Each year, the number of newly licensed real estate agents is steadily growing. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics found that the average real estate employment growth is about 7% annually, more than many other sectors.
If you’d like to capitalize on this trend and become a licensed agent, your education will be the first thing on your list. Let’s look at one of the most popular real estate schools in the United States and Canada: Real Estate Express.
What Is Real Estate Express?
Real Estate Express is a real estate school that operates 100% online. Agents in the U.S. and Canada complete virtual courses through a secure learning platform to earn their real estate license.
The company was founded in 1996 to provide pre-license courses for those interested in becoming licensed real estate agents and brokers. In fact, they were one of the first companies to start offering real estate licensing courses online.
These courses are written and designed for specific states and territories and accredited by appropriate institutions to ensure they fulfill each state’s requirements.
Different types of courses are available, including pre-licensing, post-licensing, continuing education, and exam prep programs.
Currently, more than 350,000 people have used Real Estate Express to earn their real estate license, complete required education and training, and prepare for real estate licensing exams.
Although most schools teach the same government-mandated curriculum, Real Estate Express offers the following advantages:
- Flexibility to learn at your own pace
- Learn from anywhere using a virtual classroom
- Pricing 10%-20% lower than traditional schools
- Industry-leading exam prep and study materials
- Live instructor Q&A
Read on to learn how Real Estate Express can help you pass your licensing exams on the first try.
Online Course Options
Real Estate Express offers a few different study options, ranging from pre-license courses to sample real estate exams.
Unlike brick-and-mortar schools that offer a single course, Real Estate Express makes it easy to choose a program that fits your needs.
For this reason, it’s great to have options instead of paying for a feature you won’t use. Real Estate Express offers some of the best online courses we’ve seen.
While courses must meet specific hour requirements, each package offers different study tools catering to varying learning styles.
Using California’s program as an example, you’ll see that all packages require 135 pre-license course hours. This is a state requirement placed on any school offering real estate courses, whether it’s online or not.
Regardless of state requirements, the courses come in a few varieties:
- The Basics. Just as it sounds, this package offers the minimum needed to meet the pre-licensing requirements. While there aren’t any fancy bells and whistles, additional tools like online practice questions can be purchased separately.
- Exam Preparation. For a little extra money, you can upgrade packages to include the real estate test questions and the first-time pass guarantee along with cram course access.
- Broker Get Started. Meant for brokers (and not salespeople), this is your only option. However, it includes everything you need to get your brokers license at a very good price, so it’s worth the cost.
- Exam Prep Pro. We consider this to be the Rolls-Royce of online real estate courses. The Prep Pro package includes anything you can think of. While we find this is more than necessary for most agents in training, it’s comprehensive and offers tools catered to many different learning styles. If in doubt, choose this package.
Given my learning style, features like Advanced Instructor Support are far less valuable than those of practice questions or mock final exams. Fortunately, it’s not a “one size fits all” course, so you have options.
Continuing Education Courses
We cover this more in detail in another post, but Real Estate Express makes it easy to fulfill continuing education requirements using their online classes.
CE is necessary for real estate professionals, but it’s certainly less of a pain completing the hours from your couch or office.
Real Estate Express’s parent company McKissock makes it easy to do just that with their affordable continuing education courses.
The Real Estate Course Experience
While we don’t have time to describe the entire course in detail, we can show you a video that highlights Real Estate Express in action.
To play the video, simply click the on the link above. In it, a member of the marketing team will give you what they call the “Course Experience.”
Plans and Pricing
Real Estate Express offers flexible course options. However, another benefit is that programs are relatively inexpensive. Using an example is the best way to highlight course pricing.
If you live in California and need to satisfy pre-license requirements for a salesperson license, you’d select one of the following packages:
Please note that pricing varies by state and date, but you can see your state’s pricing by clicking on the map in the next section.
States Real Estate Express Serves
Many agents choose online real estate schools due to the flexibility of their schedule. Unlike a traditional school, you can learn on a beach in California or a mountain in Colorado.
Fortunately for you, Real Estate Express makes courses for most states, so this flexibility is offered to most agents across the country.
Real Estate Express’s Best Features
Although Real Estate Express packs its programs full of useful features, we’ve included a few of them we believe are most useful.
LMS is a learning management system that tracks your progress as you complete your online real estate classes.
In addition to a dashboard and goal setting, this tool holds you accountable by ensuring you’re staying on track.
While there are many useful features, we think the Pass Guarantee is the best offered by Real Estate Express.
This guarantee ensures that you pass the state licensing exam on the first try, but it conditional on completing the Exam Prep Master Program.
If you complete all requirements listed in the online course but fail your real estate licensing exam, you will receive a full refund of your study materials.
