Private vs. Publicly Traded REITs: An Investor’s Insight


Ever wondered why the real estate world is buzzing about REITs? Ever felt confused by terms like ‘private’ and ‘publicly traded’? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

The labyrinth of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) can be daunting. But what if I told you that understanding them could be as easy as a Sunday drive through your favorite neighborhood?


Imagine cruising along the scenic route of private REITs, with their seductive high-income returns, only to stumble upon hidden fees lurking in shadowy corners. Now shift gears towards publicly traded REITs – shining skyscrapers promising transparency, liquidity, and low-cost diversification for all.

Suddenly there’s a detour sign: tax implications! And then we hit the bustling city center: crowdfunding platforms democratizing access to syndicated properties!

Get ready, because we’re diving right in.



Understanding Private and Publicly Traded REITs

If you’re looking to build wealth through real estate, but don’t want the hassle of buying properties yourself, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) could be a smart choice. But there’s a catch: not all REITs are created equal.

The Allure of Private REITs

Private REITs can often promise high-income returns that make them attractive to investors. Imagine it like fishing in an exclusive pond; less competition may mean more fish for you. These non-traded trusts are typically illiquid with redemption programs subject to significant limitations according to the SEC.


You might see this as trading flexibility for potentially higher profits.

The Hidden Costs of Private REITs

But while private REITs have their allure, they come with some caveats too – think hidden fees that can eat into your long-term returns like termites on woodwork. For instance, management and transaction fees are common expenses which aren’t always transparent at first glance.

This is akin to being charged for bait every time you cast your line—over time these costs add up.

Now let’s flip the coin.

The Benefits of Publicly Traded REITS

Investors can benefit from publicly traded REITs due to their liquidity, transparency and low-cost index fund diversification. The most compelling advantages include liquidity, transparency, and the opportunity for low-cost index fund diversification.

The Transparency and Liquidity Advantage

Liquidity is the ability to convert an investment into cash quickly and without affecting its market value. It’s like being able to offload your property at a fair rate in no time, rather than waiting for weeks.

Publicly traded REITs are bought and sold on major exchanges just like stocks – providing real-time pricing data and quick access to funds when you need them. More about Liquidity here.

Transparency is another advantage. As they’re regulated by the SEC, publicly-traded REITs must disclose financial statements regularly. This lets you see where your money’s going in real-time – think x-ray vision for investments.

Low-Cost Index Fund Diversification

Diversifying with low-cost index funds allows investors to spread risk across various sectors instead of putting all their eggs in one basket – because who wants a scrambled nest egg?

In the world of publicly traded REITS, there are plenty that track indexes covering different types of real estate properties such as residential homes or commercial buildings. More about REIT Indexes here.

By investing in these, you can potentially reduce your investment costs while diversifying across various real estate markets. So it’s like getting a taste of all the pies at a buffet – without overindulging on just one.

Key Takeaway: 

Private REITs may seem like a tempting exclusive fishing pond with high income returns, but beware of hidden fees nibbling away at your long-term profits. Publicly traded REITs offer clear waters with their transparency and liquidity, plus the chance to spread risk through low-cost index fund diversification.

Tax Efficiency in Real Estate Investments

Investing smartly is more than just chasing high returns. It’s about understanding how taxes can impact your earnings. When it comes to real estate, the choice between REITs and direct investments can significantly affect your tax bill.

The Tax Inefficiency of REITs

REITs might seem like a goldmine due to their high dividends. REITs must fork out 90% of their taxable income as dividends, though this comes with a downside – they are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. While this sounds great initially, these payouts are taxed at ordinary income rates which can be as high as 37%. This isn’t ideal if you’re trying to grow wealth over time.

To make matters worse, REIT investors miss out on depreciation benefits that direct property owners enjoy. Investopedia explains that since REITs don’t pass through net losses from depreciating properties, shareholders aren’t able to offset other passive income with those losses – another blow to tax efficiency.

Direct Real Estate Investments for Greater Tax Benefits

In contrast, owning real estate directly gives investors substantial tax advantages not available with most traditional investment vehicles. Statistic number 6 suggests up-front deductions and deprecation help reduce current-year taxation while deferring capital gains until the sale offers potential long-term savings.

A study by The Tax Foundation shows homeowners or landlords get depreciation write-offs that effectively lower the cost basis of their investment property gradually each year (key stat 7). This helps lower taxable income and increase after-tax profits.

Moreover, direct real estate investments can also qualify for the Section 199A deduction. It’s a perk that REITs don’t offer, giving property owners another leg up in tax efficiency.

Dive into the tax implications of REITs vs. direct real estate investing. Direct ownership can unlock depreciation benefits and special deductions, while high dividend taxes may slow wealth growth in REITs.

