How to Evaluate Real Estate Investment Opportunities
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How to Evaluate Real Estate Investment Opportunities

Learn professional real estate investing concepts and techniques to pick winners in investment real estate
Best Seller
4.6 (1,463 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
16,663 students enrolled
Created by Symon He
Last updated 9/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $200 Discount: 95% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 17.5 hours on-demand video
  • 14 Articles
  • 41 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Confidently Evaluate the Return Potential of Any Real Estate Investment Opportunity
  • Know a "Good" Investment from a "Bad" Investment
  • Use Professional Grade Investment Models to Evaluate Your Deals
  • Evaluate Rental Income Properties
  • Evaluate Fix & Flips
  • Evaluate Commercial Properties
  • Evaluate Airbnb Properties
  • Use Smart Investment Deal Structures With Business Partners
  • Understand and Use Professional Real Estate Investment Strategies & Techniques
View Curriculum
  • Have Microsoft Excel 2007 or Newer

Are you sick and tired of real estate "systems" that turn out to just be a hard sell for another "system"?

Tired of "no money down get rich like me" real estate investing "secrets" from real estate "gurus" that leave you filled with nothing but marketing fluff?

Do you just want to know what REAL real estate investment analysis is all about?

If you want to learn the fundamentals of real estate investing and how to actually evaluate investment opportunities the way professional investors do, keep reading.

I can't promise I'll help you get rich, own a yacht and two Ferraris.

But I can teach you some serious real estate investment analysis techniques.

After getting my MBA from Stanford, I worked on over $400M in real estate deals.

And I took what I learned from that and put all of it in this course.     

Take a look at my curriculum and compare it with other courses or "systems".

How do I know if this course is right for me?

If you've EVER wanted to:

  • Invest in a rental income property?
  • Do a fix & flip for profit?
  • Make money by hosting on Airbnb?
  • Buy a piece of undeveloped land and build something? A mixed-use retail center? A medical office building? A parking garage? Self-storage? Or an economy hotel?
  • Invest with business partners but do so in a smart and fair way?
  • Want to appeal to investor clients as an agent?
  • Want to land an acquisitions role as an analyst/associate?
  • Want to get into real estate private equity and need to get up to speed?
  • Want to be able to ANALYZE any real estate opportunity?
  • Look at and evaluate deals the way a professional investor would?
  • Become smarter and more efficient at finding and evaluating deals than you did before?
  • Get into a real estate acquisitions role (analyst or associate) in real estate i-banking or private equity (you get 20+ investment models/examples!)?
  • Know what Airbnb short term rentals are all about and if it's worth your effort?
  • Become an agent who could target investor clients instead of just home buyers?
  • Have professional investment analysis tools that you could use immediately to evaluate your own investment opportunities?
  • Join a private real estate investing mastermind group?  Advanced students in this course can join for FREE.

IF YES to any of the above, then this course is definitely for you.


What if I don't have any real estate background?

That's why I start you off with a heavy dose of the fundamentals so you can start learning with no background. Check out my foundational sections below.

I have some real estate background already, what could I learn from your course?

Besides everything listed above, do you know how to answer these types of questions:

  • How do you know if a particular investment is WORTH your time and money?
  • How do you know if property A is better than property B?
  • How do you find deals that make sense for you? That fit your risk preferences and goals?
  • How can you calculate your expected return on your investment?
  • How would you analyze the returns for your investment company?
  • How do you structure an investment with investment partners?
  • How do you analyze operating assets?
  • etc...

For ANY type real estate investment opportunity?

If you do, then skip my course, if not, take a look at the curriculum below.

I put A LOT of stuff in here so you're definitely going to learn something.

I've had folks who had over 20 years of experience find value so you can too.

Why is there so much math and numbers?

You can't properly evaluate a real estate investment without looking at its numbers.  So if you hate math and don't like numbers.  This course isn't for you.  Serious real estate analysis is probably not for you either. 

Why do you use Excel so much?

Good question.  Analyzing real estate investments involves looking at the numbers and it's easiest to do so with spreadsheets, which is why I use Excel here extensively.  But the good thing is you don't have to build any of the models yourself.  You just need to be able to follow along and then you'll be able to use the models I give you.  

Can you make me rich by taking your course?

