How to Get to ARGUS Certification?

Now that there's a dedicated RE forum I feel like we should have an Argus thread. Argus website here: Argus Software

I've talked to a few people in the industry over the past week and they have stressed how important an Argus certification will be to break in straight from undergrad. Being a student I can do it all for around $1,500 it seems. Do people see this as a sound investment if I'm dead set on breaking into RE acquisitions either in PE or AM? One person I spoke with mentioned some firms will reimburse employees for the certification, is this true for the most part?

Also feel free to discuss any other Argus related topics in here.

What is ARGUS in Real Estate?

The ARGUS describes itself on their website:

At ARGUS, we break ground everyday with products that provide consistency, transparency, and efficiency into the financial and operational processes that drive the global commercial real estate market.

ARGUS products have become the industry standard and provide the complete solution for transacting, managing and growing your commercial real estate portfolio. The industry's leading owners, managers, financial institutions, REITs, brokerages and appraisers trust ARGUS solutions to improve the visibility and flow of information throughout their critical business processes. These processes include asset management, asset valuation, portfolio management, budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting, acquisitions and dispositions, and underwriting.

brandon st randy - Private Equity Director:

My impression has always been that Argus is very easy to learn and use. Basically, you are just plugging in numbers into existing formulas most of the time. The downside is that this software is extremely rigid, if what you are modeling is exactly the way their algorithm is set up, then great. If you have to set up a slightly different/creative capital stack then you are much better off doing it on your own with Excel.

Argus is great for tedious and standard analysis such as rent roll, but I would not use it to analyze the increasingly more creative capital structures than are the norm nowadays.

What is the ARGUS Software Certification?

The ARGUS Certification is described by the company on their website as:

ARGUS Software Certification (ASC) is a challenging certification program recognized by the commercial real estate industry as a trusted standard. Being ARGUS Software Certified can help you and your team:

  • Validate your skills
  • Strengthen your business
  • Gain the confidence of your ARGUS skills within your organization, your customers and the industry

Should I Get the ARGUS Certification?

Our users generally feel that the Argus certification is not worth the $1,500.

any143 - Investment Banking Analyst:

Can't speak for what it looks like to a senior level guy, but to me it seems like a waste of time. Argus takes no more than a week to learn completely. Getting a certificate to prove that is a waste of money. Sure it can do some pretty advanced stuff, but if your only goal is to get cash flows on the property or portfolio level, there really isn't too much to it.

ms87:

Unless you're in a position where $1,500 is no big deal, i.e. not where most undergrads looking for a job are, spending your own money to take an Argus training course would be a waste.

The Argus certification might make your resume stand out in a crowd to get you past an HR drone, but after 2 days in a classroom you won't really know how to use Argus on the job. Also, as mentioned, once you're past the initial hurdle of knowing where to input assumptions/data, the software is pretty straightforward.

A company that expects you to use the software as a young analyst with no prior experience will pay for your training, but I sincerely doubt it would reimburse the cost if you paid for it before you were hired.

Want to Learn More About ARGUS?

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Comments (75)

Best Response
Jun 7, 2012

Can't speak for what it looks like to a senior level guy, but to me it seems like a waste of time. Argus takes no more than a week to learn completely. Getting a certificate to prove that is a waste of money. Sure it can do some pretty advanced stuff, but if your only goal is to get cash flows on the property or portfolio level, there really isn't too much to it.

Just my two cents as a lowly analyst in real estate

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Jun 7, 2012

At my school, we banded together with another local school to get the guys from Kahr Real Estate to give a quick two day training session (over a weekend) on campus for a severely discounted rate (I think the school also chipped in a bit). Not sure if you're feeling proactive and can get such support, but there are ways of getting training without having to pay $1,500.

Jun 7, 2012

i dont think u can know everything about argus even if u used it for a year

Jun 7, 2012

Calling Argus support/ googling/ trial and error goes pretty far without any basic training. Not sure you need to take the class although my company paid for it and I picked up some new shortcuts, nothing vital though. You really only need Argus for the cash flow export like any143 said. Most of the modeling done will be in excel.

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Jun 7, 2012

It's interesting you said that, Dirka. I talked to an analyst at a RE AM fund yesterday and he said they do all their modeling in Argus. Is there a consistent breakdown of Argus use vs. Excel use in the industry or does it vary more firm-to-firm?

