Real Estate Financial Modeling (REFM, ULI, etc)

JBR88's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 29

Hey everyone,

I'm a rising college senior who just finished up a summer internship working at a REPE. I'd like to continue working toward a career in real estate so I was wondering if anyone had any insight on solid RE modeling classes. My mentor recommended a certificate at the Urban Land Instutute, but I've also read a lot of people talk about REFM classes, which seem a lot cheaper. Which option should I go with that will both prepare me and make my resume look better?

Comments (49)

Aug 2, 2016

Hey bro, this "rising" senior/junior/sophomore is confusing FYI. Pony up the $1000+ and get the Argus cert (EV or whatever is the latest one that you have to use). It will work wonders for your resume. If you have to chose REFM or ULI I would chose REFM.

Aug 3, 2016

I would disagree. I think the ARGUS cert is worthless. It depends on what type of "PE" we're talking here if you're at a superfund then you're probably better off at BIWS but if you're at the asset level which usually isn't necessarily referred to as "PE" then I recommend KAHR or REFM. FYI, you can get most of the back of the envelope models from REFM for free by just signing up on the website.

Aug 2, 2016

I guess my point is the top guy at the firm (who will likely be 45+) he is interviewing at will have no idea what REFM/KAHRD/etc is but we he will know what being "Argus certified" means because it has been around forever. The REFM might help you learn but no one will hire you for something they just heard about last week for the first time.

Aug 3, 2016

If anyone has me interview you I would laugh at the cert and when I interview I laugh at the question of an ARGUS cert. ARGUS knows nothing about its own program , they never have. If you have money to waste pay off your student loan, buy your girlfriend something or send me the money and I'll tell you why ARGUS Enterprise 10.6.124 is way better than ARGUS Enterprise 10.5.22. Additionally, for free, I'll tell you what ARGUS f'd up when they fixed 10.6.4 with 11.0 then patched some of it with 11.0.1, 11.0.2, 11.0.3, 11.0.4... Wait are you talking DCF or AE?

    • 2
Aug 3, 2016

I drink the ULI kool aid more than most, but their certificates are unnecessarily expensive. I've heard good things about REFM.

    • 1
Learn More

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

Aug 3, 2016

I'm biased, but Assess does virtually everything that Argus does, and requires zero training or installations. We also just put in hover-over definitions, so you can see how each input is affecting your model. We have sample files in there that show how certain commercial properties might be underwritten, and we have an in-app chat system if you have any questions along the way.

My advice to you would be to, for now, save your money and take whatever RE classes you can in college. Whatever firm you end up with after college will have their own way of doing things.

    • 1
    • 1
Aug 3, 2016

Look I love ASSESS+RE from what I've seen ... but please don't shill product in the forums when it's not relevant. ..

Aug 3, 2016

Definitely making a point not to promote our product when not relevant.

In this case, though, he asked about learning how to model - so I pointed out that we just installed hover-over definitions for sometimes complex modeling terms, and have sample files that show how those terms would be implemented in a real world scenario. Was simply pointing out that it may be a good resource to get his feet wet.

    • 1
Aug 3, 2016

We had an REFM guy come to A&M at the beginning of out grad program. A very, very knowledgeable guy although most of what we ran over was way over my head. The complex PE stuff could be quite useful to anyone looking at doing that post-graduation.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

Aug 4, 2016

I did the REFM courses and they were helpful. You can get them relatively cheap since you can use a student discount code. Bruce is very intelligent but sometimes doesn't explain everything well. This makes you have to dive into the model yourself to understand the formula (=IF is used heavily) even if you understand the analysis going into the formula. Simple example: The loan amortization table he runs through involves multiple formulas that have IF, MAX, MIN, OR functions so that when you change the amortization to interest only for 2 years the model works no matter what. Loan amortization is a fairly easy concept, but the formulas used gives you a better understanding of excel rather than real estate. I wasn't good at making formulas like that before taking the courses but now I can at least hold my own for a college kid (rising senior as well). REFM is also great for PE (waterfalls, JVs, etc.) but not so good for development IMO. The courses don't go through how to model the process of having 3-4 types of loans (construction, bridge, etc.) that are often used in developments. I can not comment on any other modeling courses but would be interested in what people have to say that have taken multiple.

That being said, taking levels 1,2, & 3 does not offer a complete walk-through of creating your own model. You will have to do this on your own if this is something you're after. I am interested in BIWS and their modeling training. I have hear good things about it but am not willing to shovel out the money until I know for sure it would help me significantly.

PM me if you would like more detail on REFM.

    • 1
Aug 5, 2016

Has anyone taken the CCIM Real Estate Financial Analysis using Excel class? What were your thoughts on it/how does it differ from REFM.

Oct 25, 2016

Sorry to bring up an old thread but I figured I'd throw in my two cents.

I got my CCIM pretty much right out of college when I was 23, but in a previous life as a broker. CCIM will make you use their premade excel financial calculators, DCF, etc.. which are really good but you can't unlock them to see what the formulas actually are. Pretty much it gets the answers you are looking for, but you wont be able to say what those numbers mean or how they change if you don't know how to calculate it.

For what its worth, I work at a life company in lending and I think I'm going to go the REFM route just to get a little better at excel. Luckily I'm about to start a masters program so I can get the student discount.

Aug 5, 2016

The Roger Staiger book, RE financial modelling, explains how to build models from scratch.

Jan 24, 2018

I have a few courses if anyone is interested - shoot me a PM

Jan 14, 2019

H

Learn More

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

Jan 24, 2018

Bump!

Jan 24, 2018

www.adventuresincre.com

free downloads good stuff

Jan 24, 2018

Is the test for REPE/Acquisitions? Investment Sales?

