Author: Chris Woods

Update to REIA Express

Today we’ve released new build 1.18 of our Real Estate Investment Analysis Express edition.

This build contains a new feature in the Rent Roll: If you select a commercial property type on the General worksheet, it will hide appropriate columns on the Rent Roll, namely Number of Bedrooms and Number of Bathrooms. Placeholder names for unit types adjust according to property type that you select.

This feature is currently available in the Windows release only. We hope to roll out this improvement for Mac users in a few weeks.

Sharpening Your Pencil – Create Better Analyses With Published Real Estate Data

It’s tempting to rush through a property analysis by simply reviewing the broker’s sell sheet, plugging the data into your favorite software program and printing the results. You’re done, right?

Think again.

We’re not saying the seller isn’t providing accurate income and expense data, but is he or she giving you a complete picture of all the issues? Consider such questions as:

  • What is an appropriate cap rate for the market in which the property is located; and more specifically, what’s the prevailing cap rate for the particular sector, such as multi-family or self-storage?
  • What seems like a realistic assumption for revenue and expense growth over time?
  • How have vacancy rates been trending for the area, and what might those trends say about future leases, renewals, and demand for space?

You’ll probably need to look beyond the owner’s statement to build your best property analysis and thus create your best chance at a successful investment. Thankfully, you can find a number of sources online to help you achieve accuracy, and along with it, some peace of mind.  You can find data on:

  • Metropolitan and submarket area cap rates
  • Average rents by market sector
  • Vacancy rates
  • Number of units available and sold
  • Sales and rental comps
  • Custom reports based on your subject property

The following are some of the best-known sources of data:

 

Zillow

https://www.zillow.com/research/data/

You’re probably already familiar with this site, at least in regard to its home value estimates. The focus here is residential but investors can benefit from their extensive rental information, which is provided by county, metro area, city, zip code, and even neighborhood.  You download data in Excel format. We found their series of 5 to 7 years of data particularly useful for evaluating rental trends.

You can also learn about their methodology here.

 

Reis

https://www.reis.com/

Reis has been a source of commercial real estate data for nearly four decades, and say they are a “…source for property and market intelligence, including vacancy rates, rent levels, cap rates, new construction, rent comparables, sales comparables, valuation estimates, and capital market trends across eight major commercial real estate sectors.

You can get more info about their sales comps and rent comps services, including sample reports. There is also a link on those pages to request a free report.

 

Costar

http://www.costar.com

Really big data commercial real estate here, for owners, brokers, appraisers, lenders, even institutional investors

They say you can search up to 1 million sales records, across all property types at http://www.costar.com/products/costar-comps; or access property-level data, including vacancy, rents, sales comps for multifamily, office, industrial, or retail property at http://www.costar.com/products/costar-market-analytics.

 

Compstak

https://compstak.com/enterprise

Compstak serves up office, retail and industrial lease data for “leading institutional investors, lenders, and owners across the US and UK.”  Subscribe to their entire database or, if you are broker, appraiser or researcher, trade your own data for theirs and gain access to Compstak data for free.

 

Real Capital Analytics

https://www.rcanalytics.com/solutions-for/investors-owners/

From macro trends to extensive data on individual properties, Real Capital Analytics offers data on “$18 trillion of sales, recapitalizations and financings.”  Contact them for pricing.

 

Redfin

https://www.redfin.com/blog/data-center

Redfin is a residential brokerage firm but offers a wide variety of property sales and trend data.  Of particular note is their annual report of the “Hottest Neighborhoods in the US.”

While you may not be an investor in single family homes, consider that the market for your commercial property is linked to the health of the local residential market.

 

LoopNet

http://www.loopnet.com/salescomps/

Gain access to their database of 1.6 million sales listings.  Cost is $175 per month.  They also offer, at no charge, sales and lease trends for hundreds of localities across the US.  See http://www.loopnet.com/markettrends/

 

What data sources do you use? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

New Software Updates, Equity Multiple Calculation

This week marks the release of a new feature in our REIA product line as well as important updates to our development programs for the Mac.

We have just added the Equity Multiple calculation to both REIA Express and Pro, for both Windows and Macintosh. Download the latest builds of these products to view this metric on the Analysis of Resale and Summary Cash Flow and Resale Analysis reports. You will also find Equity Multiple on our Decision Maker sensitivity analysis dashboard.

Also newly released are updates to C/I Development and On Schedule for the Mac.  These two updates bring these products in line with their Windows counterparts by adding features such as waterfall returns in the Partnership modules.

RealData customers should open their software and look for the “Check for Updates” button on the Welcome worksheet, or login to their customer account to download the latest release of these products.

 

New REIA v18 Releases for the New Year – Mac and Windows

With the new year comes the release of REIA version 18 for Mac. This release has all the same features, calculations and reports that are found in the Windows release. Like all of our Mac  products, it will run under Mac Excel/Office 2011 only. We continue to wait for Microsoft to make fixes and improvements to Excel 2016 so that our software will run correctly in that version. REIA v18 on the Mac runs on Excel 2011, Excel 2016 and Excel/Office 365.