No way! Not just from taking the course. Anyone who promises you that is selling snake oil.

If you take my course AND apply the learnings to make smarter invests in the future, then you have a chance.

What I can guarantee is that you will leave with some serious real estate investing knowledge and techniques.

What else does this course cover besides real estate investing?

This course is ALL about and ONLY about professional real estate investing analysis concepts and techniques. So nothing else. But as you can see, just this topic is quite a bit to cover already.

Actually, I do cover one more thing: I will also cover daily affirmations that help you build that "winning" mindset and I'll have lots of sales videos that will push you to sign up for my top secret real estate system for only 12 monthly low payments of just $999. Just kidding.

What will I be able to do after I take your course?

After taking my course, you will be:

  • Able to confidently use professional real estate investment techniques.
  • Able to evaluate both residential AND commercial real estate opportunities.
  • Able to structure investments with business partners in a smart and equitable way via the waterfall framework
  • Know how to identify and mitigate investment risks.

What WON'T I get from this course?

  • You will not get a Real Estate License from taking this course. You can only get licensed by taking the appropriate test with the testing agency of your state and country. But what is taught in this course has nothing to with getting a license, which focuses on how to legally transact real estate deals between buyers and sellers. This course is about investment analysis.
  • I will not be evaluating your personal investment deals for you for this course. This is about you learning how to do it on your own using the lessons and the tools here. =) If you really want me to consult, you can reach out to me. My hourly rate is $350/hr.
  • This course does not cover any of the wide range of OTHER real estate topics, which deserve their own courses, including but not limited to: contract negotiations, real estate legalities, real estate marketing, REITs, etc...  I try to cover the most important concepts as it relates to evaluating investment opportunities.  

Tell me again why I should take your course?

If you've read this far down, you already know why. You've always wanted to. So why haven't you pulled the trigger?

Ask yourself this: "What is holding me back?"

Are you afraid you'll actually learn what you've always said you would but never did?

Yeah, you'll have to put in the time and effort. If you're lazy, this course (or any other course) won't be able to help you.

But if you're serious about learning real estate investing, then I can definitely help you.

Plus, you have absolutely ZERO risk.

Udemy gives you a 30-day money back guarantee and they're really really good on that.

Who is the target audience?
  • Newbie real estate investors
  • Experienced commercial and/or residential real estate investors
  • People that want to invest in House Flips, Rental Properties or Apartments
  • Those that want to invest in commercial warehouses, parking lots, retail properties, etc...
  • Great for private investors and investment teams
  • Real Estate Agents Seeking Tools to Appeal to Investor Audience
  • Those who want to make BANK with Airbnb
  • MBA Students, iBankers, Financial Analysts
  • Someone who wants an in depth and broad coverage of real estate investment analysis concepts and techniques
Compare to Other Real Estate Investing Courses
Curriculum For This Course
135 Lectures
How to Take This Course
3 Lectures 03:27

Before you dive right in, here are few quick notes on how to take the rest of the course depending on whether you're looking to speed through it or do a deep dive on the topics.

Preview 01:30

For those coming from the Introduction to Investment Analysis course, you can skip the foundational topics and go straight into the detailed case studies below. 

If You Came From Intro to Investment Analysis - Skip to New Stuff

Just so you won't have to wonder later, this lectures shows you how to navigate Udemy to find all the files and investment models that are given in this course.  Hint: There Are ALOT!

Updated: 05/2016

To find the files and models for this course, follow these instructions:

Go to "Course Contents-->All Resources" to see which lectures have associated files.


Investment Models & Examples: 18+ 

Other Companion Files: 12+

That's 30+ total course files!

Preview 01:26
6 Lectures 39:48

NOTE: Even though the example uses, you're free to use ANY website that has home listing as long as you can gather similar information for the exercise.

Get the details of what you're about to learn in this section, which will give you a major jumpstart to your real estate investment analysis education.

Get through these few lectures and in less than an hour, you'll be able to evaluate your very own rental income property.

This is meant to be a highly summarized and fast paced section--don't worry if you don't follow on 90% of it!

It is only meant to give you a FEEL for what it's like. EVERYTHING will be explained in detail at a normal pace in the rest of the course!

You can download this model for free here and follow along in the Jumpstart section. Try before you buy!

