07/25/2022 | by
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1315_Nareit Testimonials_REITweek_Schaeffer_2022-06-27_v3

Scott Schaeffer, CEO of Independence Realty Trust (NYSEMKT: IRT), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: 2022 Investor Conference in New York on June 7-9.

Schaeffer discussed Independence Realty Trust expertise in multi-family real estate, noting that the REIT’s management team has been together for many years and through multiple cycles.

“We really understand and think about what our residents want,” Schaeffer said. “We recognize that residential real estate is really a personal business—it’s far different from office or retail because you’re providing people’s homes.”

Schaeffer also talked about a recent Independence Realty Trust $250 million share repurchase authorization and increased quarterly dividends. He said the REIT has had strong FFO growth and its payout ratio from its dividend has become one of the lowest in the multi-family peer group.

“Since we see good growth going forward, our board decided that it was time to raise the dividend so that it was more in line with our other multi-family peers,” Schaeffer said. “As far as the buy-back, it really is just another tool in our capital allocation toolbox as we look to create value for the shareholders.”

Schaeffer said that Independence Realty Trust’s pre-pandemic long-term strategy of upgrading kitchens, baths, and common areas is “stronger than ever,” and that the REIT has 20,000 units in its value-add pipeline with the expectation of completing another 6,000 by the end of 2023.

“What we’re doing is we’re creating an A product that competes with the much newer buildings, but at a better price point for our residents,” he said.