01/10/2012 | by
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Investors Real Estate Trust Active in the Midwest
Investors Real Estate Trust (NASDAQ: IRET) enjoys the lack of volatility in the Midwestern markets, according to Tim Mihalick, president and CEO of the North Dakota based company.

In a video interview with REIT.com at REITWorld 2011: NAREIT's Annual Convention For All Things REIT in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole hotel in November, Mihalick pointed out the advantages, challenges and fundamentals in the Midwestern market.

"The Midwest seems to lag. When the coastal markets are doing well we are struggling and when the coastal markets are struggling, we are coming back," Mihalick said. "Now we are starting to pick back up."

He said there's currently a "tremendous opportunity" in North Dakota where there are almost 18,000 job that need to be filled in the oil industry. Whether it's warehouse, industrial or commercial, Mihalick added that energy companies are coming into the state and are looking for space.

Investors Real Estate Trust focuses on 13 markets including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. He said the company likes the fact that there's not a lot of volatility in those markets.

"They are kind of somewhat off the map from most REITs but within a less volatile market," Mihalick said. "I think that's allowed us to find acquisitions in those markets where you don't see the normal player that you would from a REIT perspective."

When it comes to dividends, Mihalick said the company believes that paying a steady and reliable dividend is important. He added that the 40-year old company began with retail based shareholders who relied on its dividends.

"We felt it's important to continue to pay that, so we managed to pay 160 consecutive quarterly dividends," he said.