Rhode Island may be the nation’s smallest state but, thanks to license reciprocity agreements, the Ocean State’s real estate license is recognized in Connecticut and Massachusetts. That’s right—with one test you can practice in a tri-state market. However, before you schedule your real estate license examination, you’ll need to complete 45 hours of prelicense training. And after you pass the exam, you’ll need to log a three-hour lead paint hazards and awareness course.
At The Close, we assessed Rhode Island real estate schools with an eye for cost, flexibility, and range of prelicensing and post-licensing offerings. Let’s take a closer look.
5 Best Real Estate Schools in Rhode Island for 2023
|Our Top Picks||Pricing From||Best For|
|Best Overall: aBove Real Estate School||$250 (includes all materials)||Ongoing enrollment and affordability|
|Best for Live Instruction: Real Estate Institute of Rhode Island||$325 (includes all books)||Online course with live instructors|
|Best One-stop Option: RI REALTORS Professional Development Center||$299||One-stop option with lead-paint awareness class|
|Best In-person Option: Rhode Island School of Real Estate||$300||In-person weekend classes|
|Best Fast-track Choice: Westcott School of Real Estate||$250 + book fees||M-F option fast tracks for one-month licensing|
Real Estate Schools in Rhode Island: Helpful Info
Rhode Island Real Estate Governing Body
State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation
Three-hour lead paint hazards/awareness course
Continuing Education Requirements
24 hours of state-approved courses completed in the two-year period before a salesperson license expires
Before we get into our review of real estate schools in Rhode Island, you should know a bit more about how real estate education works in general. You may want to invest in test preparation, or you might decide that’s not necessary for you. Also, in your new real estate career, you’ll need to take continuing education classes on a regular basis. Let’s take a look at the types of real estate programs each of the schools on our list offer so you know what to expect.
After you’ve selected a real estate school that accommodates your learning style and schedule, the next step is to complete the school’s 45 hours of prelicensing requirements.
With the coursework under your belt, you’re ready for the examination. You’ll need to schedule the exam, which is administered weekly through Pearson VUE Testing Services ($70). The examinations are written or oral, but oral examination requests are at the discretion of the Department of Business Regulations.
You’ll need a score of 70% or higher to pass. Easy-peasy, because the schools on our top five list have prepared you. Still, if you want a practice test, Pearson VUE provides them for brokers and sales agents for $19.95.
After you pass, you will submit the real estate agent application to the Department of Business Regulations. The salesperson’s license fee is $130 for every two years (prorated).
Paint Hazards & Awareness Course
Don’t forget to enroll in a lead paint hazards and awareness course. The Rhode Island Association of Realtors offers a three-hour prerecorded class ($35) that you can take at your convenience within 45 days of enrolling. A score of 70% or higher is required for a passing grade. This class counts toward the 24 hours of continuing education requirements needed to renew your license in two years.
Continuing Education Courses
The learning just begins when you earn your Rhode Island real estate license. You are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education courses in the next two years before your license is up for renewal. Of these 24 hours, six must be defined as core classes; the remaining 18 are elective classes.
Most of the schools on our list offer continuing education courses; aBove Real Estate is launching continuing education courses in 2023, so circle back with the folks there to learn more.
Real Estate Institute of Rhode Island partners with The CE Shop to provide online individual courses ($29 to $35 each) as well as a complete 24-hour package ($185).
You’ll find an array of options—and one that will likely align with your learning style and schedule—from the RI REALTORS Professional Development Center: live Zoom classes, a repository of recorded online classes, and offerings from McKissock Learning, The CE Shop, and REcampus. Online and in-person post-licensing options are also available from RI School of Real Estate.
Now that you have a better idea of what real estate courses in Rhode Island generally entail, let’s take a look at our favorite schools in the state.
Best Overall: aBove Real Estate School
Up until recently, this school provided morning and evening sessions two days a week via Zoom. In 2023, the options are expanding to four days per week. Instructors are top producers at their real estate brokerages. aBove coursework and instructors also support reciprocity from Rhode Island to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida. You can retake the entire course or individual classes for free for up to a year after completing the coursework.
Room to Improve
The website could use a refresh, but we found that the contact us chat functionality generated responsive feedback.
