Looking to start a career in real estate?
Need to renew your real estate license?
If so, you’ll need a reliable online real estate school to offer the necessary courses required in your state.
But which is better?
To help you answer that, we’re going to compare both schools side by side. This way, you’ll be able to determine which school fits your needs and preferences.
So let’s begin!
McKissock vs Kaplan: A Side by Side Comparison
With their first online course published in 2000, McKissock has been a banner company for online real estate education.
McKissock’s forte is in its Continuing Education (CE) courses. It works hand in hand with its sister school, Real Estate Express, to provide quality content for all your real estate needs.
The other reputable school is Kaplan Real Estate Education, which is part of Kaplan Professional.
Kaplan is a household name as a lot of high schools partner with them to offer different education, including real estate. That’s how trustworthy they are.
With two big names in the world of online real estate education, it's time to take a closer look at the different aspects of each school. Here, we’ll look at:
- User experience
Here’s a quick comparison chart between McKissock and Kaplan:
Available nationwide for CE courses
Available in 26 states for CE courses (AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI)
(Pre-licensing, post-licensing and license upgrade courses are delivered through Real Estate Express)
Pricing as of 03/28/2022
McKissock’s advantage is that it is widely accessible in the US. Real estate professionals who want to take pre-licensing courses need to take them through their sister school, Real Estate Express.
McKissock’s Continuing Education courses are delivered in-house – and these are available to all fifty states, plus the District of Columbia.
Kaplan, on the other hand, delivers all their courses in-house, regardless of whether these are pre-licensing, post-licensing, or continuing education. Kaplan, however, is approved in fewer states.
Note: Both schools offer limited state availability for post-licensing and license upgrades.
McKissock offers an uncomplicated experience.
The good thing about McKissock’s platform is it automatically saves your progress, allowing you to pick up where you left off the next time you do a study session.
With a platform that has no frills, it’s considered user-friendly - especially for those who are challenged by technology.
McKissock guides your learning journey - from the detailed introduction through a course roadmap to when you access your certificate from the My Courses page.
Just because there are no frills doesn’t mean you’re left to fend for yourself. Using the Email Instructor feature, you can communicate directly with your instructor if you have questions about the material.
Some chapters include a sliding media panel. This gives you access to an optional explainer video, which breaks the monotony of text-based content.
Before you can leave a chapter, you need to pass a short quiz. You have the option to immediately take it or go back to the material for a quick review.
Like the rest of McKissock’s material, the quizzes are straightforward – designed to prepare you for the final exam that lets you graduate from the course.
Choose your own experience with Kaplan.
Your journey with Kaplan begins and ends with a course dashboard. When you start, you’ll notice there are grayed-out items – that means you need to complete a segment before being granted access.
No matter how tempting it may be, don’t skip reading through the course completion instructions. These include guidelines on how to reach Kaplan while doing your coursework in case you have questions or need support.
Kaplan offers the most variety in terms of delivery methods, which are discussed further in the “Features” segment of this article.
Kaplan ensures their content is designed to suit all learning styles, including home study, on-demand, and live classes.
If you choose home study, most of the content is text-heavy. Based on user reviews, this is an area for improvement as more videos would improve a student’s overall experience.
However, to avoid overwhelming students with the amount of information, lessons are presented in bite-size pieces. Each page contains material that ranges from one to two sentences to a few paragraphs.
At the end of each lesson, there is a timed quiz that you have to pass to access the next one.
If you want a more interactive experience, you can opt to purchase a course delivered on-demand. This gives you access to recorded classroom sessions.
On-demand content also allows you to join an interactive study group that simulates a live classroom. You’ll also be able to view videos of scenarios that you would normally encounter in the real estate business environment.
As for live classes, it will be like attending an actual classroom, with a live instructor. Only, you’re listening in from the comfort of your home!
Both schools offer prices that vary for each state. In general, Kaplan’s courses cost more than McKissock’s.
CE courses from McKissock are start at $139.95 for Texas, or $68.95 for California, depending on the duration. If you’re on a tight budget, McKissock may be a better option for you.
In comparison, the price of Kaplan’s CE courses ranges between $19 to $79. If you opt for on-demand delivery or live classes, these come out to be even more expensive.
