07/27/2023 | by Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Gene Rubin, president of management consultancy firm Rivel, joined the latest episode of Nareit’s REIT Report podcast to talk about strategic investor communications and investor engagement in the REIT space.

Rivel recently carried out a generalist investor perception study on the REIT industry and Rubin discussed some of the findings that emerged. He noted that the outlook for REITs as an investment class in North America has “improved significantly” since a similar survey was undertaken in 2018. In the previous survey, over half of respondents said they were underweight in REITs, compared to about 40% this time.

The recent survey also showed that the largest increase in terms of what factors are driving investment decisions today was in FFO growth, Rubin said, and that generalist investors are “very much up to speed” on REITs as an investment.

“Any REIT that can simplify their story and help the generalist investor communicate that message to their investment committee wins the game when it comes to engagement and proliferation of their story,” Rubin said.

He added that as markets begin to recover, this is an opportunity for REITs to “hone their story and capture the attention of the investors that for a decade perhaps have been overlooking the space and figure out a way to connect the things that investors have begun to really appreciate about growth opportunities from tech, and at the same time wrap it with some of the consistency and some of the reliability that is brought to the table with REIT investment.”

During the interview, Rubin also addressed whether REITs are having to work harder to get their message out in today’s investment climate, the best ways to measure the success of investment engagement efforts, the importance of buy-side corporate access, ways to attract Gen Z investors, and more.

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