Best Real Estate Modeling course? REFM? BIWS? WSP?

This is my first post to WSO so I hope I'm doing this correctly.

Here's a little about myself...

Job : 1 year doing corporate finance at Top 3 Bulge Bracket bank
Undergrad : (Mid-Atlantic) Non-Target - Penn State, Maryland, UNC
Major GPA: 3.7+
Internships: 1 year at Elite RE development firm that builds casinos, entertainment complexes, shopping centers, multi-use etc

Upon graduating undergrad, I had aimed to start my career in investment banking either in NYC or LA. I was a bit naive/unrealistic at the time as I was entire aware of the rigid structure of on-campus recruiting. Sigh, I wish I had found WSO sooner! Since I was being the recruiting 8-ball and was in desperate need to pay bills as I am entirely self-sufficient, I took a job with a BB-bank but in a back office role. To put it bluntly, the work is mind numbing; and although I enjoy the personalities of the people I work with, I feel that I am not learning a valuable skill set that would suit me throughout my career.

I had had such a phenomenal experience at the CRE firm that I had interned at. However, I was hard-set on BB IB and passed on an offer from the firm. Eventually, the filled the position and I was out of my offer. Now, I am once again looking to move back into CRE. I have an interview with a REPE firm and I have a strong feeling I will have to complete an in-person modeling case study.

I am currently taking the BIWS basic modeling courses; however, my gut tells me that BIWS's basic modeling course will have me a bit unprepared for the case study.

Therefore, I was wondering if any fellow industry monkeys had advice/insight onto a high-quality modeling course that I could learn from. I've seen recommendations for BIWS REIT but that seems a bit more REIB focused. I've also seen recommendations for REFM and this seems to be a good fit. However, there are a wide variety of courses to choose from and the site doesn't not clearly lay out which ones would work well for an industry beginner trying to learn as much as possible.

If you have been in my predicament before, please reply or shoot a PM as I would love to hear all advice that you have to share!

PS - I have some good courses and guide if anyone is interested in a swap.

Comments (120)

Sep 4, 2014

I currently work in a real estate private equity fund in San Francisco over over a year and was previously working in a NY based PE fund for over 3 years. Prior to that I have 2 years of RE valuation advisory experience in Big 4. I suggest taking a modelling/valuation course from Urban Land Institute as it is more RE focused. I have materials from the course that I took and I am willing to swap with what you have. Shoot me a PM or reply.

Nov 23, 2015

@SanFranREPE Would you be interested in sharing these ULI modelling/valuation models?

I'm looking for developer focused models. I'm currently working for SF RE Operator as an analyst and we are jump starting our development and need to fine tune my skills.

I've got a few models to swap if interested.

Jan 25, 2016

Bumping this. Are you referring to ULI's Pro Forma Fundamentals Certificate? Any insight? It seems like a great program, but I am on the fence as REFM is half the price and seems to be more well known.

Feb 26, 2018

Hi, need ULI pls. Can offer BIWS complete set!

Aug 22, 2018

What courses from ULI would you recommend. There are a handful and was wondering which ones you took? Thanks!

Array

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Nov 23, 2015

I have the REFM MF program now. There is certainly a lot of info there but you're hunting for it. Bruce is a knowledgeable individual in the field of financial modeling but I find his teaching techniques to be lacking. With that being said, if you're already at least intermediate in Excel, and it sounds like you are maybe advanced, REFM courses may be for you.

His MF model is a value add acquisitions deal on a 30 unit building in Florida.

I have his office model as well but have yet to even open it...

Nov 25, 2015

Would love to swap BWIS models for the REFM office.

Jun 14, 2016

I have a solid understanding + modeling skills for core MF properties but im looking to learn how to model value add properties or properties with upgrade programs... would you recommend the REFM mf self study program? is it worth it to buy?

