Nareit’s REITworld: 2023 Conference convened more than 1,200 REIT leaders and industry professionals Nov. 14–16 in Los Angeles. Nareit wishes to extend its appreciation to the event’s 22 sponsors, including platinum sponsor Raymond James.
Continue reading for a recap of the general and concurrent session presentations as well as the awards that were given out at this year’s event.
Investor perspectives on REITs and the capital markets was the theme of the first lunch general session at Nareit’s REITworld. Nareit’s 2024 Chair Matt Kelly, CEO of JBG SMITH moderated the panel, which also featured: Jeff Horowitz, global head, real estate, gaming, and lodging, BofA Securities; Kerry Johnson, co-chair, U.S. real estate sector, DLA Piper LLP; Rick Romano, managing director, PGIM Real Estate; and Steve Sakwa, senior managing director and senior equity research analyst at Evercore ISI. Read more about this session.
At REITworld’s second lunch general session, REIT leaders discussed how new technology developments, including AI and data analytics, impact revenue management, customer acquisition, ongoing maintenance and repair, customer experience, and capital allocation. Laurel Durkay, head of global listed real assets at Morgan Stanley, moderated the session. Panel participants also included: Rukevbe Esi, senior vice president and chief digital officer at AvalonBay Communities; Chris Sharp, chief technology officer at Digital Realty; and James Whalen, senior vice president and chief information and technology officer at BXP. Read more about this session.
From Risk to Opportunity: Preparing REIT Communities for Climate Change
This session centered on REITs using data and climate risk management strategies to mitigate climate change effects. Panelists discussed the modeling and data resources available to help understand how extreme weather risks are affecting property valuations; the importance of assessing and implementing climate risk mitigation strategies on a property-by-property basis, and the leadership opportunities for REITs to develop and integrate environmental, social, and governance strategies within their businesses, buildings, and communities. Speakers included: Michael Chang, Host Hotels & Resorts; Matthew Eby, First Street Foundation; Joanna Frank, Center for Active Design & Adai; John Kempton, FHS Risk; and Jessica Long, Nareit.
Investor Perception Study: How Generalist Investors View REITs
During this panel, attendees gained insights about the evolution of the generalist investor landscape and how REITs can develop a narrative targeted to those investors. Speakers highlighted the change in generalist investors’ perception of REITs over the past five years; the key metrics and factors that drive value for generalist investors; the importance of keeping investor presentations simple; and the need to give investors a meaningful amount of time with REIT management. Speakers included: Tamara Fischer, National Storage Affiliates; Abby McCarthy, Nareit; and Gene Rubin, Rivel Research Group.
Economic Outlook: Performance of REITs and the Broader CRE Market
In this session, panelists focused on the macroeconomic environment and how REITs will fare in 2024. Speakers discussed the Federal Reserve’s path forward as it ends its tightening cycle; the divergence between public and private real estate market valuations; the tactical advantages that the valuation divergence offers REIT investors; expectations for REIT performance in 2024 and 2025; and the outlook for different REIT sectors. Speakers included: Archena Alagappan, Neuberger Berman; Thomas Arnold, Chapman University; John Bellows, Western Asset Management; and John Worth, Nareit.
Washington Update: Policies and Government Affairs Affecting REITs
During this panel, attendees learned about the latest legislative and policy developments that may affect REITs. Panelists discussed the legislative issues that Nareit is monitoring; Nareit’s policy priorities; the current political dynamics in Congress; key issues facing legislators; and the political factors shaping the 2024 election. Speakers included: Nareit’s Cathy Barré, Robert Dibblee John Jones, and Steven Lowrey.
Inclusive Innovation: How Socially Focused Strategies Drive ROI in CRE
In this session, panelists focused on how REITs can create an organizational culture that makes everyone feel valued and the benefits that creates. Speakers talked about the need to have clear, common definitions for social responsibility terms; the importance of implementing meaningful initiatives that make sense for where a REIT is in its social responsibility journey; and the benefits of conducting regular employee surveys and working with third party social responsibility experts. Speakers included: Anita Battle, Equinix, Inc.; Anna Malhari, Veris Residential; Shumeca Pickett, Alfred Dewitt Ard; Carey Roberts, Ventas, Inc.; and Jamaal Wright, Nuveen Real Estate.
In addition to hosting sessions and panel discussions, during the conference, Nareit announced awards for the industry’s sustainability work, social responsibility efforts, and leadership of and achievement within the REIT industry:
Nareit also announced the nine non-profits that will receive inaugural grants from the Nareit Foundation’s Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Giving Campaign.
Save the date for REITworld 2024 in Las Vegas Nov. 19–21, 2024, and sign up here for program and registration updates.