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.
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.

Download The Model

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 models sell for $100 - $300 each). 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.

Note (especially for Gmail users): The model is sent via email and occasionally is blocked by spam filters. If you don't see the email arrive within five minutes, check your spam folder.

Watch Me Build - Tutorial Multifamily Model

  • The completed model from the “Watch Me Build” video tutorial
  • Basic multifamily real estate model to show several risk (DSCR, DY) and return (IRR, EMx, CoC) metrics
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This Excel file (the "software") is distributed as is, completely without warranty or service support. and its authors are not liable for the condition or performance of the software. owns the copyright and grants users a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license with respect to the software as set forth below. and its authors hereby disclaim all implied warranties. grants the users the right to modify, copy, and redistribute the software and documentation, both within the user's organization and externally, subject to the following restrictions:

1. 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.
2. In any use of the software, the users agree to acknowledge the authors that developed the software.
3. The users agree to obey all government restrictions governing redistribution or export of the software.
4. 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.

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 WST Macros Excel-addin). 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.

About the Author: Born and raised in the Northwest United States, Spencer Burton has over 15 years of real estate investment and development experience. In his current position, Spencer assesses new acquisition, development, and debt opportunities for a $45bn real estate fund. He resides in Dallas, TX.