Having the inside scoop on the best online real estate schools for your needs is critical whether you’re first getting your license or you want to brush up on some skills.
Google is quick to return an impossible number of results to sort through (over 500 million!) when you search for the best online real estate school, which is why we’ve done the hard work for you and pulled together the five best options.
We’ve also included some tips on how to get the most out of each platform, and suggestions on the classes you should consider this year.
The Top 5 Online Real Estate Schools For 2019
There are three primary functions of an online real estate school: training soon-to-be Realtors to prepare for their launch into the business, helping existing Realtors maintain their status with continuing education, and equipping movers and shakers to level up their status with new designations or a broker’s license.
Here are our top picks for 2019, and what they’re each best for.
Best Online Real Estate Schools Comparison Chart
|Online Real Estate School|
|Real Estate Express|
TX - $484
NY - $239
TX - $489
NY - $239
TX - $389
NY - $199
TX - $519
NY - $325
|Center for Realtor Development|
Best Online Real Estate School For Pre-Licensing Course: Real Estate Express
You can’t get started in real estate without a license, and you can’t get your license without first taking your pre-licensing course and passing your state’s real estate exam. Though all but one of our online real estate schools offer courses that would satisfy these pre-license requirements, Real Estate Express’ options are the best.
We chose Real Estate Express because their real estate pre-licensing courses are designed for students with little or no business experience, making the transition into real estate easier. They also offer comprehensive exam prep courses, thus allowing their students to transfer their class knowledge into success on the exam, as well as a satisfaction guarantee to make sure you get everything you want out of the class.
Real Estate Express does offer other options in terms of continuing education, but from our research, their overwhelming value is in their real estate pre-license education opportunities.
Real Estate Express Pricing
Real Estate Express offers pre-license real estate courses, exam preparation, and continuing education. Here are three states in different geographic areas of the country and examples of the pricing in each. Make sure to check with Real Estate Express for the exact pricing in your state, as well as what current discount promotions are available.
Real Estate Express Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses|
Real Estate Express: Our Favorite Feature
Real Estate Express has the best content and study aids for aspiring Realtors, providing options that assist in not only the educational requirements of obtaining a license, but also helping to prepare students for life as a Realtor after they pass their test.
We particularly like the live chat Q & A available with some real estate pre-license packages, where students can join sessions with Licensed Realtors and Brokers to ask questions about their material, the upcoming test, and how the information they’re learning can be applied in the real world after they begin their real estate career.
Real Estate Express: Our Pick for Real Estate Pre-Licensing Courses
Though Real Estate Express’ continuing education content is great, their bread and butter is their pre-licensure offerings. There are lots of packages available, from the more basic self-paced course all the way up to a deluxe course with a printed textbook and intense professional development coaching after you pass your test.
Dollar for dollar, Real Estate Express offers the best pre-licensure value on the market.
Real Estate Express: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
We’ve talked a lot about Real Estate Express’ pre-license options, so let’s turn to their continuing education courses to highlight “The End of the Paper Trail: How to Conduct a Paperless Transaction.”
As technology continues to change and the speed of business increases, staying on the front edge of the real estate process will only become more important. This course walks you through the step-by-step process of transitioning all your transaction communication and paperwork into the digital realm, creating speedier and more efficient processes. A three-hour elective course, it’s also very affordable, coming in at $25.95.
Where Real Estate Express Could Improve
Real Estate Express offers lots of great options for Realtors in just about every leg of their professional journey, except those looking to obtain a broker’s license. Currently, Florida is the only state where Real Estate Express offers a broker’s pre-license course, so unless you live there, those looking to start their own shop will have to look elsewhere.
If you’re looking for broker class options, our next online real estate school OnCourse Learning is a great place to start.
Best School For Customizable Exam Prep Packages: OnCourse Learning
OnCourse Learning is a unique option because it caters their offerings to individual students, but also to brokers who are looking for group training solutions, specifically for a crop of soon-to-be agents that they’ve recruited and are ushering across the pre-license finish line.
