Kaplan Real Estate’s parent company, Kaplan, Inc., has been helping students and professionals prepare for the next big steps in their educational and professional journeys for over 80 years.
In this Kaplan Real Estate School review, we’ll dive into the Kaplan Real Estate offerings. We’ll also give you a peek at what an actual course looks like for students taking Kaplan’s prelicense education, and the tools you’ll need to decide whether Kaplan is right for you.
This isn’t some fly-by-night company. Kaplan has developed a tried-and-true method that’s delivered results for their students for more than eight decades. Their secret to success is simple. High-quality content is taught by bona fide subject matter experts and delivered in a way that meets the needs of their students, rather than asking their students to conform to the requirements of their teachers.
Why You Should Trust This Kaplan Real Estate School Review
For those of you who’ve stalked me a bit on LinkedIn, you may be aware that I was a Senior Instructor for Kaplan Test Preparation for two years. I taught ACT, SAT, LSAT, and GRE courses for thousands of students, so I know the Kaplan system pretty well.
This experience, paired with my extensive knowledge in the real estate technology industry, gives me a unique perspective on this company and the student learning experience. I know what works and what doesn’t, and I’m going to share my hard-earned insights with you.
Kaplan Real Estate School: Pros, Cons & The Close Recommendation
We’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of the Kaplan Real Estate review in just a minute. If you simply want access to our big takeaways and our ultimate recommendation on whether you should use this company for your real estate education, this table is for you.
|Kaplan Real Estate Pros||Kaplan Real Estate Cons|
|Top-notch industry expert instructors||Only available in about half the states|
|Varied learning options (self-paced, on-demand, or live online)||Dated interface, not the most mobile-friendly product on the market|
|High state exam pass rate (76% on first try)||No phone-based student support|
|Optional Career Launching Resources||Limited access to a printed textbook|
The Close recommendation: If you’re looking for a real estate education provider that will win a beauty pageant, this isn’t the one for you. However, if you’re looking for a school that has quite possibly the most qualified instructors in the industry, several options for how you consume your required class hours, and a pass rate that beats the industry standard by nearly 10 points—then Kaplan Real Estate is a great choice.
If the user interface is important to you, specifically a flawless mobile experience, I suggest you check out Aceable Agent. Their platform is designed for use on a mobile device, so your interaction with the interface will likely be a lot smoother.
Most Frequently Asked Questions About Kaplan Real Estate
Before we dive into the Kaplan Real Estate student experience, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions we get about the platform, including how much they cost, where they’re available, and what they offer.
How Much Does Kaplan Real Estate Cost?
The cost of Kaplan Real Estate courses varies depending on the state you’re in and the package you choose. Generally, prices range from $179 to $1,100. Pricing varies depending on your location and which package you select.
Since each state requires a different number of prelicense class hours to get your license, each available Kaplan course will vary in terms of length and content, thus affecting the price.
In terms of packages, Kaplan offers three options in most states: Home Study, OnDemand, and Live Online, plus some additional add-ons like their popular Career Launcher program.
We’ll describe those in detail, but first, here are the costs of each of the Kaplan programs in some of the most populated states in the U.S.:
Kaplan Real Estate Program Costs: California
|Home Study||California Basic Home Study||$179|
|Home Study||California Home Study Plus||$279|
|Home Study||Career Launcher Home Study Plus||$479|
|Home Study||Carnegie Career Launch Home Study Plus||$679|
|OnDemand||Career Launcher OnDemand||$599|
|OnDemand||Carnegie Career Launcher OnDemand||$799|
|Live Online||Basic Live Online||$549|
|Live Online||Career Launcher Live Online||$749|
|Live Online||Carnegie Career Launcher Live Online||$949|
Kaplan Real Estate Program Costs: Texas
|Home Study||Texas Basic Home Study||$179|
|Home Study||Career Launcher Home Study||$589|
|OnDemand||Career Launcher OnDemand||$649|
|Live Online||Basic Live Online||$889|
|Live Online||Career Launcher Live Online||$1049|
Kaplan Real Estate Program Costs: Colorado
|Home Study||Colorado Basic Home Study||$599|
|Home Study||Career Launcher Home Study||$799|
|OnDemand||Career Launcher OnDemand||$999|
|Live Online||Basic Live Online||$889|
|Live Online||Career Launcher Live Online||$1099|
Kaplan Real Estate Packages
Kaplan Real Estate students typically get to choose from three different packages: Home Study, OnDemand, and Live Online, plus some additional add-ons like their popular Career Launcher program. Assuming all three are available in your state, you can choose one of these formats for your prelicense real estate education. Your choice depends on your level of comfort with each format.
