Enter real estate investment trusts (REITs). At least 90% of their taxable income must be paid to shareholders as dividends. They're a highly liquid way to enjoy passive income. Among the more than 220 on the market, some have specialized portfolios that can appeal to investors wanting to take their diversification a step further. Here are 15 to consider.
As taxpayers, we all own a piece of the USPS in a sense, but you can go a step further and own a piece of a major landlord. That would be Postal Realty Trust (NYSE:PSTL), the only publicly traded REIT that focuses on owning post offices and only post offices. Right now, this REIT has nearly 1,200 of them in 49 states, and its stock is yielding about 6%. That's a nice payout that should continue through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night.
Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) is the pioneer in providing private capital to state-licensed medical marijuana growers. Its buy-leaseback model has enabled its client growers to develop and expand facilities that typically couldn’t get traditional financing. And IIP’s stock soared for a few years after its 2017 IPO, but its share price is only a third of what it was a year ago. However, it still makes money, and its yield of about 6.8% is more than four times that of the S&P 500, after raising its dividend every year it’s been in business. Analysts currently rate it a moderate buy.
Sun Communities (NYSE:SUI) is even more specialized than UMH. This REIT invests in marinas and mobile home and RV parks, with a portfolio of 661 properties. Sun's portfolio is comprised of more than 180,000 developed sites and nearly 46,000 wet slips and dry storage spaces in 39 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This REIT has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 in total return, and its stock is now yielding about 2.3%.
UMH Properties (NYSE:UMH) owns and invests in 132 manufactured home communities in 11 states. Once known as United Mobile Homes Inc., this REIT also has about 1,900 acres of land it can develop into more sites to add to the 25,000 already in place. Investors can currently enjoy a yield of about 4.5% from this long-time player in the burgeoning market for affordable housing.
Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW) is one of the largest private owners of hospitals on the planet. The REIT has about 240 general care hospitals and another 200 or so behavioral care and other specialty centers, housing about 46,000 licensed beds in 10 countries on four continents. This landlord to some of the most essential businesses around has seen its stock price battered of late, like so many other companies, but its yield is now a healthy 8.6% or so after eight straight years of dividend bumps.
Investors in EPR Properties (NYSE:EPR) can have some fun checking out their holdings. This experiential REIT's portfolio holds more than 300 movie theaters, eat-and-play properties, water and amusement parks, and ski resorts -- the kinds of places the pandemic shut down. EPR had to suspend its dividend for a few months, but it's now largely recovered and is paying a nice yield of about 7.9%.
Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR) belongs to an even smaller but related group of digital infrastructure providers. It owns about 300 high-end data centers worldwide, each acting as one node of the big virtual nervous system supporting cloud computing and nearly everything else involving data on the move. Digital Realty is also a dividend machine, with 17 years of annual increases putting the current yield at about 4.4%.
Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI) specializes in cell towers and, now, small cell nodes and mini data centers, all geared toward accommodating the global rollout of 5G networks. It's a small family of competitors in this specialty, but it's a big business. Crown Castle has hundreds of thousands of installations in place and many, many more on the way. Plus, it pays a yield of about 3.6%, and the CEO says the company is positioning itself to grow that going forward.
Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) is the company behind the name "Lamar," seen at the base of hundreds of thousands of billboards on highways spanning the United States and Canada. This specialized REIT has been around since 1902, and its digital and traditional signage can be seen on highways, in airports, and on subways and buses. Getting in front of all those eyeballs generates enough cash for Lamar to support a current dividend yield of about 5.2%.
VICI Properties (NYSE:VICI) owns a lot of casinos, including big-name operations like the Venetian, MGM Grand, and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. In addition to its 43 casinos across the land, VICI owns 19,200 hotel rooms; more than 450 restaurants, bars, clubs, and sports books; and four championship golf courses. And as is typically the case when it comes to gaming, the house wins here. And you can, too -- to the tune of a 4.3% yield -- by taking a stake in this stock analysts currently consider a buy.
One of the most recognizable names on this list is timberland REIT Weyerhaeuser (NYSE:WY). It's also one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands, with more than 11 million acres owned or controlled throughout the United States and Canada. Weyerhaeuser stock currently yields about 2.3%.
Terreno Realty (NYSE:TRNO) is an industrial REIT, a sector that includes some of the largest logistics property owners in the world. Not so for Terreno. It specializes in small warehouse and flex properties in six major coastal markets on our East and West coasts. That collection of 250 buildings and 42 land parcels currently generates the income to provide a yield of about 2.3% after 11 straight years of dividend increases.
Gladstone Land (NASDAQ:LAND) owns 169 farms covering 115,000 acres in 15 states. Gladstone's tenants are producers of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This unique REIT's portfolio even holds some California vineyard acreage. This Land is currently yielding a dividend of about 2.8% and pays monthly.
Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital (NYSE:HASI) is a mortgage REIT. They typically originate, buy, and sell residential and commercial mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. Hannon Armstrong, however, serves companies engaged in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainable-infrastructure projects. This stock, too, has outperformed the S&P 500 throughout the past 10 years and currently yields about 4%.
Getty Realty (NYSE:GTY) owns gas stations -- a lot of them -- along with convenience stores, auto parts shops, and car washes. With a portfolio of 1,024 properties in 38 states, the retail REIT has easily outperformed the S&P 500 in total return since going public in 1997 as a spinoff of what was once Getty Petroleum. Getty stock also provides a nice dividend yield of about 5.5%.
Buy and hold these diverse REITs for years of dividend income and capital appreciation. f diversity is the spice of life, this collection of specialized REITs should add a lot of flavor to any portfolio. They offer a wide choice of industry sectors investors can choose from and probably do well in, especially over the long run. They also each have the experience and wherewithal to grow their businesses while paying shareholders a regular run of dividend income along the way.