Asked about the difference between REITs 10 years ago and today, Anatole Pevnev, a principal with the Townsend Group, said there's "a maturity aspect" that makes a difference. He said the REITs have been through economic downturns in 1998, 2000 and the current recession. "The fact they were able to raise $20 billion was a positive factor going forward," Pevnev said.

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