Once I decided to get my real estate license, my first task was to find a good way to complete the training requirements. In my home state of California, I need to complete a minimum of 135 hours of training, but that training can be done either through a certified online program or in a traditional classroom setting. Everyone obviously has an opinion about this, but for me, the obvious answer was to take my real estate license training requirements online. After doing plenty of research, my final decision was to sign up for Real Estate Express. Now that I’ve had some time to really dig into their training program, I’ll be giving you my own personal Real Estate Express review along with some of my opinions of Real Estate Express.
The Dirty Little Secret About Online Real Estate License Training Programs
Before I get into my actual review of Real Estate Express, I feel the need to blow the whistle on a dirty little secret with these online real estate training courses. That dirty little secret is quality. Nearly all of the current online real estate license training programs are pretty low quality. But don’t take my word for it. Find ANY online real estate license school and then go look at their Yelp reviews. All of them are 1 or 2 stars. Maybe you’ll find a course with 3 stars somewhere, but I don’t think I encountered any above 2 stars during my research. Not cool.
The biggest issue is how outdated the courses have become. The outdated nature of these training programs causes issues ranging from small inconveniences to even causing people to get questions wrong on exams due to incorrect information.
If the incorrect information wasn’t bad enough, the material is also delivered in a very unforgiving and tedious format. Let’s face it, learning about real estate laws, rules, taxes, finances, and regulations aren’t exactly exciting topics to study. Unfortunately, most online training programs for real estate consist of walls of text, followed by a quiz. Rinse and repeat for 135 hours. Ugh.
In todays world, you would think these courses would include some videos, graphics, animations, or something to help us retain the information better. Instead, they basically throw a textbook at you and say “good luck!”
To be clear, there are some video training sessions available through Real Estate Express, but I’ll get into that in a little more detail later. My main point here is that these courses not only feel very outdated, but they really are outdated even is it pertains to the information delivered. Pretty disappointing.
Why I Decided On Real Estate Express
By doing some research ahead of time, I already knew what I was getting myself into. I had set my expectations pretty low, but I did still look at a few key features…
Availability In My State – The first thing I had to do is find online real estate license training programs that were certified in my home state of California. Be careful with this because not all of the online courses make it obvious if your state is approved or not. Make 100% sure their training meets your specific states requirements and is officially recognized. Real Estate Express is one of many that are approved in my home state.
Price – While I was entirely willing to invest into my future, I still wanted to make sure I wasn’t overpaying. Real Estate Express is right in line with some of the other courses I had been considering.
Average Exam Pass Rate – This was the main statistic I looked at. In the end, nothing else really matters. As long as I pass, I can deal with the tedious studying. Real Estate Express has a 78% pass rate among its students which is actually quite a bit higher than many other schools out there. In fact, it’s the highest passing percentage I could find. This stat along just about sealed the deal for me.
Instructor Help – Most of the online courses available only offer instructor help with email Q&A. If you want anything more than that, you have to pay up. With Real Estate Express, I can contact a dedicated instructor through email or by PHONE which is something pretty unique to Real Estate Express. Granted, I haven’t had to call him yet, but we’ve had a couple of email exchanges and I’m pretty pleased so far.
Supplemental Video Training – I tend to learn better with video training, so it was pretty disappointing when I found out most of these courses are text only. Real Estate Express does offer live weekly training sessions, but these live sessions are not recorded and must be attended live. They are mostly Q&A sessions and don’t really “supplement” the material, but it’s better than nothing like many of the other courses.
Multiple Device Capabilities – You would pretty much just assume that these real estate license training programs would be available on your tablet or smartphone, right? Well, here comes the outdated nature of these courses. Many of them don’t work well on mobile devices, which is just crazy. Real Estate Express does work on mobile. I wouldn’t say it’s great, but it gets the job done for when you want to study on the go.
Pass Guarantee – I wanted them to guarantee me that I will pass my real estate license exam. If they have the best course, they should be willing to stand by their product. Real Estate Express offers this guarantee on all of their plans except for the cheapest plan.
Some of the other courses I checked out included Kaplan and Career Web School. I wasn’t a huge fan of Career Web School but I was very close to signing up with Kaplan. I ended up going with Real Estate Express over Kaplan almost exclusively due to the better pass rate at Real Estate Express.
