Who Follows REITs?

Publication Date


Document Type



Elizabeth Devos, Erik Devos, Seow Eng Ong, and Andrew C. Spieler (2016) Who Follows REITs?. Journal of Real Estate Research: 2016, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 129-163.


In this paper, we provide evidence that investment bank analysts active in underwriting services at full-service and syndicate banks are the primary issuers of real estate investment trusts' (REITs') recommendations. Analysts at brokerage houses and independent research houses rarely issue REIT recommendations, which suggests that underwriting activities drive issue recommendations for REITs. We also find these recommendations are optimistic after Regulation FD. Non-REIT recommendations differ in the type of issuer and the level of optimism. These systematic differences do not diminish over time. Additional analysis finds book runners of a REIT SEO are more optimistic but that reputational concerns may curb some of the optimism.