Different Ways to Invest in Real Estate

Arrived Team
Arrived Team

Apr 10, 2024

Different Ways to Invest in Real Estate

Real estate investing is a diverse landscape that can offer opportunities to create steady cash flow.

Understanding your investment options will help you make informed decisions and tailor your approach to your personal finance goals. 

Here are four ways to get started investing in real estate: 

Rental Property Ownership

Rental properties refer to residential or commercial real estate purchased primarily to generate rental income. Investors acquire these properties to lease them to tenants, who, in turn, pay regular rental payments. The property's value may also appreciate over time, offering the potential for capital gains upon sale.

Pros of investing in rental properties

Consider these advantages: 

  • Passive Income: Once the property is acquired and leased, rental payments from tenants can contribute to ongoing cash flow without requiring daily active involvement.
  • Potential for Appreciation: Real estate has historically shown appreciation over time. While not guaranteed, the value of rental properties may increase over the years, offering potential capital gains when the property is sold.
  • Tax Benefits: There are several tax advantages associated with owning rental properties. These may include deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, depreciation, and certain property management and maintenance expenses.

Cons of investing in rental properties

Of course, there are also cons to consider: 

  • High Initial Investment: Acquiring rental properties typically requires a substantial initial investment. This can include a down payment, closing costs, property repairs or renovations, and ongoing maintenance expenses.
  • Property Management Challenges: Managing rental properties can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for those who are not experienced in real estate or property management. Dealing with tenant issues, maintenance requests, and vacancies can require significant time and effort.
  • Market Risks: Real estate markets can be subject to fluctuations and cycles. Economic downturns, changes in local market conditions, and shifts in tenant demand can impact rental property values and rental income. 

House Flipping

House flipping refers to purchasing a property with the primary intention of reselling it quickly for a profit. Investors typically see undervalued properties that are distressed or in need of renovations. The goal is to enhance the property’s value through improvements and sell it at a higher price.

House flipping requires a good understanding of the real estate market, construction and renovation expertise, and the ability to estimate costs and potential resale values accurately. 

While it can be a lucrative investment strategy, it also comes with risks, such as market fluctuations, unexpected renovation expenses, and challenges in accurately predicting resale prices.

Pros of flipping houses

Consider these advantages: 

  • Profit Potential: House flipping offers the potential for significant profits in a relatively short period. 
  • Creative Expression: Flipping houses allows investors to exercise creativity and vision in transforming properties. 
  • Quick Turnaround: Compared to rental properties, which generate ongoing rental income over time, house flipping offers the potential for a faster turnaround on investment.

Cons of flipping houses

Of course, there are also cons to consider: 

  • Market Volatility: Highly subject to market fluctuations, which can impact resale prices and profitability. Economic downturns or shifts in buyer demand can result in longer holding periods, lower resale prices, or difficulty finding buyers.
  • Renovation Risks: Renovation projects often come with unexpected expenses and challenges. From unforeseen structural issues to construction delays, renovation risks can eat into profits and impact project timelines. Inexperienced investors may underestimate renovation costs or encounter issues that require additional investments.
  • Capital Intensive: Flipping houses requires a significant upfront investment in purchasing properties, funding renovations, and covering carrying costs such as property taxes, insurance, and utilities. Investors may need access to substantial capital or financing options to fund multiple flipping projects simultaneously, increasing financial risk and exposure.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are investment vehicles that allow individuals to invest in income-generating real estate assets without owning or managing properties directly. With REITs, you don’t need to worry about coming up with an upfront down payment, hiring a real estate agent, or improving your credit score to get competitive interest rates from lenders.

REITs pool funds from multiple investors to invest in various real estate or real estate-related assets. These assets often include commercial properties such as office buildings, shopping malls, apartment buildings, hotels, or industrial facilities.

There are various REITs, including equity, mortgage (mREITs), and hybrid REITs. Equity REITs primarily own and operate income-producing real estate, while mREITs invest in real estate-related debt, such as mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.

Pros of REITS

Consider these advantages: 

  • Diversification: Investing in REITs can provide diversification benefits as they typically hold a portfolio of properties across different sectors and geographic locations. 
  • Passive Income: REITs must legally distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders as dividends. 
  • Liquidity: Unlike direct real estate investments, which can be illiquid and require significant time and effort to buy or sell properties, REITs are traded on public stock exchanges. 

Cons of REITS

Of course, there are also cons to consider: 

  • Interest Rate Sensitivity: REITs are sensitive to changes in interest rates, as higher interest rates can increase borrowing costs and decrease the attractiveness of real estate investments. 
  • Market Volatility: Like other publicly traded securities, REITs are subject to market volatility. Economic downturns or fluctuations in real estate markets can affect the value of REIT shares, leading to potential losses for investors, especially in the short term.
  • Management Risk: While REITs eliminate the need for individual investors to manage properties, they still rely on effective management teams to oversee their real estate assets and operations. Poor management decisions or inadequate asset management practices can negatively impact REITs' performance and ultimately reduce investors' returns.

