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Posted over 8 years ago

What IRR, MIRR and FMRR Each Provide to Real Estate Investors

IRR, MIRR, and FMMR are acronyms for rates of return associated with real estate investing.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Modified Internal Rate of Return (MIRR), and Financial Management Rate of Return (FMRR) are each mathematical formulations designed to measure the profitability of a real estate investment.

All three rates of return share a similar model. They each account for the time value of money and thereby provide a linkage between the investor’s initial cash investment and the present and future value of any benefit stream derived from the investment.

In other words, all three methods are designed to show the real estate investor what might be the rate of return on their investment. But as you will see, the procedure for making each of the calculations varies significantly, as do the results.


By definition internal rate of return is the discount rate at which the present value of all future cash flows produced by an income-producing property is exactly equal to the real estate investor’s initial capital investment.


All projected future cash flows, both negative and positive, are discounted at the same rate; which, in this case, is the IRR.

For example,

CF0 -105,222 (equity)
CF1 8,792
CF2 9,700
CF3 10,480
CF4 -2,472
CF5 12,093
CF6 12,780 + 169,408 (sale)

IRR = 30%

In other words, at a discount rate of 30%, the total present value for the amounts in CF1 through CF6 will equal the amount in CF0.


Some argue, however, that the internal rate of return falls short because it is not reasonable to assume periodic annual cash flows are reinvested at the IRR, or that the investor will have to cover negative cash flows at the IRR. The model does not adequately enable meaningful comparisons between two investments of differing size.

To deal with this shortcoming, the two methods discussed below, MIRR (i.e., a modified internal rate of return) and FMRR (i.e., more modification), each introduce the option to use additional rates as possible solutions.


This approach makes the assumption that negative cash flows generated during the life of the investment would be financed at a "finance rate", and positive cash flows can be reinvested and earning interest at a "reinvestment rate".


Step 1: All cash outflows are discounted to present value at the finance rate

Step 2: All cash inflows are compounded to future value at the reinvestment rate

Step 3: Find the internal rate of return to finish the computation.

For example, if we discount the outflows at 5% and compound the inflows at 10%, this is where we find the IRR to calculate MIRR.

CF0 -107,256
CF1 0
CF2 0
CF3 0
CF4 0
CF5 0
CF6 237,801

MIRR = 14.19%


The financial management rate of return goes a step further and was developed to address the length of investment term and risk of reinvestment. It does this by extending the reinvestment rate assumption introduced in MIRR to include two different rates.

A safe rate assumed to be available for funds to service periodic negative cash flows.
A reinvestment rate that one might expect to receive from average investments of intermediate duration.

FMRR also differs from MIRR in that it makes the additional assumption that where possible all future negative cash outflows will be removed by prior positive cash inflows.


Step 1: All negative flows are discounted back at the safe rate and are either reduced or eliminated by any prior positive cash flow. Along the way, if the negatives are not eliminated completely, they are discounted back to present value and added to the initial investment.

Step 2: Any remaining positive flows are then compounded forward at the reinvestment rate to their future value and added to the expected sales proceeds if any.

Step 3: Find the internal rate of return to determine the financial management rate of return.

For example, if we again discount outflows at 5% and compound inflows at 10% using this model, this is where we find IRR to calculate FMRR.

CF0 -105,222
CF1 0
CF2 0
CF3 0
CF4 0
CF5 0
CF6 234,667

FMRR = 14.30%
So You Know

So You Know

ProAPOD’s  real estate investing software solution computes IRR, MIRR and FMRR, as does its online real estate calculator.

Comments (1)

  1. James, 

    I appreciate your post on calculating the IRR, MIRR and FIRR.  Would you mind including the Excel version of the fomula's to demonstrate how one would create this for their own real estate investments?
    Few other questions:

    1. Is it common to calculate an IRR or MIRR across the years that an investment is held?  EG Would it make sense to show if you were to have a negative IRR if you were to sell a property 2 years after you acquired it potentially at a loss? vs 30 years for a profit? 

    2. Could you demonstrate what it would look like to hold it for "forever" (for cash flow purposes) if you were to not refinance it, vs refinance it after say 15 years?  If you understand the MIRR at greater level would you be so kind as to demonstrate this?  Mind you I have a degree in Finance, but we covered IRR for all of about 1 week in my education and it has been a few years at least.  I do understand if you do not know how.