Comments (100)

Jun 12, 2014

They are making us do it soon. I'm so afraid.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Mar 25, 2016

Have you found any alternatives? If not, shoot me an email...chris(at)leaselinks(dot)com

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  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Apr 12, 2016

Here is a great Argus alternative: www.assetdynamics.co

Jun 12, 2014

Yep, my firm uses it. We were one of the first big REITs to make the switch. They are going to double to price of DCF soon to force people into AE. It takes some getting use to, but AE does offer more functionality.

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Jun 12, 2014

AE has almost no shortcuts and the interface sucks aesthetically because you have to scroll forever to get to things that usually were accessible in 1 screen in ARGUS DCF. The only good thing is that you can export data to excel, edit it in excel (which might make bulk work easier), then import it back to ARGUS

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Jun 17, 2014

You could do this in the DCF 15 with the OBA add-in. Not on everything like you can in AE.

Oct 3, 2014

Any similarities in interface of AE to Dyna (Argus AM)?

Jun 12, 2014

Not familiar with the new ARGUS AE. How does it differ from DCF?

Jun 12, 2014

Argus Enterprise is argus's new platform they are pushing really hard.... It's essentially the DCF version coupled with budgeting software. This is really only relevant to large real estate platforms.... I really do not see value for small / boutique shops that outsource a lot of their operational functions... or even companies in between the 2.

I was involved with the testing of this product at my old shop. We ultimately ended up going with a competitor. All in all, i hated argus enterprise.

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Jun 12, 2014
GentlemanAndScholar:

Argus Enterprise is argus's new platform they are pushing really hard.... It's essentially the DCF version coupled with budgeting software. This is really only relevant to large real estate platforms.... I really do not see value for small / boutique shops that outsource a lot of their operational functions... or even companies in between the 2.

I was involved with the testing of this product at my old shop. We ultimately ended up going with a competitor. All in all, i hated argus enterprise.

Thanks for the info. So it sounds like its DCF with a bunch of Asset Management tools built in? Thats awesome, especially since my shop has $0 AUM. That's going to come in real handy.

Gentlemanandscholar - Out of curiosity, how do you deal with interacting with other shops for modeling? I think we can all agree that the majority of the industry works in ARGUS DCF. Do you ever run in to issues if you have to share information with outside firms since you are now using a competitor?

Jun 12, 2014
AcquisitionsGuy:

They are going to double to price of DCF soon to force people into AE.

Can anyone confirm this? I highly doubt argus is attempting to force a switch to AE that has additional functionality which serves 0 purpose for some firms.

Crazy Lloyd Braun:

Out of curiosity, how do you deal with interacting with other shops for modeling? I think we can all agree that the majority of the industry works in ARGUS DCF. Do you ever run in to issues if you have to share information with outside firms since you are now using a competitor?

I am no longer at the shop that tested ARGUS Enterprise and a competitor, which was Realogic. To clarify, my old shop wanted to switch BUDGETING and forecasting software (previously they were using Clarity) as opposed to transactional software (Argus DCF). Both AE and Realogic's budgeting tools spit out normal DCF models that can be utilized to analyze investments like we are all used to. So don't get freaked out that in the near future there will no longer be DCF models. That would be Armageddon in the real estate world - at least core & value add sectors that depend on argus DCF for modeling & transacting.

Feb 12, 2016

I wish we would have gone with a competitor... AE sucks!

Mar 15, 2016

Which competitor do you think you could have gone with, if you had the chance to go back in time? We still haven't converted and thinking of looking around

Apr 12, 2016

Maybe you can try our software: www.assetdynamics.co. A cheap alternative to Argus, in the cloud, and you can work with anyone (not just those that have ARGUS)

Jul 14, 2016

Do you mind sharing which competitor you went with? And how you've been liking it?

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Oct 3, 2014

As far as I can tell it's a cash grab attempt from Argus to try to poach a portion of the budgeting/accounting/Asset Management user base from Yardi, as implied above.

