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3 Ways to diversify your real estate investment portfolio

Whether it’s REITs, international markets, self-storage, or residential rentals, each component adds a layer of security and opportunity to your strategy



Real estate investment is widely regarded as a potent avenue for amassing wealth. Despite this, the importance of diversification within this asset class often does not receive the attention it deserves.


The wise saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is particularly pertinent when it comes to property investments. By spreading investments across various types of real estate, from urban high-rises to rural land plots, investors can mitigate risks and enhance potential returns.


There are many effective strategies for diversifying your real estate investment portfolio, and investors should consider the benefits of incorporating different property types such as REITs, international real estate, self-storage facilities, and residential rentals in burgeoning areas.


Each of these components serves to broaden investors’ exposure while safeguarding against market volatility and economic downturns. Let’s explore how to fortify your investment strategy by branching out into these diverse real estate sectors.


Reaping the benefits

For those looking to diversify without the complexities of direct property management, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) offer an excellent alternative. REITs are companies that own, operate, or finance income-producing real estate across a range of sectors. There are a few different types of REITs: equity REITs, mortgage REITs, and hybrid REITs.


By investing in REITs, you gain exposure to a variety of properties — including shopping malls, office buildings, and apartments — without the need to manage them. They also provide liquidity, as REITs are traded on major stock exchanges, allowing investors to buy and sell shares easily.


Venturing into international

Investing in international real estate can provide geographical diversification as well as access to emerging markets with the potential for significant growth.


An example to illustrate this growth was announced in January of this year: “Christie’s International Real Estate Austin and Dallas are addressing regional demands by launching a sports and entertainment division based out of the two cities … The sports and entertainment division’s global network will allow athletes, entertainers, and other high-profile individuals to more seamlessly find homes across the world, with agents who specialize in meeting their unique needs.”


This strategy does come with its own challenges though, such as navigating unfamiliar legal systems and managing currency risk. However, the rewards can be substantial, especially in countries experiencing rapid economic development, urbanization, and an increasing middle class.


To mitigate risks, consider partnering with local experts who understand the market nuances and can guide you through the investment process.


Exploring the stability of self-storage

Self-storage units emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis as a surprisingly resilient segment of the real estate market. Their appeal lies in the relatively low overhead costs and stable demand, regardless of economic conditions.


People always need space to store their belongings, especially during transitions like relocating for a job or downsizing homes. To invest in self-storage, consider looking for properties in areas with high population density and limited storage options. The key is to focus on locations where demand for storage space is consistent.


To learn more, I reached out to AJ Osborne, CEO and founder of self-storage investment firm Cedar Creek Capital. He said, “There are storage facilities all over the country that cost less than duplexes in most metropolitan areas. While they cost less, you get more doors, and you have lower capital expenditures. Storage facilities at much higher margins cash flow better. Plus, they are the highest performing asset over the last 26 years, and the lowest defaulting asset in the last 26 years.”


Including residential rentals

Residential rental properties continue to be a cornerstone of real estate investment. Focusing on growth areas (regions where job growth is robust, and the population is increasing) can lead to high rental demand and appreciating property values.


In fact, “A total of 27,500 build-to-rent houses in the United States were completed in 2023, according to a new report from RentCafe.”


Key indicators of promising areas include new infrastructure developments, such as schools and transportation, which attract residents and boost property prices. The strategy here is to remain adaptable, monitoring economic trends and adjusting your investment focus as needed.


Wrapping up

Diversifying your real estate investment portfolio is a clever approach that requires attention to market trends and openness to exploring unconventional property types.


Whether it’s the liquidity of REITs, the adventurous potential of international markets, reliable income from self-storage, or the traditional appeal of residential rentals, each component adds a unique layer of security and opportunity to your investment strategy.


By carefully selecting a mix of these options, you can build a robust real estate portfolio that withstands various economic climates and continues to grow in value over time.


By Victoria Kennedy

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