Network Connections in REIT Markets
32 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2016
Date Written: 2015
Relationships play a central role across the spectrum of real estate transactions. Whether negotiating prices, securing funding, or acquiring permits, knowing the right people provides multiple channels to facilitate deal making. To better understand the role of relationships in real estate markets, we examine how the connectedness of REIT directors is associated with deal making, growth, and profitability. We find strong evidence that REIT connections are positively associated with both deal making and accounting based measures of profitability, however, those relations do not translate into better market returns or higher valuations. One explanation of these somewhat contradictory results is that connections also increase firm risk. Preliminary support for this conjecture is found through our examination of each firm’s implied cost of equity capital. Specifically, we find increasing connectedness is associated with a higher cost of equity capital. Thus, connections appear to offer both advantages and disadvantages to REIT managers and shareholders.
Keywords: REITs, Networks, Boards of Directors, Connections
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