Which is the best online real estate school? Our Honest Review

Day 12 of 30 – Robert Earl’s Prospective Agent Mentorship Guide – Digital Agent Show

Taking an online real estate course is the best way to get your real estate license. 

That being said, you might be asking yourself, “Which is the best online real estate school?”

To be on this list, an online school must be accredited and approved by the state that it offers courses in.  

They also have a proven track record with students that we have referred to and have generated a higher than average pass rate.  

These schools also have the latest content included in their courses to reflect any legislative or regulatory requirement changes in the state that they are approved in. 

We are going to review 5 top rated online real estate schools in 5 key areas and provide our recommendation for each area and provide an overall recommendation.  So let’s get started.  

The 5 top rated online schools are:  (listed in alphabetical order)

Aceable Agent
Colibri Real Estate
The CE Shop

Lets take a brief look at each school so that you can familiarize yourself with each one of them.

Aceable Agent

Aceable Agent is based in Austin, TX and provides online pre licensing real estate classes and continuing education courses for a select number of states.  

Website: https://www.aceableagent.com/

Colibri Real Estate

Recently changed the name to Colibri Real Estate, formerly known as Real Estate Express.  Headquartered in St. Louis, MO.  Colibri offers pre licensing course packages as well as post licensing, continuing education, exam preparation modules and broker licensing classes.

Website: https://www.colibrirealestate.com/

Kaplan Real Estate School

A trusted name in real estate education online headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  The company was founded in 1938. Kaplan offers real estate and home inspection courses in select states.  Real Estate classes include pre and post licensing as well as continuing education, exam prep and professional development 

Website: Kaplan


Online real estate school headquartered in Brookfield, WI.  Mbition offers pre licensing, exam preparation, continuing education and license upgrade packages. Many of the Mbition courses are now offered through the CE Shop.

The CE Shop

Consistently one of the top rated online real estate schools offering pre and post licensing courses for a number of states.  

The CE Shop also provides Mortgage, Home Inspection and Home Appraisal courses.  Real Estate packages include free trials and exam preparation modules.  The CE Shop also has continuing education programs for agents and Brokers.

Headquartered in Denver, CO.

Website: https://theceshop.com

Some things to keep in mind as you select an online real estate school 

None of these companies are directly associated with a particular real estate company, although a number of companies have partnership agreements with the schools so that they can easily refer prospective students, just like we do here at Digital Agent Show.

Real Estate schools are independent from real estate companies.  This is a state requirement to ensure that a real estate school is not just rubber stamping agents for a particular company or playing favorite.  

What this means for you

There will be no benefit with a real estate company for you picking one real estate school over another. 

Another thing for you to know is that the name of the real estate school that you attended will not appear on your real estate license or any public records.  

Unlike where people might be impressed by a particular university or business school, the real estate school that you attend will have no impact on your clients as they are not generally familiar with one school over another. 

Keep in mind, the purpose of attending the real estate school is to complete a state required course for a prescribed number of hours and pass a final examination.  Along the way, the class should prepare you to pass both the course final exam and the state administered exam.  

The real estate course and school will not teach you how to build a real estate business (working with buyers and sellers, contracts, marketing, branding, etc.)  These tasks are left up to the brokerage companies. 

Real estate schools are accredited by the state to deliver a specific approved curriculum.  One of the benefits of an online course over that of a classroom or instructor led course is that the material will be presented in the approved manner and order.  Classroom courses with instructors can not guarantee that this will occur. 

We are going to be looking at the following key areas:

  • States Covered
  • Number of Packages
  • Guarantees / Free Trial
  • Discounts Available

We are going to review each one of these schools in each of these areas and select a top school for each topic and then an overall top recommendation.

States Covered

Nearly every state allows prospective agents to take their real estate courses online.  There is still one few hold out state that is stuck in the stone age and require classroom based, instructor lead courses.  

From my review, the following states are classroom only at the time of this writing:

South Dakota

Between the schools that we are reviewing, all the rest of the states and the District of Columbia is covered by an online course. 

This category is almost a dead heat between Colibri Real Estate and The CE Shop.   

Aceable Agent = 8 States

Colibri Real Estate = 39 States & DC

Kaplan = 25 States

Mbition = See The CE Shop

The CE Shop = 43 States & DC

Our Recommendation:

The CE Shop is the clear winner in this category covering more states than the other schools.  These companies are very competitive and are adding states all the time, but at this time, more states are covered by The CE Shop.

Number of Packages

Each real estate school offers different packages for their classes.  These packages include different add ons to the basic package that covers just the required classroom hours. 

