CEO of Multifamily REIT Independence Realty Says Shift to Renting Has Staying Power

Scott Schaeffer, chairman and CEO of Independence Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: IRT), joined Nareit for a video interview at REITworld 2017.

Independence Realty is a multifamily REIT with a strategy of owning B-class assets in non-gateway markets where there is a supply-demand imbalance, according to Schaeffer.

Schaeffer said he believes the current trend toward renting versus buying a home has “long-term staying power.”

Today’s tenant wants flexibility and affordability, according to Schaeffer. At the same time, uncertainty about tax code changes and whether there will be a limit on mortgage interest deductions or real estate tax deductions “really will impact people’s view of the rent-versus-buy analysis,” he said.

Schaeffer also said he anticipates “tremendous opportunity for increased operational performance” from the company’s recent purchase of nine apartment communities.

Meanwhile, the CEO said the decision to move to an internal management model means an immediate $2.5 million savings in general and administrative expenses; longer term, “it really does align management with shareholders for future growth.”

Schaeffer pointed out that the company’s access to capital has improved since the move to internalize management.