Are REITs better than rental property?

Are REITs better than rental property?

REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) can be a great way to invest in real estate without the hassle of owning and managing rental properties. REITs are publicly traded companies that own, operate, or finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors. They are required by law to pay out most of their profits as dividends to shareholders, making them an attractive investment for those looking for steady income.

Compared to rental properties, REITs offer several advantages:

  • Diversification – By investing in a REIT, you can diversify your portfolio across multiple properties and industries.
  • Liquidity – Unlike rental properties, which require significant time and effort to sell, REITs can be bought and sold quickly on the stock market.
  • Professional Management – When you invest in a REIT, you benefit from the expertise of professional managers who specialize in real estate investments.

Overall, whether or not REITs are better than rental property depends on your individual goals and risk tolerance. If you’re looking for steady income with minimal effort and risk, then investing in a REIT may be the right choice for you.



When it comes to investing in real estate, investors have many choices. One of the most common forms is a rental property, although Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) also offer the potential for return on investment. But which type of investment offers the best financial benefit? Ultimately, it depends on your individual situation and financial goals. In this guide, we’ll discuss both types of investments and help you decide which one suits your needs best.

Rental property and REITs are both popular methods for investing in property. Rental properties are usually bought and sold directly by an individual investor or group of investors, who then manage the day-to-day operations and tenant relations themselves. REITs involve buying shares in a publicly traded trust managed by a professional team that owns, operates and maintains physical real estate holdings. When evaluating whether REITs or rental properties are better investments it’s important to consider factors such as:

  • Income potential
  • Liquidity
  • Tax benefits
  • Risk profile

What are REITs?

REITs are an investment vehicle that allows you to invest in a portfolio of real estate properties without actually owning them. They offer investors a way to diversify their portfolios and generate income.

In this article, we will discuss what REITs are and how they compare to traditional rental property investments.

Benefits of Investing in REITs

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) offer many benefits to investors that can make them a solid choice when considering a real estate investment. REITs are traded publicly on the stock market and come with several advantages over owning rental property directly.

One key benefit of investing in REITs is the diversification they provide. By investing in multiple properties, you are less likely to incur losses due to any one tenant leaving or other issues with a single property. Additionally, REITs have higher liquidity than traditional rental properties – it is much easier and faster to sell your investment on the stock market than having to put your property back on the market and find qualified tenants.

You also don’t have to pay taxes on any capital gains, as long as you hold your shares for at least 12 months. With rental properties, there are more tax and legal regulations which can make investing more complicated, but with REITs, it is much simpler and more flexible. Lastly, if you invest through an accredited crowdfunding platform such as RealtyMogul or Fundraise, you don’t need large sums of money upfront – this makes it easier for small investors to get involved in real estate investing without needing large amounts of capital to start out.

What is Rental Property?

Rental property is a real estate investment that generally involves the purchase and ownership of a single-family home, multi-family residence, vacation rental, or commercial property that is rented out to tenants. These rental properties can generate income through rental fees, appreciation, and tax benefits. However, it is important to consider the risks and challenges associated with owning rental property, such as:

  • Vacancies
  • Maintenance
  • Tenant management

Let’s explore this more in detail.

Benefits of Investing in Rental Property

Investing in rental property can be a great way to build wealth by leveraging the power of compound returns. Rental properties can provide a steady stream of long-term passive income and can potentially generate higher returns than stocks, bonds, or real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Rental properties may have several advantages over other types of investments. Rental property owners often have more control over the maintenance and management of their investments than with stocks, bonds, or REITs. Additionally, rental properties can be customized, tax deductions may be available for mortgage interest and other costs related to owning a rental property, and rents may increase as the real estate market does.

When considering investing in rental property, it is important to consider:

  • Market conditions and location as well as the quality of the tenant base before committing to such an investment.
  • Researching local area comps can also help you understand current trends in the local housing market.

The key to successful rental investing is finding a good balance between security and return on investment. Keep an eye out for opportunities that provide both a reliable return on capital but also protect your principal investments from significant losses due to tenancy-related issues or market downturns.


REITs and rental property are both attractive investment options. Before you invest, it’s important to understand how they compare in terms of their return potential, risk level, and liquidity. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of REITs and rental property, so you can make a more informed decision.


The liquidity of REITs can be compared to that of rental property. With REITs, investors can purchase and sell their holdings as they please quickly and without significant effort. Trading shares in the stock market is efficient and liquid, making it easier for investors to diversify and build a portfolio with greater diversification.