Also available for immediate download is a maintenance update for REIA v18 Windows. This update fixes minor issues in the Cover Sheet and Cash Flow / Resale Assumptions reports. Customers who own a license of the software can download the latest build 1.07 from either the Welcome worksheet of their product or via their customer account at realdata.com

Keep track of all latest releases on our builds page.

 

New software builds across the Windows product line

We have recently rolled out new builds of all of our Windows products.  The main objective was to include a new in-house PDF printer which replaces the third party product we have relied upon for over a decade.

The new printer provides a number of advantages:

  • It immediately solves a print fail issue that arose with Windows 10.  All customers who have Windows 10 are encouraged to update to the latest build immediately.
  • We created the new PDF printer in-house so we can more quickly diagnose and respond to any issues that may arise.
  • Our solution is a much smaller file and runs faster.

Also included in this round of updates are cosmetic and other minor changes.

All customers running the latest release of our products should download the latest builds – do this via the “Check for Updates” button on the Welcome worksheet of your product or login to your customer account at realdata.com

View the latest builds of each product on our builds page.

 

New Updates Add Waterfall Returns to On Schedule and C/I Development programs

Need waterfall returns for your equity partners in your development projects?  You asked and we have delivered by adding this new feature to both our On Schedule and C/I Development programs.  This feature is available at no charge to customers with licenses of the latest versions of these products.  At this time, this feature is available for Windows products only.

Update your software to version 5, build 1.16 for On Schedule and version 6, build 1.17 for CID by clicking on the “Check for Updates” button on the Welcome worksheet of your product, or by logging into your customer account and downloading the latest installer file.

What are Waterfall Tiers?

With this new option, you can now configure IRR achievement hurdles for your limited partners / non-managing members. Enter up to four different tiers with different IRR rates, just as in our REIA Professional program.

waterfall

 

If you have a license of a previous version of On Schedule or CID, consider upgrading to gain access to this and other powerful new features.  See our upgrade page for pricing and more information.

Loan payments, escrow and other monthly considerations

Question from a Customer:

“With regards to the loan amortization, does the loan calculation take into account an escrow account or is there a section to enter separate escrow account payments? Or is it easier to book the annual taxes and insurance separate letting the loan calculator calculate just the payment and loan balance?”

Answer:

Thanks for your question. The amortization schedule on the RealData Calculator is designed to focus strictly on the loan itself, tracking the principal and interest portion of each payment, and the ongoing balance. It gives you the option of dealing with  lot of real-world loan scenarios, such as interest-rate changes, extra payment to principal, and skipped payments. The escrow account, however, is something that is separate from the loan, and we think it’s best not to let that obscure the tracking of the loan.

New Edition of Frank Gallinelli’s “What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know..”

book1 ed3Frank Gallinelli’s popular book, “What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know about Cash Flow…” is now available in a new third edition. Frank has added detailed case studies while maintaining the essentials that have made his book a staple among investors. The new cases show how to evaluate an apartment building, a mixed-use, and a triple-net leased property — not just running the numbers, but also looking beyond the surface data to see how you might discern what’s really going on with a potential investment.

See the new edition at Amazon here.

McGraw-Hill first published Frank’s book in 2003 and has since sold over 100,000 copies. For more than a decade it has been a top title in the real estate section at Amazon.

For those seeking reviews from readers, look to the 100+ reviews of the second edition at Amazon, which collectively rate the book at 4.6 out of 5 stars.

And finally, a visual clue: Second edition has a blue cover, new third edition has a green cover.

 

 

New Short-Term Analysis Mode in REIA Pro

Today we are releasing build 1.07 for Windows and build 1.13 for Macintosh of our REIA Professional product to add a third “short term” analysis mode.  This is a free update for all those who have a license for REIA Pro v17.

Select the mode on the General Settings worksheet:

By making this selection, the software reveals a set of worksheets that are specific to a 24 month analysis.  In a typical short-term scenario, you plan to purchase a property, do some renovations, and then resell within two years.

With the addition of this feature, we can now say that REIA Pro has all the features that REIA Express has, plus many more.  See a feature comparison of the two REIA Products for more information.

New, Improved PDF Printing for Macintosh Products

Yesterday, we released free updates across all of our Macintosh products that brings new PDF printing functionality and ease of use for PDF report creation.  Our new solution includes a utility file (called rdpdfutil) which resides in the same folder as the RealData software product and replaces the need for CUPS-PDF.

What exactly does this new utility do?

In short, it wraps up individual PDF files into one single document just as we do on our Windows products.  It also allows you to save your reports to any location that you choose, unlike CUPS.  Printing to PDF on a Mac now is equivalent to the advanced functionality we have had on Windows.

How does it work?

Print reports like you have always done by opening the RealData Menu and selecting Print Reports.  Tick the “Print to PDF” checkbox, then click the Print button.

PDF print dialog

 

Soon after, a dialog box will appear that asks you where you would like to save the PDF report.  Be sure to rename the report to something that makes sense for your project.

What else do I need to know?

When you install your Mac product, by default we prompt you to save the product to your Mac’s Applications folder.  Some users may wish to move this folder to another location, but note that in order for our PDF printing solution to work, you must retain the default install location with Applications.  Do not change the folder name.  Unfortunately, this is a limitation of the Mac OS that we could not work around.