Don Wood, president and CEO of Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2015: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Wood received the NAREIT Industry Leadership Award at REITWorld 2015. The award is presented annually to a REIT executive who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the growth and betterment of the industry.
Wood offered advice for the next generation of REIT leaders.
“Enjoy the job. It’s an amazing opportunity in an amazing business,” Wood said.
Wood noted that after being with Federal Realty for 18 years, “I’m still blown away by what a good fundamental business we have here.”
Wood urged REIT industry executives to “be consistent, trust your people, find the best people you possibly can and give them a little bit more rope as they earn it.”
As for the biggest change in the REIT industry during his tenure at Federal Realty, Wood pointed to the growth of REITs as a mainstream investment.
“We’re not a specialty investment,” Wood said. “This is really important in terms of the way we think, it’s really important in terms of the quality of the management teams and the business plans that we run through. The good companies get better, and there are many more of them.”
Turning to sustainability, Wood described this aspect of the business as a “mindset."
"I don’t like to think of it as a special little place where you check the box,” he said.
Wood pointed out that when you start out with a mindset of long-term real estate ownership and development, rather than a mindset of flipping, “you naturally become sustainably focused.” He stressed that sustainability concepts mesh with the company’s broader goals of finding the most efficient ways to operate and build long-term viability.
“They work together. That is the mindset of our company from the top all the way through,” he said.