Jun 7, 2012
theBEEGEES:

It's interesting you said that, Dirka. I talked to an analyst at a RE AM fund yesterday and he said they do all their modeling in Argus. Is there a consistent breakdown of Argus use vs. Excel use in the industry or does it vary more firm-to-firm?

Maybe I am missing something here but my impression has always been that Argus is very easy to learn and use. Basically you are just plugging in numbers into existing formulas most of the time. The downside is that this software is extremely rigid, if what you are modeling is exactly the way their algorithm is set up, then great. If you have to set up a slightly different/creative capital stack then you are much better off doing it on your own with Excel.

Argus is great for tedious and standard analysis such as rent roll, but I would not use it to analyze the increasingly more creative capital structures than are sthe norm nowadays.

Jun 7, 2012
brandon st randy:

Maybe I am missing something here but my impression has always been that Argus is very easy to learn and use.

so do u actually know how to use argus or are u just guessing?

Jun 7, 2012

Don't get me wrong Argus is used very heavily to construct property-level assumptions (e.g. existing vacant lease up, market lease assumptions). However, Argus is quite limited in terms of impementing leverage assumptions and other specific inputs to project IRR

Jun 7, 2012

What Dirka said is true. My firm as well as many others I know use Argus to crunch the lease data and then export to Excel to model leverage, waterfalls, etc.

I think you can get a trial version of Argus for free. While it won't let you open/import existing Argus files, you can still play around with it to get a feel. Argus itself is pretty easy to pickup. The only thing that may require some experience is debugging since Argus is essentially a black box.

Jun 7, 2012
kjl:

What Dirka said is true. My firm as well as many others I know use Argus to crunch the lease data and then export to Excel to model leverage, waterfalls, etc.

I think you can get a trial version of Argus for free. While it won't let you open/import existing Argus files, you can still play around with it to get a feel. Argus itself is pretty easy to pickup. The only thing that may require some experience is debugging since Argus is essentially a black box.

Argus is easy. It is like an excel model that has strict inputs and will not #ref! out. it is a black box, and most acquisition shops are going to have something else so they can model the very specific attributes/sensitivities of an asset.

Regardless, if you are serious about RE and have no/little experience, I would say the certification is a great way to show an interest. As with most potential undergrad-ish jobs in RE, you are competing with those with 2-3 years experience. They will know the program, or at least the concepts to quickly use it.

I have never taken or looked into the course myself. But if I was hiring an undergrad who had taken it, I would be much more interested in them as a candidate.

So, to answer your question, I think it is important to break in - but really only to break in.

Jun 7, 2012

Double Post

Jun 7, 2012

Unless you're in a position where $1,500 is no big deal, i.e. not where most undergrads looking for a job are, spending your own money to take an Argus training course would be a waste.

The Argus certification might make your resume stand out in a crowd to get you past an HR drone, but after 2 days in a classroom you won't really know how to use Argus on the job. Also, as mentioned, once you're past the initial hurdle of knowing where to input assumptions/data, the software is pretty straightforward.

A company that expects you to use the software as a young analyst with no prior experience will pay for your training, but I sincerely doubt it would reimburse the cost if you paid for it before you were hired. Also, be aware that Argus isn't even relevant for major parts of the industry. If you work for a multifamily investment shop, for example, your company probably won't own a copy of Argus.

Two caveats: I know some RE programs get their students access/training. If it's free, you'd be a fool not to take it. The other caveat is that I'm not an HR drone (just a real estate finance drone), so I don't know what will help you get a job, which is obviously your primary goal. I can say that having taken the Argus training course within the past year, it isn't worth $1,500 of your own money, especially when you don't know if/how you'll be using it.

Jun 7, 2012

Thanks for all the awesome responses guys. I can pick up the student version of Argus for $100 so I think I'll do that and see how far I can get and then reevaluate.

While we're on the topic of modeling has anyone had experience with the BIWS RE modeling package?

Jun 7, 2012

Most large brokerages firms use Argus so they will send pro-formas in Argus files. It's widely used so people recruiting real estate finance juniors like to know that you have used it before.

A lot of Mid-Senior guys in real estate don't know how easy Argus is (they became mid-senior before it was used everywhere). That's why people ask about it. Also, most RE teams are small and unlike the large investment banks, there is rarely any structured training so they expect people to know what to do / to have learned modelling in general beforehand.

