Net operating income

July 27, 2023
The efficacy of the corporation's basic operational performance is reflected in net operating income. It excludes revenue from tasks that have no direct relationship to the company, like investment income, revenue on the sale of an investment, and so on. The idea of net operating income is critical for investors and lenders of an organization because it provides them with an accurate understanding of how the company's activities are carried out and the amount of income generated from the corporation's primary company operations.

What is the net operating income?

The net operating income (NOI) is an indicator used to examine the viability of income-producing real estate ventures. NOI is the sum of all property income less all reasonably required operational expenditures. NOI is a pre-tax statistic that appears on an asset's income and cash flow statement and leaves out loan principal and interest, capital investments, depreciation, and amortization. In other sectors, this term is known as "EBIT," which represents earnings before interest and taxes.

Perception of net operating income (NOI)

Real estate experts utilize the net operating income to calculate the exact worth of their income-producing assets. To calculate NOI, deduct the property's operational expenditures from the money it generates.

A property may produce money via parking garages, vending machines, laundry facilities, and rental revenues. The expenses of managing and upholding the facility are included in operating expenditures, which include utilities, property taxes, insurance premiums, legal fees, maintenance charges, and cleaning fees. Capital expenses, like the cost of a new air-conditioning ventilation system for the whole building, are excluded.

NOI assists real estate financiers in calculating the capitalization rate, which in turn assists them in calculating the value of a property, enabling them to compare other properties they may be contemplating purchasing or selling.

NOI is also employed in the debt coverage ratio (DCR) for financed buildings, which indicates to investors and creditors if a property's revenue covers its operational expenditures and debt obligations.

How to compute the net operating income (NOI)?

Deduct operating expenditures from revenue received by a property to get net operating income. Rental money, parking charges, service changes, vending machines, washing machines, and so on contribute to real estate revenue.

Operating expenditures comprise all costs related to the property's operation. Among them are property management costs, utilities, property taxes, insurance, repairs, and upkeep.

The formula for calculating the net operating income

Net operating income = RR OE,


Net Operating Income = (Gross Operating Income + Other Income) - Operating Expenses


     RR = real estate revenue

     OE = operating expenses​

Constituents of NOI

According to the formula above, total revenues and operating expenditures are NOI's key elements. The total revenue of a real estate property comprises all revenues from the property, not simply the rent. It may include extra money from parking or storage space rentals and revenue from local vending machines or laundry services in certain buildings.

The operational expenditures represent the overall costs connected with the rental property. It covers, in addition to maintenance and repairs, the price of taxes and insurance, property management fees, and any utilities not paid by the tenants.

Gross operating earnings/ income (GOI)

First, determine your Gross operating income (GOI) to compute the NOI properly.

Gross operating income = Potential rental income - Vacancy rates

It is simple to fall into the trap of believing that your gross income is merely the property's value. It is incorrect. Gross operational income also quantitatively accounts for revenue potential and variations. It may seem not easy, but it is not. Here's how to calculate your actual gross operating income.

·       Potential rental income

Potential rental income (PRI) is the amount of money you would earn if the property were completely rented all of the time. This is an easy statistic to overlook since traders often think of a "best-case scenario."

·       Vacancies and credit losses

It would be ideal if a property were completely leased, but this is unlikely to happen yearly. This is why the GOI considers vacancy and credit losses in addition to future rental revenue. When analyzing a possible investment, examine similar property vacancy rates or get historical accounting from the present owner to better understand the vacancy percentage you should employ in your calculations.

·       Other earnings

Remember that NOI includes all revenue, GOI, and any extra income a property generates. A property may earn money in ways other than tenant rentals. For example, maybe the property has vending machines, an extra parking lot, and the previously mentioned coin laundry. A property may provide more revenue, but this is not always true.

·       Expenses for operations

Now that we have calculated gross revenue, we need to calculate operational expenses: how much it costs to own the property. Include the following operating expenditures in your calculations:

      ·       Insurance

      ·       Costs of upkeep and repair

      ·       Taxes on real estate

      ·       Miscellaneous fees include property management, accounting, law, and marketing expenses.

What is excluded from net operating income?

NOI does not contain figures that may be deducted from future earnings and taxes. It also excludes substantial one-time expenses like major maintenance. Certain statistics are removed from NOI calculations since they do not serve the net operating income (NOI) aim. The goal of NOI is to provide traders with insight into a rental property's natural cash flow: how lucrative it is (or is not), the amount it costs to uphold the property, and the general viability of the investment.

Since we are focusing on genuine cash flow with NOI, here's what to leave out of your computation;

·       Debt servicing

One significant expenditure that may be omitted from the mentioned list is mortgage payments. This is because loans are excluded from an NOI computation. After all, the amount of debt varies from investor to investor.

One trader might put down 50%, while another may only be able to put down 20%. This statistic would have a significant impact on NOI if included. Still, we omit it from our calculations since we want to examine the general stability of the property (rather than the financials of an individual investor). By excluding debt, we may evaluate properties similarly: income vs. outflow.

