As Spencer and I continue to flesh out the Adventures in CRE Glossary of Commercial Real Estate Terms, we thought it would be fun and useful to provide some of our readers who are just starting out in the industry with some practice flashcards. We hope you can use this as a tool to test yourself with common and not-so-common CRE terminology.  Every month or so, we will continue to put out a new deck of terms from our glossary. This series of flashcards may prove useful throughout your early career and particularly during the interview process.

We hope that these are helpful.

CRE Flashcards

 

Deck #1 – May 2018

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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Answer: 

Rentable area / usable area = load factor

Example: If a building has 50,000 sf of rentable area and 40,000 sf of usable area, the building has a load factor of 1.25 (50,000/40,000)

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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The discount rate at which the net present value of an investment is equal to zero. The internal rate of return is a time value of money metric, representing the true annual rate of earnings on an investment. In real estate practice, IRR is used together with other return metrics such as equity multiplecash-on-cash return, and average rate of return to compare real estate investments and make investment decisions.

Unlevered IRR or unleveraged IRR is the internal rate of return of a string of cash flows without financing.

Levered IRR or leveraged IRR is the internal rate of return of a string of cash flows with financing included.

The Internal Rate of Return is arrived at by using the same formula used to calculate net present value (NPV), but by setting net present value to zero and solving for discount rate r. In Excel, IRR can be calculated by using the IRR(), XIRR(), or MIRR functions.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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A reserve account held by the lender of a construction loan and used by the borrower to cover loan interest shortfalls during construction and lease-up. The interest reserve is funded via the initial proceeds from the construction loan, and is calculated based either on expected future draws or by means of a simple average estimate of the outstanding loan balance throughout the loan period.

 

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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A unit of land that equals 43,560 square feet, or 4,047 square meters.

 

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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A ratio expressing the relationship between a building’s floor area (currently built or permitted) and the land on which the property is located. A higher FAR ratio indicates a higher density (i.e. the more square feet legally permissible to be built on the land). For example, if a plot of land is 10,000 SF and there is a FAR of 6. The allowable buildable square footage is 60,000 (10,000 x 6).

 

 

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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In real estate, mezzanine debt or mezz, is a subordinate loan on real property secured by an interest in the entity that owns the real property rather than on the real property itself. In the event of default, because the entity rather than the real estate acts as collateral, the mezzanine lender is able to foreclose on the entity via a UCC foreclosure – a faster and less expensive process than a foreclosure on the real estate would be. In the capital stack, mezzanine debt falls between mortgage debt and equity. It carries a higher interest rate than more senior debt due to its riskier place in the capital stack.

 

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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Debt covenants are essentially rules written into the loan documents which govern the behaviour of a borrower once the debt is issued. There are 2 general types of covenants which either permit (affirmative covenant) or restrict (negative covenant) the borrower’s ability to perform certain actions. Should the borrower break a covenant, the lender typically has the legal right to call back the loan (i.e. demand repayment).

 

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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A form of loan guarantee only enforceable by a lender when certain default or credit events occur (e.g. if a borrower violates operating covenants, does not meet net worth requirements, files for voluntary bankruptcy, etc.). In springing recourse or springing liability, when such adverse events occur, the borrower’s guarantor (i.e. principal) becomes partially or fully liable for the loan obligation regardless of whether the loan is non-recourse or not.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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The partner that “sponsors” a real estate investment, this individual or company is responsible for finding, acquiring and managing the investment. The sponsor generally brings market and property type expertise and plays the primary management role, whilst third party investors (limited partners) typically take on a more passive investment role. The Sponsor is also referred to as the General Partner (GP).

