Are there recurring charges for using this software?
No.  We do not charge monthly/annual renewal fees for the software license.  You pay one time
and one time only.  That being said, we are committed to providing ongoing support to our
customers as long as they own and use Rental Valuator.

What version of Excel is Rental Valuator compatible with?
Rental Valuator is compatible with the XP, 2003, and 2007 versions.  We recommend you run it on
2007 because all of our future upgrades to the software will be done on this platform, and some
may not be incompatible with earlier (outdated) versions of Excel.

Do I need to have knowledge of Microsoft Excel to use Rental Valuator?
Not at all.  Rental Valuator is an extremely easy to use software program based in Excel.  User
inputs are clearly identified and explained.  Discount Cashflow Analysis is performed automatically
based on user inputs.  Sensitivity Analysis is done with a click of one single button, and printing
customized reports is just as easy.   As long as you have Microsoft Excel installed on your
computer (1997 edition or newer), you're all set!

I have a laptop and a desktop computer.  Can I get your software installed on

Yes.  The Lite version can be used on any number of computers.  When you upgrade to the
Premium, you are purchasing a single-user license.  But we are happy to let you install the
software on multiple computers, as long as it's just one person using the program.  We do sell
multiple-user licenses and offer discounts.  Email for more info

If I upgrade to Rental Valuator Premium, will I receive a physical disk in the

No.  We provide our software as a digital product only for 2 big reasons:

1) It allows us to keep our costs down and pass the savings on to you.  By not having to mail a
physical package, we can afford to sell our Premium software at very low price compared to

2) This makes it much easier (and again - free) to provide you with updates and upgrades to the
software.  When we have a new release ready, we simply email you the download link and you
can have new software in real time!

What experience level of investor is this software most appropriate for?
Rental Valuator will fit the needs of a novice and seasoned investors alike.  For someone that is
just looking to do a quick comparison of a few properties based on Cap Rates, Cashflow, or a
Cash on Cash Return, Rental Valuator provides the  "Performance Snapshot" tool.  All user inputs
and outputs are on one page and the analysis can be performed in matter on seconds.  Just as
easy to use is the Sensitivity Analysis, which allows users to quickly calculate, among other
things, the right price to pay for a property based on their target Cap Rate, or projected Rent-Roll.

For the more sophisticated investor that would like to create pro-forma statements, evaluate tax
consequences, analyze potential resale value in the future based on various scenarios,  and
create customized reports and presentations, Rental Valuator provides all the necessary tools
with just a few clicks of a mouse.  

What kind of support will I receive along with my purchase?
First and foremost, we offer something that virtually no other software provider (especially ones
retailing packages for under $100) offers:  a complementary 30-minute walk-through of the
software via telephone.  Though we feel that Rental Valuator is very easy to use and comes with
a helpful instructions and definitions tabs, it's always easier for some users to have a live person
guide them through using the software.  
Secondly, our customer service reps will be available via email and phone to answer any
additional questions going forward.  

How important is it to use such software? Why can't I just use a napkin and a
Well sure you could.  We were doing it for years! Calculating a Cap Rate or $/square foot can be
done with nothing but a calculator.  But even there things get a bit more complicated when it
comes to multiple units, or many different operating expenses.  And then you have to realize that
measures such as Cap Rate or GRM don't even begin to tell the whole story about an investment.  
To really evaluate the projected return on a rental investment, you must look beyond the static
one-year measures of performance.  You must look at the potential growth of your cash flow, at
the principal reductions in your mortgages, at the tax implications of your yearly income or losses,
at the projected value of your property from year to year, and your tax liability when you sell.  
Knowledgeable investors always look at measures such as Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and
Modified Internal Rate of Return (MIRR), as well as Net Present Value (NPV). Any investment
analysis software that you purchase should contain these performance metrics.

What is Discounted Cashflow Analysis and Valuation?
The basic objective behind DCF Analysis is to project the future cash flows of your investment and
then discount them back to the present in order to account for the time value of money.  The rate
used to discount the cash flows is usually the cost of capital or a required rate of return for a
particular investor.  The sum of the discounted cash flows is called the Present Value of the
investment.  If this figure is larger than the initial investment (Net Present Value is positive), then
generally the investment is viewed favorably.  

Why is Discounted Cashflow Analysis important?
The value of any given investment is the sum of the cash flows it will generate in the future.  In
adding up these cash flows, it's extremely important to take into account the "time value of
money", because, to put it in simple terms, a dollar received five years from now is less valuable
than a dollar received now.  In analyzing your investment property, the most relevant measure of
performance is the cash flow you will receive from the investment, whether it's the monthly cash
left over after paying the mortgage, insurance, and taxes, the tax benefit of yearly losses, or the
cash proceeds you take home when you sell the property, and the value of these cash flows to
you at the present moment.

What features should I look for in property investment analysis software?
Any software package or analysis tool that you purchase should provide a comprehensive way to
look at your real estate investment.  This includes, but not limited to:
  • Ability to project increases in rents and operating expenses from year to year
  • Ability to vary vacancy rates from year to year to allow users to project property's
  • Ability to project cash flows far into the future (at least 30 years)
  • Discount Cashflow Analysis, including a calculation of IRR and MIRR.  MIRR is an extremely
    important metric that complements IRR and often provides a good sanity check to the IRR
  • Comprehensive treatment of taxable losses, based on the owner's participation in the
    management of the property.  IRS has three primary categories into which most investment
    property owners fall:  Active Participant, Passive Participant, and Real Estate Professional.  
    If your property produces taxable losses, your classification as one of the above will have a
    significant impact on how these losses get treated on your tax returns.  Any investment
    analysis package you purchase should allow for correct treatment of these classifications.
  • Ability to project the future value of your investment/property based on at least 2 or 3
  • Sensitivity Analysis - this can be an extremely useful and time-saving tool for evaluating the
    property based on your investment criteria.

I enter new data in Rental Valuator but nothing changes or gets updated.  Why
is that?
Your Calculation Settings may be set to "Manual" which means the formulas in Excel will not get
updated automatically when you enter new numbers in cells.  
To update your calculation settings in Excel 2003 and earlier versions:
  1. At the top menu bar, go to "Tools"
  2. In the drop down menu, at the bottom, click on "Options"
  3. Click on the "Calculations" tab
  4. Under "Calculations", select "Automatic" and click OK

To update your calculation settings in Excel 2007 and 2010:
  1. In the top menu tab, select the "Formulas" tab
  2. Towards the right, click on the Calculation Options drop-down menu
  3. Select "Automatic"

I enter new data in Rental Valuator and save the file, but when I open it back
up my changes aren't saved.
There are 2 things you can try:
1) Find the file within a folder or on your desktop where you saved it.  Right-click it and
select "Run as Administrator".  You may have to right-click, then scroll down to
"Options", then select "Run as Administrator".  Sometimes this solves the problem.
2) If that doesn't work, download the alternate version here. This is a pure Excel file
and works for everyone.