Preview 01:00

Overview of why investors should conduct investment analysis and what questions it helps investors to find answers towards.

You can download this model for free here and follow along in the Jumpstart section. Try before you buy!

Preview 06:13

Using the attached Excel model and listings, we do some quick market research on rental income properties.

You can download this model for free here and follow along in the Jumpstart section. Try before you buy!

Preview 16:40

Demonstrating how to interpret the results from the quick market research exercise. 

Preview 07:17

Using the attached back of the envelope model, we evaluate a rental income property that you've just found.

Preview 08:08

Whoa, you've already learned how to evaluate a rental income property (at a high level).  Here's what to expect in the rest of the course.

What's Next?
2 Lectures 01:34
Can I get your opinion?

How Are You Feeling?
Foundations: Investment Process
9 Lectures 40:52

The first stage in the Investment Process - Originations.
The who, what and where of deal sourcing.
Who will bring you deals, what are you looking to invest in and where are you looking to invest?


This Analysis phase of the Investment Process is the emphasis of the course. It is detailed further in the examples in the latter part of the course.

This lecture will tell you why analysis is so important and how it could save you precious time and money.

Analysis (What This WHOLE Course is ALL About!)

After you have completed the analysis and modeled out the return potential for your investment, you must take the time and care to validate and verify all the key assumptions that could impact your investment.

Due Diligence

Financing and Closing is the stage where you assure all the necessary funds are in place to make your deal happen.

In this lecture you will learn about the main sources of funding involved in real estate investments.

Financing & Closing

The project doesn't end after closing, now it's time to increase the value of your asset.

In this lecture you will learn the key considerations for construction and rehab and how to work with contractors.

Construction & Rehab

After construction is complete, you then want to stabilize the asset (aka get it to the point where it would be most marketable for a sale).  

Learn the various types of stabilization depending on the nature of the type of investment. 


In the final stage of the investment process, this is where you sell (or exit) from the asset and actually realize your returns (or losses).  


Too Long Didn't Watch (TLDW) Summary of the Investment Process Section.

TLDW Summary Investment Process

Brief summary of the Investment Process covered in this section.

Section Summary Notes: The Investment Process
2 pages

Review of concepts covered in the Investment Process section

Investment Process Quiz
4 questions
Foundations: How to Measure Returns
12 Lectures 01:00:31

Quick summary of the  topics covered in this section.

Preview 00:58

What is discounted cash flow analysis and net present value?

Preview 05:45

What is the discount rate and how do you determine the right one to use for your NPV calculation?

Discount Rate

Demonstration of the Net Present Value calculations through examples using Excel

Preview 07:42

Understand what the Internal Rate of Return is and how to use it

Internal Rate of Return

Demonstration of the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Calculations by comparing sample investment cash flows that appear very similar but give different IRR results.    

Internal Rate of Return Excel Demo

Learn what the Cash Multiple is and why it's used alongside the IRR

Cash Multiple

So which measure should you use?  You need at least two to measure both the efficiency and magnitude of investment returns. 

Preview 06:11

Demonstration of why you should use multiple measures of returns using examples in Excel. 

Preview 04:59

How to calculate the Terminal Value of an income property you plan to hold indefinitely.

Terminal Value

Learn what Yields and Cap Rates mean and how they apply to income producing properties.

Yields and Cap Rates

A Too Long Didn't Watch (TLDW) Summary of all the topics covered in this section.

TLDW Summary Measures of Return

Measures of Return Quiz
7 questions
Foundations: Impact of Debt on Return
5 Lectures 20:48

Overview of the topics to be covered in this section around how debt impacts your measures of return.

Preview 00:36

Learn the difference between interest only vs fully amortized loans.

Interest Only vs Amortized Debt

A look at the amortization calculator that is built into every investment model in this course.

The Amortization Calculator

Understand how taking on debt could impact your investment.

Unleveraged vs Leveraged Returns

Too Long Didn't Watch (TLDW) summary of the Impact from Debt section

TLDW Summary Impact from Debt
Foundations: Investment Considerations
6 Lectures 54:28

Overview of topics to be covered in this section.

Preview 00:43

In this lecture, we'll explore market and external considerations that could affect your investment analysis

External Considerations

In this lecture, we will discuss property specific considerations that could affect your investment analysis.

