Considering a real estate career and looking for the best school for you? Let’s talk about The CE Shop. It’s long had an excellent reputation for continuing education (CE) courses and is quickly becoming one of the leaders in online prelicensing education as well. Available in almost every state, the company currently boasts one of the nation’s highest pass rates.
In this review, I took an in-depth look at The CE Shop’s custom-built online platform, its costs, course offerings, pros and cons, and student experiences to see what The CE Shop is getting right—and wrong—to help you decide whether it’s the best real estate education provider for you.
Trust Kate: The CE Shop Graduate
As a graduate of The CE Shop’s prelicensing real estate course in South Carolina, I have firsthand familiarity with The CE Shop’s platform, its best features, and areas where it can improve. My review is honest, thorough, objective, and will help you decide if The CE Shop would be your ideal education partner. For more on our methodology, head on over to this resource that explains our scoring criteria and policy on editorial independence.
The Close Recommends
In my view, The CE Shop is an excellent option for online prelicensing real estate education. Students will find affordable packages, a self-paced curriculum, and one of the highest exam pass rates in the industry via a clean, easy-to-navigate interface.
It’s also important to note that because The CE Shop started out as a continuing education provider, their post-licensing education offerings are also top-notch. While The CE Shop might not be perfect for every student, I strongly recommend The CE Shop to budget-conscious students who value flexibility and mobile-friendly technology.
I didn’t want to solely rely on my experience using The CE Shop, so I took a look at other students’ reviews. At the time of writing, Trustpilot listed The CE Shop as having 3.6 stars out of 5 and 6,457 reviews.
Here’s an example of a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review:
The real estate fundamentals that I learned through the CE Shop prelicensing course has been very informative. My knowledge base for a career in this field has definitely been enhanced and expanded not only in real estate law but in banking, governmental policies, and just general consumer need-to-know information. The course materials were clear, in-depth, interesting, and enjoyable, although requiring a high level of memorization skills. I look forward to completing the additional courses I need to become a real estate professional.
And a ⭐⭐ review:
There is a lot of really good information but way too many exercises, lessons, units, and quizzes. There are probably over 100 quizzes you have to take before completing two more tests at the end before taking the proctored exam. It’s just way too much. This 75-hour course is supposed to prepare you for your final exam; instead, you feel so burnt out before even entering the field.
And here’s The CE Shop’s response to that review:
Thank you for providing that feedback. Our courses are designed around the topics prescribed by each state’s real estate commission and they are in alignment with the licensing exam topics. Over 76% of our students reported that they passed their exams on the first try. Our courses are designed using a mastery-based advancement model where we are frequently checking our student’s knowledge before they move on to the next session. This gives students the opportunity to check in and make sure they have a strong understanding of the concepts before moving forward.
Where Is The CE Shop Available & Accredited?
Real estate licensure is governed by your state, which means that each one has different regulations and requirements. Every state separately evaluates and accredits schools offering prelicensing education. They ensure that schools cover a wide range of principles—those that apply to federal real estate regulations and more localized state laws. The final exam is composed of both a national portion and a state-specific exam.
The CE Shop offers prelicensing courses in all but six states, with plans to expand even further this fall. This is one of the largest territories in the real estate education market. The CE Shop also provides exam preparation and continuing education courses in every state.
States without prelicensing include Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Idaho. However, you can take prelicensing classes for Massachusetts to get your New Hampshire license through reciprocity—and the company plans to expand to New Jersey this fall.
Pricing depends on the state and the number of prelicensing course hours required. Courses Only, their most affordable package, ranges from $130 to $300. The top-tier Premium package costs between $340 and $1,030.
The CE Shop offers a military discount of 40% off prelicensing products to active-duty military, their families, and service members transitioning into civilian life.
The time it takes to complete your course depends entirely on the number of hours of prelicensing education required by your state and how quickly you can tackle the material.
Florida, for example, requires 63 hours of coursework. Michigan requires 40 hours, and Texas students need a whopping 180 hours. Some people may be able to take courses full time and knock it out in a few weeks, while others might need a few months. Be aware that The CE Shop does have a course expiration policy of six or 12 months, depending on the state.
If you think you would rather take live classes or take classes online that are livestreamed, The CE Shop is not for you. Read our review of Kaplan Real Estate if you want livestream classes or consider a local school that can provide in-person courses. Learn more in our guide to the best online real estate schools.
