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Adam Cohen, senior vice president of tax at Safehold Inc. (NYSE: SAFE), participated in a video interview during Nareit’s REITwise: 2024 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference held March 19-21 in Hollywood, Florida.

Cohen discussed the key hurdles facing tax professionals in the real estate sector, emphasizing the critical need for streamlined data management and analytics. He highlighted the industry's struggle to modernize amid bespoke transactions and resource limitations.

According to Cohen, "The biggest issue is access to data and the organization of data." Real estate lags behind in data management compared to other sectors, impacting both SEC and tax reporting, he said. The sector's lean operational model poses a challenge, lacking the necessary workforce and budgets for large-scale transformations, he added.

Cohen emphasized the industry's manual approach within an increasingly automated landscape, with limited resources hindering training for new talent. He stressed the complexities of real estate transactions, each unique and nuanced, in complicating automation efforts.

Regarding long term incentive plans (LTIPs) within real estate, Cohen made the distinction between LTIPs and other equity compensation methods like restricted stock units. He noted that while senior executives often opt for LTIPs, junior employees lean towards restricted stock units, demonstrating flexibility in incentive offerings.