Published May/June 2013
Contradictory idioms and tropes tend to get tossed around in the vernacular of business like a 4-year-old trying to decide what to have for lunch. (“I want pizza… Actually, ice cream. No, wait, peanut butter and jelly.”)
Arguably, no subject gets the religion-of-convenience treatment more so than adaptability. One minute companies are being told by armchair quarterbacks to “evolve or die,” the next they’re being taken to task for not “sticking to their knitting.”
In fact, as the REIT industry has proven for 50-plus years now, the strongest firms thrive precisely by knowing how to use their core competencies to adjust to changing times.
So long as commerce exists, the buildings to facilitate that commerce will exist, too. Even as the Internet gradually continues to dominate how people do business, it hasn’t eradicated the need for actual physical structures where they meet to both transact and interact. Nor will it ever.
The REIT industry continues to leverage the mechanisms built into the REIT approach to real estate investment to best meet those needs. By combining that flexibility with an underlying foundation of quality management and operating teams, REITs have assured that they will continue to play an integral role in the economy for a long time to come.