Mattie Charlize January 18, 2021 Spreadsheet
The second component of a good real estate investment spreadsheet is a long cash flow projection period. Property investments are typically very long term ‐‐ from 10 to 20 years on average. In particular, if you are buying real property for long term portfolio holdings, it makes sense to have at least 10 years of monthly or quarterly data, and even up to 30 years. This ensures you capture the entire future cash flows, and enables a much more accurate determination of net present value, internal rate of return, and capitalization factors.
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.
I love spreadsheets. I use them for everything I can and every kind of organization. I, honestly, don‘t know what I would do without them or what how I used to cope before I first discovered them. I use a spreadsheet to balance my checkbook, to manage my business expenses, and to make ‘To Do‘ lists to plan out my days. I also use spreadsheets to manage my money and set my financial goals.
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.
Since this is a residential rental apartment building it makes sense to include rental income in your real estate spreadsheet. That‘s obvious. What isn‘t so obvious are things like interest on tenant deposits, subsidies, tax refunds, etc. When you‘re building the spreadsheet you need to estimate when those revenues will arrive, and that relates to the number of tenants, the rental rates you charge, how long the lease term is for each tenant, etc. You also need to assume some late payments, evictions, and vacant units. If you haven‘t invested in the area before this can be a challenge. You can gather data on that by speaking with local real estate agents, lenders, and tax agencies, or subscribe to an industry database that covers the local area.
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.