Personally, I've had AE installed on my machine for over 6 months and haven't tried it once. Everyone still sends us DCF models, and that's all I use, because it's what I know.

I think the forced switch is BS. That said, I haven't given the new software a chance.

Oct 6, 2014

Seems like a high risk move to expand into a new business line. I highly doubt a majority of companies that utilize Argus DCF for underwriting will migrate their portfolios into a new cost management software, given the complexity of such an IT transition and costs associated with re-training all of the property managers/corporate employees a new software.

Oct 6, 2014

Still using DCF however we just got AE. I have not used it and I am wondering if it is worth learning considering I haven't seen anyone use it. Any big shops using it???

Jun 12, 2014

I know people at a handful of medium-sized REITs and all of them have/are switching to AE (the REIT I work at has been using it for the past year). Although I like DCF for its simplicity, AE has some great functions that are not present in DCF.

For instance, if you are looking at a portfolio of properties (which we typically do), you usually need to create a seperate DCF file for each one. Then you need to create a consolidated file. To change one item in each DCF model can be very cumbersome. With AE, it is 10x easier. AE is also better for auditing your model and runs much faster.

The problem, as others have mentioned, is AE is not economical for all shops and so the transition will be slow. You can import a DCF model into AE, but the import is not always 100% clean.

Jun 17, 2014

So my company is trying to move over now to AE.... it's a disaster .... Values are off by large margins and the models don't work after importing DCF 15 files because of detailed reimbursements, etc..... Internally, nobody is using it for acquisitions or loans , just the portfolio people (who have found out it doesn't work well) .... To add injury to insult Argus is selling "sensitivity module" and "business apps module" separate which were free before... (technically the business apps didn't entirely exist but the OBA and report writer did.)..

This is what happens when the decision makers don't understand technology and the IT department doesn't understand real estate....

Also I can second the rumor that Argus will start charging more for DCF and then eventually stop providing support for it as well....

Oct 3, 2014
PF_CRE:

This is what happens when the decision makers don't understand technology and the IT department doesn't understand real estate....

Exactly. We had an Argus rep pushing our IT guy to switch us over to AE with the only explanation being because "we had to." Our IT guy was then driving the decision because he didn't realize we had a choice. No one we transact with is making the switch. We aren't trying to lead the market, so we put the switch on hold indefinitely.

Feb 13, 2015

+1 to Slothrop. Our IT guy (who is the man) is being told that everyone will make the switch, but no one on the acquisitions/AM side is pushing for it.

Jan 15, 2015

I know it's kind of a moving target (and I'm assuming negotiable), but can anyone ballpark the cost of an annual subscription for Argus Enterprise?

Jul 14, 2016

That's a complicated answer because 1) their pricing is negotiable, and 2) you have to put some amount (several $1000s), and then pay some amount monthly (several $100s) to "maintain" that license. The lack of transparency with regard to their pricing model is pretty bad.

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Oct 4, 2017

For single license, budget about $4K one-time payment, then $800 per year to maintain the license. You can negotiate if you have volume. They have a cloud based version that's about $600/mo.

Jan 16, 2015

I have not seen it or tried it - that seems to be the case for most people. But echoing the comments above, I've heard its a little funky.

Jan 16, 2015

Same. Have not tried it, only have used DCF.

Jan 16, 2015

My company is starting to adopt AE. Has some interesting capabilities but yes, more expensive and interface is a lot different than DCF. There are also a lot of differences with some of the more nuanced features from DCF. As PF_CRE mentioned, detailed reimbursements are a little different and MLAs work differently (all of the override terms are gone). Personally, my biggest gripe is that they did away with almost all of the keyboard shortcuts, I guess I will be getting reacquainted with my mouse. From speaking with the ARGUS rep from the AE training I took, their plan is to eventually stop supporting DCF.

Feb 11, 2016

I'm dealing with the issue of overrides being unavailable in Enterprise. When I import a DCF file into Enterprise, my override terms are now individual MLA's.

What is your strategy around this?

