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Inland American Enhancing Transparency

06/24/2013 | By Mitch Irzinski

Thomas McGuinness, president of Inland American Real Estate Trust, joined REIT.com for a video interview in Chicago at REITWeek 2013: NAREIT’s Investor Forum.

Inland American owns a diversified portfolio of assets across a variety of segments. McGuinness shared his opinion regarding which areas he expects to have the strongest returns for the remainder of the year.

“We have three asset classes that we are starting to rotate into,” he said. “That’s student housing, retail—primarily  necessity-based—and then also hotels. We think those are areas that not only do we have core competency, but we have built a platform of people who have phenomenal expertise in those areas. And we think, especially in the area of hotels, because the lease term is one day, you’re able to raise the rents very, very quickly. We think, once we get into maybe a reasonable inflationary time period, that there’s going to be a nice return to our investors.”

McGuinness talked about the strategy behind his firm joint venture with the PGGM Private Real Estate fund.

“First of all, we are excited to work with a phenomenal global partner in PGGM,” he said. “They are a very good partner because they are real estate people first and foremost. It gives us the ability to expand into our core markets, which are primarily Oklahoma and Texas, in a core asset class that we think we have phenomenal competency in.”

McGuinness also discussed the increased focus on transparency.

“We break our communications down into two buckets,” he said. “First is kind of the old school, because we do have an elderly base, and that’s things like an 800 number, letters, mailers, flyers, et cetera. But we do have some younger constituents, so we are working on things like video—we’ll be expanding that in the future—and maybe even expanding onto some social media in the future. We think that the transparency we are trying to achieve isn’t just necessarily within the communications, but also within all of our filings.”