Now is a great time to get started as an agent, especially in Chicago—the country’s third-largest city by population and one of its most dynamic real estate markets. To help get you started, we’ve reviewed four of the most popular online real estate schools in Illinois. 

We understand that you’re ready to dive into a new career in real estate, but before you do, you’ll need to complete a 75-hour prelicensing course. Take a look at our recommendations for the best online real estate education providers in Illinois.

4 Best Online Real Estate Schools in Illinois

Our Top Picks
Pricing From
Promo Codes
Best Overall:
Colibri Real Estate
$356
TheClose25 - Save 25%
Best for Career Resources:
Kaplan
$489
KAPRE5 - Save 5%
Best for a Budget:
The CE Shop
$359
TheClose35 - Save 35%
Best Live Instruction:
Inland School of Real Estate
$577

(Illinois prelicensing package prices as of September 2023)

Close Logo
Quick Facts
account_balance

Illinois Real Estate Governing Body:

IDFPR Division of Real Estate

schedule

Prelicensing Requirements:

75 Hours

inventory

Post-licensing Requirements:

45 Hours Within 2 Years

school

Continuing Education Requirements:

12 Hours Every 2 Years

If you’re unsure about the difference between agents and brokers in Chicagoland and downstate Illinois or want to learn about the types of classes that you’ll need to take throughout your real estate career, simply jump to the helpful info section. But if you’re ready to weigh your state-approved education provider options, let’s take a deep dive.

Best Online Real Estate School in Illinois: Colibri Real Estate

Colibri Real Estate scorecard
Pros
  • Easy-to-use online platform
  • Packages offer a variety of features
  • Affordable
Cons
  • The Basics course doesn’t come with test prep materials
  • Livestream classes are scheduled on weekdays only
The Close Score
4.6
Value:
5.0
Customer service:
3.8
Student experience:
4.5
Features:
3.0
Reputation:
5.0
Online experience:
5.0
out
of
5

Colibri Real Estate offers:

  • Prelicensing
  • Exam prep
  • Post-licensing
  • Managing broker prelicensing

Colibri Real Estate’s programs are affordable and highly rated. They’ve created successful online real estate education programs for dozens of states, so they’re good at what they do.

You’ll be required to learn a lot of complicated material when becoming a real estate broker in Illinois. Colibri Real Estate presents this detailed information in a clear, concise format. The essential material is often repeated, giving you ample opportunities to learn it.

Colibri Real Estate Pricing

In Illinois, Colibri Real Estate offers four 75-hour, self-paced online course packages for prelicensing students. They also offer a livestream course option. We’ve listed each package at the regular price, but they often go on sale.

  • The Basics ($356): This entry-level package is for a “disciplined self-starter.” It also includes three real estate e-books and state-approved instructor support via email and phone.
  • Exam Preparation ($470): This package includes everything in the previous package, exam prep—consisting of simulated exams, audio review guides, and flashcards—and a Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee. 
  • Exam Preparation Plus ($555): For $85 more, you’ll receive everything in the previous packages as well as access to state-approved instructors via a live Q&A.
  • Ultimate Learning ($670): This top-tier package includes everything in the previous one as well as a printed textbook. You’ll also receive a one-year membership with McKissock, a professional development company.
  • Livestream Learning ($649): This package includes scheduled classes during the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or evenings only. It also includes the Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee, visual learning videos, and a printed copy of the school’s textbooks.

(Illinois prelicensing package prices as of September 2023)

Readers of The Close can SAVE 25% on any Colibri Real Estate prelicensing course in Illinois. Use promo code TheClose25 at checkout.

Best Feature

We love how all but one of Colibri’s prelicensing packages come with a Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee. If you don’t pass the license exam on your first try, they’ll refund you the total cost of your course, whether it’s the prelicensing or exam prep package. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Room to Improve

Because Colibri Real Estate specializes in online, at-your-own-pace education, it will be difficult for you to interact with your peers or instructors unless you choose the Livestream Learning package. Also, it would be great if Colibri could offer livestream classes during weekends as well.

Bottom Line

Colibri Real Estate specializes in an easy-to-use, self-paced online format. If you want a seamless learning experience for your prelicensing course, you won’t be disappointed with Colibri Real Estate.