Jan 16, 2015

In my experience the conversion from DCF to AE keeps the substance of your MLAs the same - cash flows will still generally tie out. Its basically assuming that you have used all 4 override terms and creates a MLA for what each looks like. These work, but I usually replace them since they are mostly redundant.
We assign specific MLAs to each suite, so I usually replace the 5 that AE creates with 2 for each suite. The first is specific assumptions for the following rollover, and the 2nd is that suites general market assumption. In the rent roll I have the suite roll to the first MLA, then in the market leasing tab, you have the 1st MLA roll to the 2nd, and the 2nd MLA roll to itself (so it just keeps looping back to the market assumption in the future). Because we use specific assumptions for each suite (rather than 1 or 2 per building) I don't get the full benefit of this feature, but I think this is actually a big improvement over DCF.
You can set up 1 or two "Market" MLAs for your building and have each of your specific MLAs roll into that one. Previously, in DCF, if you had this set up and you wanted to change your market assumptions, you had to go into each MLA. This gives you a lot more flexibility. For example, if you have a building that is going to change use (or is dated and needs significant capital on the next roll, etc) and your rollover assumptions are much different than your typical market assumptions, you can set up a rollover MLA for each suite, then have them all roll to your market after that. And if you need to change some of the suites assumptions, or the general market assumptions, you don't need to edit every single MLA.

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Jan 16, 2015

I started on AE so I wouldn't know any better.

Feb 11, 2015

Which would be more valuable to learn if have no experience with DCF or AE? I'm applying to analyst jobs and am considering getting certified in either DCF or AE. Which one is the better choice??

Jun 12, 2014

DCF. without a hesitation of doubt.

Feb 12, 2015

^ Why? I'm certified in DCF and haven't seen AE yet but anticipate us switching over soon. If AE is the future, why not do AE? I wouldn't do DCF if I was just beginning. Its going to be gone forever soon. No one is happy about it, of course.

Jun 12, 2014

I say that because AE seems to cater to FP&A activity. It's useful for large platforms. The actual modeling skill set, specifically for acquisitions, AE serves no purpose. If FP&A (and Asset Management for large platforms) is the route you want to go, then maybe AE is more valuable to you than to me.

Feb 11, 2015

I'm more interested in acquisitions not FP&A. DCF it is, thanks for the help!!

Jan 16, 2015

I'd say that it depends on what kind of shops you're looking to apply at. I think that because of some of the enterprise features AE offers (and because it is more expensive) bigger firms will start to make the transition sooner, while DCF will probably live on in smaller firms for a long time. Ultimately, they're similar enough that if you get certified in one, you will at least be serviceable in the other.

Feb 12, 2015

Won't DCF actually be "more expensive"? I believe Argus is making concessions to get people off of DCF and get them to AE. They are cutting deals for AE and making it more accessible and affordable. An IT guy (from my company, a massive brokerage) who called me about a month ago said that. They're not happy about it and neither are we. The transition is going to suck. If it costs us a deal or screws us up many people are going to be pissed-- what does that mean? Nothing. Because no matter what we need Argus and we will do what the industry tells us to do. I heard that AE doesn't even let you edit DCF received files. So if you're on DCF, you might as well be on a student version because no one will be able to do anything with it.

Again, I'm on DCF. I imagine I will be off of DCF completely within 6 months. This is the perspective from the field.

Feb 12, 2015

Just so everyone reading my posts know-- I have NEVER seen AE. I have never even looked over anyone's shoulder using it nor have I researched it at all. All i know is DCF will be a dinosaur soon.

Feb 12, 2015

FP&A does nothing for me. My understanding is that AE incorporates everything-- including the modeling aspects of DCF.

Apr 8, 2015

AE is a piece of shit. Just thought i'd vent a little.

Jun 12, 2014

Assuming everyone else has already received an email from ARGUS, but for those of you who haven't, I can confirm that they are discontinuing support for DCF (was quoted end of 2016). Also, sometime in the future (assuming 5+ years or so from today) all top brokerage shops / RE institutions will begin to trade AE files vs. DCF files when buying / selling / valuing real estate. There will be a point at which the laggards who are late adopters are going to be SOL.