Both pre-licensing course prices vary greatly depending on duration and state. Check out both schools’ websites to see a full list of prices.
With over half a million reviews, McKissock has a 4.4-rating. Most users appreciated the ease of navigating through their learning platform. With the material presented in a concise, straightforward manner, students found it easy to retain information.
Others, however, found the materials to be too text-heavy and felt an audio or video clip would be nice to break the monotony.
Another area of improvement for McKissock is their quizzes. Although the difficulty level is not high, the wording of the questions confuses users, making it more challenging than it should be.
Below are some actual reviews for McKissock’s courses:
“Very easy to navigate through. Allow you to retake quizzes if you don't initially pass. Information is condensed, but thorough and easy to understand.”
“McKissock has been excellent and informative so far but i found the test questions of this course to be confusing.”
67% of Kaplan reviews come with 5-star ratings. The common denominator in the users’ comments complimented the experience they had while going through the coursework. This was particularly true for those who opted for courses delivered on-demand.
Recent reviews, however, imply that users are dissatisfied with the service they are getting. Although speaking to a customer service representative wasn’t a bad experience, the time it took to reach one was not the best.
Here are some users sharing their experiences with Kaplan Real Estate Education:
“The OnDemand videos are great, very interactive if you truly use the printed documents (which I recommend doing). Having the Flashcards with you adds a lot of value to this training as well, definitely a must.”
“Service is terrible. On hold forever. When you ask Kaplan what to study for a test, Kaplan Personal gives you different information.”
McKissock offers you a variety of ways to avail of their Continuing Education courses.
There is always the option of purchasing it individually, giving you the freedom to follow your preference. Another more convenient way is getting a pre-packaged bundle.
A third possibility is to sign up for McKissock’s CE Plus Membership. It gives you access to all Continuing Education courses in your state. It also includes other resources such as Sherri Johnson’s 90-Day Boot Camp and the Pro-Series library of on-demand webinars.
Prices between the states vary, ranging from under $60 to above $300 (individual and package courses considered).
What sets Kaplan apart is that it has the most options when it comes to course delivery. They have five delivery methods:
- In-Person Classroom – this is the traditional way of delivering courses. It works best for students who prefer to have a lot of interaction while studying.
- On-Demand – gives you access to pre-recorded classes. The on-demand delivery also comes with a workbook to help you as you go through the materials.
- Live Online – similar to a course delivered in person, except you get to attend from your preferred location.
- Home Study – a method that comes with printed textbooks and several chapters accessed online.
- Online – this requires accessing materials through Kaplan’s learning platform. Lessons are given in bite-size pieces combined with a few non-text-based resources, such as video clips.
Regardless of which option you choose, Kaplan’s objective remains the same – to give you the best education possible, be it starting or advancing your real estate career.
Looking for alternatives?
Here are a few more reliable online real estate schools.
One of Mbition’s best offerings is their Exam Prep courses. Designed to help you prepare for the state exam, it simulates the actual test to give you more confidence.
There are two packages you can choose from – the National Real Estate Exam Prep and the National Master Exam Prep Package.
Depending on which you purchase, you’ll be able to access features such as Testing and Training Mode. These require you to go through questions to determine which areas you need more focus on. You can also get flashcards, course reviews, and practical techniques to best use your time during the test.
Of course, it also offers the required pre-licensing and CE courses (for the states they service).
Real Estate Express, McKissock’s sister school, has 25 years of experience in real estate education.
With real estate professionals as instructors, students learn lessons based on real-world experiences. More than just concepts, they’re taught practical techniques that can be readily applied.
With their pre-licensing courses approved in most states, Real Estate Express is one of the most easy-to-access real estate schools in the country.
As you can see, both McKissock and Kaplan are solid contenders for online real estate education. Each has its strengths, balanced out by some areas for improvement.
In the end, it’s your preferences that will help you decide which online school is more to your liking.
McKissock, hands down, is the more affordable option, but it may give you an experience that’s too straightforward. Kaplan, on the other hand, offers several platforms for delivery but requires a higher investment.
It’s not just your money you’re investing – it’s also your time. It’s best to choose a school that allows you to make the most out of it.
This article aims to provide you with information to help you make an informed decision – but the decision is yours alone to make.