Real Estate REIT Financial Modeling: The Ultimate Guide

Real estate REIT financial modeling
Real estate REIT financial modeling

How many of you want to make a career in real estate or Real Estate financial modeling Excel or REIT modeling?

Those who are interested to make a career in real estate financial analysis, read on…

I did a research on requirements of financial analysis in real estate or REIT sector.

Glassdoor, Monster and SimplyHired websites gave me the requirements as below:

Real estate financial modeling requirements

· Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, or Management (with a concentration in Finance or Real Estate), OR a MS/MBA in Finance or Real Estate from an accredited college or university

Real estate financial model building Excel skills

· Substantial knowledge of real estate accounting and financial statements and Commercial Real Estate Financial Model.

· Strong analytical, comprehension and problem solving skills, as well as strong verbal and written communication skills

· Ability to master new tasks and industries quickly

· Leadership experience and strong personal integrity

· Ability to prioritize tasks, work on multiple assignments and manage rapidly changing assignments in a team environment

· Commitment to obtaining outstanding results

· Outstanding quantitative analytical skills; strong knowledge of finance and accounting

· Strong financial modeling skills

· Excellent verbal and written communication skills

. Real Estate Investment Model Excel

. Excel Modeling Commercial Real Estate

· Ability to take initiative and function independently balanced with strong team skills

· Exceptional attention to detail

· Maintain high standards of professional and ethical conduct

· Proficient in MS Office applications

Real Estate Financial Modeling

Breaking into the real estate business can be a lucrative endeavor, but it can also prove to be a difficult process if you are unfamiliar with the field and with the way real estate investment trusts operate.

In order to maximize your chances of success, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with a few fundamental aspects of the business before starting your career as a real estate developer.

Understanding what real estate financial modeling entails and how each of its encompassing segments function is the first essential step you have to take in order to build a rewarding career in real estate.

Once you’ve covered your basics and understood how this system operates, you can begin to work on your proficiency in some vital tools you will need to use.

Learning these useful tools and building a great skill set will not only help you become better at your job, but it will also make you a more desirable associate.

Finally, after increasing your understanding of the business and developing relevant skills to help you improve your professional activity, you can efficiently apply your knowledge in practical situations, gain important experience, and find ways to maximize your resources, time, and profits in order to achieve better results.

Suggested: Read More About Financial Modelling Courses

Understanding Real Estate Financial Modeling

Real estate financial modeling is based on accurately estimating the present value of a future source of cash revenue that a property will generate. Many factors can affect the projected cash flows a real estate asset can have. Understanding the basic real estate principles

Many factors can affect the projected cash flows a real estate asset can have. Understanding the basic real estate principles is,thus, vital to successfully drafting an accurate financial model.

Since properties are divided into categories and each category will have different business models and standard profit margins, the risk and return and the certainty of the projected cash flow will vary from case to case.

When you start modeling a property development you predict the incurring costs and expenses that are to be expected during the process and calculate the profit that you will eventually obtain.

Depending on each property and the amount of risk each investment implies, your predicted cash flow will vary from one stage of the development to the next, so time will become a major factor in calculating the possible profit the project can generate at different times.

As you start from scratch with an initial investment that will be comprised of debt and equity, the way in which you finance your project will also be different.

Considering all of these factors carefully and comprehending how they will affect your development project is vital to creating successful real estate financial models.

In a sense, you need to have a good understanding of not only real estate principles, but also of finance.

You can watch parts 1, 2, and 3 of this presentation for an in-depth explanation of what the financial modeling basics are and how to conduct your activity following some essential principles.

Using Microsoft Excel: Vital in Real Estate Financial Modeling

After you have familiarized yourself with the basic real estate and finance principles that affect real estate financial modeling you can start to work on mastering the essential skills that are required in this field.

Being proficient in Microsoft Excel is one of the most important assets you will have when modeling real estate: the program is universally used and mastering this valuation tool will be vital to your success.

It takes time, practice, and determination to master the Microsoft Excel software program but it is worth the effort as it will become a vital part of your real estate modeling.

Do not get discouraged by the time it takes to learn how to use Excel, it will become routine as you start working with it more and more and you will be able to accumulate new skills as time passes.

Making spreadsheets from scratch, creating sound real estate financial models, and organizing your projects with this program will be worth the effort it takes to learn how to use it.

Real Estate Financial Modeling

Approaching Microsoft Excel for real estate modeling without having any prior knowledge of the software can be daunting and many real estate modelers find that they need some help when they first get started on working with it.

