Real Estate Fund - Modelling Test (3 statement model)

Hi guys,

Have an upcoming modelling test for a large real estate firm as a fund analyst and was told that there will be a 3 statement modelling test. My background is more acquisitions and development so usually just work with cashflow models without considering taxes or any financial statements, so wondering how best to prepare for this?

I'm assuming they will give me a current BS, IS and CFS of the fund with a potential development deal and then forecasting those 3 statements out for 5 years assuming the developing and operating of that asset.

I have struggled to find any examples online or much property specific materials on this at all besides (…).

Any suggestions on best way to prepare for this given I don't have a fund/accounting background?



Yerrp. I'm wondering if my assumption of the scenario does at least make sense for a property fund, cause I can at least practice on the slew of business 3 way modelling tests more common in PE. And maybe just get a fundamental understanding of how trust/fund accounting works.

Most Helpful

The link you provided is going to be by far the most applicable info you'll see if the test ends up being the same as you describe. All the concepts are applicable to fund-level modeling as well; the calcs we'd do in our fund models for the 3 statements were the same as what's in A.CRE's workbook, just a bit more detailed.  If you can work your way through that file from scratch and have common accounting sense, you will be fine if the test is what you think it is.

FWIW our fund models were always pre-tax...we'd give info to the tax team and let them run with it. 

I've been on both the deal side (AM, now acq) and the fund/PM side, so I figured I'd ask - are you looking to be in more of a "finance/FP&A" role like this given your experience with acq/dev? Do you enjoy actually working directly with deals and understanding the market/product/tenant base?

If so, I'd strongly suggest avoiding fund/portfolio management roles unless its a huge jump in cash comp. Unless they have explicitly stated that the F/PM team has direct involvement in portfolio structuring/composition, operations, and strategy, it will essentially be a reporting and analytics function, akin to FP&A in the corporate world. 9 times out of 10, you don't want to be on this side of things if you want to stay involved with the actual real estate/strategy, understand where your markets are today, or have outside connections to brokers, lenders, other developers, etc.

Anecdotally, the PM group I was in promised a higher salary and a lot of interesting work ("having direct input into portfolio composition, crafting operating/disposition strategy, fund restructurings, complex ad-hoc analysis for C-level execs") but in reality was so far detached from any real decision-making that the work felt pointless at times.  It was essentially KPI reporting veiled as "portfolio analytics" with no actual management of anything outside of models, ensuring liquidity/no breach of covenants, and making sure our fund administrator wasn't fucking up financials/waterfalls. The above being said, I did work closely with a lot of our internal groups (development, acquisitions, AM, credit/structured finance, accounting), fund modeling was interesting and certainly more intricate than the asset-level, my accounting chops got much better, and I did learn quite a bit about the logistics of running a fund. However, "running a fund" is not the same as actively constructing/acquiring/managing a portfolio of real assets.

Best of luck and reach out with any questions!


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