Nearly all prospective real estate agents must attend a state-approved real estate school to complete pre-licensing coursework. (See the best ways to become a Realtor) However, 40 states and Washington D.C. give prospective agents a choice regarding how they pursue this mandatory education: Traditional in-person coursework or online schooling. Though both may be available to you, online is far superior.
Online schools are the best for real estate because they’re more affordable, flexible, meet state requirements, and can help you finish your pre-licensing sooner. Most online schools also offer exam prep tools, eBooks, access to an instructor, and study guides to ensure content understanding.
Unless you live in the ten U.S. states that require instructor-led real estate courses, it’d be silly to choose anything other than online real estate school. Keep reading to learn ten definitive reasons why online schools are the way to go when getting your pre-licensing out of the way.
They Tend to Be the More Affordable Option
The quest toward getting your real estate license isn’t a cheap one, to say the least. Along the way, you’ll have to open your wallet and shell out some of your hard-earned money to continue onto the next step of the process. Totaling up the costs of traditional pre-licensing coursework—the cost to get fingerprinted, and license application fees, you’re looking at well over $1,000.
Fortunately, choosing an online real estate school can help you save some cash.
In-person pre-licensing courses can cost anywhere from $300 to over $1,000. When you choose an online real estate school, you save big at the bank—many basic salesperson courses are within the $100 to $300 range.
Despite the dramatically lower price tag, enrolling in an online real estate school will still adequately introduce you to the mandatory content and give you access to real estate eBooks (textbooks). An online real estate school will also provide you with an instructor to whom you can ask questions along the way.
Why spend up to $700 more on traditional in-person sessions when the only extra benefit is having an instructor in the classroom with you?
With the money you save by opting for online schooling, you can invest in your business and get your new career off on the right foot. Use the money you save on schooling to purchase custom business cards, invest in online marketing, and buy professional attire.
You Can Learn and Study on Your Own Schedule
In-person real estate schools undoubtedly expose you to the essential topics and content your state requires. However, there’s a major pitfall with this style of education—your learning sessions are at the mercy of the schedules of your real estate instructor or school.
Opting for the 9-to-5 weekday sessions means calling out of work for weeks at a time. Night sessions mean no quality time with the family after your normal work shift ends, and weekend sessions mean no free-time whatsoever for the next few months.
Luckily, you don’t have to give up much of anything with online real estate school.
These online modules give you 24/7 access to the material and coursework so that you can pursue your state’s mandatory hours on your own time. Complete training during your lunch break at work, when the kids are napping or at school, or on the weekends or your days off.
You no longer have to plan your daily activities around your real estate training, but can squeeze your real estate education into your schedule where it makes the most sense. That means you also don’t have to invest in a babysitter, call out of work to attend classes, quit your day job entirely, or give up the personal time you so desperately need.
It’s up to you how much training you do per day, whether that’s 30 minutes a day or long-haul days where you dedicate six hours or more.
Early Completing Your Hours Is a Possibility
Perhaps the most “painful” aspect of completing your pre-licensing education in-person is that there’s no leeway regarding the timeline. For states like California or Texas that require upwards of 130 hours of pre-licensing coursework, you may be looking at final course completion several months down the road.
That’s several weeks or months of no weekends, days, or nights to yourself.
When you choose an online real estate school instead, you essentially have full freedom to pursue your hours at your own pace. Aside from the “cap” on education hours that a few states have put in place, it’s possible to complete six to ten hours of education per day, every day.
Take a look at how condensing more training into each day impacts total course time:
- 40 hours: 7+ days
- 60 hours: 10+ days
- 80 hours: 13+ days
- 100 hours: 17+ days
- 120 hours: 20+ days
This doesn’t take into account the extra time you may dedicate to reviewing course content or using study tools to ensure content understanding. However, it does offer the flexibility and convenience that in-person classes simply are unable to deliver.
Instead of the entire licensing process taking six months or more, you can condense it all into two months or fewer, all thanks to online schooling.
They Fulfill Your State’s Pre-Licensing Requirements
Many prospective agents choose traditional classroom pre-licensing courses simply because they consider that to be their only option. The last thing you’d want to do is commit dozens or hundreds of hours toward an online training module, only to find out after the fact that it’s not legitimate and didn’t count toward your state’s requirements.
Assuming you choose a program like Real Estate Express, The CE Shop, or Mbition, you can be sure that your state’s requirements are being met.
You can verify this all yourself when selecting the best program for you by:
- Seeking out the license or approval number for the school to ensure it’s state-approved
- Checking that the school offers the exact courses and hours required by your state
- Referring to your state’s official website to check that the school is legitimate
With this in mind, you don’t have to be fearful that you’ll go to register for your state’s real estate exam to find out your program was a scam. You can be confident that your state will accept either method as an equivalent for pre-licensing, whether you choose an in-person class or online school. It’s the same education, with the only difference being how you complete it.
You Can Learn at a Pace That Works for You
Classroom learning is often touted as the “gold standard” for learning, assuming everyone in the class is on the same page and has a good understanding of the topic at hand. However, this is hardly the case in most scenarios. For example, you or a classmate may have questions, your instructor could be moving through topics too quickly, or you may just need a break.
With that, it’s extremely easy to fall behind, become distracted, or feel overwhelmed in the classroom setting. Thankfully, that’s not much of a glaring issue with online education.
You can proceed through the online module entirely at your own pace.