Argus is easy to learn and to use. I prefer to export the property level cash flows to excel and then model from there, but I can see how people might want to do the debt modelling, etc... in Argus if they're dealing with very simple structures.

The only thing about Argus that you should keep in mind is to talk to their software guys and learn how it does it's calculations, i.e. what the black box is doing behind the scenes.

The BIWS Real Estate course looks like it can actually teach you something about modelling as opposed to just how to input stuff into Argus. A lot of the REIT stuff in that course won't be relevant to you if you are buying buildings, but the rest is very valid.

Definitely use the student trial of Argus (at least) so you can see how silly a program it is to use. It's just a database that takes your lease / rent roll assumptions and spits out the related cash flows. People will ask you if you know modelling. They may also ask you if you've used Argus (I've been asked).

Personally I don't care if a candidate knows Argus or not. I'm much more concerned about whether or not they understand finance concepts / theory and have learned how to analyse investments / projects in excel. A shitty investment or bad assumptions / modelling is as bad in Argus as it is in Excel or on paper. Argus is standardised so you won't get errors from making mistakes in a formula (there aren't any), but it is still subject to Garbage In Garbage Out. Not everyone feels the way I do.

tl;dr version:
1 - Learn Excel modelling (you might be tested).
2 - Familiarise yourself with Argus. Do the cert if you want, but make sure you've covered no.1.

Jun 7, 2012

Personally I don't care if a candidate knows Argus or not. I'm much more concerned about whether or not they understand finance concepts / theory and have learned how to analyse investments / projects in excel. A shitty investment or bad assumptions / modelling is as bad in Argus as it is in Excel or on paper. Argus is standardised so you won't get errors from making mistakes in a formula (there aren't any), but it is still subject to Garbage In Garbage Out. Not everyone feels the way I do.

100% agree. When it come to who is actually hired, I could care less if they know Argus.

However looking at a recent grads resume I I might actually call them and better understand their interest in RE and experience in excel (given that they probably say they are an expert). Then I would test them in excel (like relinquis said). I really do think it is a good resume credential, but emphasize the undergrad / no actual RE experience.

The main reason is if you are familiar with Argus, I like do not have to explain cam, etc, and you generally know how RE is valued on a high level basis.

Think of it this way:
Resume #1 - #50: Solid GPA, a couple internships, No RE, CV says likes RE
Resume #51: Solid GPA, a couple internships, No RE, CV says likes RE, ARGUS Certified

Resume #51 would at least get a call in my book.

Still, this is probably the best take away on this thread:

1 - Learn Excel modelling (you might be tested).
2 - Familiarise yourself with Argus. Do the cert if you want, but make sure you've covered no.1.

Jun 7, 2012

Bit curious as to the level of modeling at other shops. My firm has its own proprietary valuation model that does VBA exports from Argus so unless I'm looking at a huge portfolio, I'm rarely building a model from "scratch". Thus, most of my modeling is post property-level cash flow on the debt/promote etc...

Do you guys have to build your own excel models from scratch frequently or have a valuation template as well? Unless you are looking at a REIT or entity-level takeover, I'm wondering how neccessary it is to create an excel model for one-off asset level transactions and if I need to step my game up if I were ever "tested".

Jun 8, 2012
RE_Dirka:

Do you guys have to build your own excel models from scratch frequently or have a valuation template as well?

At my fairly large development/management company, we don't use Argus. We have a standard, Excel-based Development model (currently being re-programed) that we use for all of our deals and a more simple management model that we update depending on the specific takeover/transaction.

During my interview process, I was asked by my current boss if I knew how to use Argus and my response went something like, " No, I have never used Argus. However, I am very confident in my ability to pick up the program quickly." It wasn't discussed again.

Definitely agree that Excel should be priority number one. Khar Real Estate has a fantastic, basic tutorial covering most of the concepts involved in RE investing/developing, including understanding the capital stack. Additionally, RealEstateFinancialModeling.com really, really helped me when I was just beginning to get my feet wet. Mentioning that you have taken either course on a CV (or at the bottom of a resume), would help if you're a newbie....and they won't cut 1K out of your wallet.

Jun 7, 2012

Thus, most of my modeling is post property-level cash flow on the debt/promote

We use a proprietary property level valuation xls model from scratch (it is a template) for everything that could possibly have one done. Even a 4 tenant medical office building with '08 financials.

They are likely the most important for our larger one-off transactions.

I'm in distressed on the acquisitions side and we buy whole loan portfolios.

