Searching for an online real estate school? You have many different options: Real Estate Express, OnCourse Learning, The CE Shop, and more. But which one is best? We’ve dug through the list to find a clear winner. Read on to find out.
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- Online vs Traditional Real Estate Schools
- Top 3 Online Real Estate Schools
- The Clear Winner
- Online Real Estate School Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
You can do so many things online that once required you to go somewhere in person – renew a driver’s license, shop, have a doctor’s visit, attend a meeting, and of course, go to school.
Online real estate schools have grown in popularity over the last decade, and they’ve made it possible for millions of people to take their pre-licensing courses at their own pace, from anywhere they want, in their free time.
The only problem with online real estate schools is that there are just so many. It’s tough to choose which school is the best option when a single Google search for “online real estate school” returns more than 1,330,000,000 results!
It’s much easier to make an informed decision when you have plenty of information in front of you about some of the top-rated online real estate schools.
We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing different real estate schools to see how they compare and which are accredited, affordable, and do the best job preparing you for the pass the real estate licensing exam.
Before we get into the top online real estate schools, are you sure that online courses are a good fit for you? Let’s look at some of the differences between traditional classroom courses and online courses.
Online Courses Vs. Traditional Courses
What’s different about online courses and traditional, in-classroom courses? There are plenty of differences between these two types of instruction. Which sounds better to you?
When you take online courses, you get to choose your own schedule. You could work on your course at 4:00 am if that’s what works best for you. Traditional courses are scheduled more rigidly.
Meaning you meet at a specific time on certain days. You might be able to find a night or weekend class at a traditional real estate school, but you’ll still have to attend during the scheduled class times.
Some online real estate schools offer physical textbooks to go along with your courses. But most only offer online course materials that you can read on your computer, tablet, or phone.
The beautiful thing about having online access to your course materials is that you can read and review them from anywhere! If you’re using textbooks and workbooks, you may not remember to (or want to) bring them everywhere you go.
Tuition and Fees
It’s typically much less expensive to take online real estate courses than it is to attend a brick-and-mortar real estate school. Online real estate schools don’t have much overhead, so they don’t have to pass any costs on to you.
Cost of Attending
Aside from paying tuition and any additional fees, going to a brick-and-mortar real estate school has a few extra costs. You’ll need a car, gas to drive back and forth daily or multiple times per week, and time off work to take your classes.
To attend an online real estate school, the only additional cost is your internet connection and computer – two things you likely already have or consider a necessary expense.
Depending on how you learn, you may want an instructor to guide you through the material in a traditional classroom setting. Or you may prefer to read it on your own from a comfy spot in your home to get a good understanding.
Online real estate schools are all different, but most don’t offer live instruction. One great option for anyone who likes being able to engage with an instructor but doesn’t want the additional cost.
If you don’t want the hassle of a brick-and-mortar school, Real Estate Express offers live Q&A sessions with the course instructor. During set “office hours,” you can chat live with an instructor.
Interaction with Classmates
If you’re a social butterfly who likes the traditional classroom setting, you’ll definitely have some adjusting to do with online real estate school. Other students will be taking the course at the same time as you.
But you won’t be meeting with them in a classroom, having discussions, or grabbing a coffee between classes. If you miss the socialization that is built into a traditional classroom setting, you can still take online real estate courses.
The kicker is that you will need to set aside time for social activities with your own friends to avoid feeling caged in. After all, online courses are void of interaction.
Level of Guidance
How do you perform when you rely on self-discipline? If you need to be motivated, guided, and pushed by an instructor (“Go home and read pages 59-84, and don’t forget to review the section on property taxes!”), you may struggle with online courses.
To succeed, you need to be disciplined enough to complete your course materials on your own schedule and motivate yourself to review it. You’ll also need excellent time management skills to help you pace your work in a way that helps you retain the information.
If you can manage your time, stay on track, and find other ways to fill your social needs, online real estate school will reward you with a faster, more customizable approach to take your pre-licensing courses.
Traditional courses can’t offer the same level of flexibility in a student-centric environment as online courses can. Let’s look at some of the best options for online real estate schools so you can get started!
Top 3 Online Real Estate Schools
These schools are some of the most highly rated and affordable real estate schools online. Read our full review of each (pricing, course options, fees, pros and cons, and more) by clicking the link under each school’s description.