Dec 28, 2018

Hv REFM if you are interested

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Jun 14, 2016

BIWS is a good program and it has helped me. I have used portions of their course and it comes with videos as well as models to help you. It is very simple and easy to walk through. With that said, the main self study course I used to learn to model was REFM www.getrefm.com
I found this program to be fantastic and really taught me to model. I had no trouble while going through interviews for case studies. The program is broken down into 3 levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced and I would recommend doing all three if you don't mind the price. You will 100% be able to compete against IB kids when it comes to modeling an asset. This won't teach you to do a 3 statement model and that is where the IB kids will be better, but if you are not target shops which go after whole companies for their real estate, you should be fine.

Jun 14, 2016

Is the getrefm.com program geared towards macs or pcs or is it compatible with both? Also, which course did you use from REFM? Is it the Levels 1, 2 and 3 Bundle: Excel for RE, RE Finance and JV Waterfall Bootcamp for $449.00 (https://www.getrefm.com/product-category/self-stud...), the REPE Fund Modeling Self-Study Video w/Excel File for $599.00 (https://www.getrefm.com/product-category/self-stud...) or something else?

    • 1
Jun 14, 2016

I plan on investing in both the BIWS RE kit and the getrefm course. Just for additional education. I think for the money its pretty good from what I have been told. I wonder though...if companies are seeking kids with modeling experience already (as a fresh undergrad), what major or classes in undergrad teaches you RE specific modeling or Argus???!! I would think thats something you learn on the spot at the job entry level anyway. Or is that why internships are so important? (Did not go that route so I would not know)

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Best Response
Jun 14, 2016

It's not just modelling but your core understanding of Acct and Finance that will drive your ability to get a job. These IB analysts are all coming in with heavy finance and acct backgrounds which gives them their edge, not per say in modelling, all that is driven by the underlying knowledge. If you take BIWS modelling courses but your fundamental understanding of acct/finance is weak, getting a firm spot in these REPE funds will be quite challenging...

    • 2
Jun 14, 2016

I have used both BIWS and REFM. I recommend both.

Jan 21, 2016

Bump

Jun 14, 2016

PHLrealestate - was the REFM course worth it? I am thinking about potentially taking level 1,2,3?

Jun 14, 2016

Have you taken BIWS? it is cheaper and seems to have more content and comes with case studies. REFM is decent but in hindsight I would have spent money elsewhere first.

Jun 14, 2016

I'm interested to trade for your REFM course. I have material from Kahr's course and a bunch of other resources. PM me and we can go from there.

Dec 31, 2017

I have level 3 Real Estate Modeling course from CFI if you want to PM me

Dec 28, 2018

PM me

Jan 21, 2016

Bump

Jun 14, 2016

Youtube

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Jun 14, 2016

You know what would be really good for me is to try to solve some sort of CRE problem.

If someone outlines some sort of problem: model this, etc, give me that, in Excel, and let's me send it to them for feedback, well I'll be your friend at the very least.

Jun 14, 2016

BIWS

Jun 14, 2016

echoing secfinance....

used BIWS course and it helped me get a feel for RE modeling. The IRR waterfall lecture is a good introduction to that concept...

Jan 15, 2017

Ok I know I'm a bit late to the conversation but there are some great excel models and info available on a website I found called "Adventures in CRE" (see link below). I know it helped me quite a bit as an intermediate user and the WST add-in is quite useful too (keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + Shift + B to format font blue)
https://www.adventuresincre.com/library-real-estat...

    • 1
Jun 3, 2017

Wow, I haven't gone through a full model from here yet but this looks fantastic, and the price is right for sure. Has anyone who knows how to do these models correctly, gone through these and can certify that they're well built?

I'm wondering why there isn't more buzz about this in the thread...

    • 1
Jun 3, 2017

Yeah I agree - there also a google drive on WSO with a few case studies on there but without the answers - I've worked through some of them so if you want to PM me to go through your model I'd be happy help out

Jan 27, 2017

Anyone want to trade RE Modelling with BIWS Advanced financial modelling ?

Apr 26, 2017

Anyone have insight they could throw in?

