Excel and Other Programs

Why did you send a zipped file? And why can’t I access (unzip) the file?

The file you received is NOT a .zip file. The file you downloaded is an Excel .XLSB file (i.e. Excel Binary Workbook file).

Since XLSB files are binary, they can be read from and written to much faster, making them extremely useful for very large spreadsheets. XLSB files are also generally smaller than typical XLSX or XLSM Excel. As a result, the guys prefer to use the .XLSB file format for many of their more complex models.

However, to open a .XLSB file you must have a version of Excel 2013 or newer. If you don’t have a compatible version of Excel, and since the XLSB file is a compressed version of an Excel file, your operating system (i.e. Windows or iOS) confuses the XLSB file for a zipped file and attempts to extract the file.

To correct this issue, upgrade your Excel to the latest version. If you prefer to open the file in a different spreadsheet tool or find a workaround, you might check out this online guide:


Getting ‘Server Denied’ or Request Denied Error When Using the A.CRE Geocoding Add-in

Receiving a ‘REQUEST_DENIED’ error in Excel when attempting to use the add-in? First make sure you’re using a version of Excel 2013 or newer.

If you’re using a compatible version of Excel, then the issue is due to your Google API key. The ‘Server Denied’ or ‘Request Denied’ error is similar to an ‘incorrect password’ error when attempting to login to a website.

Effectively, Google doesn’t recognize the API key  you’ve added to the Add-in or the Google API key was not setup correctly.

Return to the ‘Using the A.CRE Geocoding Add-in’ section, paying special attention to the Google instructional videos in items 1 through 5.

Also make sure you’ve properly added the API key to the A.CRE Geocoding Add-in by reviewing the instructions in the ‘Adding the API Key to the A.CRE Geocoding Add-in in Excel’ section at the link above.


Does A.CRE provide consulting services or model customization?

Unfortunately, with full-time jobs, families, and A.CRE to manage, Spencer and Michael are unable to take on consulting engagements. With that said, quite a few A.CRE Accelerator graduates do provide independent real estate financial modeling consulting services and many of those individuals are versed in the models shared to A.CRE.

*Click here to browse the list of individuals able to take on consulting engagements.

Feel free to reach out directly to the individual or individuals in the link above that appear to best fit your needs.

* Important Disclaimer: Adventures in CRE provides this list of real estate financial modeling professionals as a free service to you and to the individuals herein. It does not earn a referral fee nor commission, and is not party to any agreement that you may make with any individual named herein. We are not responsible or liable for any work, nor do we participate in any work, produced by individuals within this document. Although all individuals herein have completed the A.CRE real estate financial modeling Accelerator and have represented to us to have experience in this field, we have not independently verified their claims.

Excel crashes (or says the file is corrupt) when trying to open an Excel model

When an Excel model crashes upon opening, or when Excel returns a “the file is corrupt and cannot be opened” error message upon attempting to open a model, it’s generally due to one of two issues:

  • You’re running a version of Excel incompatible with the model. Make sure you’re running Excel 2013 or newer.
  • A security setting on your system is blocking the file. Here are a few options for correcting the security setting:


Can I use Apple Numbers or Google Sheets instead of Excel?

The models shared on A.CRE as well as the Excel files and models used in the Accelerator were built in Microsoft Excel. As a result, we can’t ensure compatibility with non-Excel spreadsheet alternatives such as Apple Numbers, Google Sheets, OpenOffice, etc.

Nevertheless, the simpler Excel files and models shared on A.CRE can be imported into non-Excel alternatives with most (or all) features converting without issue. We recommend you check out our article on real estate financial modeling in Google Sheets.