Julian Whitehurst, president and CEO of National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE: NNN), joined Nareit for a video interview at REITworld 2017.
National Retail owns single-tenant, broadly diversified retail properties across the United States.
Whitehurst commented on National Retail’s acquisition strategy. He noted that the company’s primary focus is on developing direct, off-market business relationships with growing regional and national retailers.
In return for building that business relationship, “we get a better leased document, better lease economics and self-selected real estate that the retailer chooses out of their portfolio to sell and lease back,” Whitehurst explained.
During the past few years, about 80 percent of National Retail’s investments have been through off-market business with these relationship retailers, Whitehurst said. “It’s provided us with a very stable pipeline of acquisition opportunities,” he noted.
Whitehurst stressed that per share growth is more important for National Retail than acquisition volume. “We’ve had consistent, multi-year mid-single digit core funds from operations (FFO) per share growth driven by this relationship pipeline,” he said.