Super bummed because I know ARGUS like the back of my hand and I truthfully hate the new AE platform.

Jan 16, 2015

Email I got says 6/30/2017 is the last day DCF will be supported. Hopefully that will give ARGUS enough time to iron out the kinks with AE. Lot of potential with the new platform but it would be nice if they could start by creating some usable reports.

Sep 9, 2015

All of USD - University of San Diego, a well respected MSRE program and ARGUS training program have been using AE. That was as of May 2015.

I used AE for two days and have a version on my laptop until Dec. I found it to be rather clunky. As a program all the functions, icons, etc seemed to lack continuity. No real flow or logic. But again, I'm a total ARGUS noob. Never seen DCF. Professor Tu did say that once CB, M&M, DTZ and some large P/E or banking players switch to AE, the rest will have to follow.

Also, I believe AE offers a waterfall model.

Feb 12, 2015

I haven't opened AE but I can tell you for certain that, like the debt features of Argus DCF, the waterfall model will be useless and suck. No one with a brain will use it.

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Oct 6, 2014

Well this sucks.

Feb 11, 2016

Has anyone heard from any of the big brokerage shops converting over to AE? I know my shop will not make the jump until we start seeing the Eastdil's and HFF's of the world start sending out the marketing materials in the new format.

"Ric Flair Drip"

Apr 15, 2016

I worked on a few appraisals in late 2015 and received AE models from CBRE. No longer in a market-oriented position so curious to hear if DCF is still the standard for brokers?

Mar 15, 2016

ARGUS forced my firm to get AE 11.0. I have never used ARGUS and there is literally no free training or case studies on the internet. I'm currently teaching myself using the F1 Help book, it's ridiculous.

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Mar 15, 2016
CREF1524:

ARGUS forced my firm to get AE 11.0. I have never used ARGUS and there is literally no free training or case studies on the internet. I'm currently teaching myself using the F1 Help book, it's ridiculous.

I'm having the same issue, it's driving me crazy. If anyone has any suggestions please share.

Jul 14, 2016

I have a suggestion - check out Assess+RE! We do virtually the same analysis that Argus does, only our pricing will be transparent, and we require no downloads or training whatsoever. Currently in open beta, so it's totally free to use for the time being. (When we do commercially release, I can promise you it'll be way cheaper than Argus.)

Can't post any links here, so just Google "assess re" and we're the first result.

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Mar 15, 2016

We are having to switch later this year too... not looking forward to it now

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Apr 15, 2016

I used to use it at my previous shop. It shouldn't be more than a couple of days on the learning curve. Only function that I hated that they took away was the right click detail.

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Jun 17, 2014

FYI in 10.6.2 right click detail is back. Your welcome.

Apr 4, 2016

There are a couple

Jan 16, 2015

Basically all of the hot keys are gone so it does go a little slower. Learning curve shouldn't be too bad though

Best Response
Feb 11, 2016

I've tried all avenues to get my hands on some case studies for Argus Enterprise with no avail. There are some crafty people on WSO that reached out to me and got me interested in their case studies, but then tried to tag a $300 price on it to their personal paypal.

Has anyone had their company send you through their Argus Enterprise Training classes and received a case study book??? If so, I would love a PDF copy! Help your fellow monkeys out!

Documents I've pulled from the internet
- ARGUS: Valuation DCF -- Step-By-Step Guide (April 25, 2011) http://downloads.argussoftware.com/VALDCF/15B/Step...

  • ARGUS: Valuation DCF -- Training Manual - Contents - Day 2 (p. 2-50) (June 2012)

NOTE: I have this saved as a PDF and includes one case study. It represents half of the DCF paid training. I at one point took the class, but misplaced my training manual. Can't remember where i found it online. PM me and I can send it to you.

If you have taken Argus DCF or Enterprise classes. I would love to have a copy of the training manual.

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May 11, 2016

Has anyone had their company send you through their Argus Enterprise Training classes and received a case study book??? If so, I would love a PDF copy! Help your fellow monkeys out!

