3 Types of Commercial Real Estate Acquisition Investments

Mark Meskauskas
02 April 2024
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As established landlords aim to grow their commercial portfolios, understanding the different types of real estate acquisition investments becomes important. Whether you have three doors or thirty under management, expanding your holdings is a strategic move that can lead to significant growth and profitability. In this blog from Brian Properties, you'll learn about Core Plus, Value Add, and Opportunistic investments—each offering unique risks and rewards tailored for various levels of market engagement.

Selecting the right investment type can make all the difference in scaling up effectively while mitigating risk. Let's dive into what these strategies entail and how they fit into your portfolio expansion plans.

Real Estate Acquisition Investment Types

In the upcoming sections, we'll explore the nuances of Core Plus, Value Add, and Opportunistic investment strategies. Each section will delve into the investment profile, risk factors, and the potential for return that landlords can anticipate when deploying these strategies.

Core Plus

Investors with an appetite for a balanced mix of stability and growth often turn to Core Plus real estate investments. This strategy involves properties that are fundamentally sound but offer opportunities for modest improvements. These assets might have strong occupancy rates, quality tenants, and good locations.

Real Estate Acquisition Investment Types

The typical characteristics of Core Plus investments include well-positioned assets that require small enhancements rather than significant redevelopment. They generally promise higher yields than core investments due to their potential upside from management or operational efficiencies.

For instance, acquiring a commercial building in an emerging neighborhood can be classified as a Core Plus investment if the property is already generating income but has room for rent increases through minor renovations or by improving the tenant mix. Investors may find these properties appealing because they can still rely on current cash flows while working towards enhancing value over time.

National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) data shows that these types of strategies have delivered competitive returns relative to riskier market segments like opportunistic or distressed assets, making them suitable options for landlords looking to expand portfolios without taking on excessive risk.

Selecting Properties With Potential

Key factors when selecting Core Plus properties include assessing the local market's demand drivers such as employment trends and population growth which support sustained rental demand. Additionally, evaluating existing lease terms provides insight into future revenue stability and identifies levers for improvement such as below-market rents or expiring leases ripe for renegotiation at higher rates after property upgrades.

A critical element in this process is partnering with experienced professionals who understand nuanced differences between markets and asset types; Brian Properties' extensive background in managing diverse commercial estates across retail, industrial, and office sectors positions us uniquely well-equipped to guide investors toward intelligent acquisitions aligned with their goals.

Leveraging Market Cycles

Engaging in Core Plus investing offers the advantage of flexibility throughout various economic cycles. Properties, known for their intrinsic value, can hold steady even during downturns, thanks in part to stable tenancy contracts that provide consistent income streams. Conversely, during upswings, strategic enhancements and broader market uplifts can lead to capital appreciation, allowing investors to benefit from both steady incomes and potential valuation gains upon exit if desired.

The expertise required in this field goes beyond simply identifying attractive buildings. It involves skillfully timing entry points to ensure clients benefit from cyclical movements, entering at low points that are poised to rebound swiftly, and exiting at peaks before potential declines occur. This strategy ensures a robust overall portfolio performance, regardless of the individual fortunes of specific assets at any given moment.

Professionals in this field must possess a deep understanding of market dynamics to navigate these cycles effectively. By doing so, they guarantee that client portfolios are not only resilient but also primed for growth amidst the ever-shifting real estate landscape.

Value +  spelled out with wooden blocksValue Add

Value-add commercial real estate is a strategy where investors see the potential for asset enhancement. By making strategic improvements, they can boost income and increase property value. This approach often involves acquiring properties that have below-market rents or need physical upgrades.

For landlords looking to expand their portfolio, value-add investments offer an appealing balance of risk and reward. With the right enhancements, these properties can transition into higher-performing assets with greater yields.

The Process of Adding Value

Adding value takes skillful execution starting from acquisition through to management. It usually includes repositioning the asset in its market by implementing renovations or building amenities that attract tenants willing to pay more.

Enhancing common areas and updating systems are common strategies for increasing property value. However, what truly sets this investment apart is customizing improvements to meet the unique demands of tenants in your specific market. Whether it's providing tech-ready office spaces or eco-friendly industrial facilities, tailoring these enhancements will make your investment truly shine.

Finding Opportunities

The key lies in finding properties ripe for improvement without overextending on costs. Often these are buildings with strong fundamentals like location and layout but may be underperforming due to neglect or outdated features.

Investors should look at markets with growing demand yet supply constraints which indicate room for rent growth once improvements are made—a perfect storm creating ideal conditions for a successful value-added play.

