Compared with the above types of real estate investments, REITs give investors access to non-residential investments, like shopping centers or office buildings, which are typically out of reach of individual investors buying direct. While selling a rental property can involve months of waiting and mountains of paperwork, REITs have the benefit of liquidity, since they trade on a stock exchange. There are private REITs, too, but these are available only to accredited investors and can be risky investments that are difficult to resell quickly. New investors should typically stick with the publicly-traded REITs, which can be purchased through brokerage firms.
New investors with less cash may be able to invest in fractional shares of REIT ETFs via micro-investment apps such as Stash, M1 Finance, and Robinhood. Fundraise, Crowdstreet, and DiversyFund, three popular platforms, provide a number of different options depending on how much capital you have to invest, ranging from real-estate funds to single real-estate projects. Some options are targeted to accredited investors, with some platforms allowing them to get involved with single deals for a minimum investment that can be as low as the tens of thousands of dollars. The popularity of many crowdfunding investing platforms has grown tremendously as they serve various types of investors with different budgets.
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