Jun 14, 2023Investments

Real Estate Investment Trusts vs. Direct Property Ownership: Weighing the Options

by Godrej Properties Limited



Introduction to Real Estate Investment

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs):

REITs are investment vehicles that pool funds from multiple investors to purchase, manage, and operate income-generating properties. These properties can include commercial real estate (office buildings, shopping centres, hotels) and residential properties (apartment complexes, rental homes). 

Advantages of REITs:

1. Liquidity: REITs are publicly traded on stock exchanges, offering investors the ability to buy and sell shares easily. This provides liquidity, allowing investors to convert their investment into cash relatively quickly.

2. Diversification: REITs invest in a variety of properties across different sectors and geographic locations. This diversification helps spread risk and reduces the impact of individual property performance on the overall investment.

3. Professional Management: REITs are managed by experienced professionals who handle property acquisition, management, and lease agreements. Investors can benefit from the expertise and industry knowledge of these professionals without the burden of day-to-day property management responsibilities.

Considerations for REITs:

1. Market Volatility: As publicly traded securities, REITs are subject to market fluctuations. Economic downturns or changes in investor sentiment can impact the value of REIT shares.

2. Limited Control: Investors in REITs have limited control over property selection and management decisions. The investment strategy is determined by the REIT's management team.

Direct Property Ownership

Direct property ownership involves purchasing and managing real estate properties individually. Investors have complete control over property selection, financing, and property management decisions. 

Advantages of Direct Property Ownership:

1. Control and Flexibility: Owning a property directly provides investors with full control over decision-making, including property improvements, tenant selection, and rental pricing. Investors can adapt strategies based on market conditions and personal preferences.

2. Potential for Higher Returns: Direct property ownership allows investors to capture the full income potential of the property. Rental income, property appreciation, and tax benefits can contribute to higher returns compared to investing in REITs.

Considerations for Direct Property Ownership:

1. Capital Requirements: Purchasing a property requires a significant upfront investment, including down payments, closing costs, and potential renovation expenses. This can limit accessibility to real estate investment for some individuals.

2. Property Management: Direct property ownership entails responsibilities such as property maintenance, tenant management, and handling legal and financial aspects. Investors must be prepared to devote time and resources to manage the property.


When weighing the options between REITs and direct property ownership, investors should consider their financial goals, risk tolerance, and desired level of involvement. REITs offer diversification and liquidity but come with limited control. Direct property ownership provides greater control and potential for higher returns but requires more hands-on management. Ultimately, a well-diversified portfolio may include a combination of both approaches, allowing investors to benefit from the advantages offered by each investment option.


Frequently Asked Questions

1.Are REITs suitable for passive investors? 

Ans: Yes, REITs are an attractive option for passive investors who want exposure to real estate.

​2. Can I leverage financing when investing in REITs? 

Ans: No, investors do not have the option to leverage financing when investing in REITs.

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