Risk Mitigation Strategies

Brian Properties brings expertise in identifying opportunities and devising strategies to mitigate risks associated with renovation projects. We analyze existing lease terms, maintaining financial flexibility with reserves for unexpected costs. We engage experienced contractors who understand the unique needs of commercial spaces.

Our nuanced understanding of local market dynamics greatly aids success in dealing directly with multi-family homes, retail centers, offices, or any other form of commercial space slated as a 'value add' prospect.


Opportunistic real estate investments represent the most aggressive strategy in commercial property acquisition. These deals typically involve significant rehabilitation, redevelopment, or ground-up development. Investors often aim for high returns to offset the higher risks associated with these types of projects.

The nature of opportunistic investing allows for creativity and vision. It is about transforming underperforming assets into profitable ventures through comprehensive renovation or complete redevelopment. The timeline on these projects can be lengthy and the financial commitments substantial; however, they also offer the potential for outsized gains.

The Risks and Rewards

Investors need a keen eye to spot diamonds in the rough—properties that may not look like much now but have immense potential. An opportunistic approach might involve converting an old warehouse into trendy lofts or repurposing a former retail space into a mixed-use development brimming with residential units and boutique stores.

While such undertakings come with greater exposure to market fluctuations and financing challenges, successful completion can lead to robust investor returns far exceeding those seen in more conservative strategies like core plus acquisitions.

Selecting Projects Wisely

Brian Properties excels at identifying prime opportunities within this investment spectrum by leveraging our decades-long expertise in managing complex transactions efficiently. Our team assesses each project's viability by considering location dynamics, economic forecasts, community needs—and how we can add value throughout every phase from concept to completion.

We work closely with investors who are ready to dive deep into hands-on asset transformation while navigating zoning laws, construction hurdles, and leasing cycles—all essential factors ensuring the long-term success of their investment venture.

Shaped notepad that says we can helpGet Help Selecting the Right One For You

Choosing the right commercial real estate investment strategy requires a deep understanding of the market, nuanced insights into property evaluations, and a personalized approach that aligns with your financial goals and risk appetite. At Brian Properties, we leverage our extensive experience and industry-leading techniques to guide you through this complex landscape.

Our team offers personalized brokerage services that begin with comprehensively assessing your portfolio. By examining factors such as current asset performance, market trends, and your long-term objectives, we develop a tailor-made plan that pinpoints which acquisition investments are best suited for you—be it Core Plus, Value Add, or Opportunistic strategies.

We don't just stop at strategy selection; our support extends to the execution phase. From identifying hidden gems in the market to providing access to our network of professional partners for property enhancements, we work tirelessly to ensure your investment journey is smooth, profitable, and aligned with your vision.

In a constantly evolving real estate market, having Brian Properties by your side means you're equipped with the knowledge, tools, and expertise to make data-driven decisions.



What are the classifications of investments?

In commercial real estate, investment classifications are typically divided into Core, Core Plus, Value Add, and Opportunistic. Core investments are low-risk with stable, modest returns, focusing on high-quality, well-located properties and reliable tenants. Core Plus investments carry slightly higher risk and offer the potential for higher returns. These involve properties with good fundamentals but may benefit from minor improvements or repositioning. Value-added investments involve moderate risks for higher returns, acquiring properties needing improvements or better management. Opportunistic investments carry the highest risk, aiming for high returns and requiring substantial repositioning or redevelopment to align with market demands.

What are some real estate Investments with the least risk?

Among the different types of commercial real estate investments, Core investments usually carry the least risk. These are typically premium properties in prime locations with high-quality, creditworthy tenants and long-term leases that provide reliable, stable cash flows and preservation of capital.


Unlock Your Path to Commercial Real Estate Success With Brian Properties

The commercial real estate market offers a diverse array of investment opportunities, each with its unique risk profile and potential for return. Core investments stand out for their stability and lower risk, Core Plus presents a balance of steady income and growth potential, Value Add strategies provide a chance to enhance and capitalize on underutilized properties, and Opportunistic investments offer the highest return potential at the expense of higher risks and involvement.

At Brian Properties, we specialize in aligning investment strategies with investor goals, leveraging market expertise to maximize outcomes while navigating risks. Whether you're looking to preserve capital, generate steady income, or pursue aggressive growth, our team is committed to guiding you through the intricacies of commercial real estate investment. With our tailored approach and seasoned insights, we are equipped to help you make informed choices that lead to successful, profitable investments in a market that is as complex as it is rewarding.

Ready to take the next step in your investment journey? Download our free guide, The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Acquisition & Syndication, to unlock invaluable insights and strategies for commercial real estate success.

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