5 Commercial Real Estate Valuation Methods

Tam-Bay Commercial Realty, Tampa FL Commercial Real Estate Broker

The assessed value of a business building is sometimes a deciding factor in buying, financing, or renting the facility. Still, it’s tricky to place a price on something like that. Commercial real estate valuation may include office buildings, warehouse complexes, retail centers, and even the owner’s residence, which are more subjective than single-family homes.

Why? One of the numerous elements that might affect the value of a business or commercial property is the market rent price. Others include the availability of comparable buildings and the cost of general maintenance (which can vary dramatically from industry to industry). Then there is the challenge of setting a price to attract a buyer. Here are some commercial real estate valuation methods to help you out.

Why is valuation important?

There are a number of equally weighty reasons why property values are significant. Buyers benefit from an accurate appraisal since it helps them acquire a property at a fair market price and prevents them from paying too much for a certain asset. Equally important for sellers, valuations help them set a price that will bring them a profit while still moving the property quickly.

Financing is not the only context in which valuation is relevant. As we have learned from professionals at statetostatemove.com, only when the property has sufficient worth to serve as collateral and can generate adequate income to repay the loan and deliver value to the shareholders in the property will lenders and banks consider lending.

The importance of commercial real estate valuation cannot be underestimated.

1 The cost approach

The question of how much it would cost to replace an asset form the core of the cost method. For this method to work, you would have to buy land of comparable quality and location and then add the cost of developing a new asset. Since it’s unlikely that your facility is brand new, you’ll likely need to factor in things like depreciation, wear and tear, and age.

The idea underlying this method is a replacement. If a new building could be constructed next door at a higher cost and produce the same economic value, investors would rather pay more for the new structure than purchase your existing one. So you might want to think about increasing the value of your business before selling. Either way, the market value of a piece of property is capped by the cost approach.

2 The market approach

One way to go about commercial real estate valuation is to use the sales comparison technique. This method is also known as the market approach, which considers the selling prices of similar homes in the previously sold area. You may find typical applications of this methodology in the residential and multifamily real estate markets, such as when comparing two thirty-unit apartment complexes or two residential residences with comparable attributes and square footage.

This approach’s primary value lies in its use of actual market data, providing investors with a near-real-time assessment of current commercial real estate industry conditions. The method is less reliable when used to truly one-of-a-kind properties and has no close analogs to use as pricing guides. The lack of consideration for vacancies, losses from collections, or unexpected repair or maintenance costs further reduces the reliability of this method.

3 Value per door method

Another method for calculating a business property’s worth via a multiplicative comparison is the value per door (VPD). The number of “doors” is the primary metric when using VPD, which makes it ideal for analyzing large-scale, multi-unit properties. Let’s use a 500-unit residential building as an illustration. Let’s say the deal is worth $50 million, which equals $100,000 times the number of doors involved.

It’s important to remember that not every unit is the same. Therefore, this form of property value may only provide you with an average. For example, if you’re looking for properties in Tampa, the best is to go and see for yourself! Go ahead and arrange a quick transfer, try hiring long-distance movers to speed you up, and check the state of the properties yourself! Some flats could be studios, while others might have three bedrooms. This alters any comparisons between multi-unit buildings that otherwise look the same from the outside.


VPD can be a valuable method to make the best investment choices.

4 Income capitalization method

This approach values a property largely on the basis of the revenue it can potentially provide for an investor. Comparing the property to others in the area that are like it may help estimate future profits, as can the reduction in maintenance expenses that is likely to result. For example, if there are a lot of failing businesses nearby, that’s a red flag.

Let’s pretend you invest $1,000,000 on a building because you know from studying the local market that it will bring in $5,000 a year in rent. You can increase the anticipated annual income of $50,000 by cutting waste or charging tenants for utilities like electricity and water. All projected future earnings are discounted to their current value using a discount rate.

5 Gross rent multiplier method

Value is proportional to the gross rent (including the cost of ownership) when using the value per gross rent multiplier (VPGRM). If your building’s rental rate is $30 per square foot, you would simply multiply that rate by the building’s total rentable square footage. The sum obtained represents the highest possible yearly rent, also known as the gross rent.

You can then compare the gross rent-to-market transactions in a way analogous to that of the sales comparison method. Let’s pretend that a building like this one, which brings in $1,000,000 annually in gross rent, just sold for $10,000,000. A comparable gross rent is a necessary component in determining a building’s value. While the VPGRM method can provide a more precise comparison than the sales comparison method, it still requires knowledge of a number of other critical aspects of the comparable building.


Always do thorough research and calculations when doing commercial real estate valuation.

Final words

Every potential buyer has their own opinion on what a given piece of real estate is worth. There is also a hunch element to commercial real estate valuation. Commercial real estate’s top investors have developed their intuition for spotting promising opportunities and using accurate appraisal techniques.




Adam Brubaker