- January 1, 2015: Vol. 9, Number 1

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The glories of liquidity: Institutional investors can be in the REIT place at the REIT time

by Benjamin Cole

1 The real estate investment trust, or REIT, was until recently dismissed as the retail stock investor’s friend, a relatively predictable vehicle to earn some steady dividends and own the kind of properties that non-billionaires cannot. But with trillions of capital pouring into the vaults of institutional property investors (you pick the currency, it doesn’t seem to matter much), the prosaic REIT is getting a long second look from big-league real estate buyers — and is looking more royal with each passing day. The primary reason for the increasing institutional investor attention to REITs is a “problem” that many would like to have: too much money. With large amounts of money comes the need to diversify. But diversification requires time-consuming due diligence, and investing in actual property requires due diligence in spades, often in connection with partnerships and deal-making. Although the pockets of investors may appear bottomless, the time of institutio

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