How does BIWS/REFM work with sharing? My brother is a student in real estate so I would like to split the cost and share with him.

Also my personal laptop is a Mac, will I need to run windows to model in excel?

Apr 26, 2017

REFM is browser based video through an account you log into. They give you an excel document that you can work along with.

May 25, 2017

Message me if you want to swap the BIWS RE course for the REFM RE Course (Full bundle level 1-3)

Whatever it takes.

May 25, 2017

REFM RE Course for the BIWS Course*

Whatever it takes.

Jul 3, 2017

Are you still looking to swap the BIWS RE course? I have the full REFM bundle.

Jun 28, 2017

interested in swapping BIWS/REFM RE course for any of the Wall Street Prep courses?

Jul 11, 2017

I have the REFM course if you have the WSP course to swap.

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package .If u have the REFM package and still interested to swap .Please let me know

Aug 10, 2019

Yes I would like to trade will you PM me?

Jul 11, 2017

I have BIWS, so if someone wants to swap for REFM, PM me

Jul 22, 2017

I have REFM, let me know if you still want to swap

Jul 26, 2017
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Feb 26, 2018

Hi, I can offer BIWS complete set. PM me pls

    • 1
Aug 12, 2017

I've got Refm bundle and acquisition multi family model if you still need to swap.

Dec 18, 2017

Still available to swap?

Jul 17, 2017

Has anyone heard of or taken the "CRE Investment Fundamentals" course by Property metrics? I have been following their blog for quite a while but unsure if I want to spend the cash on the course.

Jul 19, 2017

I am literally wondering the same thing. The package seems more compact than the other two sources.

Jul 26, 2017

Isn't Argus the dominant player in this market?

Nov 11, 2017

Hi, wondering if anyone wants to share their REFM RE login for $. Thank you.

Nov 11, 2017

PM me. I haven't logged on in a while so not sure if active, but will check in the AM.

Dec 12, 2017

Hi Duke,

I am wondering if you are willingly to share REFM RE login as well. Also, I am looking particularly at RE Private Equity Fund Modeling course.

Dec 12, 2017

I have the WSP Modeling Course and the REFM Level 3: JV/Waterfall course if anyone is looking to swap. Was looking for REFM 1 & 2 or any other good real estate focused modeling course

Dec 18, 2017

I have the REFM Level 1, 2, and 3 bundle. Looking to swap for BIWS Real Estate/REIT modeling course. Please comment or PM if you're interested in trading/sharing

    • 1
Dec 18, 2017

I can't PM but I'll Trade you

    • 1
Dec 19, 2017

Sounds good. I've sent you a message

Feb 26, 2018

Hi, I am willing to offer BIWS as well...if still looking?

Apr 16, 2018

Hi - I have REFM and I would like to see what BIWS has to offer. Interested int rading?

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package

Aug 10, 2019

I can't PM you but would be awesome to trade for WSP

Feb 9, 2018

PM me, I have some models and courses

Feb 26, 2018

HI, very keen to trade (I have BIWS etc.). Can we connect pls?

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package. it includes financial modeling , m&a modeling, LBO modeling etc

Feb 12, 2018

Hi all,

Anyone interested in swapping the BIWS RE training for Wall Street Prep valuation training?

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package. it includes financial modeling , m&a modeling, LBO modeling etc

Mar 9, 2018

BIWS Real estate case studies are great. I prefer the Wall Street Prep style of teaching, breaks it up in to more incremental pieces.

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package. it includes financial modeling , m&a modeling, LBO modeling etc

Apr 16, 2018

Not necessarily related to modeling but also good for interview prep...trippple.net does a great Sunday night newsletter to help keep track of major news stories

Apr 27, 2018

Bump this. I have REFM full New York self Study course and the Property metrics course. Looking for a login for the BIWS course, PM me if your interested in swapping. Also considering buying the REFM course that accompanies the Real Estate Finance and Investments textbook by Peter Linneman. PM me if you want to split the cost and share a login.

