There are two primary types of public REITs: traded and non-traded. Publicly-traded REITs offer the benefits of liquidity, because it is traded openly on a stock exchange. However, this liquidity is likely to be priced into the value of the shares, resulting in a “liquidity premium”, or a cost that all investors pay for the ability to buy and sell the asset whenever they wish. The liquidity premium results in lower relative returns for all investors, regardless of whether or not they choose to sell their shares. Furthermore, publicly-traded REITs tend to be correlated to broader market volatility, meaning that the share value may fluctuate depending on how the stock market is doing, regardless of whether or not anything has changed with the underlying properties owned by the REIT.

In equity valuation, residual income represents an economic earnings stream and valuation method for estimating the intrinsic value of a company's common stock. The residual income valuation model values a company as the sum of book value and the present value of expected future residual income. Residual income attempts to measure economic profit, which is the profit remaining after the deduction of opportunity costs for all sources of capital.