Enroll Now

Best Online Real Estate School in Illinois for Career Resources: Kaplan

Kaplan scorecard
Pros
  • Wide variety of learning formats
  • Great professional development tools in some packages
  • Excellent textbook and class materials
Cons
  • Interface is a little dated
  • Difficult to take classes on a mobile device
  • Pricey
The Close Score
4.5
Value:
5.0
Customer service:
3.8
Student experience:
4.5
Features:
4.0
Reputation:
5.0
Online experience:
4.8
out
of
5

Kaplan offers:

  • Prelicensing
  • Exam prep
  • Post-licensing
  • Continuing education
  • Managing broker prelicensing

This company has been in the test and exam prep business since 1938, so they know a thing or two about preparing people for exams and new careers. In fact, Kaplan’s Career Launcher Program connects you with professionals in the real estate industry who can offer business advice on launching and growing your career. You’ll also have one-on-one sessions with career counselors so that you can ask questions about your unique situation.

Kaplan Pricing

Here are the four packages that Kaplan offers in Illinois.

  • Illinois 75-hour Broker Licensing With Exam Prep Online Package ($489): Besides the 75 hours of prelicensing class hours, you’ll also receive an online bank of practice questions from both the national and state portions of the exam, weekly live webinars, and access to a live interactive study session and community forum.
  • Illinois 75-hour Broker Licensing With Exam Prep Hybrid Package ($489): This includes everything in the above package plus the freedom to mix interactive live online and self-paced videos.  
  • Career Launcher Online Package ($689): This includes everything in the previous package as well as resources that’ll help you prepare for your career: the eight-hour Real Estate Accelerator course and eight weeks of professional coaching.
  • Career Launcher Hybrid Package ($689): You’ll get everything from the above package and an option to mix the live videos with self-paced courses.

(Illinois prelicensing and interactive package prices as of September 2023)

Readers of The Close can SAVE 5% on any Kaplan prelicensing course in Illinois. Use promo code KAPRE5 at checkout.

Best Feature

Kaplan is the only real estate education company on our list that offers the prelicensing course in a hybrid format. Those who thrive on variety will appreciate the ability to choose between live webinars, videos, self-paced work, and interactive study sessions.

Room to Improve

Kaplan’s prelicensing packages are expensive. Their most basic package is $489, which is quite a bit more than the entry-level package offered by other companies on our list. Check out The CE Shop or Colibri Real Estate for more affordable options.

Bottom Line

The fact that Kaplan offers post-licensing, continuing education, managing broker prelicensing, and professional development courses makes Kaplan a one-stop shop for all your Illinois real estate education.

Enroll Now
Related Article
Can You Be a Part-time Real Estate Agent? (+ Free Guide & Videos)

Best Online Real Estate School in Illinois for Students on a Budget: The CE Shop

The CE Shop scorecard
Pros
  • Expertly designed, mobile-friendly courses
  • Premium Package includes post-licensing
Cons
  • No live instruction
  • No access to instructors
The Close Score
4.3
Value:
5.0
Customer service:
5.0
Student experience:
3.5
Features:
3.0
Reputation:
5.0
Online experience:
5.0
out
of
5

The CE Shop offers:

  • Prelicensing
  • Exam prep
  • Post-licensing
  • Continuing education for brokers and managing brokers
  • Managing broker prelicensing

Check out The CE Shop’s FREE 5-DAY TRIAL!

The CE Shop lets you test drive their courses and features before you buy. Visit their website today!

While The CE Shop initially offered only continuing education courses, they now offer classes that help you start your career as well. Amazingly, The CE Shop can offer all of these resources at reasonable prices. They’re highly rated, and each package includes resources on getting hired by a managing broker.

The CE Shop Pricing

In Illinois, The CE Shop offers four prelicensing packages. You’ll get business e-books, flashcards, a real estate glossary, a study schedule, and career resources no matter which package you choose.

  • Courses Only ($359): You’ll love The CE Shop’s interactive, self-paced content. It will keep you interested in the material through the entirety of the course.
  • Standard Package ($419): You’ll receive the course and exam prep materials with the Standard Package. You’ll also receive a pass guarantee that’ll refund you the $55 fee you spent on the licensing exam if you have to retake it.
  • Value Package ($475): You’ll receive everything in the previous package plus business-building courses designed for new agents. They’ll give you tips on organizing an office and launching your career.
  • Premium Package ($725): As we mentioned, The CE Shop got its start offering continuing education courses. This package includes everything from the previous one as well as all the post-licensing courses you’ll need to renew your license for the first time.

(Illinois prelicensing package prices as of September 2023)

Readers of The Close can SAVE 35% on The CE Shop prelicensing course in Illinois. Use promo code TheClose35 at checkout.

