A revolution in Feasibility Modelling

By Nicola Middlemiss | 10 May 2018



Modano is a revolutionary plug-and-play technology that is wielding boundless power for mum-and-dad investors through to serious financiers and property developers. Co-creator James Longden outlines how investors can benefit.

Q. Modano is a world first. How does it work?

Modano brings accurate feasibility modelling to the masses. It’s a financial modelling add-in for Excel that we built for big companies like BHP, AMP, Caltex, Australia Post and so on. For developers and financiers, Modano is like having your own analyst in Excel – one that’s incredibly quick, super accurate and there at your beck and call.

Essentially, the Modano platform contains modules to quickly build any and every financial scenario, and it’s all automatically scalable. You can drop in a new debt structure module in a matter of seconds – and because it’s Excel, you’ve got the control to adapt it manually, too. 
It can link to financial statement information, and it rolls from forecast into historicals seamlessly as your construction progresses.
Q. What kind of investor or developer can use Modano?

Modano is incredibly flexible and comprehensive. It supports any funding, from a single debt structure to 25+ tiers of complex waterfall financing. Basically, it can cover the whole property world, from a little townhouse development to a complicated property fund development with all of its intricate tax and financing structures. But it’s so simple, anyone can use it.

It’s perfect for all developers, property financiers and accountants, as well as property world, from a little townhouse development to a complicated property fund development with all of its intricate tax and financing structures. But it’s so simple, anyone can use it.

It’s perfect for all developers, property financiers and accountants, as well as property funds management and property fund accountants, too.

That’s one of biggest differences with Modano – we haven’t designed it as property developers; we’ve designed it using top-end finance and feasibility capability. This product serves some of the world’s biggest companies, and it just 
as easily serves developers and property financiers, too. 

Small developers: Offers fast, accurate feasibility with access to every type of financial structure available, with the ability to update modules instantly
Financiers: Multi-tiered, complex financial structures at the click of a button give financiers access to more accurate and scalable data
Large-scale developers: Create a model that incorporates unlimited financial structures, as well as side-by-side, seamless historical and forecast rolling data 
Development funds: Offers modules to handle the complicated nuances of tax and financial elements of even large-scale development fund management
Service offering: Advisors can use the Modano software and property content to deliver property advisory work
Module building: Finance industry experts can build and share their own custom modules from scratch

“It’s like having your own analyst in Excel – one that’s incredibly quick, super accurate and there  at your beck and call”

Q. You have a long history in the field of modelling. How did your prior work result in creating the world’s first plug-and-play feasibility and budget tracking system?

Twenty years ago, I worked at Deloitte’s business modelling group in London and helped to establish Deloitte’s group in Australia. In 2006, our CEO, Michael Hutchens, realised that there was no consistency with modelling, so he built software that ultimately led to where Modano is now – super consistent spreadsheets and easy plug-and-play usability.

The idea for property was to solve the problem of outdated financing structures and keyman errors. For example, up until now the typical way to build a feasibility model for a development would be to use industry standard software for the operational piece, and then spend two weeks hacking together a ‘Frankenstein’ model from separate parts with horrendous financing bolt-ons.

Because Modano is modular, you can create 95% of your model instantly using a wide range of modules, and the other 5% involves just a few Excel calculation changes to reflect the real nuances of the deal – we’re talking half an hour of work, compared to a couple of weeks.

2003: CEO Michael Hutchens writes the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modelling Standards, and his quest to eliminate inconsistencies and inefficiencies in modelling be::gins
2006: BPM Toolbox software is released, mechanising many Excel modelling tasks; this platform is used by hundreds of major companies around the w: orld
2007: BPM Global begins building bespoke feasibility models for large property funds and developers, and subsequently realises the industry’s feasibility platforms lack modern financing options
2013: Modano software is released, automating development of planning and finance models. As the world’s first Excel-based content management system, the product quickly becomes a global success
2018: Modano formally releases property feasibility content for open use with the software, which delivers countless finance structure modules to desktops around the world


Q. What can investors expect to get with Modano?

Users can literally just download it from the website and start using it straight away. Advisors who want to use it to deliver really complex property modelling services can access 20 hours of online training. There is also a full user guide, but most people can use it right from the box; it’s simple, but incredibly powerful. It’s priced as a mass-market product, too, rather than a really expensive, dedicated feasibility piece of kit.

Q. What’s your favourite element of the Modano platform?

We’ve set it up with a Gantt-style relationship methodology, so if your construction start is dependent on your land settlement, and you want to calculate the impact of a two-month settlement delay, the whole model kind of ‘breathes’ naturally from a timing perspective. It’s been a holy grail for those who deliver feasibility models as their business. And it’s so easy, even my mum could do it!

ABOUT THE EXPERT: Modano’s plug-and-play modular Excel based software is making feasibility modelling available for everyone, with unparalleled ease of use and adaptability.
Ph. +61 3 9244 9800      |      www.modano.com

Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed in content marketing pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.

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