09/16/2013 | by

Once upon a time, “going viral” meant a couple days in bed and more chicken soup than you could stand. Today, it’s an endgame—the hope that an idea, product or video of your cat playing the piano strikes a chord that can be shared worldwide through the proliferation of connectivity now at our fingertips.

The REIT approach to real estate investment isn’t spreading as fast as that YouTube clip of the baby playing basketball, but there’s no doubt that REITs are gaining traction across the globe. U.S. REITs are taking their capital and management expertise abroad to unlock value and facilitate economic growth in rapidly maturing markets.

Meanwhile, governments around the world are embracing the REIT approach to commercial real estate investment in their own countries. Twenty-nine countries around the world have REIT-like regimes in place, including Ireland and South Africa, which adopted REIT laws this year.