Since starting A.CRE, Michael and I have fielded email after email requesting a more structured real estate financial modeling training program on the site.

Important Note: We’re updating and adding to the Accelerator every week. Since launch, we’ve made dozens of content updates, added a bonus/optional Advanced Concepts in Real Estate Financial Modeling course, responded to 100+ topics raised in the Accelerator forums to date, and more. Click here to view the changelog and see what’s new in the Accelerator.

Over the years, we’ve covered hundreds of real estate modeling topics in our blog, published hours of video, and shared 50+ real estate Excel models in our Library. Nonetheless, no matter how many posts we publish or models we share, we continue to get the same questions. What does it take to become fully proficient? What do I focus on and in what order?

So about a year ago we set out to provide a solution, and today we’re excited to share it with you – The A.CRE Real Estate Financial Modeling Accelerator. The Accelerator is a series of 16 case-based courses, with all new content exclusive to Accelerator members, that prioritizes the right information in the ideal order.




What is the Real Estate Financial Modeling Accelerator?

The Accelerator is a reasonably priced, 16 course, case-based and on-demand training program tailored to two proficiency levels.

To those with limited real estate financial modeling skills looking to model their own deals, transition to a completely different role in CRE, or land their first job in industry.

And to those with intermediate modeling skills but gaps in their knowledge (e.g. lacking institutional modeling experience, certain property type expertise, etc.).

Furthermore, going forward we intend to add increasingly more advanced modules to the program. These modules will allow you to pursue greater property type, job role, or investment type specialization.

Accelerator – More Than Just Real Estate Financial Modeling Courses

When we started, what we didn’t want to end up with was a typical online real estate financial modeling course. We’ve all taken them and while they are a piece of the puzzle, they lack the sort of true-to-life application that leads one to true proficiency.

On top of that, Michael and I have already covered virtually every concept on our blog. Thus, creating a compilation of our 200+ posts may have been a profitable exercise, but it wouldn’t have created the value we would have wanted when we were at the early stage of our professional development.

And so we’ve set out to develop something different. An Accelerator.

Accelerator (noun): “a person or thing that causes something to happen or develop more quickly.”

An accelerator is meant to help someone who’s already on their way to get to their destination faster and more efficiently. Think of it as a toll road (or express lane) for real estate financial modeling learning.

You could read all 200 of our blog posts, take apart all 50 of our real estate models, and eventually you’d get there. Or you could cut to the chase, spend 8 to 12 solid weeks with the A.CRE Accelerator, and get there much faster.

In short, the goal of the Accelerator is to bring laser-focus to the process. To teach you the right information in the right order. To help you learn to model real estate in a fraction of the time without wasting energy on irrelevant information.

 A Real-World Curriculum

Michael and I believe that you don’t truly learn real estate financial modeling until you actually do it in the real world.

The challenge is, most employers expect you to already have the skills before they interview you. And since most schools only teach the theoretical and the online courses are lacking in depth and applicability, most of us are left to our own devices to learn.

To accelerate the learning process, we’ve developed a case-based curriculum that focuses on what really goes on out here.

In our combined 25 years in real estate, we’ve modeled hundreds of institutional deals worth $20+ billion; saying nothing of the thousands of hours spent on A.CRE projects. We’ve worked carefully to create course content that parallels the realities of the industry.

For example, many of the hypothetical deals used in the Accelerator come from our hypothetical brokerage firm – East Lang Ellis.

East Lang Ellis – The fictitious brokerage firm providing the offerings for the Accelerator case studies.

For many of the case studies, this hypothetical firm shares a link to a deal War Room where you’ll find realistic looking offering (or financing) memoranda, operating statements, rent rolls, and other deal-specific documents.

Furthermore, the cases use real-to-life jargon, processes, and examples so that you learn real estate financial modeling as if an actual boss was giving you real deals to underwrite.

Modern, Easy-to-Navigate, Proprietary Interface

Besides developing true-to-life content, having a learning interface that was attractive, easy-to-navigate, and housed within our Adventures in CRE site was essential. This piece took some time to come together, and we continue to make regular improvements based on feedback from Accelerator members. But thanks to a couple of people far more technically capable than we are, we have a learning platform we’re really excited about.


