How Agent Advice Courses are Rated

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed AgentNovember 2, 2022

Young Student Watching Lesson Online And Studying From HomeA successful career path starts with your real estate education. That’s why getting inside knowledge from industry experts is crucial when deciding which course to invest in. We know that there are dozens of course options out there (some of them not so great!), so we’ve taken the work off your plate by scoring the courses available in each state for you.

When coming up with our rankings, we compare several key factors to determine a course’s ability to help students pass their real estate exams. Our in-house real estate experts spend hundreds of hours researching the pros and cons of each school at any given time. 

It’s a very complex task to distill all of our findings down to a single score. At the end of the day, our editors are giving their best opinion of the course or school. But in an effort to make our ratings transparent, here are several of the factors that are looked at.

Some of the top factors considered:

Course content- The quizzes, review sessions, flashcards, and video lectures are all evaluated based on the value they provide. This is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when coming up with our ratings. So, we’ve combed through every aspect of the materials, watching the videos, and taking the quizzes ourselves to check for any content gaps. While we know that each student has their preferred style of learning, our real estate experts have done their homework to see how well the instructors cover the content at hand.

Overall Course Value & Market Dynamics- Not all course are created equal, so it’s important to look at what’s included with your purchase. Some schools charge upwards of $1,500 for a simple PDF textbook, which is why we take into account the price of a course and compare it to the features and extra resources provided to help each student succeed.

Given that courses change all the time and courses can be almost 200 hours of content, editorial grades can change significantly from one review to the next. Little changes can make a big difference in student experience. In some cases, a grade for a course that hasn’t changed can go down. This often occurs when we see student purchase rates go down, and later find out that the price of a course has increased or that a competitor course has gotten much better. All editorial grades are purposely relative to competitor offerings, competitor prices, its own price at a given time vs its historical pricing, and many other reasons.

Student reviews- Student input is a huge factor in our rating system. We hear directly from thousands of Agent Advice agents who have taken these courses themselves. They leave detailed reviews spelling out the parts of the course they enjoyed, while also listing any flaws they came across. We know that each user experience is unique, so our experts listen to the feedback they provide and take that into consideration when determining the course grades.

How easy the courses are to navigate- Our in-house experts also take the user interface into consideration. Some courses are easier to navigate than others, whether it be the checkout process, or the ability to move from lesson to lesson. We run through each course to determine how easy it is for student’s to find important materials, and adjust our grades accordingly. Ease of use is a big make or break for course ratings.

If there are any technical glitches- This is a common complaint among students, as certain schools are more prone to glitches. We test each course to determine if there are any inconsistencies with the audio/video, while also checking to make sure that students can pick up where they left off. The last thing you need is your course timing out in the middle of a lesson.

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Return policies- This is often overlooked, but can become a big deal if you change your mind, or you’re not happy with your course. Some schools don’t offer return policies at all, while others are extremely limited depending on how much of the course you’ve finished. If a pass guarantee option is offered, Agent Advice will also take that into consideration.

On-the-go capability- The effectiveness of a course often depends on how mobile friendly it is. Users want to be able to pick up their device to study on the go. A student’s ability to listen to a lesson in the car, or knock out a practice exam while waiting for an appointment is another factor taken into account when coming up with our overall ratings.

Access- Time is valuable, especially for those looking to complete their pre-licensing requirements while also working full time. Studying may not be your first priority, so it’s important to know that your course will still be available when you do have time. Certain courses expire after 6 months, others will be accessible for up to a year. Our experts take into consideration the window of time you have to complete your course, and adjust the ratings accordingly.

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How We Select Courses for Review

While we try to review as many real estate courses as we can, we can’t cover every school available on the market. We don’t have time to review every course, so we consider these factors when we’re approached with a new school. We consider the top schools in each state, based on the following criteria:

Popularity

As we said before, not all courses are created equal. Some schools don’t have enough students to even warrant a review. Our experts look at the courses that generate the most attention (good or bad), so we can provide you with the most honest feedback before you purchase.

Legitimacy

Before investing in a course, students want to verify that it’s legitimate. They want to ensure they’ll get credit for the hours they log. To figure out if a school meets these standards or not, we look at a few defining factors:

  • Results: Pass rates are a big factor in determining if a school is legitimate. Some schools are open and honest about how many students pass their courses, while others are more discreet about pass rates. We look at the effectiveness of each school based on the number of students who go on to pass the course.
  • Instructor Knowledge: Many students want real world scenarios, they want courses that were written and developed by successful real estate agents. That’s why our top ratings reflect the courses that are taught only by experienced industry professionals.
  • Updated Material: Real estate laws and regulations are ever changing, and our grades reflect the schools that are recycling old and outdated information. We ensure that the courses we rank highly have the most up-to-date resources available.
  • Accreditations: Every single course we rate is approved by your state’s governing body, and is accredited by The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO).
Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 11/2/2022

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