If you want to kickstart your side job as a real estate sales agent, you’ve come to the right place.
Why should you try becoming one, you ask? Being a real estate agent is quite a lucrative side gig.
It’s a combination of three things: income, fulfillment, and getting to be your own boss.
You can help people find new homes and you get commissions for your hard work. All this while managing your own hours and working from home. Plus you get to visit beautiful houses too! Does that already sound like a dream job?
But before you get there, you have to get a real estate agent license first. And to get one, you have to finish your state’s required hours for pre-licensing education.
Don’t worry, you can totally do this online, in the comfort of your own home.
We’ve done the leg work and rounded up 8 of the best online real estate schools for 2021 you could choose from. Sit back, relax, and let’s help you decide which one’s the best for you!
Online Real Estate School
Pre-license courses price range
$119 - $422
$119 - $797
$129 - $599
$119 - $797
$129 - $799
$79 - $415
$99 - $449
What should you look for in a great online real estate school?
Before we get to the best online real estate schools, first you have to know what the qualities of a great one are. These courses often come with hefty price tags so you have to make sure you’re settling for one that’s the best fit for your needs.
Flexibility: The real estate pre-licensing courses should be entirely online so you can study anywhere using any gadget.
Value for money: The coursework packages have to have everything you need -- from the state-required courses to exam preparation. Like we said, each course comes with a price tag so you want to make sure you’ve spent every cent well.
Interactive lessons: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that boring lessons will lead to bored students. Each state has a different number of required hours for pre-licensing education. For example, Texas has 180 hours and you can’t spend all that time fighting sleep!
And with those basic requirements to a great online real estate school, let’s begin the list!
Best online real estate schools in 2021
First on the list is Aceable Agent, one of the newest real estate schools in the country. They feature a no-frills, 100% online program that gives you access to the best pre-licensing courses to fasttrack your career in real estate.
The best part? They’ve got a mobile app you can access anytime, any day. That means you get to study at home, at the cafe, or anywhere on the go.
Once you sign up for Aceable Agent, you get access to your state’s required courses created and presented in a fun, interactive way. They insert quizzes, videos, and animations to break up those long blocks of text. The lessons even have a game of Facts of a Feather -- there’s no time to be bored!
At the end of each chapter, you get to answer a 3-question Level Assessment to prep you for the final exam.
Get at least a score of 70% or higher to pass the final exam at the end of your course. If you’re stressed about that final exam, don’t worry, you won’t flunk it. Aceable Agent will make sure of that thanks to their adequate exam prep. They also boast of a 93% first-time pass rate so you know you’re in good hands!
But if you’re still scared, you can try taking their handy Online Practice Test so you at least have an idea of what you’re about to experience. It will give you pointers on questions you’ve missed.
Aceable Agent is confident that you will pass the state real estate license exam. If you failed on the third attempt, you’ll get your money back!
Broker Agent Matching Program: Aceable Agent won’t just leave you to fend for yourself after passing their exam. They’ll give you a headstart. This free program will match you with several brokerages in your area so you can immediately find a sponsor.
Ace the Test Guarantee: They’ll thoroughly prepare you for your pre-licensing real estate exams. Fail the state exam in three attempts and Aceable Agent will even refund your money in full.
Online support: Aceable Agent has assigned state-approved master instructors for the courses. Feel free to ask via email a roster of real estate experts any of your questions throughout!
Aceable Agent pre-license pricing 2021
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
Aceable Agent has received sparkling reviews from its course completers. They’re rated 4.9/5 stars on TrustPilot out of almost 4,000 reviews. Many praise them for having a course that’s easy to follow, organized and fun. Their customer service response time is quick and informative too!
At the end of the day, you can trust Aceable Agent to have everything you need to become a great real estate agent. They’re convenient, fun, and easy -- everything you’d look for in the best online real estate school!
Real Estate Express is one of the largest providers of online real estate education. Over 350,000 students enrolled in their courses and got their real estate licenses!
And you could be the next one.
They’re 100% online which means you can study your courses anywhere and on any gadget. Real Estate Express also lets you study at your own pace. So if you want to stop in the middle of a chapter, you can do just that and return to finish it later.
