A few years back, on a sleep Saturday afternoon while my kids were busy eating Halloween candy, I decided to create a simple real estate acquisition model in Excel for office, retail, and industrial deals.

Since then, I’ve made various updates, including error fixes and functional improvements. The model calculates returns at the property and partnership level, on an unlevered and levered basis. The operating cash flow module is very basic, but the tool still serves as a decent first pass acquisition model.

A Little About this Simple Acquisition Model

To build the model, I started by using my portfolio acquisition model as a framework. I added in a basic DCF module to model the operating cash flows before financing, and simplified the layout to make it more user friendly.

I  included a floating summary box on each tab, a property summary tab, investor returns tab, property returns tab, debt tab with annual debt service and payoff calculations, and the aforementioned simple DCF.

What this model lacks in sophistication, it makes up for in speed. All inputs are housed on three tabs (Property Summary, Investor Returns, and OS DCF), and the limited number of inputs means taking a quick look at an acquisition opportunity is simple with this model.

Needing something more robust? Check out our All-in-One Model

Using the Simple Acquisition Model for Office, Retail, and Industrial Properties

As mentioned, the model has been updated several times since its first release. Thus, the model in the video will not exactly match the most recent version. Nevertheless, the core functionality is the same.

As always, blue tabs include inputs, with blue font signifying input cells. Green tabs show outputs only. I’ve included a basic instruction box on the summary tab, but feel free to email with any questions you have. Below you’ll find an instructional video on how to use the acquisition model. Further down the page you’ll find the link to download the Excel file.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or spot an error that needs fixing.


Download the Simple Acquisition Model for Office, Retail, and Industrial Properties

To make this model accessible to everyone, it is offered on a “Pay What You’re Able” basis with no minimum (enter $0 if you’d like) or maximum (your support helps keep the content coming – typical real estate acquisition Excel models sell for $100 – $300+ per license). Just enter a price together with an email address to send the download link to, and then click ‘Continue’. If you have any questions about our “Pay What You’re Able” program or why we offer our models on this basis, please reach out to either Mike or Spencer.

We regularly update the model (see version notes). Paid contributors to the model receive a new download link via email each time the model is updated.


Version Notes

Version 2.1

  • Added GP Catch Up to waterfall
  • Added selling cost assumption on exit (see Property Summary tab cell H6)

Version 2.0

  • Changed OpEx and CapEx on OS DCF tab to positive, to be more consistent with other models on A.CRE
  • Changed CapEx cells on OS DCF tab to blue, to signal the need to model leasing costs
  • Added /SF column to OS DCF tab
  • Removed $ signs, to allow for non-USD denominated analysis
  • Misc formatting fixes and improvements
  • Fixed issue where Management Fee (OS DCF tab) was not calculating properly
  • Added ‘Operating Metrics’ section to OS DCF tab; includes six operating metrics calculated by year
  • Hid unnecessary rows and columns on all tabs

Version 1.5

  • Added upgraded waterfall model, correcting a previous error that distributed too much CF in later tiers

Version 1.2

  • Corrected error in loan balance calculation on Debt tab
  • Minor edits to instructions
  • Minor formatting fixes
  • Corrected error where debt service was not calculating correctly