On the other hand, rental properties are physical assets that cannot be easily liquidated in a short period of time like REITs are. Tenants must be evicted if necessary or you may have to wait for an appropriate buyer who is interested in your property. It is not always possible to find someone willing to buy within a certain period. This makes rental properties illiquid investments and often leads to long-term commitments that cannot be reversed overnight in most cases.

Tax Benefits

Tax benefits are a major advantage for both REITs and rental properties – but the rules for taxation differ significantly between these two investments.

Rental property tax benefits are based on expenses related to running the property, such as repairs, maintenance, insurance, and taxes. In addition, depreciation can be taken on the physical structure of any rental that is held longer than one year. Investors also benefit from capital gains reductions if they sell their rental property after holding it for longer than one year.

REITs, on the other hand, offer more favorable taxation treatments than other investments. REITs pay out at least 90% of their taxable income to investors each year in order to avoid double taxation on corporate profits – and because of this feature REITs can provide their investors with higher returns than other types of real estate investments. Additionally, many REITs utilize pass-through deductions to reduce their taxable income even further while still providing cash distributions directly to shareholders; this gives investors an additional tax saving compared to buying into a traditional investment portfolio or real estate partnership.


When discussing the performance of REITs versus rental property, one of the biggest differences between the two is their potential return on investment. Returns on a rental property depend largely upon how favorable the market is and how well you manage it. Many investors choose real estate for its potential for rapid appreciation in value; however, capital appreciation in rental property can take longer, and there’s considerable risk involved if market conditions can shift against you.

In comparison, returns with REITs are much more predictable, as they are managed by professional management firms and less subject to market fluctuations. Historically, investments in REITs have outperformed investments in residential rental properties due to tax advantages and higher overall returns through dividends. A portfolio of publicly-traded REIT stocks offers both income-producing yields as well as any possible capital appreciation.

As with any investment decision, it’s essential to consider your long-term program goals and weigh both the pros and cons of each strategy before deciding which will best serve them.


When comparing rental property and REITs, it’s important to identify the risk involved with each investment. With any type of investment, there will always be associated risks that should be considered when making an investment.

Rental property involves higher upfront capital costs and could take more time for a return on capital. With this type of investment, you are exposed to various risks such as tenant issues, vacancy rates, and maintenance costs. Moreover, the appreciation of your rental property can be impacted by unpredictable real estate trends.

REITs involve less initial capital outlay and costs which can provide greater tax efficiencies. There is less direct involvement with tenants or management costs; however, like any other method of investing in publicly traded stocks, the market dictates changes in demand that can cause valuation fluctuations up or down. When looking at REITs investors must also consider if they are purchasing non-traded REITs which have higher fees associated or liquidity risks than traditional publicly traded REITs that trade on stock exchanges during market hours.

REIT vs Rental Property Returns

When it comes to returns on investment, REITs and rental properties both offer the potential for growth. However, there are some key differences between the two that should be taken into consideration when deciding which is best for you.

REITs are a passive investments, meaning they require less effort and time from the investor. They also provide more liquidity than rental properties, as they can be bought and sold quickly on the stock market. On the other hand, rental properties are an active investment that require more effort and time from the investor in order to manage them. They also have a longer timeline for returns, as it takes time to find tenants and collect rent payments.

When looking at potential returns, REITs tend to outperform rental properties over long periods of time due to their diversification benefits and lower risk profile. However, rental properties may provide higher returns in certain situations depending on factors such as location and quality of the property.

Overall, it is important to consider your own goals and situation when deciding between REITs or rental properties as an investment option.


What is a disadvantage of a REIT?

While REITs can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and generate passive income, there are some disadvantages associated with them.

The main disadvantages of REITs include:

  • Weak Growth: REITs typically have lower growth potential than other investments, such as stocks or bonds.
  • No Control Over Returns or Performance: As an investor, you have no control over the performance of the REIT or the returns it generates.
  • Yield Taxed as Regular Income: The dividends paid by a REIT are taxed as regular income, which means they can be subject to higher taxes than other investments.
  • Potential for High Risk: Investing in a REIT can be risky due to its dependence on factors such as market trends and economic conditions.



After weighing the pros and cons of both REITs and investment in rental property, it appears that REITs are the way to go for those who want a reliable path to passive income. While REITs don’t offer the same potential for appreciation as a rental property, they have a lower barrier to entry, lower overhead costs, and generally higher yields.

REIT investors also benefit from pooling their money with others to invest in higher-quality projects that may not be possible alone. Of course, the final choice of investing option will depend on your financial goals and risk tolerance level.

Regardless of whether you choose REITs or rental property, real estate is a powerful tool for building wealth over time.

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