• Nov 18, 2023
  • 4 min read

Demystifying Key Financial Metrics for Assessing Real Estate Investment Opportunities

Real estate investment can be a lucrative endeavor, but it is essential to have a solid understanding of the financial metrics used to evaluate potential opportunities. This article aims to demystify the key financial metrics that investors should consider when assessing real estate investment opportunities. By comprehending these metrics, investors can make more informed decisions and increase their chances of success in the real estate market.


Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate):

The capitalization rate is a fundamental metric used to gauge the potential return on a real estate investment. The rate is calculated by dividing the property's net operating income (NOI) by its current market value or acquisition cost. A higher cap rate indicates a higher potential return but may come with higher risks. Investors should consider the local market conditions and property type when interpreting cap rates.

Cash-on-Cash Return:

Cash-on-cash return measures the annual cash flow generated by the property in relation to the amount of cash invested by the investor. This metric helps investors understand how quickly they can recoup their initial investment. The metric is calculated by dividing the annual pre-tax cash flow by the initial investment. Cash-on-Cash returns can often be around 8% per year but Kirsan has been able to achieve higher levels due to having direct relationships with investors (avoid intermediary margins) and being an integrated supplier handling everything from planning to construction and logistics.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR):

The internal rate of return is a more comprehensive metric that considers the time value of money. It considers both the property's cash flows and the timing of those cash flows. A higher IRR indicates a more attractive investment opportunity. Calculating IRR often requires the use of financial software or spreadsheets. It is useful for comparing different investment opportunities which have different time periods, taking planning and construction times into account as well as the size of the projects.

Extended Internal Rate of Return (XIRR):

This expresses a single rate of return that provides the current value of an entire investment and tends to be used where multiple transactions happen during a period. Different investors will have their own ideas about what constitutes a good rate, with some, for example, looking at 11-12% as being an excellent rate for equity funds.

Return on Investment (ROI):

ROI measures the profitability of an investment by comparing the gains or losses to the initial investment cost. For real estate, this metric is calculated by dividing the total profit (rental income, appreciation, tax benefits) by the initial investment cost. The median figure in the US real estate market has been estimated at 8.6% but we at Kirsan are able to offer direct investors levels that can be twice that value and almost 1.5 times that for loan-based investment.

Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM):

The GRM is a quick way to assess the potential income generation of a property. It is calculated by dividing the property's purchase price by its annual gross rental income. Lower GRMs suggest potentially better income generation, but it is important to consider other factors such as expenses and location.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR):

The DSCR is crucial for investors who plan to finance their real estate investment with a mortgage. It measures the property's ability to cover its debt obligations, including interest and principal payments. A DSCR greater than 1 indicates that the property generates sufficient income to cover its debt.


Operating Expense Ratio (OER):

The OER helps investors understand the efficiency of a property's operations. The OER is calculated by dividing the property's operating expenses by its effective gross income. A lower OER implies better cost management and potentially higher profitability. 


Investor Growth Bonus (IGB)

Kirsan has created a unique feature in the real estate investment sector by introducing the IGB. Projects typically have three stages, with phase A being the acquisition of the building land, phase B being the construction phase, and finally phase C means property management, such as rentals. As an example, an investing €1000 in phase A is rewarded with an IRR of 12%. If the investor then adds funds for phase B, there is an IGB on the incremental investment amount, earning (again, as an example) the 12% IRR plus 3% growth bonus. 



In the world of real estate investment, understanding key financial metrics is essential for making informed decisions. Each metric serves a unique purpose, and investors should consider them in combination to assess the overall viability of an opportunity. Moreover, local market conditions, property type, and individual investment goals should always be taken into account when evaluating real estate investment opportunities. It is particularly useful for the investor who wishes to lessen geographical risk by having investments in different economies that Kirsan is active in different countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Latvia, Romania, and Moldova. By mastering these financial metrics, investors can enhance their ability to identify and capitalize on profitable real estate ventures.