In this article, I’m going to give you a guide to selecting a real estate school and a real estate class.
The first thing that you need to consider is whether or not you’re going to take a classroom or online course. Before we even get to that we’re going to talk about the purpose of the class.
The Purpose of the Real Estate Class
The purpose of a real estate class is not necessarily to teach you how to sell real estate.
The purpose is to prepare you for the final exam of the course and the independent national and state exam.
It’s giving you the principles of real estate so that you understand the terminology, the definitions, the structure of real estate, brokerage, fair housing, those types of things.
The final test is delivered on a computer in a multiple-choice format. There are no essay questions. So, this is something that you want to be prepared for as you’re going through the course.
The instructor will not give you extra credit and class participation is not going to have a bearing on your final score.
The instructor might assist you a little bit by the way, in which they answer the questions, but there’s not going to be a separate grading on whether or not you participate in a class or whether or not you answer questions for the instructor.
Difference in Final Test Pass Rates Between Online & Classroom Courses
Now, my experience has shown that there’s no significant difference in the pass rate for state and national exams based upon the course format.
The online version does allow prospective agents to get up and running sooner rather than having to wait for a classroom setting and then having to add the study time on top of it when you’re taking the classroom.
If you’re taking a classroom and your state requires a 160-hour course, that’s four weeks of class time. Four weeks at 40 hours not to mention the time that you have to take reading and then studying.
In an online course, there’s a counter that occurs on your screen. It will track the time and you’ll get credit for reading time and then you’ll have sample test questions at the end of each section, and this prepares you for the final exam by taking those test questions.
Once you pass the test questions, you’re allowed to move on to the next module, kind of like you completed a level in Super Mario.
Online Class Pluses and Minuses
So, what are the pluses and minuses of the online format?
Some of the pluses are flexibility and study time.
Any time that you can log onto the internet, you can be studying.
It’s usually less expensive investment of a course than the classroom or self-study, book study format. Less expensive than the classroom because you’re not having to pay for the instructor to be there for the course.
You’re also not paying for the location that’s going on, the lights being on, those types of things.
If you have a high comprehension retention level when you read, you could be done with the course in a matter of days as long as you pass the final exam and you’ve satisfied the hours that have gone through.
Also, the practice exams are computerized format. This is exactly the way the state and national exam is going to be delivered.
So, you’re already used to reading the test questions on your computer and making that decision between A, B, C, and D.
Now a minus because there’s no set schedule. I’ve seen students before sign up for the online course, but they have difficulty focusing time blocking to be able to finish the course and remember no matter the course format, each one is going to require a final exam.
Classroom Course Pluses and Minuses
Now let’s take a look at the classroom format.
In the classroom format this is usually taught by an experienced instructor that’s able to answer any questions that you have, and you’re the one that’s going to have to make the determination as to you have questions and you need somebody to kind of hold your hand and walk you through that process.
Also, in a classroom you have other fellow students as you’re going through the course that you can interact with. Some people that are more social than others may need this interaction and support.
The instructor may be able to provide some tips on passing the ultimate state and national exam. They’ll provide you with some got yous that you’d be able to take note of.
Now, one of the minuses or a couple of the minuses of the classroom format is time. The course is usually taught in a chapter format that is spread over multiple days or even multiple weeks.
This causes a lack of flexibility in scheduling.
The classes are at a set time, attendance is mandatory and I’ve even seen some classroom courses where if you miss a session, you have to wait until the next time that, that school delivers the class in order for you to be able to take this over and you have to make sure that you’ve satisfied that particular chapter before you’re allowed to take the test.
Also, those fellow students that you’re interacting with may not be committed to succeeding as you are or they may not be as intelligent as you are, frankly.
They’re going to ask questions and those questions could slow down the class which could cause you to be distracted because the classroom’s going to be brought to the lowest level of the students that are involved with it.
So, the bottom line selecting a course.
This is an area that we’re requiring you to make a decision based upon your commitment, your study habits, your past course experience.
Do you need someone to hold your hand in the classroom setting or a safety net of an instructor that you can turn to, or are you disciplined enough to block off your time and take the course and study on a schedule via an online environment?
Only you can and answer this question.
My Choice, When Available in My State?
I would only take the online course for the reasons that I brought up.
I’m going to time-block.