They even offer a free guide to real estate so you can get a headstart and free flashcards to help you review for the state exam.
Real Estate Express has various package options for pre-licensing courses. But while these are full to the brim with benefits and inclusions, they aren’t the most interactive. So if you’re a visual learner, prepare to read lots of texts.
What do we mean by ‘full to the brim’?
Real Estate Express gives you everything from free ebooks, Sales Agent Apprentice Education, and printed textbooks to memberships and Q&As with instructors. Each coursework package is worth your hard-earned money!
One course feature you’ll love is that Real Estate Express lets you take electronic notes on the side to review for later. That way everything you need is in one place and not scribbled on random notebooks on your desk.
Check this out to get a glimpse of what the courses look like!
Once you’ve finished yours, you’ll find your certificate of completion on your student account.
But Real Estate Express doesn’t just stop at getting you that real estate license, they also offer continuing education (CE) through their sister company McKissock (more on that later).
They also have every confidence you’ll ace your state real estate licensing exam. And if you don’t on the first try? They’ll get you your money back ASAP.
Individual course purchase: Maybe you just need to study a few of the courses but whatever your reason, Real Estate Express lets you buy each one individually. How convenient is that?
90-day Boot Camp: A real estate expert coach will give you tips and tricks on how to navigate the first 90 days as an agent and get that income. The boot camp is only included for free in the Ultimate Learning package.
90 hours of SAE courses: You get additional material like 90 hours of required Sales Agent Apprentice Education plus access to CE courses for another year.
Real Estate Express pricing 2021
$507 - $797
$139 - $182
$119 - $449
$68.95 - $92
$289 - $474
$129 - $169
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
Real Estate Express learning packages are jam-packed making sure you have the best value-for-money pre-licensing education. But their simple courses haven’t escaped criticism.
On TrustPilot and Indeed, reviewers have complaints about “poorly designed content” and lack of interactive features. So if you’re the type to learn better when the lessons are fun and engaging, you might want to keep those comments in mind.
Real Estate Express might have the simplest interface and the most straightforward of lessons but they do make up for it with the amount of content. It’s got everything you need beyond your state-required courses.
With 50+ years of service under their belt, Mbition knows the best way to help you get that real estate agent license. They’ve got multiple real estate coursework packages from beginners to professionals.
Mbition believes that learning shouldn’t stop after getting that license! To be the best real estate agent out there, you have to keep up with the times and continuing education makes sure you’re the best in the game.
You can get up-to-date real estate knowledge, principles, and skills with Mbition’s continuing skills packages.
Mbition’s pre-licensing courses are entirely online. You can start one anywhere, leave it for a while, and come back to continue.
You get the required number of hours for your state requirement... and then some more!
There are three course packages with varying inclusions to choose from: Silver Solution, Gold Solution, and Platinum Plus Solution. For some states, Mbition offers a Platinum Plus Solution which has an additional exclusive 90 hours of required post-licensing work.
All the courses except for the Silver Solution have a Pass the First Time Guarantee -- if you don’t pass the state real estate license exam the first time, you get your money back. They also come with access to the real estate MathMaster training course plus prep toolkits and textbook bundles.
Now, how’s that for value for money?
All of these courses are done in virtual classrooms; they’re interactive and often feature real-life examples. Plus, you get fun study aids in the form of flashcards, practice tests, test-taking tips, and audio reviews of important topics.
Individual courses: Mbition lets you purchase individual pre-license courses at an affordable price. It’s still self-paced and done entirely online.
Online bookstore: You can shop for physical or digital real estate books in Mbition’s bookstore section. They’re quite affordable and are available in a range of topics in investing, law, principles, marketing, and more.
Offers MathMaster: Real estate math is tricky. Mbition’s MathMaster is a program that will teach you the how-tos and formulas to get those numbers done.
Mbition pricing 2021
$489 - $599
$79 - $129
$129 - $339
$79 - $129
$299 - $344
$59 - $129
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
Mbition, for all its great course packages, has also earned a few criticisms from its users.
Many complain about the slow support service and frequent technical issues during online classes. Better Business Bureau reviews point out that Mbition’s site is often slow and sometimes doesn’t accept student emails for log-in.
