Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice

How to Easily Analyze Rental Properties Using the Four Square Method

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
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I know you want to build passive income and wealth through rental properties.

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Who doesn’t?

There is a MAJOR problem, though, that stops most people from achieving this goal: Most don’t know how to analyze deals correctly!

Related: How to Analyze a Rental Property to Know if it Will ACTUALLY Produce Income

(Of course, if you are a BiggerPockets Pro member, you get unlimited access to the Property Analysis Calculators on BiggerPockets. But even with access to those amazing tools, you need to know how to do the numbers by hand.)

Therefore, today I want to introduce a very simple, easy-to-understand method for analyzing rental properties for the two numbers I care most about:

  1. Cash Flow
  2. Cash-on-Cash Return

In the following video, I dive deep into the analysis on a property and explain just how I was able to estimate my future cash flow and cash-on-cash return in just a few minutes — and how you can (and should) do the same.

Before diving into real estate investing, make sure you understand how to compare markets and properties. Whether you’re trying to decide between investing in Boise or Sacramento—or you’re just comparing two similar homes—this guide will walk you through all the numbers you need to know. From calculating cash-on-cash return to running a comparative market analysis, the experts at BiggerPockets demonstrate the steps you need to follow and the statistics you must know with The Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Market Analysis.

Here's the video. Be sure to take some time today to really dive into this. It just might give you the tools you need to build that financial freedom you crave.

Related: How to Analyze a Potential Real Estate Market for Crime & Safety


Bonus Download

To help you master the art of The Four Square Method, I’ve even created an easy-to-follow worksheet that you can download right now and use for your next deal analysis. Trust me — you are going to LOVE this thing! Click here to download!



If you want to get better at analyzing deals, don’t forget — each week I host a LIVE and FREE webinar on BiggerPockets, where we dive deep into the analysis on a real life property! Join me for next week’s webinar!

Any questions about analyzing deals with this method?

Let me know your questions and comments below!

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has tau...
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    Joshua Jorgenson from Austin , Texas
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    The worksheet download link seems to be broken. Are there other methods to dowload this?
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Hey Joshua, seems to be working for me – so maybe give it a try again? Maybe it was broken when you asked this question! 🙂 Sorry for the delay!
    Brett Chaponot Real Estate Agent from El Dorado Hills, California
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Love it!
    Chris Trull from Greenville, South Carolina
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Hey, Loved this. Heard it several times, but seeing it brings it home. Also, breaking it into 4 sections really simplifies it a lot. Thanks
    Sebastian Bedoya from Passaic, New Jersey
    Replied over 3 years ago
    awesome post like always Brandon. Right now I am in that phase of learning to analyze deals to see if its worth pursuing. One question I have. When we use the calculator, do we use the asking price or the price we’d be willing to offer for the property?
    Tyler Chase Real Estate Investor from Jackson, MI
    Replied about 3 years ago
    @Brandon, quick question. Do we use the current rent (if rented), or what we plan on renting it for (if not currently rented)? Also, what are your thoughts on purchasing multi-family properties that are not currently rented vs already rented properties?
    Dave Truax from Owings Mills, Maryland
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great info for a newbie.
    Earl Co Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I’m leaving this here in case someone wants to adapt my version of a spreadsheet derived from the four-square method worksheet, as well as an automated, programmatic way of populating the spreadsheet given a link from an agent/broker. Enjoy!
    Harith Hadi Rental Property Investor from Arlington
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I love it Thank you Brandon You are awesome…
    Justin Johnson from Fort Smith, AR
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Hey, Brandon, I just wanted to see if this way of analyzing properties works for multifamily as well? I have just started analyzing properties and am looking for the tools I need to do analyses properly. Thanks!
    Nelson Hankinson
    Replied 12 days ago
    Do you have an Excel version?