There is much to be said for specialization and having an expertise in investing.  That is particularly true for real estate investing.  A recent article in The Wall Street Journal by Sanette Tanaka, "Just This Once: Think Small," detailed why real estate agents do better when developing a specialty: all the benefits apply to investing in real estate, too, which is especially rewarding for a city like Chicago.

 In her Journal piece, Tanaka notes a study Professor Benny Waller, from Longwood University.  His research, published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, found many advantages for agents specializing in just one area.  These included: knowing the market, understanding the needs of clients, and establishing business relationships

All of those equally apply for investing in real estate in an area like Chicago.

Knowing the market is critical for any investing.  It is even more so for real estate.  An investor should know as much as possible as there is to know about where their money is going.  That is known as due diligence. This research is vital for purchasing any asset, but especially real estate.  A real estate investor wants to develop a solid foundation for knowing about all of the neighborhoods in an area.

When this knowledge base is created for a neighborhood, the investor understands the needs of the clients, the buyers or the renters.  That is critical in real estate: when a property sits empty, the mortgage is ticking away, even though no buyers or renters have been found.

There are plenty of buyers in Chicago now.  Real estate agents in the area lament a lack of inventory.  When a property does become available, there are often bidding wars featuring multiple offers.

To ensure that the most attractive property is bought in Chicago, or any area, passive investing with a long term horizon is the best approach for maximizing the gains.  

In the Chicago market, EquityBuild, a real estate investment firm, was founded by Jerry Cohen, its president, who has participated in more than 2000 real estate transactions as a principal since 1984.  From that experience, passive real estate investors benefit from the decades of experience in selecting the property that best fits their needs.  This is particularly true with the turnkey real estate properties that EquityBuild has purchased in the Chicago area, fixed up, secured a suitable tenant, and is now managing for the new buyers.  These turnkey properties can be single family homes or small apartment buildings providing rental income, for example.

To profit the most from real estate, passive investors with a long term approach will do the best.  That is generally true with all asset classes.  Making their investing even more lucrative will be developing an expertise in a specific market like Chicago, which is certainly rewarding those who own property there now.