DSCR (debt service coverage ratio) evaluates a property's cash flow to what is required to service debts and considers NOI. The following formula may provide a rapid accounting of DSCR;

DSCR = NOI / Total principal + interest each year

·       Personal income taxes

NOI is a before-tax figure, which implies that all taxes are omitted. Tax charges vary greatly per trader, and while NOI is particular to the property rather than the person, it is not included.

·       Depreciation

Depreciation is not a real expenditure since it is never "paid" for out of pocket, such as with cash or a check. Depreciation, on the other hand, is an accounting phenomenon. Depreciation turns into "real money" when deducting it from your taxes or selling a prospective property. Depreciation is also excluded from the computation since NOI only considers genuine, yearly costs paid out of cash gained each year.

·       Tenant enhancements or improvements (TI)

Since tenant upgrades are unique to the tenant rather than the property as a whole, this expenditure is likewise removed from any NOI calculation.

·       Capital investments

Managing an investment property may be costly, and there will be years when more money is needed for repairs. However, since this expenditure varies greatly from year to year and from property to property, we exclude substantial one-time charges in an NOI estimate.

Furthermore, it is exceedingly unusual that an investor would "cash flow" a high cost, such as replacing a roof, using revenue from tenant rentals. Because investors often utilize cash reserves (savings) to cover these expenditures, it makes no sense to consider excess spending and cash in any NOI model.

How NOI is applied to calculate the cap rate

If you are new to real estate investment, you have undoubtedly heard the word "cap rate" being employed a lot. NOI additionally serves to establish an investment's cap rate. Although "cap rate" is an alternative term for return on investment (ROI), it is extensively used in the real estate industry.

Capitalization Rate = Net operating income / Purchase price

The cap rate statistic may be used to screen possible investments based on the amount a trader is interested in earning on their investment.

NOI versus NIBT (Net income before taxes)

Recognizing how disparate these two statistics might be is crucial, even for the same property.

·       Net income before taxes (NIBT)

NIBT is a financial statistic that applies to an operational firm and an investment property. It is the total income less the entire costs. Rental income is the key source of revenue for real estate:

NIBT = Total rental income – Total expenses

Since passive income tax rates are often elevated in many areas, real estate financiers sometimes attempt to falsify expenditures to reduce their income tax obligations.

In addition, if an investor owns numerous assets, net income (or NIBT) may be computed and reported at the portfolio level. This also makes determining the profitability (or capacity to create cash flow) of any given property challenging.

·       Net operating income (NOI)

NOI is a statistic used to assess a property's financial viability. Similar to EBITDA, NOI frequently serves as a substitute for operational cash flow for computing debt service coverage ratios or contrasting properties to determine market values (since it disregards tax rates and capital structure choices).

To appreciate the property's future return for a trader, the easiest approach to consider the concept of NOI is that an array of add-backs and normalizations are necessary. Experts often observe entrepreneurs and accountants strive to undervalue income for accounting reasons (as it means a cheaper tax bill). Still, they also want to inflate NOI (because it signals an elevated property value).

Normalizing expenditures to determine NOI

When calculating a property's NOI, there are four major areas of costs to consider. They are as follows:

       i.          Uncontrollable expenses

Property taxes, utilities, insurance, and maybe snow removal, security, or concierge services (where appropriate) are instances. These are classified as "non-controllable" because failure to pay them constitutes an infraction of the agreement between the property owner and the tenant(s). Non-controllable expenditures are cash expenses never subtracted from NIBT while computing NOI.

     ii.          Controllable expenses

Three significant controllable expenditure categories influence NOI and NIBT. These are the costs of repairs and upkeep, administration fees, and interest. They are controlled in the perception that landlords may "defer" maintenance to inflate NIBT (for instance, if seeking to sell); they can also execute fictitious repairs or upkeep to exaggerate costs and incur less tax. Furthermore, property owners may pay as much or as little in management fees as they like. Since debt is an optional financing source, interest (although a genuine cash item) may or may not show on all income statements based on the owner's desire for high- or low-debt capital structures. Certain controllable expenditures are returned to NIBT (or normalized) to get at NOI.

    iii.          Non-cash costs

The most significant is depreciation expenditure. Depreciation, like EBITDA (for corporate finance), is a non-cash expenditure that is added back to NIBT when computing NOI.

    iv.          Hypothetical costs

A good example is what is the vacancy allowance. While many commercial buildings may be completely occupied at the time of financing or purchase, most commercial real estate experts and creditors will give the property a vacancy allowance.

Vacancy allowances are a percentage of rental revenue and mimic hypothetical "downtime" in which the property is unoccupied for an extended time with no rental income. Vacancy allowances vary by location and property type, with smaller localities and higher-risk property classes often fetching a larger "hypothetical" vacancy rate.


Net operating income (NOI) is a typical metric for determining a property's viability. The computation entails deducting all running expenditures from the income produced by the property. The more lucrative a property is, the larger the income and the lower the expenditures. This informs the owner if the money gained by possessing and operating the property is worthwhile.