Learn More About REITs

Real Estate Working for You

The REIT Way

How Do REITs Work?

REITs Everywhere, Everyday

Benefits of Equity REITs


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a REIT?

REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts, are modeled after mutual funds. They give everyday Americans the chance to buy income-producing real estate that would otherwise likely be financially out of reach, by allowing them to buy and sell REITs like other stocks or mutual funds. Today, an estimated 87 million Americans own REITs through their retirement savings and other investment funds.

Why were REITs created?

Congress created REITs in 1960 to give all Americans the chance to invest in real estate beyond just their homes. In fact, the primary intention of Congress in authorizing the use of REITs was to provide a means “whereby small investors can secure advantages normally available only to those with larger resources,” in connection with real estate investment. Congress specifically noted that these beneficial characteristics included “greater diversification of investment,” “expert investment counsel” and the means of “collectively financing projects which the investors could not undertake singly.”1

What are the benefits of REITs?

REITs give everyday Americans the ability to own income-producing real estate; they offer the opportunity for competitive returns,2 asset diversification, and strong dividends, and they have helped grow and revitalize communities.*

Where are REITs located?

REITs own real estate in all 50 states3 and in countries around the world. In fact, nearly 40 nations around the world have embraced REIT-based real estate investment,4 through a combination of legislation and market practices (including all G7 countries).


Post Properties - Post South End - Charlotte, NC

CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. - Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park - Kapolei, HI

How does a company qualify as a REIT?

To qualify as a REIT, a company must comply with specific rules made by Congress and regulations set forth by the Internal Revenue Service.5

What types of properties do REITs own and manage?

No matter where you live or what your walk of life, REITs can have an impact on your life. Whether it is shopping, working, or maybe that apartment you rent, REITs help make it happen. REITs own and manage apartments, health care and life science facilities, hotels, office buildings, shopping centers, timberland and farm land, warehouses, and more. Even that cell phone you use every day is made possible in part by cell phone tower REITs.

Aimco Properties - The Yacht Club at Brickell - Miami, FL

Cousins Properties - Prominade - Atlanta, GA

Crown Castle International - Tower

How many REITs are there?

As of Dec. 31, 2019 there are 223 REITs in the FTSE Nareit All REITs Index with a total equity market capitalization of $1.078 trillion.

Who invests in REITs?

Anyone can. It is estimated that 145 million Americans are invested in REITs either directly or through their 401(k), pension plans, or other investments. Many teachers, firefighters, public employees, and others are invested in REITs through their pension plans or other investment funds.

Are there different kinds of REITs?

Yes. There are two primary types of REITs: Equity REITs and mREITs. Some REITs are publicly traded, some are sold to the public directly but not traded on the stock exchange, and others are private. To learn more about the different kinds of REITs, click here.

Do countries besides the United States have REITs?

Because of the success of REITs in the U.S., nearly 40 other countries have modeled their REIT structure after the U.S.

*Past performance does not guarantee future results. Information should not be construed as investment advice and is provided for informational purposes only.