Kaplan Real Estate Package: Home Study
Home Study is Kaplan’s text-based, self-paced option. With Home Study, you guide yourself through multiple PDF textbooks, completing reading sections, worksheets, and quizzes. For learners who absorb well by reading, this is a great option.
However, you aren’t entirely on your own here. With the Home Study package, you get access to the Kaplan Real Estate Interactive Study Groups. These are weekly webinars where students can attend to ask questions of their instructors or coordinate with other students to study together for upcoming exams.
Kaplan Real Estate Package: OnDemand
If learning completely “by the book” isn’t your thing and you prefer a video-based course, Kaplan’s OnDemand learning options are definitely the way to go. With OnDemand, you’ve got a hybrid curriculum of video content taught by expert instructors, text-based slides with supplemental information, activities, and quizzes. Plus, you’ll have access to the Interactive Study Group Webinars mentioned above.
This package also includes an interactive Exam Prep workbook called OnDemand Review, which is super-helpful during the time between completing your class hours and the day you sit for your state licensure exam.
Kaplan Real Estate Package: Live Online
If you need the structure of scheduled classes and want real-time access to expert instructors, Kaplan’s Live Online environment is absolutely the right choice for you. It doesn’t consist of prerecorded videos and a PDF workbook. With Live Online, you join a real class with a live instructor and other students, interacting as if you were in the same room—but from the comfort of your own home.
The materials for this package are virtually the same as those in the other two packages, but the real level-up here is the virtual classroom environment. Plus, you’ll have easy access to your instructors for questions and discussion every single time you sit down.
In Which States Is Kaplan Real Estate Available?
Kaplan Real Estate is currently available in about half the U.S. Some states offer limited package selections, but everyone has access to the Kaplan Home Study package, their Career Launcher Add-ons, and some form of exam prep package.
Currently, these are the states where Kaplan Real Estate is available. Click the links below to find out which packages are available in your state.
Kaplan Real Estate Availability: State-by-State
|Nevada||New Jersey||New Mexico||New York|
*Florida classes are provided by the Kaplan Real Estate partner Bob Hogue School of Real Estate.
How Long Do Kaplan Real Estate Courses Take?
Your timeline depends on which package you choose and how many classroom hours your state mandates.
For instance, if you’re in Michigan, you’re only required to put in 40 classroom hours before taking your state licensure exam. If you take some time off work, buckle down, and choose a self-paced option, you could complete your classes in two weeks or less.
On the other hand, if you’re in Texas, where 180 class hours are required, and you opt for the Live Online option, it could take six weeks or more to complete your course.
The Kaplan Real Estate Student Experience + Video Walk-through
OK, you know the basics about Kaplan as a real estate prelicense education option, but what about the experience of being on the platform? In this section, we’ll walk you through what it’s like to be a Kaplan student.
Since Kaplan offers so many different options for students, we can’t review all of them here. For this article, we’ve been granted an all-access pass to OnDemand, the most popular package choice in the state of Minnesota.
Because each state has unique requirements for prelicense education, your experience will vary slightly depending on which state you’re in, but this will give you a good idea of what to expect when you become a Kaplan student.
Signing Up & Logging On
Right from the get-go, the Kaplan experience is straightforward and easy to use. Signing up for Kaplan courses and getting started takes only a couple of clicks from their website.
I really like this feature because even though I am very comfortable in a digital environment, many soon-to-be real estate agents pursue this line of work as a second or third career and may not be digital natives. So an easy-to-use, navigable platform that doesn’t require a degree in computer science is a win.
Getting started on your course with Kaplan is equally straightforward. After logging in, you arrive at your course menu, where you can click into any of the courses you’ve purchased.
Since Minnesota requires you to complete all of your classroom hours before taking the course’s final exam, the exam icon isn’t clickable in this example. But after completing my course hours, it would become available to me.
One of the critiques Kaplan often hears is that their interface is outdated and boring. We’d agree with that to a point—the platform has a distinct Windows 2000 vibe. However, unless the flash and dash of a more modern interface will better prepare you for your career as a real estate professional, there’s not much point to it.
We’re not saying that design and user experience aren’t important. We just think quality content is a higher priority for your purposes.
