Connor Kreis, James Barrios and Mike Harris stand in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
From left: Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate alumni James Barrios, Mike Harris and Connor Kreis.

Excel modeling course created by UF Real Estate alumni lands two universities during pandemic downtime

In the fall of 2019, then-Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) students Mike Harris (BABA ‘19, MSRE ‘20), Connor Kreis (BSBA’19, MSRE ‘20) and James Barrios (BSBA ’19, MSRE ‘20) noticed that there was a lack of basic excel training programs at many universities. As problem-solving and innovative students, they decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own training program. That same semester, the three students launched a new real estate Excel training course called Financial Analysis with Real Estate Modeling (FARM).

The six-level course caters to both undergraduate and graduate students across all levels of expertise in Excel. FARM starts off with the absolute basics in Excel with the following level’s material gradually becoming more difficult until students are comfortable creating unlevered/levered discounted cash flow models, complex amortization tables and sensitivity analyses of potential project returns. Each level of FARM includes a written explanation of the financial concepts to be learned, voice recorded videos that walk students through the Excel functions and a quiz students must pass proving they understand the concepts taught before moving on to the next level.

Although Harris, Kreis and Barrios, who all graduated this past spring, initially intended for the class to act as a supplemental resource to be used by UF’s MSRE students, FARM grew more than they could have ever imagined. The three alumni are excited to announce a new partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University and Marquette University. Both schools will be using FARM on a semesterly basis as a training resource for their students starting this July. FARM is now used by over 160 individuals across multiple professions and universities. Users range from students to professionals in areas like banking, brokerage, acquisitions, asset management and development.

Harris, Kreis and Barrios believe that a lot of the early success has come from finding a niche in the market. They believe that FARM is unique in that it offers an in-depth and step-by-step real estate training program at an affordable price point for individuals ranging in any excel proficiency level. They also offer to customize the program to fit the needs and demands of each university.

“Being a college freshman, I had never taken a real estate course prior to FARM,” said Jackson Gearen, Marquette University ’23. “I can honestly say that it was an amazing program that really helped me learn a lot about financial analysis in real estate using Excel. Even though I was totally new to real estate in general, I was still able to easily follow along through each module. Having taken this course also makes me feel like I will be more marketable to potential employers. All in all, FARM is a very well-designed course that even beginners can follow along with!”

Harris, Kreis and Barrios are thrilled with the positive feedback they’ve received so far and hope to expand the program to more universities and students going forward. 

Want to learn more about Financial Analysis with Real Estate Modeling? Reach out to Harris, Kreis, and Barrios at