Curious for others opinions on this as well.

Jun 7, 2012

We use excel for every new deal (often, but not always, with a property level cash flow projection export from Argus) as every one of our deals has a different capital and partnership structure (usually we're taking out an existing partner, or are providing some kind of rescue capital and changing an existing structure). There are usually some parts that we can use from our standard template though. Also, the way we present our deals / summaries is pretty standardised.

Sometimes potential partners send us their models and we end up changing that to suit our purposes and so on.

At a previous firm we did a lot of asset acquisitions of similar assets with the same structure. For those we had a standard model. Argus DCF which flows to an excel sheet for a standard partnership waterfall.

For our hotel deals, it's all excel (adapting our standard hotel model). For development deals it's usually all excel also, but from scratch.

Jun 8, 2012

I would say that I've used Argus on about half the deals I've done so far to get the base line property level cash flows. We would then model around those CFs in excel because other functionalities in Argus, like debt, suck.

There is no way you can accurately model mutli-tenant buildings with varying renewal probabilities and market rent assumptions in excel. I hate auditing an analyst's attempt to get it all done in excel. There are always mistakes in the formulas. This is where argus helps to make sure modelling mistakes aren't made. To echo another poster though, if you have shit assumptions/inputs then the cash flows will be useless anyway.

I would say you can learn argus by playing around with it, but to become efficient at it and understand all the nuances of it, you need training. I did a 2 day program when I was an analyst and it was very useful.

We don't expect fresh analysts to have argus training and we provide it as part of overall training. Any good shop will spend the money.

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Jun 8, 2012
RE_Banker:

There is no way you can accurately model mutli-tenant buildings with varying renewal probabilities and market rent assumptions in excel. I hate auditing an analyst's attempt to get it all done in excel. There are always mistakes in the formulas. This is where argus helps to make sure modelling mistakes aren't made. To echo another poster though, if you have shit assumptions/inputs then the cash flows will be useless anyway.

Can you elaborate on this?

Jun 8, 2012
tprb52:
RE_Banker:

There is no way you can accurately model mutli-tenant buildings with varying renewal probabilities and market rent assumptions in excel.

Can you elaborate on this?

He may have a different explanation, but here's my take:

Pretend you are purchasing a two-tenant office building. On top of rent, one of your tenants reimburses expenses over a certain base year. You think there's a 50% chance he renews his lease, and if he vacates you'll need to spend a certain amount on tenant improvements, plus leasing commissions to release the space, with a certain amount of down time between when he vacates and when you get a new tenant, who pays a new rental amount. Your other tenant reimburses you on a triple net basis, there's a 35% chance he renews, and to re-lease that space when he vacates you'll have to spend different amounts on TI/LC, with a different amount of downtime, and you'll release at a different market rent. Instead of building a very complex excel spreadsheet to account for all those assumptions, Argus lets you type X for mkt rent, X TI for new tenants, X TI for renewals, and so on for all your variables down the line.

Now pretend you're purchasing a 50 tenant building, and consider what it would take to model its cash flows. As tedious as it is to enter data into Argus, it crushes excel when you're putting together cash flows for any kind of multi-tenant commercial property.

Plus there's the benefit of uniformity. Anyone can send me their Argus model, and I can tell you how it works and where their cash flow comes from. I can also look for errors more easily, because the inputs are going to be in the same places.

Jun 8, 2012

It seems like everyone is in agreement that the certification isn't necessary in a practical work sense but that it could show dedication to RE on a resume which might separate a candidate from the pack especially if they don't have relevant RE experience (I don't).

Would it be accurate to say that the style of the fund (core vs. value-add vs. opportunistic) will drive the detail and complexity of your models? Would an analyst in an opportunistic fund have a stronger modeling skill set than someone in a core fund?

Jun 8, 2012

This thread has received exhaustive treatment from the community and I'm not sure I'll add much. Apologies if I am being repetitive, given that I got through the first five or six replies and stopped reading.

Everything I saw about Argus is true: it is easy, it is ubiquitous, it is rigid, it is generally augmented with Excel modeling and used nearly exclusively for its ability to handle leases (I model residential and hotel deals in Excel alone, and Argus + Excel for office, retail, etc.).