The CE Shop students’ self-reported pass rates on their exams are some of the nation’s best. Their first-time pass rate for the national portion of the exam is 75%, and the overall exam pass rate is 90%.
In Florida, The CE Shop students reported a pass rate of 89% (their state average is 42%). The New York exam first-attempt pass rate is 90%. Of course, if your state publishes pass rates by school, that’s an even better source of comparison. For example, the Texas Real Estate Commission lists The CE Shop pass rate as 67%. By comparison, online educator Kaplan Real Estate Education’s rate is 58% and Colibri Real Estate, probably the biggest provider of real estate courses, is 55%.
Customer Service & Student Support
The CE Shop offers customer service seven days a week through phone, email, and live chat, which is more than both Kaplan and Colibri provide. In addition to customer support, students have access to a Facebook Group and on-demand webinars.
However, if students have specific questions about course content or materials, they must reach out to the support team through the contact us page. The company promises an answer from an instructor, the curriculum team, or a subject matter expert within two days.
This is an area where I think The CE Shop needs to improve. If someone has a complicated question about a complex real estate concept, two days feels like too long to wait for an answer.
Sales Accelerator Program & Continuing Education
Many are surprised that their real estate education is heavy on the math, vocab, and regulations, and light on actually starting and running a real estate business. That’s why we like that The CE Shop has partnered with SERHANT., a top New York-based brokerage started by Ryan Serhant, to give students a crash course in sales, marketing, and branding. Aspiring agents who want a sales-based launch into the industry can combine The CE Shop’s prelicensing courses with the best-selling Sell It Like Serhant course through their Prelicensing Sales Accelerator program.
Sell It Like Serhant Course: How to Build Your Personal Brand (In-depth Review)
And I would be remiss not to include information on The CE Shop’s famed continuing education program. After all, the “CE” in The CE Shop originally stood for continuing education. The advantage to having CE as part of your education provider’s offerings is that it’s all in one place. When you need to finish that renewal course work (maybe even at the last minute), everything is right there, ready to complete and submit to your licensing board.
I also appreciate The CE Shop’s range of interesting courses. In South Carolina, one can take classes as diverse as Assistance Animals and Fair Housing, Working with Real Estate Investors, and Serving the Unique Needs of the Senior Market.
The CE Shop Student Experience
The CE Shop Video Walk-through
Our video walk-through gives an in-depth look at The CE Shop’s custom-designed online learning platform, LEAP. Understanding the interface is key to understanding the student experience.
One of The CE Shop’s greatest advantages is its user interface, which runs on a custom-designed online learning platform called LEAP. I appreciated its clean look, ease of use, and variety of activities for student engagement. I talk about these in more detail in our walk-through video review.
Room for Improvement
The CE Shop focused on creating mobile-friendly technology with an appealing and easy-to-use interface. However, there is room for improvement as The CE Shop continues to grow.
No Livestreaming or Live Instruction Options
While The CE Shop approach works for some, it’s not a good fit for certain types of learners, such as those who thrive on live instruction. Real estate education introduces complex concepts and it feels limiting to not have an option for livestream or in-person instruction.
No Direct Access to Instructors
Not only is there no live instruction, there is no direct access to instructors at all. If a student has a question, they must pose it to the support team, who will then send it out to the proper contact or instructor. While there is a promise to respond within two days, I feel that this is too long to wait when trying to progress through a course with a ton of detailed concepts.
The truth is that all online real estate education is somewhat text-heavy. It requires a great deal of self-motivation and the ability to teach oneself based on content provided. The CE Shop is no exception. The courses are dense and the lesson resources can be even more so. While The CE Shop does a better job than most education providers of making the content varied, there is room for improvement—add more videos and other active learning strategies.
Final Verdict on The CE Shop
I strongly recommend The CE Shop for any student who doesn’t need live instruction. I like that they offer exam prep and continuing education in all 50 states. Also, discounts and promotions make these some of the most affordable and comprehensive packages available. With their outstanding pass rate, flexibility, and easy-to-use interface, The CE Shop is one of the best options on the market.
Over to You
I hope that this review has given you valuable insight into The CE Shop student experience and that you have all of the information you need to decide if The CE Shop is the right online real estate education provider for you.
Do you have experience with The CE Shop or other online schools? Have specific questions? Leave a comment below!