Property trusts, or A-REITS as they are now known, don’t feature much as stocks for yield like they used to, but there are still some opportunities.

Prior to the global financial crisis, property trusts were the sector many investors were turning to for yield. At the time (think late 2007), many industrials were trading at sky-high valuations and their dividend yields were relatively low. By comparison, many property trusts had juiced up their returns by taking on tonnes of debt and were yielding 7%, 8% or higher.

Of course, we now know that it all ended in disaster, with a number going bust, while others were forced to raise billions in equity to prop up their balance sheets and consequently, yields sank and investors left the sector en-masse.

Typical examples such as Scentre Group Ltd (ASX: SCG) – which now owns 40 Westfield shopping malls in Australia and New Zealand – offers a yield of just 4.8%, and that’s unfranked.

Shopping Cntrs Austrls Prprty Gp Re Ltd (ASX: SCP) – which owns a number of Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) anchored shopping centres – has a yield of 5.4%, unfranked as well.

By comparison with the typical industrial shares paying decent fully franked dividends, it’s a no-brainer, and most investors would quickly by-pass these two A-REITs.

But there are still some A-REITs and property companies offering decent yields – some fully franked. Here are 4 potentially worthy shares…

360 Capital Industrial Fund (ASX: TIX) currently sports a yield of 8.5%, although it’s unfranked. 360 Capital Industrial is the largest pure rent collecting industrial A-REIT, having recently taken over another industrial trust I’ve mentioned before – Australian Industrial REIT.  That makes the business simpler to understand, holding 37 properties such as distribution centres and warehouses.

Villa World Ltd (ASX: VLW) builds and develops master planned estates along Australia’s East Coast, with the majority of sales coming from Queensland. The company recently paid an 8 cents per share fully franked dividend and expects to pay at least 18 cents per share for the 2016 financial year. At the current share price of $2.00, that equates to a yield of 9% – fully franked. Including franking credits, that’s a 12.8% grossed-up return.

Industrea REIT (ASX: IDR), another industrial property trust I noted in 2014, is still around and paying a yield of 7.4%. At the current price of $1.97, and an expected distribution of between 15.2 and 15.6 cents per security for the 2016 financial year, the yield is 7.7% (unfranked). 73% of Industrea’s income comes from Business Park properties with the remainder from industrial sites. The company is also diversified by state and tenant type, with 40% of assets in Queensland and 40% of tenants by income from multinational companies.

Last but by no means least is Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF), which is Australia’s only listed diversified agricultural property trust – giving investors the opportunity to gain diversified exposure to agriculture including wineries, poultry producers and almonds. A number of its tenants include well-known ASX-listed agricultural companies, but because Rural Funds owns and leases the property, it is not impacted as much by commodities prices. That also limits the upside to some extent, but investors will still be receiving a yield of around 6.5% at the current price of $1.37.

Foolish takeaway

Investors don’t always have to turn to the usual suspects when attractive yields are on offer in other sectors. Not only do they promise higher yields, but can also provide some diversification away from the top 20 shares.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.