I did not know Argus when I entered real estate PE from investment banking; very few investment bankers know how to use Argus. However, to those who say that it wouldn't make sense to take the class, I would add that while it may not differentiate him considerably from a skills perspective, a large part of the interview process is proving an established interest, especially when you are coming out of college. There is a chance that making the investment to do this will help to differentiate the OP. The cost, however, does sound prohibitively and unnecessarily high.

Jun 10, 2012

I didn't read the responses but:

If $1500 isn't a huge expense to you, I think this a great way to distinguish between yourself and similar candidates. It is not necessarily a game changer but we absolutely favor people with ARGUS knowledge since that is one of the primary programs junior analysts and interns will be using.

Jun 13, 2012

Where did you get the $1,500 number from? For $495, you get a prep exam, DCF exam, and the advanced guide.

http://customer.argussoftware.com/s.nl/sc.39/categ...

Jun 14, 2012

The $1,500 includes the $99 for the software (student discount), the $890 for the beginner and advanced learning modules, and the $495 for the certificate package that you linked. The certificate package recommends that you take the 2-day class before starting with the material provided.

Jun 16, 2012

I took the two day class. Really what you want is the manual with case studies. The only thing the instructor was useful for was walking around and troubleshooting questions which I could have figured out if I spent more time. Also, I found that it was not always possible to exactly duplicate the cases, IIRC.

Jun 16, 2012
av8ter:

I took the two day class. Really what you want is the manual with case studies. The only thing the instructor was useful for was walking around and troubleshooting questions which I could have figured out if I spent more time. Also, I found that it was not always possible to exactly duplicate the cases, IIRC.

With just the manual with case studies, how will a beginner know what to do when he does not have the foundational knowledge in place?

Are you giving this suggestion to someone who is actually familiar with ARGUS?

Jun 16, 2012
Penn7690:
av8ter:

I took the two day class. Really what you want is the manual with case studies. The only thing the instructor was useful for was walking around and troubleshooting questions which I could have figured out if I spent more time. Also, I found that it was not always possible to exactly duplicate the cases, IIRC.

With just the manual with case studies, how will a beginner know what to do when he does not have the foundational knowledge in place?

Are you giving this suggestion to someone who is actually familiar with ARGUS?

The suggestion is for someone who knows how to do modeling with excel already. The guides go step by step. I had never used Argus before the 2 day class. As others have said, ARGUS makes it easier to input lots of rents as well as rent rollover assumptions without using excel. It spits out a value based on whatever cap rate you put in.

Jul 11, 2012

If you are a student the cost is $500. You receive:

10 e-learning modules which include online quizzes for each module and a prep exam
Argus Software for 6 months
393 page University Certification Guide
The exam

*If you want a classroom instructor it will cost you more

Jul 11, 2012

^damn dude, I thought that package was 1k. I'd be significantly more interested at that price.

GBS

Jul 11, 2012

Sachs, I think it is worth the investment. I know the program pretty well after reading the entire manual and working through the cases a few times.

It's not programming or anything complex, but merely plugging various inputs. One just needs to know where those inputs should be placed.

With the student version you can only create new .SF files (Argus files) or work with the files provided. So, don't plan on uploading files your friend/coworker wants you to review. It will not open.

    • 1
Oct 16, 2012

I'm surprised people will pay so much for training. I could teach people everything they need to know about Argus so quickly to ace that exam if they already have the basics of CRE finance

Oct 16, 2012

I've gone through some of the advanced courses, not hard, just need to know where and how to input assumptions.

The Auto Show

Nov 28, 2012

Hi everyone, from reading the post from the beginning it seems like there are a few key questions that I'd be glad to share my input on:

1. What tools does an analyst need -- Argus? Excel? Both?
2. How can you learn Argus in a cheap and efficient manner?

I was a Senior Analyst for three years in an NYC-based real estate PE firm before starting my own Argus training/outsourced modeling firm (argusvaluation[dot]com). I wrote a guest post for "A Student of the Real Estate Game" blog in early 2010 on "The Role of the Real Estate Financial Analyst" that's still relevant today -- check it out here http://bit.ly/WYyTG0.

---

1. Tools

The key is the Argus is the industry standard and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. It makes the underwriting process so much smoother than if you were working in Excel. (Check out this blog post http://bit.ly/WuxgL3 on underwriting tips for Buyers) However, Argus does have limitations, and it is important to note that most people use it to quickly/efficiently build a 10 year cash flow projection. Argus stops there though, and you should build your returns model in Excel where you can tweak debt, capital events, pref distributions, and waterfalls in a more fine-grained way that is also not a black box.

