Charmain Mayssa February 19, 2021 Spreadsheet
Most investment real estate financial modeling is done in spreadsheets. These can be built for the purpose or, better yet, purchased from a reputable software vendor or consulting firm that specializes in real estate. When building or buying a good real estate investment spreadsheet, there are several critical components you should consider.
So every cell has its own unique address, comprising the letter of the column and the number of the row for example (A1, A2 and so on). You can type numbers, text or formulas into these cells. The formulas make it possible to get the program to do all the time consuming arithmetic for you. One last tip for learning how to figure out spreadsheets is when you are dealing with numbers, it pays to give some thought to how to lay out the spreadsheet. When you type in information, be as careful as possible. Also remember, it is the ability to perform complex calculations that makes spreadsheets such powerful tools. It is worth the effort to learn how to use formulas correctly.
Third, building the right kinds of collaborative applications requires some skill and understanding how and what kinds of data are shared. How many people are going to be adding/changing records to your database? How many just want to do queries and reports? And how do you prevent conflicting updates? Finally, when you add the Web and Internet‐based access to the data, you have greatly increased the skill level required to create and manage your database. While there are some really good Internet‐facing database programs (Alpha Software, Filemaker, Quickbase from Intuit, and DabbleDb ‐ just to name a few that I know of), none of these are as easy to setup and manipulate as Trackvia.com, a service that has been out for the past year but recently gotten some much‐needed improvements.
The third important consideration is the availability of different cash flow valuation methods. Depending on the purpose and vehicle used for the real estate investment, you may want to value the investment on a pro forma basis under a variety of different assumptions. You may also want to calculate or use the break even point, IRR, NPV, and cap rate factors for various purposes. Ensuring the necessary calculations and inputs are available makes it easy to use the same model for different investment opportunities, and eliminates the need to enter all the necessary data twice.
Choosing the best budget spreadsheet software can be difficult if you have no idea on what you exactly need. If you don‘t know the exact features you‘re looking for, then the safest bet would be a user‐friendly spreadsheet software that can be easily used even by beginners. Look for this quality in a software program for household budgeting to avoid the hassle of using a very complicated program.
One of the first things to consider is what kind of data you have to work with in your cash flow template Excel spreadsheet. Ideally, you‘re looking for accurate monthly data including income statement items like revenue and operating expenses and balance sheet items like equipment purchases and cash from financing activities. If you have a longer time frame you can go with quarterly periods, but annual tends to be too long. After all, how can you predict what is going to happen beyond 5 years with any accuracy unless you‘re valuing an annuity?