You should keep this in mind if you decide to go for this online real estate school.
Whether you’re looking to get your real estate agent license or you want to get continuing education, Mbition is a perfect choice. Their wide range of course packages in varying levels of courses makes sure you’ve got the best education.
McKissock began in 1990 with appraisal education, now their learning catalog has expanded. They’ve got courses in many professions including real estate, appraisal, home inspection, land surveying, and engineering.
Their real estate courses are available for pre- and post-licensing, continuing education, coaching and training, brokerage solutions, and more.
How do we know they’re one of the best?
Over 2 million professionals went through McKissock’s exceptional courses and training and came out as great real estate agents!
Did you know they’re the sister company of Real Estate Express? If Real Estate Express is an expert at guiding you through the basics of real estate, McKissock specializes in continuing education for real estate professionals.
All you need is an internet connection and you can study McKissock courses on any gadget!
Like with all of the best online real estate schools, you can take the course at your pace and any time you like. McKissock has a nifty bookmark feature that lets you pick up where you left off. Plus, there’s a handy note feature you can type on while you’re going through the courses.
And any time you’ve got a question, their instructors can answer that right away. Or you can interact with them during webinars -- they’re always happy to provide more info.
McKissock offers CE membership packages to help you stay on top of the real estate world. Members get access to an online course library, exclusive videos and webinars, and more.
They’ve got one of the most comprehensive libraries of CE courses for agents. Because if you’re going to become a great real estate agent, you have to keep learning even after you get that license!
Individual courses: McKissock lets you purchase individual CE courses so you can continue studying even after your course package has already expired.
Specializes in CE: If you want to study more, McKissock will give you the up-to-date education you deserve.
Prep for Success membership: This gets you in the loop for a subscription to Weekly Express, a newsletter for real estate tips and tricks. Being a member also gives you access to McKissock’s Social Express platform to help build your network.
McKissock pricing 2021
$507 - $797
$139 - $182
$119 - $449
$68.95 - $92
$289 - $474
$129 - $169
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
What the reviews say
McKissock users have nothing to say but praises for the company. The clear, concise coursework is always mentioned in the comments. They’ve got a 4.5/5 star rating over at Indeed!
Other reviews say that the material is easy to understand and not boring at all. Although it wasn’t the most interactive course out there (we’ll award that to Aceable Agent), McKissock is enjoyable enough.
If you’re looking to boost your real estate agent knowledge and keep up with the times, McKissock’s offers are for you. Those who’ve yet to get their license can now aim for this school to continue their education.
Kaplan Real Estate Education is one of the most established real estate schools. You can trust these guys when it comes to pre-licensing education, helping you prep for the exam, and having high-standard CE courses afterward.
In the three decades they’ve taught about real estate, they’ve become experts in the field. And they actually let seasoned real estate agents interact with students. You’re sure to learn a lot!\
Kaplan has great coursework packages for online real estate education. But we have to tell you right now that if you’re looking for a modern aesthetic, you won’t see that here.
The website is outdated and it shows. But if you don’t mind the look and you’re here purely to get that license, then good for you!
Kaplan has three online course options: Live Online, OnDemand, and Textbook Home Study.
Live Online gives you the freedom to study anywhere and still have an instructor available for questions and instructions.
OnDemand follows an instructor-led online course format that’s pre-recorded.
And finally, the Textbook Home Study sends you the coursework you can read at your own pace.
To get the most out of the lessons, upgrade your package to the Career Launcher option. It’s got additional courses on real estate agent real-world skills plus weeks of professional coaching assistance.
Whichever kind of learner you are, Kaplan has a coursework package for you. And that’s not even all!
They’ve also got a YouTube account where they post videos on webinars, tips and tricks, student success stories, and various interviews with professionals. Check it out if you’re a visual learner!
Adaptable to learning style: Kaplan knows that each student has different learning methods and capacities. That’s why they offer three unique educational methods so you can comfortably study.
Real Estate Drill and Practice QBank: Every package gives you access to this online practice test engine. It shows you which areas you need to focus on to pass that real estate license exam.
