REITs@50: Industry Reflections, David Simon of Simon Property Group

As part of our REITs@50 Anniversary celebration, sat down with David Simon, chairman and CEO of Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) and former NAREIT chair, to get his thoughts on how far REITs have come, where they are going and NAREIT's role in the evolution of the industry. 

"NAREIT has brought the real estate public company to a new level," Simon said. "We're in the S&P 500, we're widely owned institutionally, we get terrific media coverage, and we've got broad diverse investors. It has taken the real estate world and brought it up to the industry standard that you'd see in consumer products companies and telecommunication industries and so on. It has taken the real estate business to that next corporate level."

Simon expressed his thought that thanks to listed REITs, REITs in general have become the preferred way to invest in the commercial real estate market thanks in large part to the strong management teams and diversified portfolios that they offer.

Given the progression of REITs in the Modern Era, Simon is confidant that that growth will continue in the future.

"We will get more and more mainstream in terms of portfolio allocation," Simon says. "And hopefully continue to be an investment of choice for retail and institutional investors."