What to look for in a course package

All packages will include the base classroom hours. 

Some will add an Exam Prep module.  This is a critical addition to the package that you purchase. 

Others will include the following options that are not required at the initial time of purchase.  If you are watching your budget you can come back to the school an add these options on after you have completed the course.  These options include:

  • Post Licensing Classes
  • Continuing Education hours
  • Career guidance modules

One option that most students will not need is an add on print textbook.  

With an online course, you are given credit for the time that you read the materials on your screen.  Reading a textbook defeats this purpose. 

Lets review the package format for each school and give you our recommendations.

Aceable Agent

Offers a Basic, Deluxe and Premium package.  

The basic package includes the required hours course

The deluxe package adds in a Prep Agent system to help you prepare for the exam.  We highly recommend this package.

The premium package includes the hours, the prep agent and live tutoring and webinars.  This package give 1 hours of tutoring and would be beneficial for those students that feel the need to reach out to a tutor. 

Our recommendation for Aceable Agent packages:  Select the Deluxe package.

Colibri Real Estate

Colibri offers 4 different package levels.  The Basics, Exam Preparation, Exam Preparation Plus and Ultimate Learning.

The basics package includes the core required hours course.

The exam prep package includes the core hours and the exam prep module. 

The exam prep plus package includes the required hours course, the exam prep and the state required post licensing class.

The ultimate learning package includes the hours course, exam prep, post licensing and q&a with instructors via chat online with other job prep modules. 

We recommend that you invest in the Exam Preparation Level or Exam Preparation Plus Package with Colibri Real Estate.


Kaplan offers 3 levels of packages, the Basic, Exam Prep and Career Launcher.

The Basic package includes the core required hours course.

The Exam Prep includes the core and an exam prep module

The Career Launcher has the course and the exam prep as well as a module called the Real Estate Accelerator.  This module is an 8-hour, intensive course that will give you the real-world skills, tools, and detailed activities you need to thrive in the real estate business.

We recommend the Exam Prep package with Kaplan.


See The CE Shop

The CE Shop

The CE Shop offers 4 packages.  The Course Only, Standard, Value and Premium.

The course only package includes the core required hours course for the state.

The standard package throws in the exam prep module as well. 

The value package adds a business building course to the required hours and exam prep.

The premium package includes everything in the value package as well as the state required post licensing course. 

We recommend either the Standard or Value Level package with The CE Shop.

Notice that each real estate school has some sort of business building course or career prep module in their top level package.  

Why is this?

Because they know that most real estate companies are not very good at covering these topics in their new agent training and they are trying to fill a void.  

If you are planning on joining a training based, agent centric real estate company like Keller Williams Realty, then these add ons are not required.  Any other company, you might want to consider investing in the higher priced real estate school packages. 

Our recommendation:

It is a dead heat between the Standard Package with The CE Shop and the Exam Prep package with Colibri with The CE Shop getting the slight advantage due to its value and free trial offer.  

Guarantees / Free Trials

This is one area where an online course has a great advantage over a classroom based course.  Because of the online nature of the school, they are able to offer free trials and guarantees  that are not possible in a classroom setting.

This gives you the peace of mind as a student that the course they are selecting is the right one to launch their career. 

Aceable Agent

Offers a pass your test or your money back.

Colibri Real Estate

Offers a 1 week full money back guarantee


Offers a 30 days if the class has not been completed.  Only applies to the web based portion of the course.


See The CE Shop

The CE Shop

Offers a 5 day free trial.  Any part of the course that you complete during that time period will be saved and you will get credit for it when you purchase a full package. 

They also offer a 30 day full money back guarantee as long as less than 50% of the course has been completed. 

Extensions are also available if you take longer than the 6 month period allowed to complete the course for a minimal fee.  

Our recommendation:

The CE Shop has the most comprehensive trial and guarantee.  

Discounts Available

As we mentioned before, online real estate schools are very competitive and they all offer different discount promotions and discount codes that range from 20%-40% off the package price.  

You can review the sites for the deals available at this time.  We also send out the latest and best discount codes to those in our mentor program. 

The CE Shop also offers a military discount to active duty members, family members and those transitioning to civilian life.  Click here for more details.

Our overall recommendation:

When we look at the number of states covered, the packages offered, the guarantees and free trials and the discounts available, our choice is The CE Shop followed closely by Colibri Real Estate.  

Either one of these schools covers the majority of states.  Between the 2 of them account for 49 of the 50 states and Washington, DC.

We have had over 1000 students take our recommendations over the past 10 years and successfully complete their course online. 

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