Apr 27, 2018

Im pretty sure I have a pdf of the book if you want to swap a couple of the refm lessons

Apr 30, 2018

I already have a hard copy of the book, REFM just offers a course that has lectures to walk you through examples applying the info, has interviews with linneman, etc.

Jul 26, 2018

Would you consider $ for access to the REFM materials you have?

Aug 4, 2018

Did you find someone?

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package. it includes financial modeling , m&a modeling, LBO modeling,valuation etc

May 25, 2018

Have a full BIWS course. Anyone willing to swap for REFM or ULI courses?

Feb 17, 2019

I have REFM templates, looking for BIWS. Are you interested ?

Mar 1, 2019

Hey I have BWIS models and willing swap for REFM, please PM :)

Feb 19, 2019

I hope it's not too late. I have REFM templates and need BIWS. Are you interested to SWAP?

May 28, 2018

If you are looking for a free course teaching the basics I founded this site which has some good videos and free templates.

https://streetwisemodeling.thinkific.com/

Free Real Estate Modeling Course:
https://streetwisemodeling.thinkific.com/

    • 1
Jun 4, 2018

Is UNC really a non-target?

Dec 28, 2018

Nvr heard of it on the west coast, but east coast folks can chime in. I heard it is a reputable school and I am sure the network is strong on the local level.

Jul 24, 2018

Anyone willing to share the videos to BIWS?

Aug 14, 2018

I have the WSP Full Package (Including REIT Model). Looking for BIWS or GETREFM.

Primarily looking for development modelling kits.

Sep 4, 2018

I am planning to purchase BIWS or REFM package. Are you still interested in trading?

Dec 28, 2018

PM me

Sep 3, 2018

I'm going to be buying the BIWS Real Estate Modeling course. It is necessary to take the BIWS Excel and Fundamentals course or Advanced Modeling course before I take the Real Estate Modeling course? Or can I get by without the intro courses if I already have a decent knowledge of Excel/financial statements?

Sep 24, 2018

Guy - I have the BIWS Excel Modeling course if you'd be willing to swap for their RE course. PM me

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package. it includes financial modeling , m&a modeling, LBO modeling etc

Sep 3, 2018

Hi,

I have REFM Certification level 1-3 courses if anyone is interested in a swap.

Sep 4, 2018

I plan to purchase BIWS, let me know if you want to swap.

Sep 5, 2018

Awesome, if you shoot me an email at [email protected] we can exchange

Mar 1, 2019

I have BWIS, would love to swap! please PM

Mar 27, 2019

Hey I have WSP premium package which includes LBO, M & A etc , would you be willing to swap with BIWS Real Estate package ?

Sep 5, 2018

Have the full WSP premium modeling package. Looking for BIWS RE ideally but would also consider REFM. PM me if interested.

Feb 17, 2019

I have REFM templates, looking for BIWS. Are you interested ?

Sep 22, 2018

Also interested in swapping for any of the REFM, BIWS

Feb 17, 2019

I wonder if you are interested to SWAP BIWS's RE modeling course for REFM templates.

Aug 10, 2019

Yes let me know if you would still like to swap?

Oct 1, 2018

I have the REFM Levels 1, 2 and 3 bootcamp bundle. Looking to swap for BIWS RE Modeling course.

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package. it includes financial modeling , m&a modeling, LBO modeling etc

Oct 17, 2018

Hi, I have wall street preps premium package. Interested in swapping for a real estate course

Oct 17, 2018

Hi I have wall street preps premium package ? Interested to swap it with a real estate package. it includes financial modeling , m&a modeling, LBO modeling etc

Nov 27, 2018

For an RE professional with little modeling experience...is the REFM 1-3 Course or BIWS RE Course a better introduction to excel modeling for real estate? In other words, does one class better serve a newcomer to excel modeling in general versus someone with generic excel modeling experience that is looking to enhance skills focuses on RE. I would rather start with the better course for beginners. Thanks for thoughts.

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