Interested in obtaining your real estate license in Illinois? While some people still decide to take their training in a classroom environment, most new perspective real estate agents are moving towards online education in order to complete their training requirements as set forth by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate. I decided to create this post on Illinois online real estate course reviews to help you separate the high quality online real estate classes in Illinois from the bad ones. Unfortunately, there are a LOT of bad courses out there.
Before I get into my full reviews of my top pick online real estate license classes for Illinois, I’d like to go over some of the things you need to be aware of with the online real estate training industry right now, as well as how we got into this mess in the first place.
If you’re just looking for a quick answer, I believe the best online real estate license courses in Illinois are the schools listed below.
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Studying for a real estate license online in Illinois is not really all that new. In fact, people have been studying for their real estate exam online in Illinois for well over a decade already. The good news is there are several choices of online real estate programs you can pick from. The bad news is, most of them are very outdated. How did that happen?
Well, when the state of Illinois approved online learning for real estate professionals, a whole slew of online real estate training courses sprung up all at the same time. Every real estate training company, big and small, wanted to enter this “new” market of online real estate courses. For a while, this worked out wonderfully. People had lots of courses to choose from and prices were kept down due to high competition. Unfortunately, over time, these benefits have diminished substantially.
Most of the online real estate courses in Illinois are the same courses that were designed 15 years ago. They’ve become outdated in multiple ways. For starters, many online real estate courses do not work well on mobile devices such as your smartphone or tablet. When these courses were created, there was no such thing as a “smartphone”. So, what most online real estate schools have done is create “mobile friendly” versions of their courses. This is just a bandaid on a much larger issue and leads to a very glitchy and unstable user experience. Instead, these companies should be coming out with dedicated apps for each device, but for whatever reason, they aren’t doing that.
It’s not just the platforms and dashboards that have become outdated, either. While there are several Illinois state approved online real estate courses out there, many of them have the same, or very similar learning material that they first wrote 15+ years ago. This has created a whole lot of outdated information that has not been updated. Many students even complain that they have failed their real estate exam or got questions wrong due to studying outdated information in their online real estate course. Unacceptable? Yes. But it happens more than you might think.
I have personally narrowed the best Illinois online real estate courses down to just 3. You have plenty of other choices to go with, but this is what I recommend to my own friends and family.
For full disclosure, I personally used Real Estate Express to study for my real estate license exam and so I’m a bit biased here as I enjoyed them, but since they are my #1 choice let’s start there.
Real Estate Express is perhaps the most well known real estate license training program in the state of Illinois. They’ve had more than 200,000 people obtain their real estate license and have a very good reputation. The main reason I decided to sign up with them is due to their student pass rate. They can market their course and make it look real great on the surface just like anyone else, but to me, numbers don’t lie. I wanted to sign up for a course that had a proven success record by having the highest percentage of students passing as possible. That specific number is changing all the time so I don’t want to mention it here, but their student pass rate is among the best in the industry. At the time I signed up, they had the highest student pass rate I could find. So, if you’re looking for a modern real estate license training program in Illinois that I can personally stand behind, Real Estate Express should be a course you seriously consider.
Brightwood Real Estate Education by Kaplan is another online real estate training course that is extremely well known and respected in the real estate industry. Many people use them to not only obtain their original real estate license, but they also use them for renewals and continuing education. While I don’t believe their online platform is as good as Real Estate Express, there are some benefits that Brightwood has. For example, Brightwood offers a bit more flexibility in terms of connecting with an instructor over the phone or through email. You can get a little more one-on-one attention with them and their student pass rate is also very high compared to many other online real estate courses in Illinois. While Brightwood Real Estate Education is a bit more expensive than Real Estate Express, if you’re looking for a bit more of a personal tough and extra instructor assistance along the way, Brightwood might be the best choice for you.
I’m going to be honest here, I don’t really see the draw for people to take their Illinois real estate license course at Institute Online. Just by judging their homepage, everything looks extremely outdated. While they do appear to be a bit lower priced than the other options I’ve given, it appears that may come at a cost. With that said, I do know some individuals who have used Institute Online and successfully obtained their license, which is why I’m including it here. Even though it looks outdated, if you just do a search for “Illinois online real estate courses” you’ll see that this course actually looks relatively modern compared to many other online real estate courses out there that you can use in Illinois. There are a few other courses I’d rather put here, but they are not approved in the state of Illinois, so this was sort of a compromise in order to give you multiple choices.
While those are not the only online real estate schools you can sign up for in Illinois, those are my highest recommendations (especially the first two choices I gave you). Just be very careful about which real estate course you sign up for as most of them are vastly outdated and do not work very well on anything other than a PC or laptop.
Once you get signed up, the online real estate course in Illinois is not all that difficult. It is a bit tedious and I wouldn’t say the exam is “easy”, but these online real estate schools in Illinois do a fantastic job of preparing students to pass their real estate exam and get their careers off to a great start. Best of luck as you take control of your future!!
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