---

2. How to learn Argus?

The biggest thing that annoyed me when I took the official Argus training in 2007 was how long the class was and how (looking back) most of the material they taught is never actually used by an analyst. While Argus isn't rocket science, it is a black box and difficult to learn at the outset. Especially when you have to answer to your manager (and worse - investors) in the event of any mistakes, you need to be fully confident in how the software works. That's why I decided to make a training DVD (demo clip here argusvaluation[dot]com/demo_clip.swf) which teaches all of the essential Argus elements without teaching extraneous information. It teaches how to build an Argus model from scratch without ever having prior Argus experience. Even better, the DVD can serve as a reference guide in the future should you need to leverage a less used facet of Argus. Check out argusvaluation[dot]com/training.html for the full list of topics covered, and be in touch with any questions.

Dec 12, 2012

Interested as well...

Dec 12, 2012

It honestly depends who you ask. I cannot stand what a pedestal that piece of shit software is put on. It is not that difficult, but for the coolest real estate jobs all you are going to hear is Argus, Argus, Argus. I say if your parents can pay for it without hesitating, then go for it and you won't have to ask yourself it that's the reason you did or didn't land an offer.

If you really think you need it but are finding that it looks too expensive, you could check out some of the cheaper courses taught locally at a nearby MBA program or something. It's just that there are bigger forces at work in landing these entry-level real estate jobs, especially when the market is still trying to absorb all the loose bodies out there. It's usually going to be either that you have a sympathetic connection who can go to bat for you, or else you are an experienced rockstar who will crush any college kid.

Then again, this exam is less than $500? http://customer.argussoftware.com/s.nl/sc.39/categ... In the grand scheme of things, that is not that bad. Let me put it this way: you should at least know how to play around with it a little. Even if you have to break into someone's office and steal a copy because you can't afford the software license, you want to be able to say that you're not starting out 100% fresh with Argus.

Dec 12, 2012

Ugh looks like its going to run you close to a grand for the Beginner + Advanced + Case Study + Prep + Exam. Saw a couple reviews about the exam. They said you need to study this stuff in and out and should buy the casey study / prep before your exam.

Dec 12, 2012

FYI: I emailed Argus about a discount for the programs. They gave me a 20% off coupon and a $49 off coupon. So if anyone decides to buy something, email them for a discount first.

Dec 12, 2012

Most, if not every REPE firm will require candidates to be somewhat familiar with the program. With that said, almost all of those firms won't expect direct undergraduate hires to be particularly knowledgeable in Argus. Personally, getting certified is pointless as most firms will send you to get Argus trained/certified when you start as an analyst.

Dec 12, 2012

No, do not get yourself Argus Certified. Not all the functions are utilized in practice. Instead, it might be worthwhile to buy the training modules for just Rent Roll, Revenue/Expenses and Market Leasing Assumption functions. I would say that those are the most valuable features of Argus.

@prospie - I agree that Argus as a hard prerequisite for employment is pointless. For our generation, its easy for us to pick up a new computer program, especially when you can download the trial version. But the guys making the hiring decisions are older and remember the days when there was no Argus, so they think its the hottest shit. That's why its put on such high pedastal.

NPV also brings up a good point. Firms usually pay for training if you are a fresh undergrad (I was sent to Kahr). But if you're not a recent grad, you will be expected to have working experience with Argus. It's usually a deal-breaker if you don't.

Dec 12, 2012
RE Capital Markets:

No, do not get yourself Argus Certified. Not all the functions are utilized in practice. Instead, it might be worthwhile to buy the training modules for just Rent Roll, Revenue/Expenses and Market Leasing Assumption functions. I would say that those are the most valuable features of Argus.
.

Hi RE Capital Markets, thanks for the amazing post. Just to confirm, here is the Argus eLearning website:
http://www.argussoftware.com/en/education/elearnin...
So you think the most valuable DCF modules are "Understanding Revenues and Expenses" and "Building the Rent Roll"? $190 is not bad. Thanks!

The Auto Show

Dec 12, 2012

Talked with a MD about the Argus certification - they don't care, basically.

The Auto Show

Dec 12, 2012

Thanks guys for the informative comments. I'm a recent college grad with a bachelor's degree in finance and extensive mortgage background but I'm really interested in an analyst position at a REIT or an acquisition firm. Most of the job listings I have read require some sort of experience as an analyst, which I have none. Can anyone give me any advice as to what course of action would be best and most efficient for me to take in order to get my foot in door at a decent firm? Thank you in advance.

