CRE Investments: Strategies and Property Types

Stylish modern apartment buildings representing diverse property types in CRE investment strategies

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Investment Strategies
  3. Property Types
  4. Conclusion


Commercial real estate (CRE) is a multifaceted sector, presenting a myriad of investment strategies and property types, each offering distinct characteristics and avenues for potential returns. From urban office buildings and industrial warehouses to retail centers and apartment complexes, the array of properties available for acquisition and development is vast and varied.

Investors poised to succeed in the CRE market are those who adeptly align their strategies with their investment profiles. This alignment encompasses a thorough understanding of the risks and rewards associated with each property type, as well as a strategic fit with their risk tolerance and return objectives. Whether it involves the steady income from a leased-out NNN industrial building or the value-add potential of a redevelopment project, the art of CRE investment lies in pairing the right approach with the right type of property to optimize portfolio performance and achieve desired financial outcomes.

Investment Strategies


StrategyRisk LevelExpected ReturnDescription
CoreLow5-8%Fully stabilized Class A buildings in prime locations with predictable cash flows from long-term tenants.
Core-PlusLow to Moderate8-11%Class A & B buildings in good locations, not fully stabilized, offering some upside from operational improvements.
Value-AddModerate to High11-15%Class B & C buildings with the potential for increased cash flow through strategic improvements and lease-up activities.
OpportunisticHigh15%+Class C or lower buildings with major improvement needs, offering high returns for substantial rehabilitation efforts.


StrategyRisk LevelExpected ReturnDescription
SpeculativeHigh15%+Development of new buildings without pre-leasing, targeting future tenants, entails higher lease-up risk.
Build-to-SuitLow to ModerateVariableDevelopment of buildings tailored to the specifications of a pre-committed tenant, resulting in predictable cash flows based on the lease terms.

Property Types

  • Industrial: Facilities for manufacturing, storage, and distribution.
  • Multifamily: Residential buildings with multiple tenant units, from duplexes to high-rise apartments.
  • Office: Spaces for businesses, from single-story buildings to skyscrapers.
  • Retail: Locations for consumer shopping, from local centers to malls.
  • Land: Undeveloped plots, including agricultural or infill sites.
  • Mixed Use: Properties combining retail, residential, and/or office spaces.
  • Special Purpose: Buildings designed for specific uses outside the standard categories.


Investing in CRE requires a nuanced understanding of both the strategies and the types of properties available. Aligning expected returns with individual risk profiles while considering the nature of the property can inform strategic investment decisions. With this knowledge, investors can capitalize on the varying degrees of risk and potential returns inherent in CRE investments.

Similar Articles

Professional working on CRE financial modeling on a laptop, showcasing best practices and efficiency with Excel
CRE Financial Modeling: Best Practices & Excel Shortcuts

While Excel has traditionally been the cornerstone for financial modeling in commercial real estate, the landscape of technology is rapidly evolving.

Financial Analysis
Construction site with workers and blueprints, depicting the development phase in commercial real estate
Foundations of CRE Development: Concept to Completion

Commercial real estate development is a complex and nuanced process that encompasses everything from land acquisition to the construction and leasing of the property.

Sunrise over modern commercial buildings, illustrating the topic of CRE investing fundamentals
Fundamentals of CRE Investing: A Comprehensive Guide

This guide aims to offer a succinct and insightful overview of the commercial real estate sector.