Real Estate Investment Groups (REIGs)

Real Estate Investment Groups (REIGs) are collective investment entities formed by individuals who pool their funds to invest in real estate properties. These groups provide a collaborative approach to real estate investing, allowing individuals to benefit from shared resources, expertise, partnerships, and diversification.

REIGs often focus on specific types of properties or investment strategies, such as residential rentals, commercial properties, or fix-and-flip projects. Members receive returns based on the group’s overall performance, and the risks and rewards are shared among participants.

Pros of REIGS

Consider these advantages:

  • Access to Expertise: Real Estate Investment Groups (REIGs) provide access to a pool of expertise from other members who may have diverse backgrounds in real estate investing, property management, finance, and other related fields. 
  • Diversification: REIG participants may achieve greater diversification across a portfolio of properties or investment strategies by pooling funds with other investors. 
  • Passive Income: Similar to investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), participating in REIGs can generate passive income through rental returns or profits from property appreciation. 

Cons of REIGS

Of course, there are also cons to consider: 

  • Limited Control: While participants in REIGs benefit from shared resources and expertise, they typically have limited control over individual investment decisions. 
  • Management Fees: REIGs may charge management fees or other expenses to cover operational costs, property management services, and administrative overhead. These fees can reduce overall returns for investors, especially if they are high or not effectively managed.
  • Dependency on Group Performance: The success of REIG investments is tied to the overall performance of the group and its investment decisions. If the group encounters challenges or makes poor investment choices, all participants may be affected, regardless of their individual contributions or preferences.

Fractional Real Estate

Fractional real estate investing involves purchasing a portion (or fractional ownership) of a property. Investors pool their resources to collectively invest in properties, enabling them to own a fraction of high-value real estate assets. This method allows individuals to diversify their real estate portfolio without buying entire properties, reducing the financial barrier to entry and allowing for broader investment across various properties.

Pros of fractional real estate 

Consider these advantages:

  • Diversification: Fractional real estate investing can enable investors to diversify their portfolios by owning fractions of multiple properties across different locations and asset classes. This diversification may help spread risk and may reduce the impact of any single property underperforming.
  • Access to High-Value Properties: Fractional ownership allows individuals to invest in high-value real estate assets that may otherwise be financially out of reach. 
  • Lower Barrier to Entry: Fractional real estate investing can lower the financial barrier to entry for individuals who may need more capital to purchase entire properties independently. By investing smaller amounts, individuals can gain exposure to the real estate market and potentially benefit from property appreciation and rental income.

Cons of fractional real estate

Of course, there are also cons to consider: 

  • Limited Control: Fractional ownership means that investors have limited control over the management and decision-making processes related to the property. Major decisions, such as property management, renovations, or sales, may require consensus among all fractional owners, which can take time to achieve.
  • Potential Illiquidity: While fractional real estate investments offer the opportunity to invest in high-value properties with smaller capital outlays, they may also be relatively illiquid compared to other investment options. Selling fractional ownership interests in a property can be more complicated and time-consuming than selling publicly traded asset shares.
  • Complex Legal and Governance Structures: Fractional ownership arrangements often involve complex legal agreements and governance structures to outline rights, responsibilities, and decision-making processes among fractional owners. Navigating these agreements and ensuring fair and transparent governance can require specialized legal expertise and may entail additional costs and administrative burdens.

Real estate investment presents a myriad of opportunities, each with its own set of advantages and challenges. Understanding these options and carefully weighing their pros and cons is essential for investors to make informed decisions aligned with their financial goals and risk tolerance.

Lesson 3: Financing Real Estate Investments

Interested in adding real estate to your portfolio? Whether you have $100, $1,000 or $10,000 to invest, Arrived can be a great way to get started in real estate. Our investments are structured as REITs, allowing you to make an income from a range of single-family residential homes and vacation rentals across dozens of markets. 


The opinions expressed in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice.

View Arrived's disclaimers
Get Started With ArrivedInterested in adding real estate to your portfolio? With Arrived, anyone can invest $100 to $15,000 per property in a range of single family residential properties and vacation rentals across dozens of markets.
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Webinar: Investing In Arrived

Ryan Frazier, Arrived CEO, and Cameron Wu, VP of Investments, will be hosting webinars to talk about how to get started with rental property investing. Sessions are held on Tuesdays at 9am PST and Fridays at 1pm PST each week (unless otherwise posted).