If you want to fast-track your prelicensing and are seeking virtual classes with flexibility and low cost (one of the cheapest in the state at $250), check out aBove Real Estate School.
Best for Live Instruction: Real Estate Institute of Rhode Island
The REIRI website is easy to navigate. Students can take the entire course or any individual class over again for free for up to six months after completing the course. The school also offers no-cost career guidance and placement counseling via 60-minute Zoom sessions. Instructors are veteran agents with thousands of closed deals. It also offers continuing education classes via CE Shop.
Room to Improve
It would be great to see some video—a snippet or two—of the live instructors to get a preview of teaching styles.
Classes are offered six days a week. Enroll today, start tomorrow.
Best One-stop Option: RI REALTORS Professional Development Center
RI REALTORS Professional Development Center is comprehensive in its offerings—from prelicensure to veteran broker. The calendar of 2023 Zoom and in-person sessions is posted. If you’re being sponsored by a principal broker who is a member of the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS (RIAR), be sure to inquire about a discount.
Room to Improve
Instructor reviews and video samples of teaching styles would be helpful for prospective students. Also, this might not be the best choice for agents who don’t want to join their local association after they get licensed.
After you earn your real estate license, RIAR will likely become your go-to source for real estate information, networking, and access to the multiple listing service. It’s also a one-stop option for prelicensure that offers the additional lead-paint awareness class ($35 online and $45 in-person). RIAR provides job placement assistance and gives students a list of real estate offices hiring new licensees. Whether you’re a prospective agent or an established broker seeking additional real estate designations, RI Professional Development Center sponsors and offers a vast and flexible array of options.
Best In-person Option: Rhode Island School of Real Estate
The Rhode Island School of Real Estate offers prelicensing classes and continuing education. And if you opt to purse a broker’s license, it has a full lineup of classes designed for that career track.
But first things first. This Westerly-based real estate school offers an accelerated 45-hour prelicensing track over four weekends; classes are held for six hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Need a review or study session? The veteran instructors occasionally offer these on Saturday mornings or a weekday evening to prepare you for the state exam. Anyone who has attended a prelicensing class at Rhode Island School of Real Estate can attend these sessions. If life happens and you need to cancel your registration, the school refunds your fees if done three days before classes begin.
Room to Improve
You’ll need an account to view some course schedules.
Sacrifice four weekends, and you’re ready to sit for the state’s real estate exam. If you flourish in an in-person learning setting where you can network with future colleagues and competitors, the Rhode Island School of Real Estate may fit the bill.
Best Fast-track Choice: Westcott School of Real Estate
This Providence estate school offers an affordable, fast path to licensure (one month to licensing) with in-person sessions. Classes are held evenings Monday to Friday and taught by a veteran agent with 30-plus years’ experience in the industry. The school’s landing page concisely and unequivocally explains the state’s licensure process and the license renewal steps with how-to screenshots. Very helpful. It also offers payment plans.
Room to Improve
If you miss the enrollment cutoff date, you won’t be able to join until the next session. Currently, the school has limited options: The course is offered two times annually. The school does not post the dates for both upcoming sessions, so you need to contact the school for more information.
Westcott School of Real Estate is a low-cost option for those who favor the night school and in-person learning setting. In one month, you’ll be eligible to sit for the state exam.
Rhode Island Real Estate School FAQs
Hopefully this guide has helped you pinpoint a school that fits your needs, but we also wanted to answer a few of the common questions we get asked about the licensing process below. If you have additional questions, please share them in the comments section below.
What rules do Rhode Island real estate agents have to follow?
The state’s Department of Business Regulation has a list of rules and regulations affecting salespersons and brokers. However, Realtors have to follow an additional set of ethical guidelines and professional standards to maintain their membership.
How much does the average real estate agent make in Rhode Island?
The average real estate professional in Rhode Island makes $79,869 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. That number is a little higher than the national average.
What’s the average home price in Rhode Island?
As of January 2023, the average Rhode Island home was worth $436,222, according to Zillow. This number represents a 9.2% increase over the last year.
How many Realtors are there in Rhode Island?
According to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, there are 6,080 Realtors in the state.
How can I look up the status of my real estate license application in Rhode Island?
You can find this information at the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation’s website. You’ll need to login with your user ID and password. Make sure you don’t register for a new account.
More Career Resources for Rhode Island Realtors
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