New Analyst Struggling with Argus

aman12's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | banana points 67

Hey guys - I am a first year analyst straight out of college working in real estate AM. I started in late June and for the first month that I was on the job basically had very little responsibility. Recently, the team I am working with has decided to throw me into the water and I feel somewhat incompetent. The place where I feel weakest is in Argus and am afraid that I will not do well on assignments that are Argus related. We did have a 2 day Argus training, but I still feel that I am not as well versed as I should be.

Do you have any recommendations on how to quickly ramp up my Argus skills so I can do well in the upcoming "busy season."

Comments (27)

Jul 27, 2018

Just ask your superior if you can go through some argus runs with them.

Jul 27, 2018

Do you still have your argus book? Reread the whole thing and do the case studies.

Jul 27, 2018

Yeah I think I'm going to come in this weekend and study it. Just afraid that I won't be competent enough before upcoming reporting deadlines.

Jul 31, 2018
aman12:

Yeah I think I'm going to come in this weekend and study it. Just afraid that I won't be competent enough before upcoming reporting deadlines.

This is the right approach. Watch videos, study your book, play with the models to see what pulling each level impacts, and don't be afraid to ask for help. And the end of the day, becoming competent is on you. Do whatever it takes to get there.

    • 2
Nov 27, 2018

I've never had an Argus book - is this something ARGUS provided?

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jul 27, 2018

lots of youtube videos and excel tutorials. also, read shit online on argus and go through the training manual before asking your manager a dumb ass question that's on the introduction page of argus.

    • 1
Most Helpful
Jul 27, 2018

I know that you are going to hate me for saying this, but make a copy of an ARGUS run, print out the original supporting schedules, and then change single assumptions to see how it affects the model. Always look at the resulting supporting schedules.

For example, if you add 1 extra month to the Months Vacant input cell in the MLA table, see how it alters the numbers for the size of absorption and turnover vacancy and the TI. If you are unable to understand the change, try to recreate the math for that line item in Excel. It doesn't have to be dynamic, just good enough to provide you with greater transparency.

AE is unfortunately a black box and could be initially intimidating, however by truly delving into a model, you will be fine in no time.

    • 5
Jul 27, 2018

Use the book which came with the Argus training class. I always find that book helpful even though I've been using Argus for a number of years now. Model with that and look up how to do what you need to do and 99.99% of the time the book will have what you need as a topic covered.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jul 31, 2018

Do the case studies in the manual over and over again. Argus is not difficult, but I can see how it can seem intimidating. You just need lots of reps. Also, the Argus help line is great. If you ever get stuck, just call them up. They can usually help you find a solution.

    • 1
Jul 27, 2018

Second this. Too put it nicely, my representative is completely incompetent. So it is best to call the support line. They have some really nice ladies over there who will go over each little detail, i.e. reimbursement, in order to help you.

Aug 1, 2018

Just gonna throw out a quick tip; be careful if you were thinking of adding something Argus related on your CV after you've gone through your studying. I've interviewed candidates for a Sr. Analyst/Assc. level position where we've dinged them for putting 'experience with Argus' or something similar when all they've done is watch videos.

I strongly agree with the other comments about going through the case studies. Keep that training book close! I've also found the online/phone support to be very helpful too.

    • 1
Nov 26, 2018

Is there a way to mitigate lack of Argus experience in an interview? I've lost out on a couple opportunities because I haven't used the program.

I can build a fully dynamic acquisitions model with a multi-tier equity waterfall from scratch but when people hear I haven't used Argus they completely write me off. Its frustrating feeling that lack of knowledge with a software is the only thing keeping me back. I get tempted to lie in interviews but I know people like you can most likely see through me.

    • 2
Nov 26, 2018

I work at an Excel only shop. I have said something along the lines of, "I've built models multitenant retail and office models in Excel which is arguably more difficult and have been told that I could pick up Argus in less than a weekend". It seemed to have worked. But your results may vary.

    • 1
Jul 27, 2018

Thanks for the advice guys - didn't know about the support line and feel that could definitely be helpful along with case studies. We are currently beyond busy because a variety of reports are due soon, so I guess I will be coming in on the weekends to improve my skills and practice.

At the end of the day becoming competent and performing is completely on me, so I guess it is all about practicing on my own time from here on out.

Aug 2, 2018

good luck, i'm in the same boat. looking to play around with it all weekend

Jul 27, 2018

yeah i think thats definitely the move... not a ton of fun to have to come on the weekend but its worth it in the long run

Aug 1, 2018

You're absolutely right about the last part. Look; Argus is rather user-friendly. It won't take long with practice to be competent in it. Throw some music on when you go in on the weekends, relax!

Aug 2, 2018

I don't have access to Argus and need to practice.Haven't used DCF since college. Any suggestions how I could get some practice?

Aug 3, 2018
Surfing Pirate:

I don't have access to Argus and need to practice.Haven't used DCF since college. Any suggestions how I could get some practice?

What do you need to practice and what for? Argus specifically or modeling? Company requiring it? Being able to model something in excel and understanding what's doing what is far superior to just learning how to input information into Argus. That will be intuitive if you know how to model something by hand/excel. I would be far more impressed by someone being able to explain what's happening in the model than being able to input data into Argus. You'd be surprised how many people don't actual know how the calcs are done in the almighty blackbox known as Argus. Especially senior people - somehow they think it's some magical way to run a pro-forma.

    • 1
Aug 8, 2018

It's not your Argus skills that are the problem--it's your Excel skills and knowledge of the underlying principles on which Argus is built. You will necessarily be incompetent or weak in these areas as an entry-level analyst. Almost every entry-level analyst is largely incompetent in this area.

Aug 8, 2018

Delete it and use excel. It's a useless blackbox.

    • 1
Aug 9, 2018

I second @Kurtis Blow's recommendation. Additionally, CREFC has hosted several Argus training events in NYC. If you are in the area, I recommend attending.

    • 1
Nov 26, 2018

I think the best way to learn Argus is a combination of what everyone said above. When I was in investment sales, I would re-create Argus runs that we did for either BOV's or OM's or advisory work. Anything I didn't understand while re-creating the run I'd figured out/asked questions to my boss on. If you're unsure of anything, do it in excel and see if you can back into what you think Argus is supposed to be doing - if you can't, either you didn't model it correctly or didn't understand the underlying RE principal from which the result is derived from (many young guys and girls are afraid to admit this, but if it's your first job no one expects you to know what an cumulative cap on costs is).

It's really just a lot of really good reps and after 25 or so, you start to become pretty good. Hope this helps.

    • 1
Jul 27, 2018
nymetrorealesate:

I think the best way to learn Argus is a combination of what everyone said above. When I was in investment sales, I would re-create Argus runs that we did for either BOV's or OM's or advisory work. Anything I didn't understand while re-creating the run I'd figured out/asked questions to my boss on. If you're unsure of anything, do it in excel and see if you can back into what you think Argus is supposed to be doing - if you can't, either you didn't model it correctly or didn't understand the underlying RE principal from which the result is derived from (many young guys and girls are afraid to admit this, but if it's your first job no one expects you to know what an cumulative cap on costs is).

It's really just a lot of really good reps and after 25 or so, you start to become pretty good. Hope this helps.

Spot on!

    • 1
Mar 12, 2019

Have you taken the exam yet?