My Investment Strategy: Find Tenants Who Stay Put

After a career of nearly three decades investing in commercial real estate, it is my opinion that the sector performs best when these conditions exist: tenants are reluctant to leave because they have few options; developers have limited options to add new supply; and tenants’ demand for space is growing, requiring more real estate. Who are my dream tenants?

Before I identify them, let me back up. I invest in commercial real estate via real estate securities, which includes Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)1 and C-Corporations2.  Most of these companies typically specialize in one property type, giving investors the chance to invest in “pure plays” of property types they otherwise may not have investment access to, such as shopping malls, cell-tower networks, data centers, casinos or ski areas. Specialization requires that the people who put these securities together become experts in the underlying properties.

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1) A REIT (real estate investment trust) is a type of real estate company that mainly owns and operates income-producing real estate; some engage in financing real estate. Most REITs trade on major exchanges.

2) A C-Corporation generally refers to any corporation that is public and for-profit, unless the corporation elects the option to treat the corporation as a flow-through entity.

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