You can slow down and refer to your textbook or real estate dictionary when you’re finding a tricky topic to be a bit troublesome. On the other hand, you can move onto the next chapter or section when you get to a concept where you’re already a bit knowledgeable. When you’re losing your focus, you can get up and walk around or take a short break before returning.
Your progression through the coursework doesn’t have to depend on how well your classmates understand the concepts or how much time your instructor spends on each topic. You’re in complete control over your education.
Check out the video below that reviews the six key advantages of online learning!
Learn Wherever You Feel Most Comfortable
Perhaps the most significant benefit of online real estate schools is that you don’t have to waste fuel or time driving to a real estate school for daily or weekly classes. All you have to do is power on your computer or tablet, access the education module, and click on your next lesson.
You can work on your schooling wherever you learn best, whether that be in your home office, at the library, on a bench at the local park, on the couch in your living room, or on the treadmill.
Now your choice of “classroom” also comes with a few other perks, most of which wouldn’t be “appropriate” in your run-of-the-mill classroom environment. For example, you can:
- Sit, lean, or lie down in whatever position is comfortable for you
- Feel free to dress down in your comfy clothes
- Listen to music or television in the background as you learn
- Use your preferred device to receive your education
- Fiddle with nearby items to stay focused (stress ball, fidget spinner, etc.)
Online learning is especially useful if you haven’t played the role of “student” in years or even decades. The more comfortable you are physically and mentally while learning, the better you’ll retain new concepts and perform when it comes to testing.
Many Online Schools Offer Exam Prep Tools
The concepts, laws, and topics that you’ll review in pre-licensing courses are essential for being a successful real estate agent with a firm grasp of the industry. However, your state’s mandatory pre-licensing hours and classes are nothing more than requirements.
Alone, they won’t prepare you to pass your state’s real estate exam on the first try.
One of the most unique and beneficial aspects of online real estate school is that most reputable programs come standard with exam prep tools—others give you the option to invest in this type of package if you so wish. This is not something that the average in-person school offers.
These exam prep programs typically offer unlimited multiple-choice practice exams on both state and national concepts, exposing you to the content and formatting of your state’s exam. You’ll also get feedback on the concepts you seem to be struggling with the most, so you can better focus your study sessions on the topics you need to brush up on. These prep tools range from practice exams and flashcard decks to study guides and practice assignments.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of the exam prep programs is that you know where you stand before registering for your state’s exam.
You can continuously retake the practice exams until you’re consistently scoring 90%+ or higher, at which point you know you have a considerable grasp on the content and test format. Add that to a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” that some online modules offer, and you can show up on test day confident that the test will be a breeze.
Instructors, eBooks, and Study Guides Are Available
One of the biggest misconceptions of online real estate school is that it includes nothing more than an online module to walk you through the information.
Not only do you receive in-depth knowledge of the essential state and national real estate concepts, but you also have plenty of tools and resources at your fingertips to ensure a complete understanding of topics you learn.
These tools include everything you didn’t know you needed.
That includes assigned instructors that you can email with questions and concerns, eBooks that serve as your textbook to reference in times of confusion and study sessions, and study guides to practice course materials until you get a handle on them.
Considering the only study tool you’ll get with most in-person courses is a textbook, online schools ensure you get the most bang for your buck and the tools you need to pass your final exam and state exam later on.
Rest assured, online real estate school is not the type of online module you play in your computer background as you’re sitting at your desk at work.
Many Online Schools Have Terrific Reviews
Signing up for an in-person real estate school is always hit or miss. Many of these schools are either brand new or have yet to have enough students on their roster to generate reviews that you can refer to when choosing a program. You may end up enrolling in a classroom course, only to discover the instructor isn’t engaging, doesn’t explain things well, or is inexperienced.
What’s great about online real estate schools is that, for the most part, you know what you’re walking into thanks to the vast number of online reviews. Some even have refund policies!
You can find out which schools are worth giving your money to—and which aren’t! Most importantly, you can find out what others have experienced during the course.
Did they feel the online module prepared them for the course’s final exam? Did the instructor respond to questions promptly with a clear and concise response? Was the program mostly video-based, or were there reading assignments as well?
These reviews can help you select a program that fits your unique learning needs while also giving you a sense of relief that you’re choosing a good online school. Plus, you can make your decision based on hundreds or even thousands of online user reviews, not just a few like your local real estate school may have.
The Classroom Setting Isn’t for Everyone
To put it directly: Not everyone does well in the classroom setting. Whether you dislike the atmosphere, being surrounded by other students, or sitting through hours-long lectures, you may simply prefer to do your learning online at your own pace and on your own time.
For most U.S. states, there’s also no real need to choose an in-person course when online coursework is available.
Consider online schooling if:
- You struggle to focus in a classroom, or your behaviors may distract other students
- You currently have a full-time job or young children to care for
- You like to break your study sessions into short blocks instead of long sessions
- You don’t enjoy lecture-style classes and are more of a visual learner
- You want to learn in your own environment how and when you want
- You prefer to review complex concepts as soon as you finish each chapter or unit
Ultimately, online school real estate school is a terrific choice if you like to have complete control over your education and what you gain from the coursework. Unless your state requires all prospective agents to complete in-person classwork, always go for online versions, instead!
Online real estate schools will always be your best bet if your state permits this method of pre-licensing coursework. However, you want to verify that the online school you choose is legitimate and will fully prepare you for your state’s real estate exam and future career.
The three best online real estate schools are:
Enroll in your state’s pre-licensing course, dedicate your full attention during every learning session, ace the pre-licensing class’s final exam, and go ahead and schedule your state exam.
You’ll have your license before you know it!