As I’ve mentioned in other Watch Me Build posts, one way to become a better real estate financial modeling professional, is to watch other professionals model. Thus, the more exposure you can get to other’s methods, the more adept a real estate professional you will become.

This is especially the case with modeling real estate equity waterfalls. While modeling up an apartment deal is generally an intuitive process, modeling partnership cash flows is not. So for this reason, and in response to numerous requests from our readers, I’ve recorded a video of me building an equity waterfall.

Are you an Accelerator Member? You might review the Modeling Partnership-Level Cash Flow course in the core curriculum to expand on what’s taught in this post. Not yet an Accelerator member? Consider joining the real estate financial modeling training program used by top real estate companies and elite universities to train the next generation of CRE professionals.

Real Estate Equity Waterfall Offerings on A.CRE

If you’ve found this post, you’re likely needing help building your own waterfall model. Most likely, you’re either a student working on a school project, a prospective employee needing to bone up your skills for a real estate technical interview, or a professional with a live deal you need help modeling. In addition to watching this video, and following along with the model (see download link below), you might also check out the other real estate equity waterfall resources we have here on A.CRE.

a discussion of the A.CRE Accelerator real estate financial modeling courses

Setting Up The Watch Me Build Video

This video is not meant to teach you everything you need to know about real estate financial modeling and Excel.  But if you’re like me and enjoy learning new methods for tackling a modeling problem, I think you’ll find a few tricks here you’ll be able to use.

I do my best to vocalize what I’m doing and why I’m doing it as a go from one formula to the next. There’s a slight error in the video during the second hurdle, where I accidentally turned off recording for about 30 seconds. You won’t miss much, as those 30 seconds only included me adding a few labels and linking to a couple of assumptions. But if you have questions, please let me know and I can amend this post with further explanation.

Below I’ve posted the completed model for you to download and recreate yourself if you’d like. The download link includes a zip file containing two workbooks. The first workbook is the fully completed model found in the video. The second is a blank workbook, but with formatting included, to use as you follow along with the video. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Download the Template and Completed Files from this Watch Me Build

To make these files accessible to everyone, they are 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 – similar real estate training exercises sell for $100 – $300+). 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.

Version Notes


  • Fixed an error in the ‘Sponsor Contribution’ row where the formula was pulling LP contribution for periods 1-5 rather than Sponsor contribution.
  • Minor formatting improvements

About the Author: Born and raised in the Northwest United States, Spencer Burton has over 20 years of residential and commercial real estate experience. Over his career, he has underwritten $30+ billion of commercial real estate at some of the largest institutional real estate firms in the world. He is currently President and member of the founding team at Stablewood. Spencer holds a BS in International Affairs from Florida State University and a Masters in Real Estate Finance from Cornell University.