REITs Innovating to Support
Their Stakeholders

June 30, 2020

REITs Innovating to Support Their Stakeholders

Last quarter we wrote about the innovative ways REITs were helping their stakeholders in the early days of the pandemic. We return to this theme and share more examples of REITs leading the way. REITs are showing that respect for human dignity is part of any response to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID.


Boston Properties hired acclaimed public health researcher Harvard Professor Joseph Allen to consult on the company’s Health Security Plan. The plan was rolled out to building managers and office tenants to ensure a safe return to the workplace. It is publicly available so that others can avoid “sick buildings”.

Great Portland Estates never fully closed access to its Central London properties. GPE released a guide for tenants called “Return to the Workplace” which focused on social distancing and touchless entry. GPE supported all workers to safely work from home and surveyed their employees to understand better challenges workers were facing. GPE has run a series of online well-being seminars for employees as well as “pub quiz” gatherings to help employees connect socially.


Ventas, Inc’s portfolio is approximately 1/3 senior housing. Management and operators initiated discussions early and this was key to responding effectively; they restricted external visitors from the outset of the pandemic. Ventas setup a dedicated resource website for their tenants in response to COVID. Ventas is proactively securing COVID testing for operators’ employees and residents at all of their facilities.


Hersha Hospitality Trust offered its Manhattan hotel properties to house frontline healthcare workers during the spring peak of the coronavirus outbreak in NYC; 90% of their rooms were filled with essential workers. They also contracted with the local government to provide discounted rates for the New York Police Department and the New York Fire Department. In lower Manhattan, Hersha contracted with NY Presbyterian hospitals to house nurses and doctors who didn’t want to return home to potentially expose their families to COVID. Outside the NY metro area, one Hersha hotel housed the homeless.

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust was forced to close most of its hotels during the height of US shutdowns in March and April. All corporate employees took pay cuts to avoid layoffs. Additionally, management paid furloughed hotel employees health benefits through the end of June.


Gecina, a French REIT with a diversified portfolio of office, retail and residential accommodation, offered their unoccupied student accommodations to healthcare workers and victims of domestic violence.

The companies highlighted above are held by the Vert Global Sustainable Real Estate Fund as of June 30, 2020 in following amounts: Boston Properties 2.12%, Great Portland Estates 0.24%, Ventas Inc. 2.14%, Hersha Hospitality Trust 0.02%, Pebblebrook 0.19%, Gecina 0.85%.

Fund holdings and/or sector allocations are subject to change at any time and are not recommendations to buy or sell any security. Current and future holdings are subject to change.

Please refer to the Prospectus for full risk disclosures. All data as of June 30, 2020 and subject to change daily.

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