Mar 15, 2016

I recently took the AE class over the weekend, which I had to pay at my own dime because my company did not want to sponsor the event. I personally chose to take the class because I have had very minimal exposure to DCF. The only thing provided in the trial software and a training manual. They don't provide the case study book but do try and advertise it.

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May 11, 2016

If you call argus, you can have the book sent to you. I'm sure there is a nominal fee, but you can get it.

Feb 11, 2016

Were there case studies that you worked on in the training course?

May 11, 2016

Not sure if you can buy it online, but if you call Argus, I'm sure you can get the training manual. Not sure how much it will cost though. Training manual is probably just as helpful as the case studies because if you can't use the program, it will be hard to do the case studies.

May 11, 2016

Brokers are making the switch too. Most have copies of both at the moment to help with the transition and variation between clients. DCF will be completely phased out next year, so it's only a matter of time...

Mar 22, 2016

At this point, is it still worth learning DCF? The training package for DCF is less than half the price of AE.

May 16, 2016

Adding on to this, does anyone know someone/some place that offers a course on ARGUS Enterprise at a reasonable price? ARGUS themselves is a massive ripoff. I reached out to Kahr but they only offer courses if you are part of a real estate firm or if you are in school.

May 16, 2016

I'm neither in school nor working within real estate at the moment

Jun 17, 2014

What's the deal with Kahr's course? Why only "at a a firm or a student"?

May 24, 2016

Our firm runs on DCF but might need to make the change to AE soon.

All of the broker Argus (HFF, CBRE, JLL) come in DCF form.

Does AE integrate old DCF Form?

Jun 17, 2014

You can import "DCF or .SF" files into AE but not everything comes through clean and the list of things you need to check is nauseating. The newer the version you use to import the better off you are. AE version 10.5 couldn't import detailed market leasing assumptions, space absorption, etc.

The really odd thing is that AE 11 files are not backwards compatible with AE 10.6 or 10.5 or 9.5 any older version of AE prior to 11.

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May 24, 2016

That sounds like a nightmare creating thousands of needless hours of extra work for analysts with no monetary benefit except those at Argus.

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May 26, 2016

Our company made the transition to AE last year. It's been a nightmare for the analysts/asset managers trying to get things modeled or converting between systems/versions. Is there a viable alternative though?

Jun 2, 2017

My company just made the switch to AE and I'm having problems once I convert the DCF files to AE. Do you have some key points I should look at ? I keep getting account number not existant and account number already in use errors..Tenant with longer maturity and etc..if you have a website or a few pointers for me I would appreciate..
Thx D

Jun 11, 2016

We are switching too. Had the Argus AE training and it is kind of not worth it, the company paid though. It's tedious as you can't build out a rent roll or Ref accounts as quickly as in DCF. In DCF you could get away without using a mouse... AE has all those fields we never use you have to scroll through, drives me nuts. I got faster at AE but it will never be as fast as DCF, though I like the instant calculation. Cash flows vary ever so slightly between the two versions. Argus trainer said it was to be expected. Ugh.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jul 9, 2016

A/E has ruined the user friendliness of Argus. It is too complex unless your job is to be working on A/E all day long. Cumbersome, difficult to learn, and a time suck.

Jul 14, 2016

Guys - there IS a viable alternative coming out soon. It's currently in open beta. Assess+RE does virtually everything that Argus does... but it requires zero training and is totally cloud-based. I've used Argus professionally, and have about a decade of experience using Excel for the same purposes, and in my opinion (biased as it may be) Assess really is much better. It was created by a Columbia modeling professor, and Josh Kahr is actually one of our advisors.

Oct 4, 2017

Would anybody be willing to pay $200-300 for a 10 hour training video and possible 1-on-1 time for quick questions or by email? I think my company paid about $1,500 for me to go to a basic AE intro course, but seemed like such a waste.

I've been using AE for about a year now and prefer it to DCF only because it calculates changes in real time, but I miss the ability to see the rent roll on one screen.