Real Estate Express
Real Estate Express is the top-rated online real estate school in the United States and Canada. It’s been around since 1996 and has helped more than 350,000 people become licensed real estate agents and brokers in that time.
Real Estate Express offers every kind of course an agent or broker might need: Pre-licensing, post-licensing, exam prep, continuing education, and license upgrade courses. One of the reasons so many people love Real Estate Express is their low pricing.
Their course packages, which contain all the courses you need to take your licensing exam, are priced about 10-20% lower than other real estate schools.
Pricing in California, for example, starts at just $83 for the basic package and goes up to $314 for the Ultimate Learning package. And the platform is unlike any other online real estate school.
Real Estate Express offers live Q&A sessions with instructors to help mimic a traditional classroom setting. This is why it’s our number one pick for the best online real estate school.
The CE Shop
The CE Shop might sound like it only offers Continuing Education (CE) courses. Still, it provides the full range of pre-licensing, post-licensing, continuing education, exam prep, license upgrade, and license reinstatement courses for both real estate agents and brokers.
It has an excellent satisfaction rating from the 150,000 students they’ve had. Courses are priced on par with most other online real estate schools at about $120 to $550 per course package. This includes all the required instruction hours for each state.
Individual courses are priced at about $9 (typical course) up to $99 (license reinstatement course) each. While we think this is a great option, the courses are a little more dated and use a slightly less user-friendly interface than Real Estate Express.
Another affordable online real estate school is OnCourse Learning. They’ve been offering real estate classes for more than 50 years and offer pre-licensing, post-licensing, license upgrade, exam prep, and continuing education courses for real estate agents and brokers.
Their course packages range from about $100 to $600, depending on the state and number of extras you want in your package. The basic packages are the most affordable but don’t include exam prep or their Pass the First Try Guarantee.
The Clear Winner
We think, without question, that Real Estate Express is the best online real estate school. Why? Because we’ve researched them all. And Real Estate Express stands out for its unique platform, updated content, and easy to use interface.
Online Real Estate School Tips
Thinking seriously about choosing an online real estate school to prepare to get your real estate license? It’s a smart decision and one that will give you lots of flexibility and options.
We want to share some of our best tips with you to help you get the most out of your online real estate school experience.
Make a loose schedule. One of the main benefits of taking online classes instead of traditional is your ability to work at your own pace.
Still, if you’re not careful, your pace can result in your course running out before you’ve had a chance to read all the material, or blowing through sections so fast you won’t retain the information.
Take it from us: The best way to approach online courses is by making a loose schedule of your own. Figure out how many pages you need to read each day to complete the course in time and commit to it.
Look for discounts and promo codes. This is a tip you might already use when shopping online, but it works for online real estate courses too! Try visiting the course order page on the school’s website, choose the course you need, and leave the page.
When you come back, you may see a new promo code applied or offered on the page to get you to complete the order. Search for your school + “promo code” to see if there are any unadvertised codes you can apply.
Time it right. If you know it will take you about five months to get through all the material and you have two children, it may not be wise to start working on the courses over the summer months.
After all, the kids are home or when you have a 2-week vacation planned. Make sure you’re considering any upcoming life events before you commit to signing up.
Take advantage of exam prep. Starting a new career is a serious change, and if you want to have the best chance at succeeding, you have to pass your state’s licensing exam first. If your course package includes exam prep, use it!
It will only increase your odds of passing the exam on the first try, and some online real estate schools guarantee a first-time pass if you use their exam prep materials.
Know the next steps. What will you do once you take your final exam, pass it, and get your certificate of completion? Do you know what the next step is to getting your license?
Your online real estate school will be a great source of pre-licensing exam information, but you shouldn’t rely on the school to tell you what the next steps are in getting your license.
A Google search for your state and real estate license should get you pointed in the right direction. But we think our guide is better. Click here to learn how to become a real estate agent.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Online Real Estate School?
If you’re searching for the best online real estate school, we think you should look no further than Real Estate Express. Their courses are fun, engaging, and well-presented.
It helps to be backed by a large private equity group, after all. Use their funds to your advantage by capitalizing on their awesome courses to help set you up for success in your real estate career.
Want to learn about Real Estate Express? Click here for our full review.