How to manage portfolio risk with diversification in real estate

There are a host of potential benefits

How to manage portfolio risk with diversification in real estate

The following article was provided by RCN Capital.

Real estate investing has always been seen as a lucrative avenue for wealth creation. However, like any investment, potential risks must always be factored into the equation. One effective strategy to mitigate these risks when it comes to real estate investing is through diversification. There are a few different ways that diversification can be interpreted when it comes to real estate investing so understanding these different avenues and capitalizing on each opportunity is important for investors. Portfolio diversification also leads to other benefits besides mitigating risk that investors will want to take advantage of.

Understanding diversification

Diversification is a risk management technique that involves spreading investments across different assets or markets. By diversifying, investors aim to reduce the impact of any single investment's poor performance on their overall portfolio. In the context of real estate investing, diversification entails allocating funds across various property types, locations, and investment strategies.

Diversification is a long-term strategy that will enable investors to make a career through real estate. Markets can fluctuate at any time and different types of properties can always rise to the forefront of the industry, so a diversified portfolio is one that can withstand a turbulent stretch in the real estate space.

Mitigating risk through property types

Investing in a single property type can expose investors to significant risks. For instance, if an investor solely focuses on smaller residential properties, they may face challenges if the housing market experiences a downturn. The current market is a recent example of this that investors can use as a learning experience. Seeking out multifamily and mixed-use properties can be a way to offset underperforming single-family rentals where finding a tenant may be harder given the current state of the market. Typically, multifamily properties have a lesser per unit rental cost than a standard single-family residence so tenants will try to find the most affordable option. The privacy and amenities a single-family rental can offer leads to higher rent costs, so a high percentage of tenants are going to stay away from that option until it becomes reasonable again.

Another example of portfolio diversification through different property types would be commercial properties such as stores and restaurants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most investors were weary of commercial properties. However, a few years removed, people are back at restaurants and shopping centers because of how much it was missed during the necessary downtime throughout the country. What looked like a terrible investment a few years ago is now a hot commodity in the industry.

By diversifying across different property types such as residential, commercial, industrial, or even mixed-use properties, investors can spread their risk and potentially benefit from different market cycles.

Geographical diversification

Another crucial aspect of diversification in real estate investing is geographical spread. Investing in a single location can leave investors vulnerable to localized economic downturns or regulatory changes. If one area of the country is recovering from a natural disaster or simply just sees a spike in cost of living, an investor can be in a bind if they have all of their investment properties in that region of the country.

Also, the real estate community allows investors to make connections all across the country so there is an opportunity to partner up with these other investors. With these partners in the industry, investing in various regions throughout the country becomes much less daunting.

By diversifying across different regions or cities, investors can reduce the impact of any adverse events in a particular area and tap into the growth potential of multiple markets.

Investment strategies

Diversification can also be achieved by employing different investment strategies. For instance, investors can consider a mix of long-term rental properties, short-term vacation rentals, real estate investment trusts (REITs), or even real estate crowdfunding platforms.

Each strategy carries its own risk and return profile, and by diversifying across these strategies, investors can balance their portfolio and potentially enhance overall returns.

Benefits of diversification

1. Risk mitigation: Diversification helps reduce the impact of any single investment's poor performance on the overall portfolio. If one property or market underperforms, the positive performance of other investments can offset the losses. This can offset both short-term and long-term risk and as mentioned, the risk mitigation that diversification offers can lead to longevity in the investment space.

2. Income stability: Diversifying across different property types and locations can provide a stable income stream. For example, while residential properties may generate rental income, commercial properties can offer long-term lease agreements, ensuring a consistent cash flow. Having these assurances in place is a huge win for investors and can provide balance if there are a lack of tenants for a specificity property within a portfolio.

3. Capital appreciation: By diversifying, investors can tap into the growth potential of different markets. While some areas may experience slower appreciation, others may witness rapid growth, allowing investors to benefit from overall portfolio appreciation.

4. Flexibility and adaptability: Diversification provides investors with the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions. If one property type or location becomes less favorable, investors can reallocate their resources to more promising opportunities.

Diversification is a fundamental principle in real estate investing that helps mitigate risk and increase the likelihood of long-term success. By spreading investments across different property types, locations, and investment strategies, investors can safeguard their portfolios against market fluctuations and capitalize on various growth opportunities.

As with any investment strategy, it is essential to conduct thorough research, seek professional advice, and continuously monitor and adjust the portfolio to ensure optimal diversification and risk management. Seeking out lenders such as RCN Capital for advice and insight regarding portfolio diversification is vital for all investors that are serious about staying in the industry long term.