Tom Wilkin, U.S. REIT leader at PwC, participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITworks: 2021 Conference.
Wilkin reflected on the 60-plus year history of the REIT industry and the many challenges it has faced over the years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that “through it all, the REIT industry has been very resilient.”
“Certain property types were impacted more than others [by the pandemic]. For example, hospitality, retail, and CBD office were hit very hard operationally, while industrial and residential didn’t get hit as hard,” Wilkin said. “Fortunately [though], most REITs were able to adapt to the changes needed, not that it has been easy for anybody.”
Turning to REIT M&A, Wilkin said that deals in the year ahead will likely depend on the sector and how it has fared amid the pandemic.
“We’re also seeing a flood of private capital in the real estate market, and that brings an increase in public-to-private transactions,” he noted.
Wilkin also discussed how PwC recently underwent a reorganization to more efficiently align its business under two primary vehicles: trust solutions and consulting solutions.
“In making this change, we looked at what was happening in the market and our clients’ needs,” Wilkin said. “We think that companies that are going to succeed are going to have to invest in their people in order to have a nimble and productive workforce.”