Net Operating Income (NOI)

Assess the profitability of revenue-generating real estate investments.

Author: Abhinav Bhardwaj
Abhinav Bhardwaj
Abhinav Bhardwaj
As a highly motivated final year student and Summer Analyst at Park House Partners, I possess a strong track record in finance through academics, bolstered by my previous roles as a Finance Research Analyst and Treasurer for Aber Asian Society. With a deep passion for the field, I excel in investment analysis and financial modelling. Currently, I am actively engaged in conducting comprehensive market research, evaluating investment opportunities, and presenting insightful reports. Proficient in analysing financial statements, identifying emerging market trends, and delivering compelling presentations. As a former Treasurer for Aber Asian Society, I successfully managed financial activities while fostering inclusivity through dynamic cultural events. Committed to further enhancing my expertise in finance to drive impactful contributions in the industry.
Reviewed By: Isabel Lin
Isabel Lin
Isabel Lin
Isabel Lin is a Computer Science and Economics student at Brandeis University, set to graduate in 2026. At Wall Street Oasis, Isabel progressed from a Financial Research Intern to an Editor Specialist, demonstrating her ability to analyze and communicate complex financial information effectively. In addition to her academic and professional endeavors, Isabel has achieved notable success in athletics and music, being a U.S. Junior Olympic National Gymnast and a Carnegie Hall Pianist. These accomplishments reflect her discipline and versatility, which she brings to her work in financial markets and computing.
Last Updated:September 21, 2023

What Is Net Operating Income (NOI)?

The Net Operating Income (NOI) is measurement of net operating income is used to assess the profitability of income-generating real estate investments. It is calculated by subtracting all revenue from the property from all necessary running expenses.

This is a statistic on a property's income and cash flow statement that compromises:

  • Principal and interest loan payments
  • Capital spending
  • Depreciation
  • Amortization 

This measure is also known as "EBIT" in other industries, which stands for "earnings before interest and taxes."

The formula takes a property's income and subtracts all its general expenses. For example, rent from tenants and a coin washing machine can help a property make money. 

Maintenance costs aren't the only thing to consider when it comes to operating costs; insurance and expert assistance are also essential considerations.

The strength of NOI is that it combines all the essential income and expenditures for each property into a single computation. The formula for net operating income is as follows 

Net Operating Income = (Gross Operating Income + Other Income) - Operating Expenses

Net Operating Income = Real Estate revenue - Operating expense

The difference between "net" and "gross" is that gross income is an amount that a company makes, and net income is an amount the company takes home.

It is a valuation method used mainly by real estate investors and companies. Valuation is an essential element of finance as investments are made when considering it.

Key Takeaways

  • NOI evaluates profitability of revenue-generating real estate by deducting expenses from revenue.
  • Net Operating Income is akin to Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) in other industries.
  • NOI Calculation involves subtracting operating expenses from Gross Operating Income (GOI) and other income.
  • Net Operating Income is vital for valuation, cap rate assessment, and loan repayment analysis in real estate.

How to calculate net operating income

To calculate it correctly, you must determine your Gross Operating Income (GOI). The formula for gross operating income is as follows :

Gross Operating Income = Potential Rental Income - Vacancy Rates

The different components of the formula are:

1. Potential Rental Income

Also referred to as short form PRI, is the amount generated by a property when it is fully leased and for full time. This number is easily confused because investors often conclude it in the "best case scenario."

2. Vacancy Rates

The vacancy rate refers to the proportion of all available units in a rental real estate, such as a resort or apartment building, that are vacant or unoccupied at any time.

A property with a high vacancy rate is not renting well, but a property with a low vacancy rate indicates excellent rental sales.

The vacancy rate is the inverse of the occupancy rate, which is the number of occupied units in a rental property.

3. Other Income

Remember that it includes all income, including GOI and any additional revenue generated by a property. 

Outside of tenant rents, a property might produce money in several ways.

  • Vending machines 
  • Second parking lot
  • Coin laundry machine.

The parcel doesn't need to provide additional income for the business.

4. Operating Expense

An operating expense, also known as an operating expenditure, operational expense, operational expenditure, or open, is a cost incurred regularly to keep a product, business, or system running. 

On the opposite, capital expenditure (CAPEX), on the other hand, is the expense of producing or procuring non-consumable pieces for a product or system.

Operational expenses included in the calculation are:

  • Property taxes
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance/ repair cost
  • Miscellaneous fees such as property management fees, accounting and attorney fees, and marketing costs

Calculation of net operating income

We will now understand how to work with the NOI formula with the help of an example. 

We are given,

Potential rental income = $5,000

Vacancy rate = 3%

Other Income = $3,000

Operating expense = $4,000

Step 1

First, we will be calculating gross operating income, 

For calculating GOI, we need potential rental income and vacancy rate.

As given: 

Potential rental income = $5,000

Vacancy rate = 3% = 0.03

The vacancy rate in terms of money,  

$5,000 x 3% = $150

GOI = potential rental income - vacancy rate 

GOI = $5,000 - $150 

GOI = $4850

Step 2

We need to calculate Net Operating Income from the information recorded above, 

NOI = (gross operating income + other income) - operating expenses

= (4,850 + 3,000) - 4,000

= $7,850 - 4,000 = $3,850

A positive net operating income states that a real estate's revenue is higher than its operating expenses. 

Uses of net operating income

This valuation method is most commonly used in the real estate sector. The two potential influencing factors in it are rental income and expenses. Therefore, any increase or decrease will have a direct effect on NOI. 

It is used in 3 ways: 

1. Understanding Property Performance

It helps the real estate owners understand the amount of money generated by their property and also helps in comparing two or more properties and identifying areas for improvement.

2. Analyzing Historical Trends

Analyzing trends and understanding and evaluating how real estate property has performed within the past few years. A constantly lowering NOI states that the property is not good enough for sale.

3. Exploring Cap Rate and Rate of Return

Capitalization Rate - also known as "cap rate," can be described as the rate of return from a property purchased in cash. For instance, the owner purchased a property for $3 million with an NOI value of $300,000, which makes a cap rate of 10%.

Cap rate and rate of return have a directly proportional relationship; any increase or decrease in cap rate will impact the rate of return. The formula for cap rate is:

Cap Rate = Net Operating Income / Market Value 

Here are important factors to note about Cap rate and rate of return:

  • Helps determine a property's market value and make a profitable investing or purchasing decision
  • Used for rough calculations based on fair values and comparing them with similar properties

Debt service charge ratio (DSCR) - This is the ratio determining how little principal amount and interest the owner has to pay yearly to repay a loan. It can be formulated as dividing NOI by annual debt. The formula is listed below:

DSCR = Net Operating Income / Annual debt

Some Related Terms

Net Operating Income (NOI) FAQs

Researched and authored by Abhinav Bhardwaj | LinkedIn

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