OnCourse Learning leads the field with top notch exam prep, as well as a growing list of continuing education options. With a wide variety of customizable packages, including combos of their real estate pre-license offerings with their exam prep solutions, OnCourse Learning provides solutions for students looking for everything from the most basic requirement fulfillment to deluxe preparation packages.
OnCourse Learning Pricing
OnCourse Learning offers pre-licensure classes, exam preparation and continuing education, as well as broker pre-license classes (where available). Pricing varies by state, ranging from about $129 – $599 for pre-licensing. Make sure to check with OnCourse Learning for the exact pricing in your state, as well as what current discount promotions are available.
OnCourse Learning Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses|
|Broker Pre-Licensing Courses|
OnCourse Learning’s prices are definitely competitive, and with their package customization options, you don’t pay for things you don’t need.
OnCourse Learning: Our Favorite Feature
OnCourse Learning offers a wide variety of exam prep packages that really hit the mark.
Specifically, their Master Exam Prep Package includes an adaptive learning interface that tracks the questions you have trouble with during your practice tests and then gears the next round of review towards your weaknesses. With over 1600 practice questions and eight full length exams, you’re sure to go into your test day ready.
OnCourse Learning: Our Pick for Exam Preparation Courses
If you’re a nervous test taker or just want to supplement the preparation you’ve received as a part of your pre-licensure class, OnCourse Learning is the place to do it. Their exam prep options are great for individual students, in a group setting of almost-Realtors at a local brokerage, or in the context of your pre-license class (where available) with OnCourse Learning.
OnCourse Learning: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
Are you ready to PARTY?! Then you need to sign up for the “Tax Free Exchanges” course. OK, we know, it doesn’t have the most glamorous title, but here’s why we’re excited about it.
First, it fulfills two hours of legal-focused continuing education, something that most Realtors need every year.
Secondly, it costs $14. Seriously, you’re getting your legal requirement for less than the cost of lunch.
Lastly, 1031 and other tax free exchange options are powerful buyer techniques that those who have established themselves financially use to leverage their wealth. That’s a crowd you want to hang with as a Realtor; having some skills in this area is going to allow you to contribute to those conversations and start landing some of those investor clients with deep pockets.
Where OnCourse Learning Could Improve
OnCourse Learning’s continuing education options are relatively slim compared to other online real estate schools we looked at. There certainly are classes to choose from, but for those who are looking to use that education to further their own professional development instead of just fulfill a requirement, their aren’t a lot of options. This limits OnCourse Learning’s potential as a place you can return to for continuing ed every year.
If fantastic continuing education options are important to you, we suggest checking The CE Shop.
Best School For Live Instruction: Kaplan Real Estate Education
If you’re looking for a company that is synonymous with quality instruction, look no further than Kaplan Real Estate Education. Kaplan has a long track record of preparing students for standardized tests as well as providing classes to fulfill state requirements, like your real estate pre-licensure class before taking your real estate license exam.
Kaplan Real Estate provides a number of different options for pre-license classes, exam prep, continuing education, and broker pre-license classes, even including crossing over into live classroom settings. This makes Kaplan Real Estate Education perfect for students who are looking for a more traditional learning environment.
Kaplan Real Estate Education: Pricing
Because Kaplan’s offerings of format and interaction are so diverse, their pricing is as well. Their completely self-driven, self-paced options start as low as $199, all the way up to a live classroom option (currently available in California and Texas) with an experienced educator who also happens to be rockstar Realtor instructor starting at $989.
Here are three states in different geographic regions of the country and examples of the pricing in each. Make sure to check with Kaplan Real Estate Education for the exact pricing in your state, as well as what current discount promotions are available.
Kaplan Real Estate Education Pricing Summary
|Continuing Education Courses|
|Broker Pre-Licensing Courses|
Kaplan Real Estate Education: Our Favorite Feature
Kaplan Real Estate Education’s best feature is by far the different options for instruction.
As a Kaplan real estate student, you can choose from three different online formats: Home Study, OnDemand, and Live Online.
- The Home Study method is a text-based learning program, completely self-paced, based out of an eTextbook. No interaction, perfect for students who learn best by reading quietly.