The good news is that because Microsoft Excel is the most commonly used valuation program in real estate modeling there are many good resources available for you to tap into when learning about the fundamentals and the basic functions it has.

The first thing you will need to do is to get a licensed Microsoft Office pack or a monthly Office 365 subscription in order to get the Microsoft Excel program.

Familiarize yourself with the interface, the display and the basic commands by performing basic tasks in it. You can also find information about shortcuts and formulae that can be used in Excel online.

Real Estate Financial Modeling Excel Formulae

After you have the program you can start looking into ways to learn how to use it: online courses, tutorials, videos, college courses, Q&A forums, self-education books, and training materials.

There are many comprehensive paid training packs and courses that you can get in order to learn Excel: some offer you a general guide on how to use the program while more specialized ones will focus on exemplifying how it is used for financial modeling.

However, you can also access some great training materials for free: you can watch this video tutorial on how to use Excel 2013, or use this extensive online source of Excel-related learning materials.

Real Estate Excel Modeling Shortcuts

If you have been modeling real estate using Microsoft Excel you already know that there is always room for improvement.

Even if you have mastered the basics and are not willing to invest financially in expanding your knowledge of the program, you can still learn more by using free sources for intermediate and advanced Excel users.

Using the available Excel tools with ease will:

  • save you time,
  • help you to become more efficient, and
  • contribute immensely to the quality of your overall work.

So, the more you learn about it the more you will be able to do as a real estate modeler.

Excel shortcuts

Real Estate Financial Modeling Certification

Gaining new knowledge and experience in real estate financial modeling is valuable not only for building a great skill set, but also for improving your resume and your chances of getting the job that you want.

Consider gaining professional certification in order to add professional credentials to your resume: some employers demand such credentials while others do not, but an additional certification will surely improve your portfolio and your chances of being selected for the job.

For instance, you can get the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) certification provided by the CCIM Institute. You must take the core analytics courses that the Institute provides, submit a portfolio and pass an exam before you can obtain this certification, but it will be a definite advantage when applying for a job later on.

The Real Estate Financial Modeling certification is another viable option and you can obtain it by completing the Real Estate Financial Modeling training course.

Paid courses for gaining additional skills such as Excel proficiency can also provide you with qualification certificates that you can add to your resume, so opt for the certifications that are relevant and useful to you.

Applying for a real estate license is often required and always encouraged as well so it is a step that most real estate financial modelers either have to take or choose to take at one point or another during their training or their careers.

Real Estate Financial Modeling Training

There are several training courses and university study programs that can help you learn the real estate and finance notions you will need in order to become a successful real estate financial modeler.

When considering applying for a job or starting to build a career in this field, it is important to take into account that many if not most employers require that job applicants have a bachelor’s degree in either real estate, accounting, or finance.

Each of these university programs can cover different topics and skills that will be useful in your career. For instance an accounting degree program will focus on financial accounting, taxation auditing, and managerial accounting while a finance degree program will touch on business finance, financial modeling, and investment. A real estate program will contain courses about real estate law, commercial and residential real estate finance and real estate evaluation.

Regardless of the program you choose when earning a bachelor’s degree, a great way to get the most out of your university studies is to look for and attend elective courses that cover useful computer programs and software such as Microsoft Excel so that you can familiarize yourself with the tools you will be using throughout your career early on.

Having an added qualification or an extra skill will set you apart from other job applicants and increase your chances of getting hired as employers tend to favor resumes that include a background in industry-related software.

Depending on the state that you live in you may be required to apply for a real estate license or a broker’s license: some form of licensure is mandatory in most cases, so it is very likely that you will have to get one.

Make sure you are up to date with the laws and prerequisites that exist in your state before applying for a real estate license. Laws, types of license, terms and conditions of eligibility vary from one state to another so make sure that you meet all of the requirements that apply in your case, as in some cases previous real estate experience or additional qualifications may be required.


Additional training and experience is always a bonus and many employers ask for relevant previous work experience in this field, so it is recommended that you go through a professional course, internship, or training program in order to improve your work portfolio.

As employers often look for analysts and real estate financial modelers that have previous work experience a time-saving option is to apply for an internship as early on in your career as possible, preferably while you are still studying to earn your bachelor’s degree. Another way to gain relevant experience is to participate in additional training programs and courses that can help you acquire new skills.

