How does real estate investment trusts work?

What are real estate investment trusts or REITs and how do they work. Is there some law that give these trust some tax efficiency status and how can investors invest in these REITs. With the real estate market in the US the way as it is, is it a good time to invest in the property market through real estate... show more What are real estate investment trusts or REITs and how do they work. Is there some law that give these trust some tax efficiency status and how can investors invest in these REITs. With the real estate market in the US the way as it is, is it a good time to invest in the property market through real estate investment trusts. What kind of people manage these funds or trusts and what are their typical return on investments?