The Rise of Crowdfunding Platforms in Real Estate Investing

Crowdfunding platforms have changed the game for real estate investing. They’ve made it possible for anyone to invest in large-scale properties, breaking down traditional barriers.

Previously, only wealthy investors had access to these high-ticket investments. But now? The average Joe can get a piece of that pie too.

Democratizing Access to Syndicated Real Estate Investments

This democratization process started with companies like Fundrise. Fundrise created a platform where individuals could pool their resources and invest as one entity.

The result? Non-accredited investors got opportunities they never had before: ownership stakes in major commercial or residential developments across the U.S.

  • Fundraise reported over $1 billion raised from individual investors since its inception – proof positive this model works.

It’s not just Fundrise either; other platforms such as Realty Mogul , have followed suit offering similar services and garnering equal success.

CrowdFunding Platform Total Raised ($)
FundRise $1 Billion+
RealtyMogul $500 Million+

Now, why is this big news?

For starters, crowdfunding has opened up a new avenue for diversifying your portfolio. Before, you had to buy property outright or invest in publicly traded REITs.

But now? You can have direct ownership of specific real estate properties through crowdfunding platforms.

And the cherry on top – it’s all online. You don’t need to leave your couch; everything is just clicks away.

It’s truly an exciting time for real estate investing, thanks largely to these innovative crowdfunding platforms. They’ve flipped the script and made what was once exclusive now inclusive.

Crowdfunding platforms are reshaping real estate investing, breaking down old barriers. No longer just for the wealthy, now anyone can own a slice of big-ticket properties.

The Emergence of Privately Traded eREITs

With the advent of technology, we’ve seen a new breed of real estate investment trusts (REITs) – electronically traded or eREITs. Companies like Fundrise and Realty Mogul are at the forefront, offering these private market solutions.

Fundrise and Realty Mogul’s eREITs

Fundrise’s Starter Portfolio, for instance, lets you dip your toes into private real estate investing with just $500. They deploy the funds to invest in a variety of debt and equity investments spanning both commercial and residential properties across the US.

Their goal is to provide steady cash flow through quarterly dividends while preserving principal by selecting assets with low loan-to-value ratios. Fundrise boasts an impressive average annual return rate between 8.7% – 12.4%, according to their historical performance data.

On the other hand, Realty Mogul takes pride in its transparency and commitment to providing opportunities previously reserved for institutional investors only. Their Private Market REIT II has generated an annualized distribution rate of 6% as per their website’s information page.

Recently, regulatory changes have made it possible for non-accredited investors to join the world of private real estate investment opportunities. Both Fundrise and Realty Mogul make it easy for everyday people to start investing, with a minimum investment of $500 and $1,000 respectively.

But before you jump in, remember that private REITs are not without risks. They lack the liquidity of publicly traded counterparts; there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to sell your shares when needed. Additionally, they’re also subject to management fees which can eat into your returns over time.

So, while eREITs have democratized real estate investing by lowering barriers to entry and providing access to potentially high-yield investments – it’s important that prospective investors fully understand what they’re getting into.

Key Takeaway: 

Technology has ushered in eREITs, giving a fresh face to real estate investing. Fundrise and Realty Mogul lead the pack, offering accessible entry points for private market investment with impressive potential returns. But remember – while this democratization of property investments is exciting, it’s not without risks such as limited liquidity and management fees.

FAQs in Relation to Private Reits Vs. Publicly Traded Reits

What is the difference between a private REIT and a public REIT?

A private REIT isn’t listed on any exchange, often has high minimum investment thresholds, and lacks liquidity. In contrast, publicly traded REITs are exchanged like stocks with lower entry points and higher transparency.

Why not to invest in private REITS?

The lack of liquidity can be risky if you need access to your funds quickly. Also, hidden fees associated with these investments may erode returns over time.

Are private REITS worth it?

While they promise higher income returns than their public counterparts, potential drawbacks such as less liquidity and hidden costs should make investors cautious before diving in.

What are the advantages of private REITS?

Potentially high-income returns attract many investors to them. Private entities also allow for more control over assets compared to their publicly traded equivalents.


So, you’ve navigated the world of Private REITs vs. Publicly Traded REITs. That’s a win!

You now know that private REITs may promise high-income returns but hide fees in the shadows.

Publicly traded REITs? They’re your transparent skyscrapers offering liquidity and low-cost diversification.

But don’t forget about those pesky tax implications, right? And how crowdfunding platforms are shaking things up for non-accredited investors!

The real estate landscape is changing rapidly, with privately traded eREITS emerging as an exciting new player on the field.

Your journey doesn’t end here though; it’s just getting started. Use this newfound knowledge to invest smarter and make informed decisions moving forward!

Peter Kim, MD is the founder of Passive Income MD, the creator of Passive Real Estate Academy, and offers weekly education through his Monday podcast, the Passive Income MD Podcast. Join our community at the Passive Income Doc Facebook Group.

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