Industry FAQs

What is a REIT?

REITs - or Real Estate Investment Trusts - are corporations that combine the capital of many investors to acquire or provide financing for income-producing real estate. A corporation must meet several requirements in order to qualify as a REIT: among other things, it must have a minimum number of shareholders and widely dispersed share ownership; it must satisfy various asset and income tests; and it must distribute annually at least 90 percent of its taxable income, excluding capital gains, to its shareholders. When a corporation elects REIT status, it is permitted to deduct dividends paid to its shareholders from its federal tax bill.

What types of properties does a healthcare REIT own?

Healthcare REITs specialize in acquiring and owning healthcare-related properties such as seniors housing communities, medical office buildings, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals and life science laboratory office space. Healthcare REITs typically cannot operate the properties they own and, therefore, do not provide healthcare services.

You can find additional information on the various sectors that comprise the seniors housing and healthcare real estate industries at the following websites:

  • For REITs, visit the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) website at www.reit.com.
  • For seniors housing & care, visit the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) website at www.nic.org.
  • For seniors housing advocacy & political action, visit the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) website at www.seniorshousing.org.


Portfolio definitions FAQs

Low Acuity
High Acuity

Medical Office Buildings

Seniors Housing

Skilled Nursing Facilities |
Post-Acute Care

Long Term Acute Care
Hospitals | Independent
Rehabilitation Facilities

Medical Office Buildings

Asset Type Description

Medical Office Buildings (MOBs) do not provide inpatient long-term care and seniors housing. Rather, they are typically multi-story buildings on or near an acute hospital campus. They usually house several different unrelated medical practices, although they can be associated with a large single-specialty or multi-specialty group. MOB tenants include physicians, dentists, psychologists, therapists, and other healthcare providers, with space devoted to patient examination and treatment, diagnostic imaging, outpatient surgery, and other outpatient services.


  • Cash Flow Stability. Unlike the office building industry but just like the long term care and seniors housing industry, the continuous need for healthcare tends to make MOBs relatively immune to economic and other cycles.

  • Shifting to Outpatient Services. Outpatient services can be provided at a lower cost in a medical office building than in the hospitals because MOBs can be constructed at lower costs and do not have to conform to stringent building code requirements for hospitals. Patient demands for “one stop” shopping of health services have also generated greater demand for medical offices.

  • Lower Vacancy Rates. Occupancy rates have been approximately 90% for MOBs and vacancy rates have historically been lower than general office buildings.

Why invest in a publicly-traded REIT?

  • Income & Long-term Growth. REITs provide competitive long-term rates of return that complement" the returns from other stocks and from bonds.
  • High Dividend Yield. Significantly higher on average than other equities, the industry’s dividend" yields historically have produced a steady stream of income through a variety of market conditions.
  • Liquidity. Shares of publicly traded REITs are readily converted into cash because they are traded" on the major stock exchanges.
  • Oversight. Independent directors of the REIT, independent analysts, independent auditors and the" business and financial media monitor a publicly traded REIT’s financial reporting on a regular basis. This scrutiny provides investors with a measure of protection and more than one barometer of the REIT’s financial condition.
  • Transparency. REITs whose securities are registered with the SEC are required to make regular disclosures, including quarterly and yearly financial reports.

What is Funds From Operations (FFO)?

Funds From Operations (FFO) is a supplemental measure of a REIT’s operating performance. FFO is different from corporate "earnings" as typically reported by other companies. NAREIT defines FFO as net income (computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) excluding gains or losses from sales of real estate property, including gain on re-measurement of equity method investments, and impairment write-downs of depreciable real estate, plus real estate depreciation and amortization, and after adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures. FFO and normalized FFO allow investors, analysts and management to compare a REIT’s operating performance between periods and with the operating performance of other REITs without having to account for differences caused by unanticipated items and other events such as transactions and litigation.

Investor Relations FAQs

Where is Ventas’s stock traded?

Ventas’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "VTR".

How frequently does Ventas pay a dividend on its stock?

Historically, Ventas’s Board of Directors has authorized the payment of a quarterly cash dividend on Ventas common stock. The Board considers many factors when making decisions regarding the nature, frequency and amount of dividends, and Ventas cannot make any assurances that it will maintain the practice of paying regular quarterly dividends in the future.

Will dividend income be reported on a Form 1099?

Yes, Ventas will report dividend income to stockholders and the IRS. For Ventas stock is held in direct registration with the transfer agent or in certificate form, the Form 1099 will be mailed out by the transfer agent. For Ventas stock held in a brokerage account, the Form 1099 will be prepared and mailed out by the broker.

Who is Ventas’s transfer agent?

EQ Shareowner Services (formerly known as Wells Fargo Shareowner Services) is the transfer agent for Ventas common stock.

When does Ventas’s fiscal year end?

Ventas’s fiscal year ends on December 31st.