Debating which investment strategy you should adopt? This one might be for you. : Gary Beasley is CEO and Co-Founder of Roofstock, an online marketplace for buying, selling and owning single-family rental investment homes. One of the most common questions I get from aspiring real estate investors is whether to buy property directly or purchase shares in a real estate investment trust, commonly referred to as a REIT. For those who aren’t familiar with REITs, these vehicles allow individuals to buy shares in companies that own real estate as their primary business activity.