A.CRE Models

Which model, tool, or tutorial would be most helpful for my scenario?

We suggest looking at the A.CRE Real Estate Financial Models Download Guide. Click here to open the Google Sheet version of this tool. For more information you can check our blog post that goes over in detail about this tool https://www.adventuresincre.com/a-cre-real-estate-financial-models-download-guide/

Why do I get a message that Microsoft has blocked macros?

When downloading and opening an Excel model from A.CRE, some users get the ominous message: “Microsoft has blocked macros from running because the source of this file is untrusted.” Now you’re probably asking, “Why did this message appear, and can I use the file without macros?”

A bit of background on Excel Macros

First off, we assure you that you can enable Macros in our models with confidence. We use Macros in our Excel models to improve the user experience, speed up the models in cases where there are circular references, and to handle various real estate modeling tasks (e.g. calculating reserve accounts) that Excel out-of-the-box can’t.

Sometime in late 2021/early 2022, Microsoft released an updated version of Microsoft Excel that includes greater security protection related to Excel Macros. This update is meant to protect Excel users from downloading files from the internet that contain malicious macros. Unfortunately, in their zeal to protect Excel users from bad actors, they’ve made using A.CRE models a bit more difficult.

Can I use an A.CRE Model without enabling macros?

Unfortunately, the A.CRE Models that we’ve built with macros won’t function properly unless you enable the macros. Therefore, you will need to enable the macros in order to use the models. Below, we’ve recorded a video and shared instructions (from Microsoft’s website) on how to enable macros in models downloaded from A.CRE.

How to enable macros in models downloaded from A.CRE

  1. Download and save the Excel model (i.e. Excel file) to a local hard drive, network share, or cloud share drive.
  2. Open Windows File Explorer and go to the folder where you saved the file.
  3. Right-click the file and choose Properties from the context menu.
  4. At the bottom of the General tab, you should see a section for Security. Select the Unblock checkbox and select OK.
  5. Open the file and click ‘Enable Content’

How do I access my downloads from the Accelerator?

The A.CRE site is broken up into two sections, the A.CRE frontend (i.e. the blog frontend of the site) and the Accelerator program section. The frontend is where, among other things, you download/purchase Excel models from our Library while the Accelerator section is where you access/take real estate financial modeling courses. As an Accelerator member, you have access to both sections of the website and your login credentials are the same for both.

The two sections are, however, largely independent from one another. Materials you purchase/download on the frontend are saved to your ‘My Downloads’ page on the frontend. Materials related to Accelerator courses, such as case studies and Excel models, are downloaded directly from the Accelerator courses (not from your ‘My Downloads’ page on the frontend).

For ease of navigation back to the frontend, in the Accelerator section we’ve included a menu link entitled ‘My A.CRE Downloads’. That link will take you back to frontend to download models you’ve purchased from the frontend. Likewise, on the frontend we’ve included a menu item entitled ‘Accelerator’ that includes a ‘Members Only’ sub-menu item that will take you back to the Accelerator.

While your login credentials are the same for both sections of the site, occasionally when you navigate from one section to the other, you will be required to log back in. So for instance, if you’re in your ‘My Downloads’ page and you want to return to the Accelerator, you could go to the Accelerator menu link, select ‘Members Only’, and then click ‘Login’. You will then be taken to the Accelerator section, and if your Accelerator session had ended, you will be prompted to log back in. Simply use your A.CRE username and password to log back in.

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

The file you received is NOT a .zip file (or .cpgz file in the case of Mac users). 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 A.CRE team prefers 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:


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.

Can I download real estate Excel models without taking the Accelerator?

Yes. Adventures in CRE was started as a medium for Spencer and Michael to openly share their (growing) library of institutional-quality real estate Excel models. The Accelerator training program was launched years later, in response to requests from A.CRE readers asking for more comprehensive and structured training.

Nevertheless, A.CRE’s mission of making industry-standard models readily available to all continues. New models continue to be added to the library and existing models are regularly updated, thanks to the feedback from A.CRE readers such as yourself!

Browse the world’s largest library of readily available real estate Excel models

What do the Terms and Condition state for use of your models in CRE?

First as background, Spencer and Michael build and share models on Adventures in CRE more as educational tools than as investment tools. Nevertheless, they recognize that many of the models have been sufficiently vetted that they can very much serve both purposes. Thus, we created the terms of use for how the models might be used outside of educational purposes and made clear that models likely contain errors.