Best Feature

Starting a real estate business is more than just getting a license and finding a brokerage. In order to be successful, you also need to know what it takes to get a real estate operation off the ground. We love the affordable options provided by The CE Shop, and included in those options are courses such as Building Your Sphere and Is Commercial Real Estate Right for You?

Room to Improve

Even though The CE Shop offers affordable, high-quality courses, you have to be disciplined to get through the sometimes dry material on your own. If you’d rather your classes were scheduled each week, consider enrolling in the Inland Real Estate School’s live, online class.

Bottom Line

If you like The CE Shop, you can return to them repeatedly throughout your career for affordable continuing education courses.

Visit The CE Shop

Best Online Real Estate School in Illinois for Live Instruction: Inland Real Estate School

Inland Real Estate School scorecard
Pros
  • Qualified instructors with years of practical experience
  • Proven track record of 12,000+ students getting licensed in past 20 years
  • In-person, live online, and self-paced class options
Cons
  • Not the most affordable option
  • No formal networking opportunities
The Close Score
4.1
Value:
3.5
Customer service:
3.8
Student experience:
5.0
Features:
3.0
Reputation:
5.0
Online experience:
4.5
out
of
5

Inland Real Estate School Offers:

  • Prelicensing
  • Exam prep
  • Post-licensing
  • Managing broker prelicensing

Inland Real Estate School, located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, has been perfecting its real estate courses for over 20 years. Within that time, they’ve helped more than 12,000 students get licensed.

Some agents might struggle getting through an online course that teaches less-than-exciting material. If you learn best in an interactive classroom, enroll in Inland Real Estate School’s livestream or in-person prelicensing classes. Note that their in-person classes are only available in Oak Brook.

Inland Real Estate School Pricing

Inland Real Estate School two packages for prelicensing.

  • Self Study ($527): This package includes 75 hours of coursework at your own pace with everything included to prep for the exam plus 30 days of coaching and instructor support.
  • Live Prelicense ($577): Inland Real Estate School offers its 75-hour course Monday through Friday over the course of three weeks. Students can choose between morning and evening classes and attend in person or through a livestream service. In this package, you’ll receive 90 days of instructor support and access to the online self-study course.

(Illinois prelicensing package prices as of September 2023)

Best Feature

We love that the instructors at Inland Real Estate School have decades of real estate experience and that their courses are highly rated. They made this list because they provide a service for those who need a living, breathing person to teach complicated material.

Even if you attend the live course from the comfort of your own home, you’ll still have access to a teacher. You’ll be able to learn from other students’ questions and ask for clarification when you need it as well.

Room to Improve

Inland Real Estate School offers in-person tutoring sessions, but they’re expensive at $75 an hour. For budget-friendly, quality exam prep materials, take a look at the packages The CE Shop has to offer, as they include exam prep and a free five-day trial.

Bottom Line

Inland Real Estate School has trained thousands of real estate agents. You’ll learn a lot about the unique world of Chicagoland real estate when you take your prelicensing courses with them.

Visit Inland Real Estate School

How We Selected the Best Online Real Estate Schools in Illinois

To come up with this list of best real estate schools in Illinois, our team at The Close scored the schools using a weighted rubric based on the following criteria:

  • Course offerings
  • Class formats
  • Pricing
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Ease of use
  • Mobile and web interface
  • Instructor support

Read more about our methodology here.

Best Online Real Estate Schools in Illinois: Helpful Info

To become a real estate broker in Illinois, you must first take a 75-hour prelicensing course before you sit for the exam. There are several important pieces of information that you need to know before choosing from the many Illinois real estate schools that offer this course.

Agents vs Brokers vs Managing Brokers

The first is that, in Illinois, real estate agents who hold a supervisory role are called managing brokers, and all agents—even brand-new ones—are referred to as brokers. This may be confusing since most states use the word “broker” to refer to someone who has received additional training and passed a second state licensing exam that entitles them to manage agents.

Types of Real Estate Education in Illinois

Once you complete 75 hours of study, pass the state’s broker exam, obtain your license, and get hired by a managing broker, you can begin your career. Here are the types of course packages Illinois real estate schools offer:





Illinois Real Estate Schools FAQs

Got questions? We’ve got you! Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about real estate schools in Chicagoland, downstate Illinois, and beyond.








Related Article
Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis

Bringing It All Together

You’ve learned a lot about the licensing process and the best Illinois real estate schools in this article. We’re thrilled to be a part of your journey toward finding the right real estate school and becoming a real estate broker in Illinois. If you have more questions, please drop them in the comment section of this article. We’d love to hear from you!