Professional training courses such as the Certified Commercial Investment Member certification course, the Real Estate Financial Modeling, or the Kahr Excel for Real Estate Analysis training course are all great options to improve your professional portfolio as well as your skills and knowledge. If you are interested in furthering your real estate career and want to study finance, real estate, business administration, or other similar fields in depth you should consider gaining an advanced degree such as a master’s degree as there are many viable graduate programs that you can benefit from completing.

Real Estate Financial Modeling Books and Manuals

Another great resource that you can use in order to improve your knowledge and real estate financial modeling skill set are specialty books.

These can help you acquire a better understanding of the domain and of the specific practices that are part of it.

In order to find out which specialty books cover the topics and aspects of real estate financial modeling that you are interested in you can go online and search for relevant information on financial modeling Q&A forums or look at the listed resources that specialty websites have available.

Depending on how much you already know about real estate financial modeling, Microsoft Excel and how it can be used for business analysis or finance projects, there are several books that you can read in order to expand your knowledge and become a better analyst.

I have listed the most commonly referenced, recommended, and used books that are available, each focusing on a different aspect of real estate financial modeling and the skills you will need to perfect in order to succeed in this business.

Real Estate Financial Modeling Templates

If you’re already working as a real estate financial modeler you know that using Microsoft Excel is vital to keeping tabs on your investment projects. However, as I’ve mentioned before, it takes some time and effort to learn how to efficiently use the Microsoft Excel software program for real estate modeling.

Templates can be life savers when you need to create capital budget analysis spreadsheets and risk analysis simulations but you haven’t quite mastered the valuation tool yet.

You can find many free Microsoft Excel real estate financial modeling templates and tools to help you create specific spreadsheets faster and easier.

However, although Excel spreadsheets and templates can be great tools the only way you are truly going to become a proficient Microsoft Excel user is if you take the time to learn how to create your spreadsheets from scratch.

So, while a template can be very useful tool when you are in a rush or still struggling to use Excel, the best way to learn he program software is to take the time to make them yourself when you have the time and can afford to do so.

You can find free spreadsheets online on dedicated real estate financial modeling websites and forums. Companies such as Real Estate Financial Modeling offer free templates on their webpage as well, regardless of whether you take their certification training course or not.

Picture sources: 1.

Infographic sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.

How will you prepare for real estate modeling

Real estate modeling is a complex area. However, if you start with basics, you’ll gain confidence.

Breaking Into Wall Street (BIWS) has created an online training program on real estate REIT financial modeling.

Real Estate REIT Financial Modeling Training: Special $397 Bonus for FinanceWalk Readers

BIWS offers online programs in Financial Modeling, Investment Banking and Industry-Specific Modeling.

FinanceWalk has partnered with BIWS.

So, all FinanceWalk readers will get Free $397 Bonus on BIWS courses.

BIWS is a leading and highly trusted online training provider in the US. The BIWS programs are used in over 75+ countries, 150+  Schools and Universities and, 150+ Finance Firms and other Corporations.

Benefits of the BIWS programs:

  • Learn from experienced investment bankers
  • Instant access to the programs
  • Free lifetime updates and support
  • Unlimited Q&A support 365-days a year, for as long as you need it
  • Unconditional 60-day money back guarantee
  • Download all the material including videos
  • Access to BIWS' entire archive of questions submitted by the whole community (with answers)
  • Read BIWS Testimonials

Real Estate & REIT Modeling teaches you how to model property development and acquisitions, and how to project and value real estate investment trusts (REITs).

The program is based on case studies of an office development & sale, a hotel acquisition & renovation, and a REIT operating model and valuation for AvalonBay Communities, where we use real SEC filings and equity research from banks like Citi and JP Morgan to support the numbers.

You’ll start with a crash-course on real estate development and REITs, and then move into the office development and hotel acquisition case studies, where you’ll learn how to estimate a property’s size, financial performance, and returns to investors.

After that, we’ll jump into a detailed 3-statement model for AvalonBay with support for their different real estate segments, and conclude with a full valuation, including the usual methodologies as well as real estate-specific ones such as the Net Asset Value (NAV) model.

Go to the Sign Up page.

