Violetta Célia February 10, 2021 Spreadsheet
Designing a strong real estate spreadsheet requires some forethought about the uses, calculations, and net results you‘re looking for. This should be done before you ever get started. Here we demonstrate some key considerations by means of a case study. To demonstrate the proper approach to designing and building a real estate spreadsheet in Excel, let‘s use a residential multi‐unit rehabilitation project example. To keep it simple, let‘s assume it has 4 apartment units, was built 60 years ago, has 3 existing tenants, and requires new interior and exterior paint, some plumbing and electrical work to update the property to modern safety standards, and a partial re‐roofing to fix some water damage.
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.
Is your job dealing with more and more paper work all the time? If you are an office clerk or reports assistant or even if you are a manager you will have to send reports on a monthly basis and more often they will have to do with comparing old and new files as well as updating them. To compare spreadsheet reports, you will have to understand the values being given and consolidate it with any changes made for a certain period of time. If you will be dealing with several files here to compare, you may find this a very daunting task. However, knowing that there is a tool you can use to make this task easier for you is a great relief.
The need for new and/or different systems to support a company‘s growth is not avoidable. Just plan to address them before the pain at each juncture is so great that your people start leaving for a company that has better, more efficient systems in place. When you do start this planning phase, be sure to use experts that are not tied to a particular solution. You know the old saying... When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In the past, the easiest way to share a small database was to create a spreadsheet and email it to your collaborators. This time‐tested method has withstood more sophisticated competition for several reasons.
Second, remember that whatever can be measured can be managed. Develop a system wherein just a few look at some numbers can tell you the health of your operations. But this also depends on the soundness of the system. If someone can just fill in numbers they can induce you to think in ways that may not be desirable given the fact that you have to manage the operations.
We want to look at costs, so we reserve a tab in the real estate spreadsheet for that. Here, you have a decision. You can either make a large list of standard rehabilitation and operating costs or a smaller list of costs specific to this property. The first option allows you to use the Excel spreadsheet for other properties which are probably not the same. The second option keeps things small and tidy and might work if this is a once‐off investment. Either way, you will want to include all of the costs in a timeline schedule by week or month. This would include the re‐roofing, paint, plumbing, electrics, landscaping, electricity if you are responsible for it, insurance, etc. The financing costs are likely to be the most complex because you need to estimate not only the interest rates of the loan or loans you get, but the principle amortization, mortgage insurance, etc. This can be complex from a calculations standpoint. How granular you get with costs is up to you.