Even in a new millennium where people are finding more ways to work, study and socialize online, people still need real world, physical properties to live and work in. Real estate is one of those industries that never really goes out of fashion, because there’s always someone looking for a new office or residential space. Of course, there’s more to real estate than just being the person that matches up buyers with sellers. The property industry—and the finances behind it—are serious business, and not just anyone can jump into this profession and start developing deals.
This means that anyone interested in getting into this profession has to put in some serious effort and time. For many years, this has made it very difficult for people to break into the industry if they didn’t already pursue this career option as their primary vocation. Today, however, there are more ways for people to feasibly enter into real estate even if they’re already in another career, and that’s through taking an online real estate course.
So what is an online real estate course and how do you pick one?
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An online real estate license course is part of a new wave of 21st century professional development opportunities. All it takes is a little bit of computer familiarity with the basics, such as checking e-mail, looking at websites or participating in video conferences. Online real estate license courses teach everything you need to write and pass the exam for your state, but they do it in a much more convenient and accessible way.
In the past, if you wanted to learn all the necessary knowledge to get involved in real estate it required a major commitment. Classes were only taught at physical locations, so right away, you had to make sure you were within commuting distance of a place that taught the courses, or else temporarily move within reach of the nearest facility. Because of the classroom nature of the courses, this also meant that people either took time out of their days or nights in order to learn and do the course work. This made things extremely difficult for people with established, full-time professions. It became even more problematic if families were part of the equation, since not wanting to neglect child rearing responsibilities now also factored in. Finding the time to conduct studies could be a big problem.
An online real estate license course can, without sacrificing the important content, provide much more flexibility. The online nature of the material means students can tackle content and topics on their own schedule, making it much easier to manage. This doesn’t mean that becoming a real estate agent is easier when done online, not in terms of learning the content. But it does mean that an online real estate license course can be more feasibly handled by people with limited time. It’s just a matter of picking the right school, and one of the biggest determining factors is state validity.
If you live in San Francisco and you want to drive, you’ll need a California driver’s license, not a Washington state license. The same applies to real estate. This isn’t like deciding to become an entrepreneur where all you have to do is open an office in your home and start taking in customers or clients online. Getting involved in real estate means being compliant with—and have the official recognition of—the state you live in. That means you need to get a license, and that license requires passing an exam.
So you’ll need to make sure that, the same as with an online driving course, the online real estate license course you may be considering actually covers the state that you live in. Real Estate Express for example, is a new, upcoming online real estate license course, but it’s only valid for residents of California and Texas. On the other hand, the older, more established Kaplan Real Estate School has an online real estate license course available for every state in the country, including Washington DC.
The sad fact is that anyone with sufficient time and expertise can create a convincing, professional looking website, but that doesn’t mean that the actual service is up to the same quality of the website you’re browsing. This is why it’s so important when you look at an online real estate license course to make sure that it is legitimate. Older websites that have been around for many years have obviously stood the test of time for good reason.
Career Webschool, which has an online real estate license course for 44 of the 50 states, is one of the older schools that we recommend, and for good reason. In addition to many years of teaching, the school has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, as well as accreditations with Arello, a real estate regulatory body, and the IDECC, which is the International Distance Education Certification Center. All those credentials mean that this school has a lot of official recognition behind it, and it also means you’ve got some easy legal recourse in the event of any kind of dispute. Any online real estate license course with that kind of backing is not going to disappear into the night when you have a problem, taking your money and leaving you scammed and disillusioned.
Fortunately in the Internet age, statistics are easy to come by, especially for an online real estate license course that a lot of people have already taken. When you read websites like this one, or do additional research, you’ll quickly find that different schools have different rates of success for students that go on to write their license exam for the first time.
One of the schools we’ve covered here, Real Estate Express, has a success rate of 79% for their students, which is very impressive by industry averages. While the success rate can be an important factor also keep in mind that teaching styles vary from one school to the next. Look for detailed reviews of individual courses to see whether they teach in the style you prefer. If you don’t like or want interactive video conferences, there’s no point in paying for that. If you want to do more than just e-mail instructors when you have questions, make sure you can get that from the course you’re looking at.
Finding the best course for you means being just as diligent with studying your available options and their legitimacy as it is with sitting down to learn and do the work. Look for credentials, good ratings and a teaching style compatible with your preferred learning style in order to make the best choice.
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