I just went through levels 1-3 of Bruce Kirsch's Real Estate Financial Modeling (REFM) and another monkey recommended I give a review... So here is a summary and what I though about the courses:
Level 1 - starts off as simple formatting and statistics formulas (max, min, avg). Then moves into dealing with dates and time (comes into play with IRR vs XIRR). Then it moves into conditional formulas (=IF ; =OR) which is used a lot throughout the modeling class. This was something I wasn't good at until I actually watched someone do it. Level one also goes through some different formatting options that are cool and useful. Other functions are VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, NPV, IRR, XIRR, PV, FV, etc. Next there is an amortization table. This was something I thought I had down from my coursework in school, but Bruce walks you through his model that works no matter what numbers you put in. This is especially helpful for interest only periods... no reformatting once you set the model up once. Lastly, data tables are covered and he shows how to run a sensitivity analysis.
Level 2 - Repeats a bit of level one as far as the time value of money calculations. Bruce walks you through a simple DCF and then walks through a similar loan amortization as level one with a case study-type problem that involves refinancing. Maximum loan amount calculations are included and a walk through of net operating income (this part goes into a bit of a development-type project). Capital structure is covered (types of financing and different loans). There is a sources of funds tab that shows the use and source of funds used in an example. Funds came from sponsor, partner, senior loan, mezzanine, and third party investor and Bruce goes over and example of when these funds come into play and how to model them. Then there is an intro into JV and waterfalls.
Level 3 - Includes preferred return (compounded and non-compounded), a walk through of a 3-tier waterfall, walk through of double promote profit sharing, and partnership structure. The site mentions claw back.. but that is hardly covered. This level had the most useful information but the least amount of explanation in comparison to levels 1&2...
This is what I did not like about the courses. Bruce knows everything like the back of his hand and really flies through some of the stuff and doesn't explain it thoroughly for beginners. It took me some time to figure out everything within the models and why different things were the way they were... and I did a lot of this on my own. The information within the excel models sometimes has to be self-taught. I also wasn't a fan of the fact that there wasn't a complete walkthrough of building an entire model.. Just bits and pieces.
The course is on the cheaper end of the spectrum and if you have a student ID you can get a discount which helps. I have not worked through any other courses (BIWS, WSP, ULI, etc.), so I can not compare REFM to any of those.