Timothy Mihalik, president and CEO of Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE: IRET), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2014: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Investors Real Estate Trust operates a diversified portfolio of properties in the multifamily, office, health care, retail and industrial sectors. Its properties are located throughout 12 states in the Midwest.
Mihalik discussed the influence of the Bakken oil field, located in North Dakota, on the company’s performance.
“Bakken has had a fantastic impact,” Mihalik said. “Obviously, we’ve known that oil has been around in North Dakota for more than 50 years, and we’ve been a part of those markets through all of that time. But hydraulic fracking has really been a game changer.”
Mihalik noted that the Bakken oil field has triggered population growth, as well as growth in ancillary services. “A lot of those services have had an impact on the markets that we’re a part of,” he said.
Meanwhile, fundamentals in other Midwestern markets continue to be firm, according to Mihalik.
“The states that we’re a part of are seeing some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation," Mihalik said. "We’ve seen real income growth year over year. These are the kinds of things that you like to build a real estate portfolio around.”
Mihalik also commented on the company’s ability to pay a dividend for 174 straight quarters.
“We were really built on the backs of local shareholders within North Dakota, and we were committed to providing them a dividend. We are committed to that going forward,” he explained.