Jan 24, 2018

I literally googled "sample commercial real estate model" and found plenty of free resources on the first page. Maybe you're not qualified for this job...

Jan 24, 2018

is google down for you right now? like...

    • 1
Jan 24, 2018

Hi Noe-Perrin Fontana, hope I can help. Do any of these links cover what you're looking for:

  • Best Real Estate Modeling course? REFM? BIWS? WSP? modeling commercial real estate private equity ... 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 ...
  • Recent grad looking to break into CRE...best Real Estate Modeling courses? modeling Real Estate cash flow modeling DCF MODELING Online courses analyst investment banking real estate ... analyst real estate ... the Real Estate and Investments textbook by Peter Linneman. TLDR/Question: Is this sufficient for real ...
  • Real Estate Modeling Courses I'm thinking about getting a real estate modeling course for Christmas this year and have ... Modeling real estate modeling ... things on excel 1) Would it be as beneficial for me to take the courses now as opposed to a couple years ...
  • REFM Review- Real Estate Financial Modeling Courses 1-3 I just went through levels 1-3 of Bruce Kirsch's Real Estate Financial Modeling (REFM) and ... a complete walkthrough of building an entire model.. Just bits and pieces. The course is on the cheaper end ... another monkey recommended I give a review... So here is a summary and what I though about the courses ...
  • Khar Real Estate vs. REFM course? Which one is more respected? so I wanted to try to distinguish myself from other candidates by taking a real estate Excel modeling ... For Khar Real Estate, it would be an in-person course that would cost $850. On the other hand, the ... Real Estate financial modeling class provides a "certificate" of proof after passing some ...
  • Best Real Estate Course/Materials for BB Prof W/ No RE Experience https://www.bisnow.com/videos And then there are courses that are strictly limited to teaching real estate modeling. I fear that ... change and trying to transition to the world of real estate finance and development. I understand it will ... thoughts on the NYU certificates in Real Estate Development (or Real Estate Finance
  • Learning to create Excel Models for Real Estate Quickly! Help analyst position. They will be grilling me on creating an excel spreadsheet from scratch. I am almost ... for real estate? Resources? Tools? Programs? Thanks! ... have any tips on how I can go from noob to competant in the next month for excel modeling from scratch ...
  • More suggestions...

If we're lucky, maybe I can guilt some users to help you out: @Gear13 @Bonkers @Fidel_Cashflow

Fingers crossed that one of those helps you.

Jan 24, 2018

Look about 5 threads down...

Jan 24, 2018

can you point me in the right direction? I'm looking for models. Thx

Jan 24, 2018

were you able to find models? I'm looking for templates as well

Jan 24, 2018

Hi The Duke of Wall Street, whoops, looks like nobody chimed in here.... maybe one of these discussions below is relevant:

  • Best Real Estate Modeling course? REFM? BIWS? WSP? complete an in-person modeling case study. I am currently taking the BIWS basic modeling courses; however, ... have to share! PS- I have some good courses and guide if anyone is interested in a swap. financial ... modeling commercial real estate private equity ...
  • Real Estate Modeling Courses I'm thinking about getting a real estate modeling course for Christmas this year and have ... things on excel 1) Would it be as beneficial for me to take the courses now as opposed to a couple years ... those would be great. Also how long do I have access to the course after taking it? Would
  • REFM Review- Real Estate Financial Modeling Courses 1-3 I just went through levels 1-3 of Bruce Kirsch's Real Estate Financial Modeling (REFM) and ... Bruce walks you through his model that works no matter what numbers you put in. This is especially ... explanation in comparison to levels 1&2... This is what I did not like about the courses. Bruce knows ...
  • Khar Real Estate vs. REFM course? Which one is more respected? For Khar Real Estate, it would be an in-person course that would cost $850. On the other hand, the ... course. In some other posts on this forum, I found these two websites that offer training opportunities. ... I am very interested in getting an internship at a REIT, REIB or
  • WSO Hall of Fame: Real Estate Forum WSO's best discussions on the real estate industry. Keep in mind this Hall of Fame does not include ... Types of RE Leases- A Primer Acquisitions- Hired to be Fired? Real estate on the principal side AMA- ... is everyone's Real Estate Dream Job? What was your first job in real estate
  • Modeling courses or Argus Cert? Which would be the better investment for a position in real estate finance if you can only choose ...
  • Help choosing ideal courses for a career in Real Estate Private Equity courses that would be ideal for making a switch into Real Estate Private Equity. I know that I can discuss ... if I posted this in the wrong forum, out of my choices I'm guessing "Real Estate ... Hello, I am interested in starting a career in Real <
  • More suggestions...

If we're lucky, maybe these professional users will respond: @CRE_Erector @marshy @teddythebear

If those topics were completely useless, don't blame me, blame my programmers...

    • 1
Jan 24, 2018

I've interviewed at a couple MM CRE shops, there are no modeling tests. It's mostly how well you know your stuff which is excel and the closing process and of course fit.

Jan 24, 2018

looking for one as well

Jan 24, 2018

course on this website?

I'm a fan of BIWS. Check them out. I think there's also some course out there called REFM, but that was a while back.

Jan 24, 2018

Interested as well, if anyone has jnformation

Jan 24, 2018

REFM is great. Located in NY, but I called in from LA and took a live course online.

Jan 24, 2018

Like ARGUS?

Jan 24, 2018

No takers on this??

Jan 24, 2018

what exactly are you looking for? Being more specific would probably help your cause.

Jan 24, 2018

I dont think people might be having and idea you can take help of an estate planner who will help andf guide you more properly than anyone else.

Jan 24, 2018

I have a getrefm office acquisition model (along with screening analysis) that id be interested in trading. PM me and we can chat further. Thanks.

Jan 24, 2018
Comment
Feb 24, 2019
Comment
May 14, 2019