The market's fall the last few days has been a jarring one -- I have a couple of bruises to prove it. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have been hit harder than most sectors, especially as the market for mortgage-backed securities has tightened.

Shopping center REIT Kimco (NYSE:KIM), which reported an impressive quarter on Friday, has bucked the trend a bit, even though its shares have fallen 4% in the last five days. It helps that funds from operations (FFO) increased 31%, but the company was also upbeat about the future.

Like other top-shelf REITs such as Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP) and Simon Properties (NYSE:SPG), Kimco does a masterful job of managing and developing its properties. But Kimco's model has a few points that give it a bit more security in the world of retail. Kimco's core has always been the company's ability to identify properties that are underutilized, with below-market rents, and gradually bring them up to market, dramatically increasing the cash flow and value of the properties. The second point is the recurring management fees the company earns from properties where it partners with investors in the purchase of the property and earns management fees. The third point is the company's ability to take its expertise in developing retail properties and successfully pair it with local market experts in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Chile.

The various facets of the company's business allow it to throw off plenty of cash that it can reinvest in its domestic business, abroad, or in more opportunistic transactions. Kimco might slow down in a soft market, but a soft market would overall give it more opportunities to put its cash flow to work.

The yield is attractive, too. Tack on a recent 11% increase in the dividend and a share price that is 32% off its high, and you get a yield that is now 4.3%. That is below the treasuries, which some argue is too low for a REIT, but for a top-flight REIT that can increase its cash flows and dividends on a recurring basis, it seems like a reasonable price to me.

Read more on REITs right here:

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Nathan Parmelee does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.