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Jesse Serwer is managing editor of Real Estate New York.

NEW YORK CITY-Investors looking to take advantage of recent trends in the real estate market would do best to keep their options as diverse as possible, said speakers at Tuesday’s RealShare National Investor Forum hosted by Real Estate Media Network, parent company of GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum.

“We’re moving into self-storage, senior housing, student housing,” said Rick Schaupp, vice president with ING Clarion Partners, of his company’s moves toward diversifying its portfolio, during the “Winning In The Opportunistic Investment And Value-Add Game.”

Cia Buckley, president, US fund business at JER Realty, illustrated the approach behind her company’s recent buying spree while making the keynote address at Tuesday’s conference. “Our approach has been to target pockets of distressed properties,” Buckley said. “We are increasingly active in the healthcare sector. There’s emerging stability in the industry after a painful restructuring.”

The conference, held at Manhattan’s Roosevelt Hotel, also featured panels such as “Private Equity Update: Is Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Assets” and “Human Capital: Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Frenzied Investment Climate”, as well as Buckley’s keynote speech and an opening investment market snapshot provided by Hessam Nadji, managing director with Marcus & Millichap. Opening remarks were made by Michael Desiato, group publisher and editorial director at Real Estate Media.

During the National Investor Forum Power Panel, talk moved abroad as panelists weighed the benefits of investment in the US vs. European markets. “The baby boom in Europe started a lot later than in the US,” said Allan Saunderson, managing editor of the Germany-based Property Finance Europe, citing Germany and Italy as two European markets yet to fully emerge. Another market undergoing changes, said Saunderson, is the United Kingdom, where new legislation will soon establish that country’s first slate of REITs, though a number of publicly traded property companies already exist. “About 70% of them will translate into REITs because of the obvious tax breaks,” Saunderson said.

There is an opposite trend, however, in the US, where several major REITs controlled primarily by family interests have recently returned to operating as private companies.”The reason REITs came into existence was to save overleveraged development,” said Lee Neibart, senior partner with Apollo Real Estate Advisors, during the National Investor Forum Power Panel. “Those days are over: everyone is organized. If you’re private, all of the upside is yours so I think you will see everyone who can go private.”

Both Nadji and Buckley directed investors to look toward the office market, which was somewhat overlooked during the recent housing and retail booms. “We expect an increase in the underlying demand for office space partly because office development has been so restrained,” Buckley said.

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