One of the first choices I had to make when I decided to get my real estate license was how to fulfill the mandatory 135 hour training needed before I can even take the real estate license exam. I am getting my real estate license in California, which thankfully has several options available.
Classroom Based Or Online Real Estate Training?
The first choice I had to make was whether I should sign up for a traditional classroom based course or go with an online course. I’ve never been a huge fan of sitting through lectures in classrooms, so I had pretty much already decided I would sign up for an online based real estate training program that is certified in California.
I still wanted to check out classroom based options, but since I live in a more rural area, the closest place would have been a 20 minute drive each way. I also run a small business and wanted to have some flexibility instead of being forced to attend class on certain days and times. I do understand the advantages of a classroom based course where I would have a real instructor and be more motivated to get my work done on a time schedule, I ultimately decided an online real estate license training program would be my best option.
The Most Popular Online Real Estate License Courses
Here are some of the more popular online real estate license courses that are available in my home state of California. If you are obtaining your real estate license in another state, make sure you verify that your state has certified these courses.
SPECIAL NOTE: It should be noted that most online real estate training programs receive very low 1 or 2 star ratings on Yelp. The biggest complaints are from people claiming the courses are outdated and contain incorrect information, leading to poor exam performance. If you are going to base your decision on Yelp reviews, be forewarned there are no highly rated courses.
Just for full disclosure, Real Estate Express is the course I decided to go with. I haven’t used it long enough to know if it was a good choice or not, but I will write up a full review soon. Real Estate Express is currently offered in 19 states with price ranges of $99 to $616. They tout an average student exam pass rate of 79% which is above average as an industry standard. They have practice exams and unlike Kaplan or Career Web School, you can talk to an instructor over the phone and even in person if you are near one of their offices. They do not offer any virtual study groups at this time. I will be sure to report further on how my experience with Real Estate Express goes.
Kaplan is one of, if not the most popular online real estate training course. They are currently certified in 20 states with price ranges of $199 to $650. Kaplan boasts 76% exam pass rate, which is actually a good percentage in the industry. As with most online courses, you have access to practice exams, Q&A with an assigned instructor through email, live online study group opportunities, and they have received a fair number of positive reviews online when compared to other courses. It appears Kaplan has a selling point of offering a “classroom experience” without the classrooms.
Career Web School isn’t quite as well known as Kaplan, but they offer much more cost effective options and include many of the same benefits. Currently, Career Web School is being offered in 17 states and the courses cost between $99 and $549. They have an average student exam pass rate of 58.8% which is a little lower than some of their competitors. They offer practice exams, have instructors available for email Q&A, but unlike Kaplan, they do not offer virtual online study groups. The biggest thing that sets Career Web School apart from the rest is how they deliver the information. They break everything up into 20 to 30 minute segments and use repetitive tactics in their training to help you learn the most important facts.
Why I Decided To Go With Real Estate Express – Listed above are the main 3 schools I narrowed it down to. Which one is the best online real estate license training course? Well, from my research, they all seem to have pros, cons, and sub-par reviews, so that’s a tough question to answer. It really seems like it’s a hit or miss kind of decision. With that said, Kaplan and Real Estate Express have the highest student exam pass rates, so I was left to decide between those two. In my opinion, the Real Estate Express course looks much more modern and updated than Kaplan. I don’t really care about the online study groups Kaplan offers, so I decided to pull the trigger on Real Estate Express.
Buyer Beware – There Might Not Be A BEST Online Real Estate License Course
Making my decision on which online real estate training course to go with was not easy. It just seems like most schools receive very poor reviews from students. I think a lot of that has to do with some people not passing their exams and blaming the training course, but it also seems as if the courses aren’t updated as much as they should be. I’ve also read stories of people not being able to contact customer support or their “personal instructors” when needed. This is, of course, all very concerning, but I had to go with someone.
My main advice if you want to sign up for an online real estate license course is to understand that there really is no BEST online real estate license training option. They all get poor reviews. I decided to test my luck and sign up for one anyway. Hopefully by the time you are reading this, I’ll already know if I made a mistake or not.