- OnDemand takes your nose out of a book and gives you streaming video of pre-recorded lessons of instructors in live classrooms, teaching the material while you follow along in your textbook. Jot down your questions, email your instructors, get clarification about whatever you need.
- Live Online is a virtual classroom with a live instructor where you hear the instructor’s words as they are saying them. Ask questions, interact with your fellow students; this format is like the best webinar you’ve ever attended.
Kaplan Real Estate Education: Our Pick for Interactive Instruction
If you’re completely green to the real estate game, Kaplan Real Estate Education is a great place to go because their instruction options are so varied.
Also, Kaplan provides opportunities to get a jump on some early professional development as well, providing a program called Real Estate Accelerator. A two-day intensive course lead by a super qualified Realtor with a ton of experience and knowledge to share, this program jump starts a student’s business plan, marketing strategy, and helps to set graduates of the program up for real success in year one.
Kaplan Real Estate Education: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
Kaplan Real Estate Education’s continuing education selection isn’t huge, but they do have some quality offerings, and almost all of them are available in their sought after OnDemand format, featuring fantastic instructors delivering you the material, rather than being forced to just read on a computer screen for four hours.
The course that caught our eye was “Millennials: Challenging The Traditional Real Estate Model.”
In this course, you’ll learn about paradigm shifts in communication, how the latest home buying generation’s views on money and debt are affecting the home buying process, and go beyond the newspaper headlines to get to the heart of how to close deals with millennials buyers and sellers.
Where Kaplan Real Estate Education Could Improve
Kaplan’s interface for their OnDemand and Live Online formats is a little dated compared to what you will see from other schools we’ve reviewed, and overall their technology feels a little clunky. In that same vein, we’ve read regular reports of students who have trouble getting Kaplan’s programs to run on various web browsers, so a little bit of technology troubleshooting might be necessary.
Best Online Real Estate School For Continuing Education: The CE Shop
The CE Shop offers a wide variety of education options for the real estate field, including pre-license classes, test prep, and post-licensing requirements.
Where they really shine is in continuing education, which makes sense, since “CE” is in their name. The CE Shop sets itself apart from other schools by working hard to offer classes that Realtors will actually want to take, instruction that they can take and apply to their career, and information that they can’t readily Google for themselves.
Also, with the introduction of Leap 2.0, your courses on The CE Shop are optimized for delivery on just about any platform, so you could knock out continuing education requirements on the train into the office each morning.
The CE Shop Pricing
The CE Shop may be known for their continuing education options, but they also offer good deals on real estate pre-licensing classes as well.
Here are three states in different geographic regions of the country and examples of the pricing in each. Make sure to check with The CE Shop for the exact pricing in your state, as well as what current discount promotions are available.
The CE Shop Pricing Summary
The CE Shop: Our Favorite Feature
The CE Shop has some great continuing education courses in relatively specialized niches, allowing Realtors in different states to focus their knowledge and advance their career. Classes in areas like Assistance Animals in Fair Housing, Marijuana Laws in Real Estate, and Land Contract Details are just some of the topics you can study while fulfilling your continuing education requirements and then using that information to serve your real estate community.
The CE Shop: Our Pick for Continuing Education Options
It goes without saying that utilizing The CE Shop for your continuing education needs is the way to go. Lots of options in each state, great pricing, topics relevant to all your real estate needs.
The CE Shop: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
Every four years, the National Association of Realtors requires its members to take a refresher course in the NAR code of ethics. The CE Shop offers a great option that fulfills this requirement called “Code of Ethics: Good For Your Clients and Your Business” that should be one you consider if you’re coming up on needing to complete your ethics training.
Three hours long and only $25, this course reviews some of the recent amendments to the NAR code of ethics, including those that relate to new rules for behavior on social media and involving internet communication in general. Whether you’re a brand new Realtor or you build your first real estate website on Geocities, this course is a valuable one.
Where The CE Shop Could Improve
Unlike most of their competitors in this space, The CE Shop offers nothing in the way of exam prep for those who are about to take their salesperson license exam. Though it appears that there’s some prep built into the pre-license course, you don’t have the option to purchase only preparation services and materials, a feature that’s relatively standard across the real estate education space.