Dec 12, 2012

I would do DCF and if you have time, AE. DCF is still the standard in the industry. However, knowing the basics of AE can be very beneficial, especially if the company you are targeting uses it.

Dec 12, 2012

My understanding was that Argus is going to require everyone to go AE....

Dec 12, 2012

AE is the new ARGUS. They wont be servicing DCF beginning in 2016

Dec 12, 2012

They will not be servicing, but that does not mean you cannot use it. It just means there will be no IT support, etc. It will take a few more years for everyone to switch to AE.

Dec 12, 2012

aka pray you don't blow up an ARGUS DCF because there won't be anyone there to repair the file...

Dec 12, 2012

Their support is pretty worthless though. Any time I have called because of an error / corrupt file they just tell me to model the lease again and be sure and use the close button not the red x.

Dec 12, 2012

Just wanna get some clarification. When you said ARGUS AE, are you referring to ARGUS enterprise ? I am a student who interested getting the ARGUS certificate, but I am not sure if I should go with the enterprise or DCF.

Dec 12, 2012

Yes, ARGUS Enterprise. If you are learning from the ground up, stick with Argus AE.

Dec 12, 2012

I find it kind of hilarious that firms place such a huge emphasis on Argus, especially for entry-level hires, but they do. It can do some pretty advanced stuff but the basics are very easy. Download a trial copy and play with it, or, even better, get your hands on Khar's manual somehow. You don't need to drop 500+ (how much does it cost now?) on a cert. Putting "proficient in Argus" on your resume is more than enough. Your interview rate will skyrocket.

Dec 12, 2012

It is kind of a shitty program but I think it gets more flak than it should. Theres no other way to model easily the roll over and market assumptions or base year calcs with such specificity. Its an important program to learn and while the basics are easy, with two years of using argus almost every day I still get headaches on how to go about certain things in the program.

Dec 12, 2012
SHB:

while the basics are easy, with two years of using argus almost every day I still get headaches on how to go about certain things in the program.

was going to mention this. +1

Dec 12, 2012

Agreed that Argus shouldn't take nearly as much shit as it does. Modeling cash flows for multi-tenant commercial properties would be a bitch and a half without it. Every once in a while a kink crops up in a model that takes way longer to iron out than it should, but overall, the software is a huge time saver.

Of course, I also agree that Argus shouldn't be a necessary skill for entry-level hires. If you didn't go to a school with a dedicated RE program, accessing the software would be prohibitively expensive. Not to mention, I don't think you really learn how to use it until you use it in a work environment. Case studies at school or training =/= real work.

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Dec 12, 2012

You can learn Argus in 2 days, download the student version and presto you are good. Also download the Argus OBA. Makes changing assumptions way easier.

Dec 12, 2012

Yes, you can learn the basics of argus in a few days, but this will only provide a leg up when interviewing for entry level positions. After you join a firm that utilizes argus & excel for valuations & DCFs on a daily basis, this is where the argus skillset becomes valuable. Learning how to audit expense reimbursements, modeling complex caps, constructing expense pools for special tenants, etc. cannot be taught in a day.

So many firms have their own nuances for modeling purposes, which can prove to be challenging during UW. I feel that some people on WSO really downgrade the argus skillset. Yes, the basics are extremely easy (input revenues/expenses here, model tenant terms here, etc.), it's the ones that fully understand the software that will thrive and prove to be beneficial to their organization.

Dec 12, 2012

You really don't understand just how powerful of a tool this is until you take the class and learn it inside out. It's not rocket science, but I cant imagine anyone sitting there and learning the more complex reimbursement methods without the Argus manual or taking a class. Its very tedious because one wrong input can throw off the whole projection

Feb 26, 2017

Does anyone have the Argus ebook?

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

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Feb 27, 2017

Bump, I need to brush up on a couple things.

Feb 27, 2017

I'm also looking for it - will drop you a DM if I get a hold of it. Not sure if everything still applies now that they have switched to Enterprise?

May 4, 2017

Does anyone have an ARGUS AE modeling test to share? I'm taking a test in a week, it'll involve building out cash flows for an office property. Willing to trade for an Argus training manual case study. Any help would be appreciated.

May 5, 2017
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Aug 31, 2017
Dec 8, 2017
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