Property Considerations

In this lecture, we discuss some deal specific considerations that affect your investment analysis. 

Deal Considerations

In this lecture, we will discuss other considerations that could affect your investment analysis.   

Other Considerations

Too Long Didn't Watch (TLDW) summary of all the investment considerations discussed in this section.

TLDW Summary Investment Considerations

Investment Considerations Quiz
6 questions
Foundations: Three Primary Investment Strategies
5 Lectures 34:59

Overview of the topics to be covered in this section regarding the three broad investment strategies. 

Preview 00:26

In this lecture, we explore the characteristics of the core investment strategy. 

Core Investment Strategy

In this lecture, we explore the characteristics of the opportunistic investment strategy. 

Opportunistic Investment Strategy

In this lecture, we look at how the value added investment strategy falls somewhere in between core and opportunistic strategies. 

Value Added Investment Strategy

Too Long Didn't Watch (TLDW) summary of the topics in this section reviewing the key points on the investment strategies. 

TLDW Investment Strategies

Investment Strategies Quiz
5 questions
Check In
2 Lectures 01:52

You've learned a lot of real estate investing foundations--how do you feel?  Ready to do deep dive analysis?

Checking In

Too Long Didn't Watch Summary for Case Studies

TLDW (Too Long Didn't Watch) - Case Studies
How to Invest with Others - Intro to the Waterfall Framework
17 Lectures 01:06:06

Overview of the topics to be covered in this section.  

Preview 02:29

Learn why would you want to invest with others? What are the potential benefits?

Preview 03:37

What could go wrong when investing with others?

What are the Risks of Investing with Others?

What is the waterfall distribution framework?  What are its components?

Intro to the Waterfall Distribution Framework

In this lecture, we look at the sample investment that we will use for the four upcoming waterfall examples--one where there is NO waterfall, a 2-tier waterfall, a 3-tier waterfall, and finally a 4-tier waterfall. 

Download the file in this lecture.  You will be using it for the next 4 lectures. 

Preview 02:15

A breakdown of how the sample investment's profits would be distributed to the investors if no waterfall framework is used.

Preview 04:19

A breakdown of how the sample investment's profits would be distributed to the investors if a 2-tier waterfall framework is used. 

Example 2: Two Tier Waterfall

A breakdown of how the sample investment's profits would be distributed to the investors if a 3-tier waterfall framework is used. 

Example 3: Three Tier Waterfall

A breakdown of how the sample investment's profits would be distributed to the investors if a 4-tier waterfall framework is used. 

Example 4: Four Tier Waterfall

A summary and comparison of the waterfall examples.

Waterfall Examples Summary

Which Waterfall to Use?

What Happens if Investment Loses Money?

Example 5: Money Losing Investment Waterfall

The file in this lecture will be reviewed in greater detail in the Fix & Flip Case Study.

Example 6: Waterfall using Fix & Flip Investment

The file in this lecture will be reviewed in greater detail in the Rental Income Property Case Study.

Example 7: Waterfall using Rental Income Investment

Investing with Others Final Tips

Investing with Others Quiz
5 questions

Link to view the live session recorded on 1/27/2016

Preview 00:10
7 More Sections
About the Instructor
Symon He
4.5 Average rating
2,277 Reviews
43,896 Students
10 Courses
Stanford MBA | Real Estate & Startup Guy |

Hey, thanks for checking out my courses.  

I am a real estate consultant and startup advisor based out of Los Angeles CA.

I currently help startup founders and small business entrepreneurs build financial models and projections for their businesses and private real estate investors with their acquisitions analysis and deal structuring.  Please message me directly for consulting inquiries.

Previously, I was Head of Marketing Analytics at the Panda Restaurant Group after first serving as a senior financial analyst leading real estate and new store underwriting efforts. 

Prior to that, I worked on over $400M in commercial real estate investments at a private equity real estate fund.  Before that, I worked as a manager in the global M&A unit for a Fortune 80 company. 

I am also a cofounder of LearnAirbnb, a consultancy and research group specializing in the home-sharing economy.  

I graduated Magna Cum Laude in Computer Engineering and Economics from UC Irvine and hold an MBA from Stanford University.