The ability to arrive at an optimum capital structure can be source of significant differentiator.
Conundrum: Since REITs do not benefit from interest tax shield the question is why have any debt at all? Spread between low cost financing and acquisition at high cap rates do increase earnings, but that also makes the REIT riskier , raises the cost of distress. The enterprise value of the REIT cannot change by taking on cheaper debt, so why take it? More debt also reduces flexibility to invest more opportunistically when property values fall etc. Having a zero debt REIT can be a very unique differentiator.