PNLRs) are less common than publicly traded REITs, but they operate the same way—making money by owning, managing, or financing properties—except that they do not trade on stock exchanges. Rather, investors can buy into PNLRs directly from the REIT company or from broker-dealers.

Like equity and mortgage REITs, PNLRs are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and follow the same Internal Revenue Service requirements. But because they are not listed on exchanges, they are not subject to the public reporting and disclosure regulations of listed companies. Instead, PNLRs are required to publish regular, public financial disclosures to the SEC on a quarterly and yearly basis. Additionally, they are subject to state regulator assessments known as “blue sky” reviews, or rules that are designed to prevent securities fraud. 

Compared to listed REITs, PNLRs tend to be less liquid: Opportunities to cash out vary by company and are usually more limited. They are often longer-term investments because investors also frequently are bound by a minimum holding period. PNLRs may also require higher investment minimums than equity REITs.

  1. Private REITs

These REITs are exempt from registering with the SEC and do not trade on stock exchanges. What’s more, there is no public or independent source of performance data available for tracking this category of REIT.

That’s because private REITs fall under a securities law known as “Regulation D.” This lets issuers sell securities only to well-funded or highly knowledgeable investors, including accredited investors or institutional investors like banks, mutual funds, and pension funds. Individual retail investors are generally unable to buy private REITs.

Try Titan’s free Investment Calculator to project your potential investment returns.

Learn More

What to consider before investing in REITs

As with any investment, REITs have advantages, drawbacks, and risks. Here are a few questions investors might ask themselves before buying into a REIT.

How much control do I want?

REITs offer the benefit of getting exposure to real estate without the need for a down payment or expertise in the field. But that benefit goes hand-in-hand with an aspect some investors may see as a drawback: lack of control over the underlying asset itself. The investor is buying a share of a REIT company, and it’s the managers who will decide which properties to buy and sell, as well as how they are operated and maintained. 

If investors want more control and have the capital, they may consider buying a property directly.

Am I looking for a long-or short-term investment? 

Publicly traded REITs may be attractive for those who want the option of a short-term commitment, because investors can choose when to trade the shares as they would with any stock. 

For some investors, the illiquidity of owning actual property may be a drawback. Real estate cannot be sold immediately like a stock or savings account. If an investor needs the money tied up in a property, they will have to put the real estate on the market and find a buyer—and deals can potentially take months.

For an investor seeking a longer-term investment, purchasing a property may be more attractive as values tend to increase over the long term. 

What will I pay in fees?

As with many investments that are ultimately managed by others, REITs charge fees. Investors can expect to pay management fees of about 0.5% of the trust’s assets. The company may also levy other fees for functions like setting up the trust.

Am I comfortable with fluctuations in the real estate market? 

Real estate can diversify a portfolio. However, though property values tend to rise over a long time horizon, they can rise and fall—just like the value of any other asset. Commercial real estate values plunged at the onset of the pandemic after stay-at-home orders barred people from going to the office, for example. In residential markets, some regions may be hot one year and cool the next. Overall, property values are linked to the broader economy, so they may stagnate or even fall in a downturn and rise during boom times.

The bottom line

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns or finances income-generating properties like apartment complexes and shopping centers. They are required to issue at least 90% of their taxable income to their shareholders through dividends. 

Some REITs are traded on major stock exchanges like shares of any other company, giving individual investors the opportunity to invest in real estate without needing to buy or manage property. In addition to publicly listed REITs, investors may also buy public non-traded REITs from broker-dealers or from the companies directly. Institutional investors may also purchase shares of private REITs.  

At Titan, we are value investors: we aim to manage our portfolios with a steady focus on fundamentals and an eye on massive long-term growth potential. Investing with Titan is easy, transparent, and effective.

Get started today.


Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, Titan has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. In addition, this content may include third-party advertisements; Titan has not reviewed such advertisements and does not endorse any advertising content contained therein.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any strategy managed by Titan. Any investments referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in strategies managed by Titan, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see Titan’s Legal Page for additional important information.

Three Things, a newsletter from Titan

Stay informed on the most impactful business and financial news with analysis from our team.

You might also like

15 Positive and Negative Effects of Inflation

Inflation can be beneficial for the economy but it can affect the value of savings, income investment returns, and can lead to decrease the competition for a country.

Read More

Private Credit vs. Private Equity: What Are The Main Differences?

Private equity is a larger industry than private credit, they grew over the last two decades. They are important to institutional investors as pension funds and endowments.

Read More

Understanding Portfolio Construction: How to Diversify and Assess Risk

Constructing a portfolio that minimizes risk while maximizing potential gains is a delicate and ever-changing balance. Learn about the process of creating a portfolio.

Read More

What Is an At-the-Market Offering & How Does It Work?

At-the-market offerings are one tool publicly traded companies can use to raise capital. They are faster and more flexible than traditional follow-on offerings.

Read More


Smart Cash

Managed Stocks

Automated Stocks

Automated Bonds



Venture Capital

Real Estate

All Strategies


© Copyright 2023 Titan Global Capital Management USA LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Titan Global Capital Management USA LLC ("Titan") is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). By using this website, you accept and agree to Titan’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Titan’s investment advisory services are available only to residents of the United States in jurisdictions where Titan is registered. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities or investment products. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections are hypothetical in nature and may not reflect actual future performance. Account holdings and other information provided are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be considered investment recommendations. The content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a comprehensive description of Titan’s investment advisory services.

Please refer to Titan's Program Brochure for important additional information. Certain investments are not suitable for all investors. Before investing, you should consider your investment objectives and any fees charged by Titan. The rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long term investments. Investment losses are possible, including the potential loss of all amounts invested, including principal. Brokerage services are provided to Titan Clients by Titan Global Technologies LLC and Apex Clearing Corporation, both registered broker-dealers and members of FINRA/SIPC. For more information, visit our disclosures page. You may check the background of these firms by visiting FINRA's BrokerCheck.

Various Registered Investment Company products (“Third Party Funds”) offered by third party fund families and investment companies are made available on the platform. Some of these Third Party Funds are offered through Titan Global Technologies LLC. Other Third Party Funds are offered to advisory clients by Titan. Before investing in such Third Party Funds you should consult the specific supplemental information available for each product. Please refer to Titan's Program Brochure for important additional information. Certain Third Party Funds that are available on Titan’s platform are interval funds. Investments in interval funds are highly speculative and subject to a lack of liquidity that is generally available in other types of investments. Actual investment return and principal value is likely to fluctuate and may depreciate in value when redeemed. Liquidity and distributions are not guaranteed, and are subject to availability at the discretion of the Third Party Fund.

The cash sweep program is made available in coordination with Apex Clearing Corporation through Titan Global Technologies LLC. Please visit www.titan.com/legal for applicable terms and conditions and important disclosures.

Cryptocurrency advisory services are provided by Titan. Cryptocurrency trading is provided by Bakkt Crypto Solutions LLC ("Bakkt Crypto"). Bakkt Crypto is not a registered broker-dealer or a member of SIPC or FINRA. Cryptocurrencies are not securities and are not FDIC or SIPC insured. Bakkt Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Cryptocurrency execution services are provided by Bakkt Crypto (NMLS ID 1828849) through a software licensing agreement between Bakkt Crypto and Titan. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved before trading: bakkt.com/disclosures.

Information provided by Titan Support is for informational and general educational purposes only and is not investment or financial advice.

Contact Titan at support@titan.com. 508 LaGuardia Place NY, NY 10012.