Interactive Study Groups: Each package gives you access to Kaplan’s Interactive Study Group. These live sessions held regularly lets you learn a lot from real estate experts and Kaplan faculty members.
Kaplan Real Estate Education pricing 2021
$499 - $1089
$229 - $169
$38 - $439
$399 - $949
$24 - $199
$16 - $144
$379 - $909
$159 - $199
$29 - $133
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
Kaplan has a 4.2/5 star rating at TrustPilot, many users simply loved that it taught them everything they needed to know. But the outdated website design did get negative reviews. If Kaplan could do a 180-degree turn and revamp their website, we’re sure that their TrustPilot rating would jump to a solid 5 stars.
Overall, Kaplan does provide valuable education. But if you’re looking for sleek, modern websites, you might want to look for that elsewhere.
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional looking to sharpen your skills further, The CE Shop has online courses tailored for you. They offer one of the most comprehensive real estate education courses in the industry!
The team behind The CE Shop is driven by core values that help them reach their vision of becoming a world leader in real estate professional education.
Their catalog offers five packages for those looking to study real estate: pre-licensing, exam prep, post-licensing, continuing education, and upgrading your license.
Aside from your courses being 100% online, The CE Shop has also recently launched a mobile-friendly advanced learning platform so you can study from your smartphone.
You won’t worry about being bored (or worse -- falling asleep) while going through those classes since The CE Shop made sure their courses are interactive and are broken down into bite-sized segments too.
Take a look inside their courses here:
You’ll get to encounter videos, quizzes, and course material based on real-life scenarios which are pretty great for beginners.
The CE Shop’s sleek and clean interface will also motivate you to put in those hours and get those courses done! It even has progress tracking bars that indicate how much time you’ve spent on a course and how far you’ve completed it.
And if you’re still iffy about enrolling, The CE Shop offers a risk-free 5-day free trial you can start ASAP.
Monthly payment plan: If you can’t pay the whole fee upfront, some of the courses at The CE Shop, like Texas, can be paid in installments.
Individual courses: The CE Shop offers individual courses for some states like New Mexico, California, and Texas. These are good for when your initial package has expired and you still need to finish a few courses.
Courses include an exam prep: Each coursework package -- except for the basic options -- come with a comprehensive Exam Prep. This will help you gauge your competency per chapter so you know which parts to focus on.
The CE Shop pricing 2021
While they don’t offer the most affordable of courses, The CE Shop makes sure every cent of your purchase is worth it. Aside from the basic hours of courses, their packages for different states also include ebooks, career resources, webinars, and more.
$529 - $799
$69 - $119
$29 - $129
$129 - $269
$19 - $69
$299 - $475
$9 - $119
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
And because they’re so dedicated to providing quality education, it reflects what their students say. The CE Shop has a 4.7/5-star rating at TrustPilot with over 6,200 reviews. Their past students recommend their courses since it’s easy to follow, accessible, and convenient.
Unsatisfied reviews complain about the bad support service and that it wasn’t interactive enough. If you’re going for The CE Shop, remember that their courses are really for those who want to put in those extra hours of study.
So if you want an online real estate school that will pour all the info on you, go for The CE Shop. Otherwise, you can settle for other schools.
Here’s a quick review of The CE Shop’s pros and cons:
360 Training has been in the industry for more than 20 years and they’re trusted by millions of learners they’ve helped provide quality education.
Just like their name suggests, when it comes to real estate education, 360 Training has got everything covered. They have regulation-approved courses in pre-licensing education, exam prep, post-licensing, and continuing education.
But they only offer post-licensing education for a few states: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
You get to study engaging course content accessible anytime, anywhere. These are in PDF format with quizzes to help you retain the lessons better.
If you’re worried about failing the final exam, you can retake a different version after 18 days. And unlike other online real estate schools that have courses expiring after six months, 360 Training lets you keep yours for a year.
360 Training offers one of the most affordable coursework packages for online real estate schools. Their basic package starts at $79!
Real estate math: This comes as a bonus course for all pre-licensing packages. You get hours of training to calculate proration, commission rates, property values. It even comes with a certificate of completion.
