UPDATE: ARGUS stopped selling ARGUS DCF at the end of 2015 and will stop supporting the software all together in 2017. The company also no longer offers public training for DCF.

ARGUS DCF is was (see note on DCF’s discontinuation above) the industry standard software for modeling industrial, retail, and office leases. An ARGUS file accompanies most broker OMs, and commercial real estate professionals who underwrite real estate investments are expected to be proficient in the software. If you plan on working in real estate, you’re probably going to at least have to possess a basic working knowledge of ARGUS. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of affordable ARGUS training resources available. Altus Group, owner of the ARGUS software suite, does provide ARGUS DCF training courses but the cost and scheduling for their training options can be difficult to manage for many new real estate professionals or students on a shoe-string budget. Given this, I thought I’d share a few of the free online resources I’ve used to improve my ARGUS modeling skills.

Download ARGUS DCF Trial Software (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

Note: ARGUS has stopped selling their popular ARGUS DCF software, and as a result have taken down the link to the trial demo. Finding a copy to practice with has gotten more difficult. If you’re still set on learning DCF (which won’t exist much longer), I recommend using you’re schools ARGUS license (if you’re in college) or find a friend with a license who will let you practice on their machine for a few hours.

The first thing you’re going to need to learn ARGUS is to have a copy of the software on your computer. You aren’t likely interested in personally buying ARGUS DCF, just so that you can learn to use it for your next job. Thankfully you can find a trial version of the software on ARGUS’s website. The trial version does have limited functionality and expires after a few months, but it should have what you need to become comfortable with the software.

Free ARGUS Training Videos by Property Pro

A company named Property Pro has released their seven part ARGUS training software for free on YouTube. You can watch the series below or visit their YouTube channel here. I find that this series provides a great foundation in ARGUS that should get you to an intermediate knowledge of ARGUS.

Other Free ARGUS DCF Training Resources Online

Here are a few other free ARGUS training resources I’ve used:

  1. Jordan Lipsey’s Introduction to ARGUS Valuation Software on YouTube.
  2. Kevin Hogan’s 15 part and 14 part ARGUS training series videos on YouTube.
  3. For those who prefer to read over watching videos, a site called “My Real Estate Professor” shares three valuable ARGUS training resources: i) a comprehensive ARGUS Step-by-step Guide, ii) the ARGUS Calculation Manual, and iii) the ARGUS Reference Manual.
  4. My co-blogger Michael has a thorough tutorial on leases that is indispensable if you’re interested in mastering ARGUS.

Excel Alternative to ARGUS DCF

We’re working on an Excel alternative to ARGUS DCF. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, or helping out, feel free to reach out to either Mike or Spencer.