Real Estate Express Pricing Packages
This information will likely change over time, but Real Estate Express offers pretty straightforward pricing. Just check out their pricing page for current info as well as what each package includes. In the state of California, the prices range from $99 to $389, which I actually think is quite reasonable for the amount of material that is presented. Real Estate Express is also one of the only (if not THE only) schools to offer tuition assistance with installment payment plans, so if you’re on a budget, this could be a great option.
Which plan is best? While any of the plans will enable you to complete your training requirements, I suggest the “competitive edge” plan as this will give you live access to an instructor. The next 6 months will not be easy and chances are you’ll need some help along the way. Personally, I went with the “advanced pro” plan because I also wanted the textbook versions of the course. Call me old fashioned, but sometimes I like studying from a good ol’ book. In the end, it’s really up to you as they will all get the job done.
Signing Up For Real Estate Express
The signup process for Real Estate Express is super easy and takes maybe 2 minutes. There aren’t any forms to be mailed, papers to sign, or anything like that. Just put in your basic info, agree to their terms and conditions, hand over your money, and you’re done. I almost expected some bureaucratic process with forms and contracts, but it was pretty simple.
The day after I signed up, I got an email from my assigned instructor introducing himself. He gave me the low down on what he’s there for, how I can reach him, when I could expect him to respond after I send an email, etc. I was also able to log in and start taking the course immediately.
What Is Real Estate Express Like?
If you’ve read this entire Real Estate Express review so far, none of this should come as a surprise and it’s about what you would expect. This really is a “no frills” type of course. There’s only one place to start and that’s “chapter 1” as you might guess. The rest of the course is blocked off until you finish the preceding sections.
The content is delivered in blocks of text on short pages. A timer keeps track of your time spent and if you are idle for too long, it will ask you for some input so the system knows you are still there. At the end of each section, there is a 10 question quiz and you need to get 8 out of those 10 correct. So far, the quiz questions have been reasonable and have been related to the preceding material.
Much of the course is memorization and much of that memorization includes certain terms, statutes, laws, regulations, etc. Due to this, a large portion of the course is simply rules and regulations directly from governing agencies. Did I mention the course was boring and dry? Well, nobody said it would be fun and I expected the challenge. But in the end, this “program” is basically an electronic textbook with quizzes after each chapter that must be passed. That’s it.
The “Live Training” Could Use Some Improvement
One of the advantages of Real Estate Express is the ability to attend weekly live training sessions. The problem with these sessions is that they are held at the same time of the day on the same day every week. If it doesn’t work with your schedule, too bad. There are no recorded versions of these live sessions and you can’t access them later. This seems so silly to me! These live training sessions are also more like Q&A sessions with students than anything else. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but it was admittedly a bit disappointing.
The Student Forum Is A Bit Quiet
I’ve been enrolled into online training programs before that included student forums where students and even staff could ask questions, get help, as well as help others. Unfortunately, the student forum at Real Estate Express has some cobwebs growing. Someone asks a question maybe a couple times per month and there are even months that go by without anyone asking anything. When questions are answered by “expert” staff members, the responses seem very canned and scripted.
Who Is Real Estate Express Best For?
Let me be very clear about this – Real Estate Express is for those who are able to learn independently. Yes, you have access to an instructor, but I would not plan on relying on that person to help you pass. If you have question here and there, sure, but they will not hold your hand. There is very little external support and the information is delivered in a very dry format. I don’t think this is limited to Real Estate Express, either. Unfortunately, this is the “industry standard” for online real estate license training. For me, this is still better than going to a classroom for 6+ months, but if you don’t enjoy learning independently, please think long and hard about signing up for ANY online real estate license training program, including Real Estate Express.
Some Final Thoughts About Real Estate Express
In spite of this Real Estate Express review coming off as a bit negative, I’m actually glad I signed up with them. A classroom would be a nightmare for me and while I think there are a lot of improvements that Real Estate Express could make, I don’ think the issues I’ve come across are exclusive to Real Estate Express. This is just how the industry is right now. Hopefully soon a new player will come along and shake up the industry. I recently wrote a review on the AceAgent program that is about to be released, but we won’t really know if it’s any good until it comes out.
I didn’t go into this expecting it to be a fun and exciting time. I was right. It’s not fun and exciting, but it’s something that needs to be done. While I would like to see Real Estate Express and other online real estate license training programs provide higher quality learning through the use of today’s technology, I also understand that what I’m learning will get the job done, complete my requirements, and get me that license. As someone who is going through Real Estate Express right now, I can safely say that I do recommend them based on my research into several other courses. This is about as good as it gets.