Many real estate schools hand you a book, study guide, and sent you on your way. However, this software makes it easy to learn with a methodology called “Smart Bites.” Information is presented in small bits and then naturally reinforced.
Often times, first-time students drop out of classes due to the complexity of the material. With Smart Bites, concepts are easier to grasp, which means you’ll be one step closer to being a real estate agent.
In the above screenshot, you’ll see how the program introduces the Clue Report on its own. This helps isolate the topic, helping you retain the information better. It even includes a video to describe the topic.
Personally, I love the videos because I learn best by listening and doing things myself. Videos are also wonderful because they help break down complex topics into easy-to-understand pieces.
One downside to online real estate schools is that you’re unable to ask the instructor questions. Unsurprisingly, Real Estate Express created a solution called Live Q&A.
This offers pre-set sessions (there are many options, and you can join any time you’d like) during which live instructors answer questions from you and your classmates.
Practice Real Estate Exams
In our opinion, the practice exams are the best feature of the pre-licensing courses. I used these when studying for my real estate license and credit my success in passing on the first try to this tool.
There are many variations of different questions with topics ranging across the board. While the federal exam material is uniform across all states, the state exam is state-specific.
Real Estate Express’s online practice exams cover both and in my experience, were very similar to those on my test. This feature is included in some packages and can be purchased on its own.
Pros and Cons
Real Estate Express offers students greater flexibility compared to brick and mortar schools. This is mostly good, but as with everything, that’s a tradeoff.
Pros (what we like)
- You can attend class while sitting on your couch, and at your convenience.
- Pricing is lower than other real estate schools. With no overhead, they pass the savings to you.
Cons (what we dislike)
- You lose networking opportunities because classes are online.
- Unless you’re a self-starter, it can be hard to focus. This is where the smart bites program helps.
At the end of the day, everything has downsides, but the pros just have to outweigh the cons. I personally learn best by going into a classroom.
But the LMS system helps break things down into bite-sized pieces, which I found kept my attention. I think most people would benefit from this program, especially those with busy schedules.
We love Real Estate Express, but don’t take our word for it. We’ve included some honest third party testimonials from real users to help you decide if this program is right for you.
This is a truly objective review from Carson, a Keller Williams agent in Oklahoma. He ranks the program a 6 out of 10, but only downgrades it for some minor issues.
Overall, he likes the flexibility and price and was happy with the program.
What he liked about Real Estate Express:
- Low relative prices – Carson purchased a full course on Labor Day for under $300. Much less expensive than brick and mortar schools.
- Q&A sessions – Monday through Friday, Q&A sessions occur during normal business hours.
- Instructor emails – With any pre-license package, you are assigned an instructor who you can email any time of day or night. Carson states they respond quickly.
- Set your own pace – The best part about using an online real estate program is that you can set your own pace. Have to work a full day? No worries. Just log on when you get home.
What he didn’t like about Real Estate Express:
- Outdated book – Social media was not covered in the book, advertising methods covered were print only.
- Limited hours – While Q&A sessions were helpful, they were during normal business hours. If you work a full-time job, this can be an issue.
- Grammar mistakes – Carson states there are a few grammar mistakes throughout the book. While a small complaint, it’s still worth noting.
Of course, this is just one user’s experience. However, I’ve used the platform, and I have to agree with some of his points. My take is next.
Top Real Estate Course Alternatives
While we think Real Estate Express is your best real estate training provider, it’s not your only option. If you want to explore more online schools, here are some other big names to check out.
The CE Shop
The CE Shop, contrary to the name, offers more than continuing education courses online. They also offer pre- and post-licensing, exam prep, license upgrade, and multi-state courses. The pricing is very similar to Real Estate Express.
Kaplan Real Estate School
Kaplan offers real estate education online and in classroom settings (available in 19 states). Practice exams, pre- and post-licensing courses, and exam prep are also offered.
On the downside, classes are more expensive (up to $649 per course, depending on your state), and course instructors don’t provide live Q and A sessions.
I’ve used Real Estate Express’s products and really like them. I am a huge proponent of clean branding, and the company has just that. Everyone I’ve spoken to from the company is helpful and professional.
My only complaint is that some of the instructors can be a little bland. I’ve taken real estate classes from brick and mortar schools, and they are the same way. So it’s less about the company and more about luck of the draw.
Overall, I love their approach to learning — the smart bits really helped me. The practice questions were also very helpful and were almost exactly the same format that I saw on the test.
Real Estate Express has invested a lot of time and money in its products, and I’d gladly use them again in the future.
Should You Choose Real Estate Express?
If you are considering a real estate career, your first step is to choose a real estate course that works for you. Because all states have pre-licensing hour requirements, you’ll have to select an accredited school.
Bottom line, Real Estate Express offers great online courses and should be considered for your training.