Even if I have a current nine to five job, I’m going to block off that when I get done with nine to five, I’m going to get home. I’m going to finish dinner. I’m going to block off a period of time and I’m going to take the online course.
I’m going to have it dedicated that I’m going to log into my computer, do my reading, go through my test questions, and be able to study in that format.
The second reason why I would do online is I don’t want to be brought down by the questions of the other folks that are in there.
When I first got into real estate did take a classroom course I should say. When I took the classroom course, there were a couple of individuals that kept asking why, why, why, when I really don’t need to know why a particular rule or law was put into place.
I need to know what the law is and how to be able to memorize it and answer it back on the question.
So, that’s something that we would want to take a look at.
When I moved to another state 5 years ago, I had to take a class again from scratch. So I took the online class this time around and finished the class and passed the test in less than 30 days, even while working another job from 9-5.
The online course allowed me to this done sooner so that I can get licensed and start selling a little bit sooner.
Course Packages Explained
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The CE Shop Package Example
Let’s take a look at the CE Shop under the Florida example.
In Florida, you have to take a 63-hour course.
Well with the CE Shop, they provide the 63-hour course and exam prep underneath the Standard Package.
They have a level up that’s called the Value Package and the Value Package includes a business building course.
Now I do not want to get distracted with the Business Building course because I have to get the 63-hours done.
I have to pass the test before I start building my business.
So, I kind of like to say that I have to eat my dinner first before I get my dessert.
The Value Package could potentially be a distraction.
The Premium Package will give you everything that it’s needed. The 63-hours that’s needed. It might also be worth the investment because it provides the post-licensing course.
It does have that Business Building bundle in it but when you have the investment and when you’re able to take this, it might be worthwhile to go with the Premium so that you go ahead and knock it out right now.
Then you’ll have that next course that you can take within your first year of being licensed, the 45-hour post-licensing course.
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Real Estate Express Package Example
Now compare this to the packages that are with Real Estate Express.
Real Estate Express offers the Basics which are just the course and three eBooks.
Their next step up is the Exam Preparation and I would suggest that this is the package that you start to consider because it has the minimums of the course.
It also has an Exam Prep module.
Let me talk about this Exam Prep module for a little bit. The Exam Prep module is going to provide you with these multiple-choice sample test questions. The sample test questions are what’s going to allow you to take the test over and over and over again.
What I like to say is, after you’ve read through the materials, you start to take the sample test questions.
When you take those test questions, when you’re at home under a time situation, when you’re passing at about a 90, 95% rate, when you go to take the actual exam, even if you get nervous, even if you forget a couple of things.
Even if you have a little bit of a brain fade you’ll still be able to pass above the state requirement because you’ll be able to forget some information, but you’ll still be able to fill in the details.
So, you want to make sure that you get at least the Exam Prep module.
Real Estate Express has that in their top three packages. The Exam Prep is included in all of the CE Shop packages.
The Exam Prep Plus is going to have the post-licensing and the ability to have an online chat or Q&A with an instructor.
And then the Ultimate Learning, if you need to have printed textbooks, then that would be an option for you to select that package.
You’re going to need to read along if you can, but remember you’re not going to get credit online for the time that you spend reading offline in the textbooks.
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Classroom Course Steps
If you’re picking a classroom course, you need to find out the schedule and cost from the specific school. Each school is different.
- You need to find out what is the attendance policy?
- If you miss a class, how do you make it up?
- Do you have to start completely over?
- And then the last thing that you want to make sure of is do they have an exam preparation module, something that you can log in on your own pace and be able to take these sample test questions
Remember, the purpose of the course is not to teach you how to sell real estate.
The purpose of the course is for you to get through the state requirements, memorize the information, the principles, and practices that you do to prepare you for the class final and then the independent state/national exam.
So, I hope this has given you a guide.
If available in my state would select online courses. That’s from personal experience.
That’s because of my study habits, because of my focus, my dedication, but again both of them are fully accredited by the state, fully approved, whether it’s online or classroom.
If it’s the classroom, you’re going to have to reach out to the schools, find out their specific policies, their specific schedule, their costs. Make sure that you do a comparison between the two.
I hope this guide has been very beneficial to you.
I also have a video that talks about not just getting your license but the entire process from your first considering getting into real estate all the way through to selecting a broker, getting trained and getting up and running. I walk through that step by step by step in a webinar that I’ve delivered.