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Changes in REIT Investment Strategy Following COVID-19

This paper examines the effects of COVID-19 on the Real Estate Investment Trust market. Regarded as a historically reliable and profitable investment, the pandemic has shown REIT investors that many sectors of real estate are not suited to withstand social and physical distancing. Real estate sectors like retail, office space, and lodging all experienced heavy losses due to restrictions and fear of catching the disease. Combining these factors with increased levels of remote work and digitalization suggests medium to long-term changes in the demand for various real estate classes. Through the study of workplace analytics, online shopping trends, societal behavioral changes, and individual company finances, new strategies for real estate investment have been determined to ensure REIT investment remains a profitable and reliable industry. This broad-view analysis was used to determine four REIT sectors that show long-term promise in the post-COVID-19 era: data center, cell tower/infrastructure, warehouse, and healthcare REITs. These findings will be useful for designing new investment strategies in the REIT industry to help investors navigate the changing real estate trends.