Adventures in CRE provides great leeway in how the models are used, in that you can share and edit the models as you see fit so long as:

  1. You don’t resell the Excel model or any of the modules therein.
  2. When you share the file, you continue to credit the original authors. That means, keeping the Version tab in the Workbook.
  3. You don’t use the file for illegal purposes.

So in practice, what the above means is that the outcomes of your analysis can go in OMs and be shared with lenders/ investors, etc without issue. And no credit is necessary in that sharing, since you’re sharing the outcomes, not that actual files. When/if you share the actual Excel file, or some derivative of the Excel file, just make sure you leave the Version tab unchanged in the Workbook and you’re good to go.

Where do I find tutorials for the All-in-One and other Excel Models?

All models shared to our Library of Real Estate Excel models include written and video instruction for using the model. Some models includes those tutorials directly on the model’s description page, while others include a separate tutorials page with multiple video tutorials.

Here are a few examples of comprehensive training materials created for models:

To find the training material for any model, simply read through that models description page.

Can I use your models as a foundation and add other things?

Yes, all of our models are unlocked and fully customizable. If you adapt our models and choose to use that adaptation professionally, we only ask that you follow the terms and conditions of use agreed to upon downloading the model. Namely:

  • The users agree not to charge others for use of the software, regardless of whether users have altered and/or improved the software in anyway.
  • In any use of the software, the users agree to acknowledge the www.AdventuresinCRE.com authors that developed the software.
  • The users agree to obey all government restrictions governing redistribution or export of the software.
  • The users agree to reproduce any copyright notice which appears on the software and documentation on any copy or modification of such made available to others.
  • The user agrees to not modify, delete, or password protect access to the Versions tab, and any use of an A.CRE model, whether in part or in whole, must include a copy of the Version tab for that model used, modified, adapted, or shared by user.
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:


I can’t find the download link to my model.

Once you purchase/request to download a model via the model’s download checkout page, you should receive a download link via email. Occasionally, that email will get routed to spam or blocked by your ISP. In either case, you can also find all models you purchase/request in your ‘A.CRE My Downloads‘ page.

How do I download an Excel model? Why are models offered on a “Pay What You’re Able” basis?

The team at A.CRE has built the world’s largest library of readily accessible real estate Excel models. In fact, this was A.CRE’s initial primary mission – to make institutional-quality models available to all. As a result, we provide all Excel models in our Library on a “Pay What You’re Able” basis, with no minimum.

To download a model from our library:

  1. Browse the library for the model that’s right fit for you.
  2. Click on the model to read the description page; all models include written and video tutorials (either on the description page or on a separate page) on how to use it.
  3. In the description page of the model, find and click the green “Proceed to Download Page” button.
  4. On the model download page, choose either the ‘Free (Educational Use)’ or ‘Paid (Unlimited Downloads + Updates)’ option and then enter a price. A.CRE readers who choose to support the mission of A.CRE by choosing the Paid version of the model, are provided unlimited downloads and lifetime updates of that model. Otherwise, there is no difference between the Educational and Paid versions of the model.
  5. Once you’ve clicked ‘Proceed to Download’ you will be taken to your Download Queue (i.e shopping cart).
  6. Select ‘Proceed to Download’ in the Download Queue or return to the Library of Real Estate Excel Models to add more models to your queue.
  7. Once you’re ready to “checkout”, return to the Download Queue and click ‘Proceed to Download’ to be taken to the checkout page.
  8. If you’re an existing A.CRE user and you’re not logged in, use the ‘Click here to login’ button to log into your account from the checkout page.
  9. If you’re new to A.CRE, within the ‘Account Details’ section, enter your name, zip code, country, and email address and click ‘Complete Checkout’.
  10. Review the ‘Download Details’ box and confirm that you’re downloading the correct model and price. If not, or there are other products within the ‘Download Details’ section you don’t intend to buy/download, simply click the green X next to the product to remove it from the transaction.
  11. Check the ‘I have read and agree to the terms and conditions’ button, and then click the ‘Complete Checkout’ button.
  12. The system will then process the download, and take you to a page with further instructions. A link to download the model will be added to your A.CRE My Downloads page and will also be emailed directly to you.

Having trouble downloading a model? Click here to read a troubleshooting guide.