go back to CRE Tech home page

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Excel Lacks Versatility Needed by Modern CRE Professionals

TheAnalyst® PRO Offers Complete Package to Drive Success

classy analysis report from TheAnalyst PRO

When introduced nearly four decades ago, Microsoft Excel proved to be a valuable software program appropriate for just about every kind of business and business application. As noted on this website, the evolution of the software “opened up almost unlimited possibilities in repetitive tasks for crunching numbers, process automation, and presenting data for businesses.”
In later years, Excel also gave people a powerful tool to manage personal finances and other tasks through the easy creation of spreadsheets and ability to perform calculations.
Commercial real estate professionals – from those involved in brokerage and leasing to property managers to those working in finance – have used Excel successfully for many years. However, technology has advanced in momentous proportions and the Microsoft spreadsheet program no longer offers the same value across the CRE stratosphere.

Excel Challenges For CRE Professionals 
Without question, Excel lets the user store, manage and manipulate financial data. But in today’s dynamic and competitive commercial real estate environment, CRE professionals can encounter costly limitations and delays when using the program.

clunky Excel spreadsheet analysis report

For example, the figures and calculations posted on Excel spreadsheets cannot be integrated into other data sources; and the information posted requires human input to update and ensure accuracy. One more concern: Excel data can be lost if a file is not saved or stored properly, resulting in a loss of work and a loss of valuable time. This article from 2019 provides additional insight.
But when positioned against the financial capabilities of TheAnalyst® PRO, there are even more concerns; here are five:
1)  Potential for Calculation Errors. Excel is prone to formula errors, overwriting or deleting formulas, and entering numbers without built in data validation. With TheAnalyst PRO, subscribers can rely on tested calculations with extensive algorithms that cannot be changed. Data is validated to match property size and lease terms.   
2) Lacks Professional Presentation. Excel does not allow users to copy and paste data effectively into presentation material. TheAnalyst PRO prepares the analysis in a PDF format branded with the company logo and contact information, allowing for seamless input. Investment and Lease Analysis data are automatically incorporated into an Offering Memorandum (OM) and Commercial Package PRO™ due diligence packages. 
3) Customization Challenges: When used in CRE applications, Excel spreadsheets typically are designed for one specific analysis or property. Handling multi-tenant properties with different lease start dates, escalations, or CAM reimbursements requires extensive customization and is not user friendly. TheAnalyst PRO handles unlimited commercial property scenarios quickly and effectively because programming and complex algorithms are factored into the software package. 
4) Cumbersome on Mobile Devices: Excel does not run well on handheld devices or tablets. Spreadsheets also require extra effort to save and organize, and in some cases are not readily accessible on all devices. TheAnalyst PRO is the only platform that is custom designed to natively operate on IOS and Android devices. All data is saved to the cloud, offering quick accessibility.
5) Lack of Security: Digital communications are prone to hackers. And often, commercial real estate proposals are prepared by a team, which could result in errors. Subscribers to TheAnalyst PRO maintain exclusive access to data, which is stored on Amazon AWS secure servers and guarded by numerous firewall and security protocols.

Analysis of TheAnalyst® PRO vs. Excel “Competition"
In March of 2021, Todd Kuhlmann, CCIM, founder of TheAnalyst® PRO, engaged in an online debate to highlight the differences between the Microsoft product and financial analysis features offered through TheAnalyst PRO. In the “Excel vs. TheAnalyst® PRO CRE Tech® Heavyweight Championship,” Todd matched wits with Jeff Engelstad, CCIM, a clinical professor at the University of Denver and acknowledged Excel expert when using the software for commercial real estate applications.  (For the record, both Todd and Jeff are long-time CCIM Institute instructors.)

Excel vs TheAnalyst PRO - CRE Tech Heavyweight Championship webinar

Based on the discussion, here are some primary reasons why TheAnalyst PRO is unquestionably the superior financial analysis resource for modern commercial real estate professionals committed to serving clients in the best possible way.
·       Broad Scope of Features: TheAnalyst PRO can effectively be applied across every type of commercial real estate transaction, and the cloud-based calculations can be revised quickly through desktop, tablet, or handheld devices.
 ·       Simple to Use:  The platform is intuitive when adding property data, saving CRE professionals time. Plus, subscribers to the platform can view tutorial videos, access Help buttons, and interact with the Support team for needed guidance and direction.
·       Designed for CRE:  TheAnalyst PRO was developed exclusively for the commercial real estate industry, letting subscribers seamlessly incorporate financial and performance data with graphs, images, and company or property marketing information.

Review of Features on TheAnalyst® PRO
Interested in learning about the specific financial analysis capabilities offered in TheAnalyst PRO?
Peruse the list of platform features here. Also shown are five types of Analysis reports: Investment, Comparative Lease, Lease vs. Own, Loan Amount and Target Cap Rate. Visitors can link to samples of each report created in TheAnalyst PRO. All allow subscribers to customize reports with their own company logo. 
Excel will continue to provide businesses and people with a great digital financial tool. But as noted extensively here, Excel can’t match the capabilities or security offered by TheAnalyst PRO when used for commercial real estate brokerage.