Alternative investments in real estate have gained significant popularity in recent years as investors seek diversification and higher returns. But what exactly are considered alternative investments? In simple terms, alternative investments refer to any investment outside of traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds. These investments can include real estate, private equity, hedge funds, and more. In this article we’ll cover what are considered alternative investments in the real estate industry.

In the context of real estate, alternative investments offer investors the opportunity to invest in properties or projects that deviate from the traditional buy-and-hold strategy. This can include investments in real estate investment trusts (REITs), real estate crowdfunding platforms, distressed properties, and even farmland. The main appeal of these alternative investments lies in their potential to generate higher returns and provide a hedge against market volatility.

Benefits of alternative investments in real estate

Alternative investments in real estate offer several benefits that can make them an attractive option for investors. One of the key advantages is the potential for higher returns compared to traditional investments. Real estate has historically provided steady and consistent returns over the long term, and considered alternative investments can offer even greater upside potential.

Another benefit is the ability to diversify your investment portfolio. By investing in alternative assets, you can spread your risk across different types of properties and projects. This can help protect your portfolio from market downturns and provide stability during turbulent times.

Furthermore, alternative investments in real estate can offer unique tax advantages. For example, investing in a real estate crowdfunding platform may allow you to take advantage of tax deductions and benefits associated with owning real estate. Additionally, some considered alternative investments may provide inflation protection, as real estate has historically been a good hedge against inflation.

Different types of alternative investments in real estate

When it comes to alternative investments in real estate, there are various options to consider. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): REITs are companies that own, operate, or finance income-generating properties. By investing in REITs, you can gain exposure to real estate without directly owning or managing properties. REITs are traded on major stock exchanges, providing liquidity and ease of access for investors.
  2. Real Estate Crowdfunding: Real estate crowdfunding platforms allow multiple investors to pool their funds together to invest in specific real estate projects. This can include residential, commercial, or even industrial properties. Crowdfunding platforms offer opportunities for both accredited and non-accredited investors to participate in real estate investments with relatively low minimum investment requirements.
  3. Distressed Properties: Distressed properties refer to properties that are in financial distress or facing foreclosure. These properties can often be purchased at a significant discount, allowing investors to potentially generate higher returns. However, investing in distressed properties requires careful due diligence and an understanding of the associated risks.
  4. Farmland: Investing in farmland is another alternative investment option in real estate. Farmland has the potential to provide stable income through the lease or sale of agricultural products. Additionally, farmland investments may offer tax benefits and can be a good option for investors looking to diversify their portfolio.

Factors to consider when exploring alternative investments in real estate

Before diving into alternative investments in real estate, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure you make informed investment decisions. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Risk tolerance: Alternative investments in real estate can carry varying levels of risk. Some investments may have higher return potential but also come with higher risks. Assess your risk tolerance and determine what level of risk you are comfortable with before investing.
  2. Investment horizon: Consider your investment horizon and determine whether you are looking for short-term gains or long-term appreciation. Different alternative investments may align better with your investment goals and time frame.
  3. Due diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence on any investment opportunity before committing your capital. This includes researching the track record of the investment sponsor, evaluating the property or project fundamentals, and understanding the potential risks involved.
  4. Diversification: As with any investment strategy, diversification is key. Consider diversifying your alternative investments across different asset classes, geographies, and investment strategies to spread your risk and maximize potential returns.

How to get started with alternative investments in real estate

Getting started with alternative investments in real estate may seem daunting, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding endeavor. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Define your investment goals: Clearly define your investment goals and objectives. Are you looking for regular income, long-term appreciation, or a combination of both? This will help guide your investment decisions and strategy.
  2. Educate yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about different types of alternative investments in real estate. Read books, attend webinars or seminars, and seek advice from professionals in the industry. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to make informed investment decisions.
  3. Build a network: Networking is crucial in the world of alternative investments. Connect with other investors, attend industry conferences, and join online communities to expand your network. Building relationships with experienced investors and professionals can provide valuable insights and opportunities.
  4. Start small: When starting out, it’s wise to start with smaller investments to gain experience and assess the performance of different investment opportunities. As you become more comfortable and knowledgeable, you can gradually increase your investment allocation.

Risks and challenges of alternative investments in real estate

While alternative investments in real estate offer unique opportunities, they also come with their fair share of risks and challenges. It’s important to be aware of these risks and take appropriate measures to mitigate them. Here are some common risks and challenges to consider:

  1. Illiquidity: Unlike stocks or bonds, alternative investments in real estate can be illiquid. This means that it may be difficult to sell your investment quickly if the need arises. It’s important to have a long-term investment horizon and be prepared to hold your investment for an extended period.
  2. Market volatility: Real estate markets can be subject to fluctuations and market cycles. Economic downturns or changes in local market conditions can impact the performance of your investment. Conduct thorough market research and evaluate the potential impact of market volatility on your investment.
  3. Lack of transparency: Some alternative investments in real estate may lack transparency, making it challenging to assess the true value or performance of the investment. Conduct thorough due diligence, ask for transparency from investment sponsors, and seek professional advice when needed.
  4. Regulatory and legal considerations: Alternative investments in real estate are subject to various regulations and legal considerations. It’s important to understand the legal framework and comply with all applicable laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues or penalties.

Resources and tools for researching alternative investments in real estate

Researching alternative investments in real estate can be a complex process, but there are resources and tools available to help you make informed decisions. Here are some valuable resources to consider:

  1. Online platforms: Real estate crowdfunding platforms often provide detailed information about investment opportunities, including property details, financial projections, and investment terms. These platforms can be a great starting point for research.
  2. Industry publications: Stay updated with industry publications and websites that provide insights and analysis on alternative investments in real estate. These publications often cover market trends, investment strategies, and case studies that can help you make informed decisions.
  3. Professional networks: Connect with professionals in the real estate and investment industry, such as real estate brokers, financial advisors, and investment managers. They can provide valuable advice and guidance based on their expertise and experience.
  4. Research reports and studies: Look for research reports and studies conducted by reputable organizations or research firms. These reports often provide in-depth analysis and data on specific alternative investment sectors within real estate.


In this article we’ll covered what are considered alternative investments in the real estate industry. Alternative investments in real estate can offer investors unique opportunities to diversify their portfolios and potentially generate higher returns. From REITs to real estate crowdfunding, there are various types of alternative investments to consider. However, it’s important to conduct thorough due diligence, assess the risks and challenges, and align your investments with your goals and risk tolerance.

By educating yourself, building a network, and utilizing available resources and tools, you can navigate the world of alternative investments in real estate with confidence. Remember to start small, diversify your investments, and seek professional advice when needed. With careful planning and a well-informed approach, alternative investments in real estate can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio.