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.
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.
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.
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.
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