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1
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A method of calculating a resident’s utility bill based on specific factors such as occupancy rate or apartment square footage and then billing the tenant for their share of utility use. It is often used when the installation of sub meters is not financially feasible (due to the large up front capital investment) or economically feasible (due to a poorly designed utility configuration). The practice is becoming increasingly common as landlords seek ways to increase revenue and limit their cost inflation risk.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #1

 

Deck #2 – June 2018

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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A return metric which shows how much an investor’s capital has grown over time. The equity multiple (EMx) is calculated by dividing the sum of all capital inflows (capital distributions) by the sum of all capital outflows (capital contributions). While the equity multiple does not account for the time value of money, it does describe the total cash returned to the investor and is thus often utilized alongside the internal rate of return in real estate investment analysis.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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A list of tenants in an income producing real estate asset and the property owners’ reflection of all the rental income derived from the tenants at a specific time (usually at the end of the month). The rent roll often includes other information related to the tenants, such as a description of the space being rented, lease start/expiry dates and any security deposits held.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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Also referred to as an “Inducement”, any preferential financial treatment offered by one party to another in a real estate transaction. In the case of a lease agreement, a concession most often takes the form of free rent for a period of time or an agreement by the landlord to waive certain charges such as parking charges or pet fees. These concessions are meant to induce the tenant to sign the lease. Concessions are most often used during initial lease-up (i.e. when a building first delivers) or during tenant-friendly periods in the market cycle to maintain rent rates.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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An expense used to upgrade a property which is expected to result in a long-term (longer than 1 year) improvement. Typical capital expenditures (CapEx) include roof repairs, HVAC replacement and other expenses generally related to the structural improvement of the building. For tax purposes, Capital Expenditures are capitalized and depreciated over a period of years with the length of the depreciable life varying depending on the capital item.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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Answer: 

An Option or Option Agreement is a formal agreement between a property owner and a potential buyer or lessee, in which the potential buyer or lessee usually pays the owner for the exclusive right to a negotiation in good faith over a certain time period for the purchase or lease of the property.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2

OPPORTUNISTIC (INVESTMENT STRATEGY)

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A real estate investment strategy categorized by high risk and high returns. Opportunistic real estate strategies typically involve a high degree of uncertainty, more volatility in cash flow and require greater subject matter expertise. These strategies will often employ more leverage and subject the investors to a greater probability of losing their capital. Opportunistic real estate investments are most often either ground-up developments or the redevelopment of properties to a higher and better use.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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Core Plus assets are properties that are otherwise Core assets, but with some component of risk (opportunity) attached to it. It may be a high street retail building with a tenant that takes 10% – 15% of the space vacating in 2 years and the space needs to be upgraded and re-leased. Or it could be an otherwise Core office tower located a bit outside of the prime office submarket with a lease or two that is a bit below market. A levered IRR for this risk profile could be between ~8% to ~13%.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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Answer: 

Core – (investment strategy)

A real estate investment strategy categorized by low risk and commensurately low, stable returns. Coreinvestment strategies typically involve longer hold periods, lower levels of leverage, and higher quality assets. Core investments are generally stabilized properties, with high occupancy rates and predictable cash flows. Investors of core real estate investments value stable, reliable and consistent cash flows over price appreciation.

Core – (structural)

The space in a multi-story building that commonly houses the elevators, stairwells, space for vertical MEP distribution, janitorial closets, and restrooms. It is common for buildings to have the core space in the center of the building, but the design and development team may sometimes elect to create a side core for various reasons such as if a central core would create inefficient floor plates that would not compete with the  market.

https://www.adventuresincre.com/glossary/core/ 

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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The gross amount of rent payable by a tenant less any costs incurred by the landlord in order to lease the space to the tenant. Such costs typically include leasing commissionstenant improvements and/or rent-free periods.

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2
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A real estate investment strategy categorized by medium-risk and medium returns. A Value-Add Strategy typically involves acquiring under-performing assets with upside potential and adding value through one or more repositioning strategies. These strategies may include property renovation, tenant realignment, operational improvements and re-tenanting strategies among others with the goal of boosting net operating income, and thus increasing the value of the property.

 

A.CRE Flashcards – Deck #2

 

Deck #3 – Coming Soon…