Here's the major difference to be aware of when switching from DCF to AE:
1. AE seems to gross up reimbursements, so the exact same inputs from DCF used in AE will result in a higher valuation on reversion value.
2. Using the 'import DCF' function is S#it for rent steps, so you really need to audit every lease rent step.
3. The portfolio roll up of multiple AE files sucks ass because you need to extend the hold period in each file before rolling up.

I thought about taking 2-3 weekends to producing an 8-10 hour video training on AE and putting it up on Udemy or similar website, possibly providing some case study files to do the step-by-step on your own. I have a server with AE and other software so somebody could have remote access to practice or just rent out the server for a project on hourly/daily basis? Not sure how to judge interest or what it's worth. But I know how much it sucks to be tasked with learning a new software. My boss is trying to make me learn how to use Yardi ABF, which is like an MS DOS version of Argus, so PAINFUL. Let me tell you that Yardi will take 10x more time and 10x more dollars for training to learn because it is so integrated with the accounting side and they will only do live training, no recorded webinars or nice step-by-step manuals like Altus/Argus.

Jun 17, 2014

So checking back in, is everybody on board with Argus Enterprise at this point or who is still holding onto DCF for dear life?

A couple brokers have expressed concerns to me because bids were based using an AE file but some buyers were using DCF and there were value differences between AE and DCF using the same inputs to the best of their knowledge. If you have really tight bidding then having $75K in unknown value difference can wreck havoc. Anybody else running into this?

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Oct 4, 2017

Yes, last check, Goldman AM was making the switch a few months back, JP Morgan about a year ago. I think Asset Management benefits most from AE vs. Acquisitions because AM is doing more lease analysis scenarios in normal day to day workflow. Acquisitions can get the rent roll generally set and only need to make a handful of upside/downside scenarios. AE definitely takes some retraining and time to get used to, but the single biggest enjoyable benefit of AE over DCF is instantaneous cash flow updates. I can have the rent roll open on the bottom half of screen, adjust assumptions, and have any report open in top half of screen (or another monitor), and instantaneously see effect on cash flows/reports. There's no more wasting time making adjustment, then running report and waiting 30 seconds for iterations to complete. This is probably the only reason I would recommend AE over DCF.

Also, organizing files into a database-like structure is much faster than making copies of DCF files on the hard drive and renaming them. I've created a scenario called XYZ property - Lease Analysis - Scenario XYZ, in a few minutes by just creating a duplicate of the file within AE and tweaking a few assumptions, then it's just point and click through scenarios to see cash flows, not waiting to re-open each individual DCF file. This is a huge time saver if you're in asset management. However, be warned, you need to export AE files from the database to the hard drive if you want to permanently save it. This takes a little getting used to.

Oct 4, 2017

AE can also be linked directly to an acquisition model and updated returns can be obtained real time.

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Feb 12, 2018

How do you link AE directly to an acquisition model for real time updated returns?

Jun 17, 2014

Yeah, maybe not the last check.

DCF you could put have the dashboard open in one window and the rent roll in another window. I've always said that benefit is BS.

Instant cash flow updates, really? But AE is slower to open and slower to crank through assumption changes. Net/Net the timing difference is BS. I do know of some crazy Mall properties that I knew could take up to 2 hours to recalc in DCF and there was a time save in AE.

Duplicating AE files that you use to change assumptions: you used to be able to do this exact same thing in openargus with assumption changes, while not waiting to open each DCF file.

The database background is the real benefit. So do you work for Altus?

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Jan 21, 2018

Never tried importing an Argus DCF file to AE before, does anyone know if this creates any inconsistencies with recoveries depending on how you model it? I know previous posts mentioned mentioned problems with MLA and rent steps, any idea if that's been resolved yet?

As an update, many mid to large sized shops I've noticed have switched to AE at least on a partial basis. Some smaller shops are still on DCF and some IS models from brokers also still seem to be on DCF.

Jan 23, 2018

From my locality, CBRE is still on DCF, colliers is on AE. Not sure about Jll/CW

May 24, 2018

How do you link Argus to an excel workbook?