AllReal Estate

The Popularity of REITs is a Long-term Trend

Big Y, Palmer Massachusetts, one of Bruce Schanzer’s Properties. Photo Courtesy John Phelan.

There are two main ways to diversify a real estate investment portfolio, either with a real estate fund, or with a real estate investment trust, known as a REIT. Think of a real estate fund as a kind of mutual fund, with a strong focus on investing in stocks of publicly-traded real estate companies. Most real estate funds invest in commercial and corporate properties, but there are some invested in land, apartment complexes, and land used for agriculture. This kind of fund has the ability to invest in properties either directly or indirectly through RIETS.

A REIT can be an association, trust or corporation that either owns or finances real estate which produces income. They work similar to a mutual fund, that is to say, investors join their capital to buy shares in real estate and then earn income from those shares.

There are many companies with numerous ways to invest in real estate. Bruce Schanzer, president of Cedar Realty Trust, invests in shopping centers along the East Coast of the United States, from Pennsylvania to Boston. Ryman Hospitality Properties, formerly Gaylord Entertainment, operates and manages the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and WSM radio. It also owns and operates four high-end, meetings-focused resorts. There are also REITs that own properties leased to the US government via the General Services Administration, such as Easterly Government Properties.

As you can see from this brief discussion of REITs as an investment vehicle, there are a huge variety available to suit every need and taste. We recommend further investigation into this fascinating area of investment before deciding where to put your money so it works as hard for you as you worked for it.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)