Best Online Real Estate School For Realtor Designations: Center For Real Estate Development
You’ve got your license, you maintain your status by taking the necessary continuing education courses. What else could you need an online real estate school for? The very important option of adding designations and certifications to your title as a Realtor.
Center for Real Estate Development specializes in providing Realtors with paths to add certifications like Military Relocation Professional or Accredited Buyer’s Representative to their signature line.
Center For Real Estate Development Pricing
The cost for each designation or certification varies, but the fees start around $160 (the cost for the Military Relocation Specialist class). Some of these designations are quite involved and require multiple classes and a separate membership fee from the National Association of Realtors, making the upfront cost of the more involved options (like the Certified International Property Specialist) close to $1,000.
Center For Real Estate Development: Our Favorite Feature
If this collection of online real estate schools was a swiss army knife, Center for Real Estate Development would be the corkscrew. Yes, you COULD use this platform for different things, but our favorite (and its best) feature is its ability to provide Realtors a path to valuable designations that can help them advance their careers.
Center For Real Estate Development: Our Pick for Career Advancing Designations
Realtors will get the most out of this platform by first doing an inventory of the different designations and certifications offered, then evaluate which on that list would be valuable in your market. Choose a power-up for your license that is going to turn the heads of the people that matter most to you; your future clients.
Center For Real Estate Development: Most Useful Real Estate Continuing Education Course
As the housing market continues to shift towards a younger and more millennial buyer, it is important to remember that many of those homes the millennials will buy are being sold by older adults.
The Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation is going to be a valuable resource as this move to downsizing by older homeowners accelerates.
Costing just $295, and then $99 per year to maintain after your first year, it is one of the most competitively priced options from Center For Real Estate Development, and will be something you can brag about on your next postcard campaign.
Where Center For Real Estate Development Could Improve
The cost of continuing education with Center For Real Estate Development is significantly higher than it is at any of their other industry competitors.
Granted, most people are coming here seeking a certification or designation and not to fulfill CE requirements, but it would be nice if they were at least in the ballpark (six credit hours of CE will run you, on average, $115, as opposed to less than $50 at The CE Shop), so that Realtors could pick up their CE and a new certification all in the same place.
If affordability is one of your top priorities when it comes to continuing education, head over to The CE Shop to check out there wide range of affordable options.
Online Real Estate Schools FAQs
Now that we’ve armed you with the best options for online real estate education, let’s look at a few of the most frequently asked questions from Realtors and soon-to-be Realtors on the topic.
1. Do I have to take a pre-licensure class to become a Realtor?
Yes. The exact class requirements vary state by state, so make sure to check out exactly what the requirements are for your state as you’re beginning the process of becoming a Realtor.
Classes usually range between 30 and 120 classroom hours, and cover topics like fair housing, contracts, general real estate principles, financing, and others you’ll deal with on a regular basis as a Realtor.
2. I’ve never done an online class before, is it hard?
If you’ve never participated in an online class before, it can sound a little intimidating at first, but we assure you it isn’t. If you’ve ever gone to YouTube to find out how to change a headlight or fix a leaking sink, you’ve attended a short online class.
The classes you’ll take through any of our five recommended online real estate schools will be involved, interactive, and require your time and attention, but if you can watch and learn from a video on YouTube, you’ll do fine here.
3. If I have questions, how do I ask for help?
The problem of not having direct access to your instructor for questions is one that online real estate education companies know all to well, and work hard to remedy. In the case of all our suggested schools, questions about the material or your preparation can be directed in email and will be attended to as soon as possible.
There are also online study groups for OnCourse Learning and Real Estate Express that are moderated by instructors, giving you real-time access to the answers you need.
Kaplan’s Live Online format actually puts in you front of a live instructor as they stream lessons to their students in real time, making it an option to (virtually) raise your hand and ask your questions as you think of them.
Best Overall Real Estate School: Real Estate Express
Real Estate Express’ affordable real estate pre-license courses, exam preparation options, and continuing education classes lead the way in this space. Their package add-ons like Live Instructor Q and A, a Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee and even post-licensing professional development makes them a fantastic choice for your real estate education needs.