angles-1234447-638x425One way to become a better real estate financial modeling professional, is to watch other professionals model. I know in my career being able to physically see how others tackle different modeling problems has shaped my methods and made me better at what I do.

I remember sitting with a friend, watching him zip back and forth between ARGUS and Excel with the mouse sitting off to the side, and thinking that I wanted to model like that. And as I watched him, I learned a ton. Many of the techniques I use today I learned by watching him.

As I’ve communicated with many of our readers over the years, I’ve been asked repeatedly to create more substantive how-to videos. And while this and other Watch Me Build videos on our site are not meant to replace the more comprehensive real estate financial modeling courses that we’ve created, this quick Watch Me Build a Multifamily Model video should get you started learning how to model acquisition opportunities.

Are you an Accelerator member? See capstone courses 16, 17, and 18 of the core curriculum for detailed instruction on how to build models similar to that built in this Watch Me Build. 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.

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

Step 1 – Download the Template and Completed File

Below you can download a zip file that contains both a template Excel file and the completed Excel model from the video. To get the most out of this exercise, I recommend you download the template file and completed file before starting the Watch Me Build video.

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.

Step 2 – Watch the Video and Follow Along

With the template file downloaded and opened in Excel, go ahead and start the video. The 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.

In the video, I do my best to vocalize the different keystrokes I use and the thought process I follow (Note: a few of the keystrokes require the free Excel 4 CRE add-in). I didn’t use the zoom feature when editing the video to allow you to see everything going on. However, this means it is a little hard to see some parts of the recording. So I recommend you watch this video on a larger screen (i.e. not on your iPhone), and make the video full screen.

Version Notes


  • Added Version tab
  • Created ‘Template’ tab with all formatting and headers; formulas blank


  • Initial release

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.