Client focused communications: Premium pre-licensing packages get three extra hours of training that will teach you how to communicate with your clients for great results.
360 Training pricing 2021
$315 - $415
$39 - $79
$79 - $115
$99 - $159
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
While 360 Training has stellar reviews on TrustPilot, the reviews over at Better Business Bureau mostly feature complaints. Customers have reported slow customer service and constant issues with the system.
Overall, 360 Training is a great choice for when you need an affordable online real estate course that will give you bang for your buck. But you have consider what recent customers are saying about their system failures and support system too.
Here’s a quick summary of their benefits and disadvantages:
AYPO Real Estate means it when they say you can study pre-licensing requirements at your own pace online.
How? Unlike other schools, their online courses don’t expire! You’ve totally got all the time in your hands.
Headquartered in Gold Hill, Oregon, AYPO Real Estate doesn’t only give you the time, they also provide you with the quality education you need to get your license ASAP.
Aside from real estate, they also offer online classes for various career trades and professions: auto dealers, contracting, electricians, gas fitters, HVAC operators, insurance, plumbers, and water operators.
AYPO Real Estate is so confident that their courses are the best that they assure you you don’t need additional exam prep. Everything you need to know to pass that state exam is in their course package!
Everything is conveniently 100% online and can be accessed from any device.
AYPO Real Estate doesn’t have the modern approach some online real estate schools like Aceable Agent have. They’re more text-based and feature animated slides more than videos.
The few videos included summarize the lessons and give you chapter interactive quizzes to help you retain info better.
If you’re skeptical about passing the state exam, AYPO Real Estate will help you refine your knowledge thanks to their timed practice exams. These mimic actual state tests so you get the feel of the experience.
Here’s a short sneak peek of their classes for the Texas courses:
The best part is that you don’t even have to shell out a huge amount of cash to get your certificate. AYPO Real Estate has one of the lowest-priced course packages on this list.
And even better than that, their continuing education courses also come at a low cost. Talk about value for money!
Price match guarantee: AYPO Real Estate boasts of having the cheapest rates in all online real estate schools. Found a cheaper one? Show it to them and they’ll match that price!
Pass or don’t pay guarantee: Most online real estate schools don’t offer this for basic packages but this one has got everything covered. For pre-licensing courses, they guarantee you pass on the first time, otherwise, you get your money back.
No expiration: AYPO Real Estate courses don’t expire after a few months unlike those from other online real estate schools. That means you get to study at your own pace!
AYPO Real Estate pricing 2021
$149 - $249
$7 - $55
$260 - $360
$30 - $75
$99 - $449
$25 - $119
$9 - $65
*Rates as of March 30, 2021
For all its great features on paper, AYPO Real Estate does have several negative reviews.
Previous students have complained that the coursework exams were difficult to get through. Some even mentioned that the proctors were rude and dropped foul language here and there. Customer support is also another issue since most students experience slow response times.
In all, AYPO Real Estate is a superb choice if you’re tight on the money. They’ve got packages at low rates with lots of inclusions. But if you want to pick this school, you might want to do more research if it’s a proper fit for you. The negative reviews leave a few red flags. But then again, which online real estate school doesn’t have that?
A Step By Step Guide on How to Get a Real Estate License Online
So now that we’ve covered the best online real estate schools, how exactly do you get your Real Estate Sales Agent license? First, you must know that each state has different sets of requirements and steps so make sure you check your state’s licensing requirements first. Below is your step-by-step ladder to success (a.k.a. holding your own license).
1. Meet your state’s requirements
You have to do your research to figure out what you need before submitting a licensing application in your specific state. You can look it up on your state’s real estate commission website. But generally, here’s what they’ll require of you:
- 18 or 19 years old or older
- A high school graduate or equivalent
- A legal citizen of the United States
- Must have completed a course in pre-licensing education from a state-approved school
- Must pass your state’s real estate licensing exam
- Mass the state’s background check
2. Complete pre-licensing education at a state-approved real estate school
The hours depend on your state’s requirements. In Alabama, it only takes 60 hours of pre-licensing courses while in Texas it takes a whopping 180 hours of real estate courses! Studying these take anywhere from 2 to 6 months, some even take longer.