Real Estate Financial Analysis Content

  • Prerequisites: Excel & Financial Modeling Fundamentals or equivalent (this is an advanced course).
  • Lessons cover property development and acquisitions, key real estate terminology and metrics, how a REIT’s financial statements differ, and REIT valuation.
  • 63 videos total (24 hours of footage).
  • 7 quick reference guide PDFs on key topics – from key terms and accounting through property modeling, REIT financial statements, and valuation.
  • Overview lessons cover real estate key terms, how to model an apartment complex, how a REIT operates, and how to link properties and REITs.
  • Office Development & Sale lessons teach you how to estimate building size, hard costs and soft costs, project the financial statements of a property, build debt and equity draw schedules, calculate the sale proceeds, and allocate investor returns using a waterfall schedule, factoring in developer promotes.
  • Hotel Acquisition & Renovation lessons cover how to project a hotel’s financial statements, estimate the impact of property renovation, and calculate returns based on the purchase price, selling cap rate, and capital structure.
  • REIT Operating Model videos teach you how to project a REIT’s rental income and net operating income (NOI) from same-store properties, development/redevelopment, acquisitions, and dispositions; you’ll also learn how to create a complex debt schedule, link and project the statements, and calculate FFO, AFFO, and dividends issued.
  • REIT Valuation lessons cover public comps, precedent transactions, and the Discounted Cash Flow Analysis (DCF) and Dividend Discount Model (DDM) for REITs, as well as real estate-specific models such as the Net Asset Value (NAV) and Replacement Cost methods.
  • You receive instant access when you sign up because everything is delivered online – no shipping charges or physical products to worry about.
  • Free lifetime updates and support.


  • Free $397 bonus for FinanceWalk readers.

Watch real estate financial modeling sample video.

What are your alternatives? And what’s your investment in this program?

There are limited options when it comes to learning real estate modeling:

  • Real Estate Financial Modeling: $600 – $1,000 per Excel file; videos are separate and cost more.
  • Wall Street Training Real Estate Development Modeling: $300.
  • Wall Street Training REIT Financial Modeling: $750 for just a single Excel file – no lessons or videos.

So if you want to learn everything taught in this course elsewhere, you’d be spending a minimum of $1,000 – and you wouldn’t even get videos walking you through it all. Yes, you read that correctly: $1,000 for a single Excel file.

With the Breaking Into Wall Street version, you get more material – including multiple different real estate development models, a REIT operating model, a REIT valuation, and quick reference guides for all the key concepts – for just $347, as opposed to $1,000.

That’s a 65% discount for MORE content, material, and lessons that you can watch and follow along with yourself.

This is extremely specialized material – good luck finding this level of detail online or in finance textbooks – so I actually thought about pricing this higher to begin with.

And in the future, the price will be going up, since $347 is still much lower than all the available alternatives.

This is information that makes you far more valuable to firms, than if you simply know basic accounting and valuation for “general” situations.

And there’s more material coming – potential future lessons will include coverage of REIT merger models and LBO models, and more real estate development topics.

If you sign up today, you get all of this for only $347 – a 65% discount – plus free access to all future additions to this course as soon as they’re released.

Plus, you get a no-hassle money-back guarantee

Just like every one of the BIWS products and courses, this comes with our unconditional 60-day money back guarantee.

That’s right – take a full 60 days to evaluate everything inside the Program, and if you’re not 100% satisfied, simply contact BIWS via the “Contact” link displayed on every page of the site and ask for your money back. You’ll receive a prompt and courteous refund.

There are no strings attached, no special terms or conditions, and no fine print.

Here’s what happens within minutes of you signing up 

Once you sign up, you’ll immediately have access to the 63 instructional videos, all the Excel files and quick reference guides, and the complete curriculum. And you’ll have access to BIWS’ expert support team to ask whatever questions you have.

With that comes lifetime access, free upgrades, new content as we add it, and expert support.

Real Estate REIT Financial Modeling: The Ultimate Guide 1
Real Estate REIT Financial Modeling: The Ultimate Guide 2
Next Classroom Batches in India
- Classroom Course with Placement Assistance: Our Full-Time Financial Modeling Investment Banking Course (6 Weeks) starts on 16th September, 2019 and 2.5 Months Weekend Workshop starts on 27th September in New Delhi, India and on 13th September, 2019 in Gurgaon, India.

- Online Course with Placement Assistance: Join our Online Financial Modeling Investment Banking course with Placement Assistance from anywhere in the world.

- CFA Level - I: 16th November, 2019

- Big Data: 29th June, 2019

- Financial Modeling Investment Banking Weekend in Gurgaon: 27th September, 2019

- See Testimonials.

Only a few seats remain. Interested candidates can contact me.

Leave a Comment