Progressing Through Your Kaplan Course
After course orientation, Kaplan students can launch Unit 1 of the OnDemand package. Right away, you’ll see the typical format you can expect throughout your prelicense education. Lessons start with a video lecture, followed by a short (usually one- or two-question) quiz and an opportunity to take notes in your supplemental material.
Unlike the completely self-paced Home Study option, which requires extensive reading, the Kaplan Real Estate OnDemand package is based almost entirely on these video lessons. It’s a perfect strategy for learners who need to watch and listen to absorb information effectively.
As a former Kaplan instructor, I can tell you that in the Minnesota OnDemand course, the level of expertise and expectations for quality instruction are still incredibly high with this company. It’s clear that the instructors aren’t just reading from a script. They actually know and practice real estate and are ready to engage with students when they have questions.
Using the Supplemental Materials
Kaplan students can fulfill their course requirements simply by watching the video lessons and completing the quizzes. However, you’d be remiss if you didn’t also leverage the significant resources available to you in the form of supplemental workbooks and study materials.
These long-form PDF documents can be used digitally or printed out and used as a traditional textbook. They provide tools to expand your learning—a strategy that Kaplan instructors have been using for a long time. By effectively using each of the Kaplan resources, you’ll set yourself up for success.
When I was teaching for Kaplan, my mentor helped me understand that the more ways our students could internalize and then demonstrate their understanding of the material, the more likely they’d be able to synthesize the information for successful performance on their exam and in their careers.
Wrapping Up for the Day
When you’ve finished for the day, the log-off procedure couldn’t be more straightforward when you’re using the OnDemand package. The Kaplan system tracks your progress through the course, so there’s no need to save your work periodically. It’s a convenient feature since there are few things worse than that sinking feeling when you’ve lost your place after a long session.
The top right-hand corner of the interface has a menu that allows you to navigate back to the course menu quickly, get notifications pending on your account, contact your instructor, or log out.
When I first experimented with this menu, I thought I did something wrong because it was so quick and easy. It turns out that the interface doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. I definitely appreciated this straightforward design.
Kaplan Real Estate: The Drawbacks
Even though the Kaplan platform is very robust, it isn’t perfect. If The Close had a say in it, here’s what we’d fix:
Kaplan Real Estate only covers about half the states in the country, and even then, there’s limited access to their Live Online product unless you live in one of the most populous states in the union. This program is a marquee feature of Kaplan Real Estate, and we’d love to see this made available to more students.
Better Access to Student Support
OK, this feels like a first-world problem, but hear me out. There is excellent student support via email for every Kaplan program. But sometimes, email isn’t the best medium for asking quick or multipart questions.
Without the ability to exchange with your instructor, it’s challenging to get into the details. Yes, there are the Q&A webinars every week, but if there isn’t one of those happening for another five days and you have a question today, that can be frustrating. We’d love to see better on-demand student support.
Limited Access to a REAL Textbook
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but there’s something unique about having an actual textbook that I can study from, not an endless PDF that I have to print myself. I’m actually OK with paying a premium for a book if it’s going to enhance my learning experience. But Kaplan doesn’t give students that option. We’d like to see physical textbooks available to students, even if they’re expensive.
Final Thoughts on the Kaplan Real Estate Student Experience
I went into the Kaplan Real Estate School review with more experience than most others in this space as a former Kaplan teacher with two years of experience teaching their Live Online program. I knew that this was a company committed to excellence in the programs with which I was involved. Their current real estate programs’ quality level was consistent with my previous, real-world experience of teaching for Kaplan.
Some of the same criticisms that were true when I taught for Kaplan are still true today. Their interface feels old, their live-action student support could be improved, and you can’t get their programs everywhere. But these negatives are far outweighed by the many positives.
Kaplan’s program is one to consider for anyone looking to get into real estate. Their courses are well worth the cost, and students of the Kaplan program will face their state licensing exam well prepared and ready to start their careers.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to find out more about how Kaplan Real Estate stacks up against the other real estate education companies out there, make sure to check out our buyer’s guide for the Best Real Estate Schools of 2021.
If you’re ready to jump into the planning phase for your new real estate career, we’ve got some resources for you. Make sure to give a read to our article about How to Become a Successful Part-time Real Estate Agent, Emile L’Eplattenier’s important piece about Why So Many Real Estate Agents Fail After Two Years (and How Not To), and our comprehensive guide to writing a real estate business plan.