3. Pass the State Licensing Exam
The exam is multiple-choice and they come in two parts: national and state-specific questions on real estate principles and laws. The allotted time for answering the exam varies per state. If you fail, you can always retake it but again, you’d have to check with your state if they allow retakes and when they allow them.
4. Get your Real Estate License
After everything goes well with your exams, you now get to activate your Real Estate Agent License! Send your application and other requirements to your state’s real estate agency and wait for them to deliver your license.
5. Find a Broker
After you’ve done all that, you’re ready to find a reputable broker to kickstart your career in real estate!
Applying for a license can get pretty taxing since there are lots of steps but these make sure only the most dedicated ones get licenses.
Best online real estate school FAQS
And there you have it!
We’ve covered a lot of online real estate schools you can sign up for but you still might have some pressing questions.
Read on to find answers!
Can I Get a Real Estate License Online?
Yes, you absolutely can! You just have to complete the state-required number of hours of pre-licensing education and pass your state’s real estate exam. After that, you’ll need to submit a few applications and once your license is approved, you can now start helping people find new homes!
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License?
This depends entirely on which real estate school you’re planning on signing up for.
There are affordable pre-licensing courses like the ones offered by AYPO Real Estate but these could go higher depending on the features and benefits included in the coursework package.
Here are other expenses you should expect and the estimated overall cost:
$79 - $800
State Exam Fee
Fingerprinting & Background Check
Real Estate License Fee
$346 - $1,067
How Do I Register for Online Real Estate School?
Online real estate schools come in different shapes and sizes but generally, the steps are the same:
- Pick your state-approved online real estate school of choice
- Choose your state and the course you want to take
- Sign up
- Provide your info
- Pay for the course
- Start studying!
What are the Benefits of Online Real Estate Schools?
Having everything online lets you plan your studies around your schedule. Study at your most convenient time, wherever that finds you.
You can say goodbye to rushing to a physical class or the stress of commuting. Online real estate classes let you learn from the comfort of your home and literally anywhere.
Plus, you can start and stop anytime you like since most of these courses have an automatic bookmark feature.
And since real estate pre-licensing courses stretch for months, this flexibility is welcome!
Are Online Real Estate Exams Difficult?
If you did your part in studying for the state exam, you don’t need to worry about failing!
But we’re not going to lie, some state exams could be difficult. Real estate agents did say that the ones for Texas and Colorado are extra challenging. But they’re not impossible to pass with flying colors. Especially if you choose the right online real estate school to study at.
The best online real estate schools we’ve listed above will give you pointers and tips in taking the state exam. What’s more, they’ve all got high student passing rates!
Do Real Estate Agents Make a Lot of Money?
That is the ultimate question, isn’t it? After all, you are about to pick up these online classes to earn a few bucks on the side.
You can make a lot of money from commissions but if you’re new to the business, don’t expect to get soaring digits right away.
According to D.C.-based BLS-Labor Statistics, real estate sales agents earned an annual median wage of $48,930 in 2019. The lowest percentage earned $24,930 and the highest $111,800.
Now before your eyes shine with excitement at the prospect of all that cash, you should know that being a realtor isn't as easy as taking a few classes.
You’ll need hours of training and pre-licensing education. But ultimately, you need to find the right broker to apply for.
What is a Broker and How Do I Choose One?
New real estate agents can’t work on their own, they have to find a reputable broker to work under. Brokers are licensed by the state to manage real estate transactions and to oversee agents’ activities. These guys have completed extra hours of studying and have additional licensing requirements. As a new real estate agent, this is a great training ground to learn more about your chosen career.
How do you find a good one? Here are a few basic questions to keep in mind to narrow down your search:
- What is the reputation of this broker locally and nationally?
- What kind of real estate does this broker specialize in?
- What’s their commission structure and benefits package?
- Do they provide training for new agents?
Are you ready to pick the best online real estate school for you?
Becoming a real estate agent takes hard work and dedication. You have to be prepared to spend hours studying and shell out some cash too. It does come with frustrations and stress but in the end, when you’ve got that license in your hand, everything is worth it!
Go ahead and pick an online real estate school to start your journey.