What’s New – Accelerator Changelog

Accelerator member? Click here to view Changelog with links to new features

September 2019

  • Minor update to the ‘Guide to Getting Started’
  • Updated Boss’ Notes in Course 1 to clear up confusion around Gross Potential Revenue vs. Gross Market Rent
  • A video response to a forum question about modeling multifamily lease-up during construction
  • In response to a forum question, the guys offer one methodology for determining the discount rate to use when calculating the present value of a tax abatement benefit

August 2019

  • Released ‘Considerations in Portfolio-Level Modeling’ module in the Advanced Concepts course
  • Prior quiz results are now archived after each attempt so you can see past results
  • Added functionality to be able to review quiz results after completion
  • In response to a forum post, Spencer created a quick tutorial for partitioning the IRR of an investment with a mid-hold cash-out refinance
  • A forum question and multiple responses around how to calculate cash-on-cash return in the context of a construction loan takeout with equity proceeds
  • Released ‘Modeling Partnership Crystallization / Ownership Reset’ module in the Advanced Concepts course
  • Misc. updates to 6. Introduction to Development Cash Flow Modeling
  • 15 new topics added to the Accelerator forums

July 2019

  • Added link to the A.CRE Job Board in the main menu; A.CRE Jobs is a great free resource for Accelerator members to search for jobs in CRE
  • Released ‘Add a Recalculate Button to Your Development Model with Non-Circular References’ module in the Advanced Concepts course
  • In response to a forum post, Michael uploaded a video where he expands on the discussion of adding a Circuit Breaker when using circular references in Excel
  • A greater explanation of the logic used to calculate GP Distribution is now provided in Lecture 2.3 of Course 8. Introduction to Partnership-Level (Waterfall) Modeling
  • Update Accelerator Member home page to include button to Accelerator Forums
  • Revamped Hotel Income Statement course to provide greater clarity and improve video tutorials
  • Updated video to Course 7, Lecture 3.5 – Projecting Debt And The Interest Reserve Over the Development Period – Without Circular References – to improve debt cumulative balance calculation formula.
  • In response to a forum post, Spencer uploaded a video tutorial of two methods for modeling residential lease-up
  • Added video to lecture 2.3 of ’11. Solving a Real Estate Financial Modeling Test’ showing an alternative (and preferred) method for calculating the mezzanine loan debt service payment in this case
  • 19 new topics added to the Accelerator forums

June 2019

  • Created ‘What’s New – Accelerator Changelog’ page for helping users track changes and be made aware of new features
    • Edited ‘Guide to Getting Started’ with link to Accelerator Changelog page
    • Added links to Changelog on member home screen
  • Released ‘One Technique for Modeling an LP Clawback Provision’ module in Advanced Concepts course
  • Released ‘Modeling a Construction Loan Takeout’ module in the Advanced Concepts course
  • In the ‘Guide to Getting Started’, combined “More Than Just a Real Estate Financial Modeling Course” lecture with the “What is the Accelerator?” lecture
  • Updated ‘Key-Excel-Functions.xlsx’ to ‘Key-Excel-Functions-v1.1.xlsx’, a Workbook included in the Guide to Getting Started, fixes issue where INDEX/MATCH, VLOOKUP, and HLOOKUP were not calculating correctly
  • In response to a forum question, uploaded a video tutorial for adding an Operating Shortfall to my ‘Watch Me Complete’ a WSO REPE Modeling Test
  • Added two new forums
    • Non-Course Specific Real Estate Financial Modeling Questions
    • Careers in Real Estate Questions
  • Added a discussion around IRR*12 vs XIRR in partnership-level waterfall modeling. This can be found under the heading ‘A Comment on IRR Calculation Methods’ in lecture 2.3 of ‘8. Introduction to Partnership-Level (Waterfall) Modeling’
  • 11 new topics added to the Accelerator forums
  • Misc. content updates and bug fixes

May 2019

  • Added enhanced search feature to make finding information in forums and courses faster and easier
    • Added to main menu, page sidebar and course sidebar
    • In-lecture search functionality to be released in June 2019
  • Released ‘Two Techniques for Modeling a GP Catch Up Provision’ module in Advanced Concepts course
  • 17 topics added to the Accelerator forums
  • Implemented various server-side enhancements and adjustments to improve website speed

April 2019

  • Released ‘Real Estate Sensitivity Analysis Using a Data Table in Excel’ module in Advanced Concepts course
  • Released ‘Modeling Multiple Tranches of Capital Sources Dynamically’ module in Advanced Concepts course
  • 24 topics added to the Accelerator forums
  • Misc. content updates and bug fixes

March 2019

  • Added ‘Advanced Concepts in Real Estate Financial Modeling’ course layout and curriculum
  • Released ‘Introduction to Advanced Concepts’ module in Advanced Concepts course
  • Released ‘Modeling Floating (Variable) Rate Debt’ module in Advanced Concepts course
  • 31 topics added to the Accelerator forums
  • Misc. content updates and bug fixes

February 2019

  • 20 topics added to the Accelerator forums
  • Fixed an issue where courses we’re not appearing properly for some users
  • Visual enhancements to Learning Dashboard
  • Various content updates and Excel model bug fixes

January 2019

  • Initial launch of 16 core Accelerator courses and Accelerator forums
  • 31 topics added to the Accelerator forums
  • Various content updates and Excel model bug fixes

About the Author: Born and raised in the Northwest United States, Spencer Burton has over 15 years of real estate investment and development experience. In his current position, Spencer assesses new acquisition, development, and debt opportunities for a $45bn real estate fund. He resides in Dallas, TX.