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Glossary

Our glossary of industry terms is one of the most visited sections of our site. We work continually to keep it current and are always adding new terms. In addition, if you ever can't find an industry word you are looking for, let us know. We'll research it and add it for you.


  • Rating

    Grade, assigned by a rating agency, designating the credit quality or creditworthiness of the underlying assets.

  • Rating agencies

    Independent firms engaged to rate the creditworthiness of securities for the benefit of investors. The major rating agencies are Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service.

  • Raw land

    Unimproved land that remains in its natural state.

  • Raw space

    Unimproved shell space in a building.

  • Real Assets

    Real assets are often defined as physical or tangible assets that have intrinsic value and tend to provide a "real return", often linked to inflation. This definition encompasses a wide range of investments, including real estate, infrastructure, timberlands, agrilands, commodities, precious metals and natural resources. Real assets also appeal to investors because of their low correlation to traditional stocks and bonds. 

  • Real estate fundamentals

    The factors driving the value of real property (i.e., the supply, demand and pricing for land and/or developed space in a given geographic or economic region or market).

  • Real property

    Land, and generally whatever is erected or affixed to the land that would be personal property if not attached.

  • Real rate of return

    Yield to investors net of an inflationary factor. The formula for calculating the real rate of return is [(1 + nominal yield) / (1 + inflation rate)] - 1.

  • Recapture

    When the IRS recovers the tax benefit of a deduction or a credit previously taken by a taxpayer, which is often a factor in foreclosure because there is a forgiveness of debt. As used in leases, it is a clause giving the lessor a percentage of profits above a fixed amount of rent; or in a percentage lease, a clause granting the landlord the right to terminate the lease if the tenant fails to realize minimum sales.

  • Recourse

    The right of a lender, in the event of default by the borrower, to recover against the personal assets of a party who is secondarily liable for the debt.

  • Red herring

    The preliminary prospectus for an initial public offering. Before the registration statement becomes effective, underwriters may use the preliminary prospectus to market the offering. The preliminary prospectus, however, must bear a legend printed in red ink stating that the offering has been filed but is not yet effective.

  • Regional diversification

    Definitions for what constitute various regions, for diversification purposes, vary among managers, consultants and plan sponsors. Some boundaries are defined based purely on geography; others have attempted to define boundaries along economic lines.

  • Registration statement

    Forms filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (or the appropriate state regulatory agency) in connection with a proposed offering of new securities or the listing of outstanding securities on a national exchange.

  • Rehab

    Extensive renovation intended to cure obsolescence of a building or project.

  • REIT (Real estate investment trust)

    A business trust or corporation that combines the capital of many investors to acquire or provide financing for real estate. A corporation or trust that qualifies for REIT status generally does not pay corporate income tax to the IRS. Instead, it pays out at least 90 percent of its taxable income in the form of dividends.

  • REMIC (Real estate mortgage investment conduit)

    A product of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, REMICs are designed to hold a pool of mortgages for the exclusive purpose of issuing multiple classes of mortgage-backed securities in a way that avoids a corporate double tax.

  • Renewal option

    A clause giving a tenant the right to extend the term of a lease.

  • Renewal probability

    Used to estimate leasing-related costs and downtime, it is the average percentage of tenants in a building that are expected to renew at market rental rates upon the expiration of their leases.

  • Rent

    Compensation or fee paid for the occupancy and use of any rental property, land, buildings, equipment, etc.

  • Rent commencement date

    The date on which a tenant begins paying rent.

  • Rent-up period

    The period following construction of a new building when tenants are actively being sought and the project is approaching its stabilized occupancy.

  • Rentable/usable ratio

    A building's total rentable area divided by its usable area. It represents the tenant's pro-rata share of the building's common areas and can determine the square footage upon which the tenant will pay rent. The inverse describes the proportion of space that an occupant can expect to actually use.

  • Rental concession

    What landlords offer tenants to secure their tenancy. While rental abatement is one form of a concession, there are many others such as increased tenant improvement allowance, signage, below-market rental rates and moving allowances.

  • Rental growth rate

    The expected trend in market rental rates over the period of analysis, expressed as an annual percentage increase.

  • REO (Real estate owned)

    Real estate owned by a savings institution as a result of default by borrowers and subsequent foreclosure by the institution.

  • Replacement cost

    The estimated current cost to construct a building with utility equivalent to the building being appraised, using modern materials and current standards, design and layout.

  • Replacement reserves

    An allowance that provides for the periodic replacement of building components that wear out more rapidly than the building itself and must be replaced during the building's economic life.

  • Request for proposal (RFP)

    A formal request, issued by a plan sponsor or its consultant, inviting investment managers to submit information on their firms' investment strategy, historical investment performance, current investment opportunities, investment management fees, other pension fund client relationships, etc. Firms that meet the qualifications are requested to make a formal presentation to the board of trustees and senior staff members. Finalists are chosen at the completion of this process, and contract negotiation begins.

  • Reserve account

    An account that a borrower has to fund to protect the lender. Examples include capital expenditure accounts and deferred maintenance accounts.

  • Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC)

    The RTC was established by Congress in 1989 to contain, manage and sell failed savings institutions and recover taxpayer funds through the management and sale of the institutions' assets.

  • Retail investor

    When used to describe an investor, retail refers to the nature of the distribution channel and the market for the services - selling interests directly to consumers.

  • Retention rate

    The percent of trailing 12-month earnings that have been ploughed back into the company. It is calculated as 100 minus the trailing 12-month payout ratio.

  • Return on assets

    The income after taxes for the trailing 12 months divided by the average total assets, expressed as a percentage.

  • Return on equity

    The income available to common stockholders for the trailing 12 months divided by the average common equity, expressed as a percentage.

  • Return on investments

    The trailing 12-month income after taxes divided by the average total long-term debt, other long-term liabilities and shareholders equity, expressed as a percentage.

  • Reversion capitalization rate

    The capitalization rate used to determine reversion value.

  • Reversion value

     A lump-sum benefit that an investor receives or expects to receive at the termination of an investment.

  • RevPAR (Revenue per available room)

    Total room revenue for the period divided by the average number of available rooms in a hospitality facility.

  • Risk management

    A systematic approach to identifying and separating insurable risks from non-insurable risks, and evaluating the availability and costs of purchasing third-party insurance.

  • Risk-adjusted rate of return

    Used to identify investment alternatives that can be expected to deliver a positive premium, after taking into consideration the expected volatility. The risk-adjusted rate of return is defined as the expected rate of return of a given asset, less the expected return for T-bills, divided by the expected standard deviation of the returns for the assets.

  • Road show

    A tour made by executives of a company that plans to go public, where they travel to various cities to meet with underwriters and analysts and make presentations regarding their company and IPO. The road show takes place during the marketing period before the registration statement becomes effective.

  • Roll-over risk

    The risk that a tenant's lease will not be renewed.