Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): A Beginner’s Guide for Women – 5 Types to Invest In

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) can be a game-changer for women wanting to dive into real estate. These trusts let you invest in real estate without buying property, considering REITs as possible REIT investments and alternative REIT investment choices. You earn from the profits generated by these properties. It’s like owning a slice of a big pie with less risk and hassle, similar to real estate investing through a real estate investment trust, highlighting reit pros and alternative reit options. Women, who have historically been underrepresented in investing, can find REITs an accessible way to grow wealth. This guide breaks down everything you need to know about getting started with REITs and real estate investing.

Key Takeaways

  • Grasp the Basics: Understanding what REITs are and how they work is crucial. They allow you to invest in real estate through REIT investing without owning property directly.

  • Know the Types: Familiarize yourself with the five main types of REITs—Equity, Mortgage, Hybrid, Publicly Traded, and Private—each offering different benefits and risks.

  • Investment Methods: Learn the various ways to invest in REITs, such as through mutual funds, ETFs, or direct stock purchases, to find what suits your financial goals.

  • Assess the Benefits: Recognize the advantages of REIT investing, including diversification, steady income through dividends, and potential for long-term growth.

  • Actionable Steps: Start by researching reputable REITs, consider your risk tolerance, and consult a financial advisor if needed to make informed investment decisions.

  • Relate to Your Goals: Understand how REITs can fit into your overall financial strategy, providing a way to grow wealth and achieve financial independence.

Understanding REITs

What are REITs

REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts, own and manage income-producing real estate. They allow investors to pool their money to buy properties. These can include shopping malls, office buildings, and apartments.

Dividend Requirements

REITs must distribute 90% of their taxable income as dividends to shareholders. This rule ensures that investors receive regular income. It makes REITs attractive for those seeking steady cash flow.

Types of REITs

There are different types of REITs:

  • Equity REITs: They own and operate income-generating real estate.

  • Mortgage REITs: They invest in real estate mortgages.

  • Public REITs: These are listed on stock exchanges and are easy to trade.

Liquidity Advantage

Investing in REITs offers more liquidity than owning physical real estate. You can buy and sell shares of public REITs quickly. This makes it easier to access your money compared to selling a property.

Adding REITs to Your Portfolio

Adding REITs can diversify your investment portfolio. They provide exposure to the real estate market without the need for direct property ownership. This can help balance risk and improve returns.

Five Types of REITs

Equity REITs

Equity REITs own and operate income-generating properties. They make money through rent collected from tenants. This type of REIT focuses on physical properties such as shopping malls, apartment complexes, and office buildings.

Mortgage REITs

Mortgage REITs invest in mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. They earn income from the interest on these investments. Unlike Equity REITs, they do not own properties but provide financing for property owners.

Retail REITs

Retail REITs focus on retail properties like shopping centers and malls. Their performance depends heavily on the retail industry’s health. When consumers spend more, these REITs usually perform better.

Residential REITs

Residential REITs invest in apartment buildings and multi-family homes. These REITs are influenced by demographic trends and housing demand. High population growth areas often see better performance in Residential REITs.

Healthcare REITs

Healthcare REITs invest in properties like hospitals, nursing facilities, and medical offices. Their success relies on the healthcare industry’s stability. An aging population can boost the demand for healthcare facilities.

Office REITs

Office REITs own and manage office buildings. Their performance is tied to job growth and economic conditions. Cities with strong job markets often see higher occupancy rates in office buildings.

How to Invest in REITs

Starting with REITs

Begin by considering REIT mutual funds and ETFs. These offer diversified exposure. They spread your investment across multiple properties. This reduces risk compared to investing in a single property.

Research Specific REITs

Evaluate specific real estate investment trusts by focusing on sectors of interest. Look at historical performance. For example, some REITs specialize in residential properties. Others focus on commercial real estate or healthcare facilities.

Tax Implications

Consider the tax implications of REIT dividends. These dividends are taxed as ordinary income. This can impact your overall return. Always factor this into your investment strategy.

Investment Platforms

Explore different investment platforms for purchasing REITs. Many online brokers offer access to REITs. Some platforms provide tools to help you evaluate and manage your investments.

Diversified Real Estate Portfolios

Diversify your real estate portfolios by including different types of REITs. This can include equity REITs, mortgage investments, and hybrid REITs. Diversification helps balance potential risks and rewards.

Benefits of REIT Investing

High-Yield Dividends

REITs often provide high-yield dividends. These payments come from the rental income generated by the properties they own. Investors receive regular income without owning physical property. REIT dividends can be attractive, especially for those seeking steady income.

Capital Appreciation

Besides dividends, REITs offer capital appreciation. Property values tend to increase over time. This growth adds value to your investment. REIT shares can rise in price as the underlying real estate appreciates.


Adding REITs to an investment portfolio helps diversify it. They spread risk across different property types and locations. This reduces the impact of poor performance in any single asset class. REIT investments can include commercial, residential, and industrial properties.

Historical Performance

Historically, REITs have shown strong returns. Over the past decades, they have outperformed many other asset classes. For example, between 1990 and 2020, U.S. equity REITs provided an average annual return of around 11%. This makes them a viable choice for long-term growth.


REIT shares are traded on major stock exchanges. This means they are easy to buy and sell. Investors can quickly convert their investments into cash if needed. This liquidity is a significant advantage over direct real estate ownership.


Investing in REITs does not require large amounts of capital. Individuals can start with small investments and gradually build their REIT portfolio. This accessibility makes REITs suitable for beginners.


You’ve now got the lowdown on REITs, the different types, and how to get started with investing. Plus, you’ve seen the perks of diving into this market. Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to take the plunge and start building your investment portfolio.

Don’t just sit on this info—take action! Explore REITs that align with your goals and start investing today. Remember, the real estate market isn’t just for the big players; it’s for you too. Happy investing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)?

A REIT is like a mutual fund for real estate. It allows you to invest in property without buying physical buildings. Think of it as pooling your money with others to own a slice of big real estate projects.

Are there different types of REITs?

Yes, there are five main types: equity, mortgage, hybrid, public non-traded, and private REITs. Each type focuses on different aspects of real estate investment.

How can I start investing in REITs?

You can buy REITs through a brokerage account, just like stocks. Research the options, pick what suits your goals, and invest. It’s that simple!

What are the benefits of investing in REITs?

REITs offer steady income through dividends, portfolio diversification, and liquidity since they trade like stocks. They’re a great way to dip your toes into real estate.

Is investing in REITs risky?

Like any investment, REITs carry risks such as market fluctuations and interest rate changes. However, they’re generally considered less risky than direct real estate investments.

Can women benefit specifically from investing in REITs?

Absolutely! REITs provide a flexible and accessible way for women to grow their wealth and achieve financial independence without the hassle of managing properties.

Do I need a lot of money to invest in REITs?

Nope! You can start investing in REITs with small amounts. Some platforms even allow investments as low as $100. It’s an affordable entry point into real estate.