The 5 Best Online Real Estate Schools of 2022

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed Agent8/31/2022

aa-trophy-smallReal estate agents have ranked the very BEST real estate courses in the country to make sure you start your new career right.  Want to see the full, in depth editor reviews for each school? Check out our 100% free guide to the best real estate schools (includes the latest 2022 pricing, reviews, pass rates, and more).

To find these schools, you need to carefully analyze your options and know what is offered. While there are hundreds of real estate schools, only a handful of them have stood above the competition and shown they provide a professional education service for every step of a real estate career.

In an effort to help you find the education provider that provides you with the classes and courses you need, we’ve assembled the top online real estate schools in the US. Following is a detailed analysis of what they offer, how they offer it, and what are the best and the worst aspects of studying with every school.

Best Overall Online Real Estate School: AceableAgent

Runner Up: The CE Shop

Best Value: Real Estate Express

Best on a Budget: RealEstateU

Honorable Mention: Kaplan

Best Overall: AceableAgentaceable logo

Editor’s Score: A+

Top Feature: Ability to study on the go with the mobile app

Why we chose it: Although it’s a newer real estate school, AceableAgent has quickly gained popularity in the states where it offers its services. They are exclusively a real estate education provider with courses for every step of a real estate career, from pre-licensing to continuing education and career advancement. The courses are approved by state regulatory bodies in each of the states they provide pre-licensing education.

In addition to this, AceableAgent is one of the first and the few real estate schools that have designed their courses to be compatible with both web and mobile apps, which gives students the extra flexibility to study on the go. And while it’s still not available in as many states as other older real estate schools, it’s a true hit in the states where it has introduced its services.

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Overview: There are 3 pre-licensing packages to choose from. All three come with the required coursework. The courses are also fully online, and accessible from any device. Students can use their desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, or any combination of devices. 

The most significant advantage of studying with AceableAgent is the fact that you get courses developed by experienced professionals from the real estate world. Aceable is also accredited by ARELLO, and continues to add more interactive coursework as they develop curriculum for more states.

Another significant advantage AceableAgent offers to students is the ability to study on the go. Previous students enjoyed the ability to make the most out of their time by studying wherever they wanted to.

Students have also praised the study videos offered by AceableAgent and how everything is broken down into short and straightforward bits that help them process the material quicker and easier.

AceableAgent ProsAceableAgent Cons
A mobile app for studying Course access lasts for 12 months
The highest pass rate among schools with 1,000+ studentsSome bugs on the mobile app
Simple and easy to process study materialsLimited technical support

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Runner Up: The CE Shopceshop

Editor’s Score: A

Top Feature: Course is easy to follow, high pass rates among students

Why we chose it: The CE Shop offers a variety of real estate education options with an interactive and inquiry-based approach in their studying methods. While their focus is mainly continuing education (as its name suggests), they offer a variety of educational opportunities pre-licensing courses, exam prep, post-license education, and continuing education.

Their courses are accredited by ARELLO and as proof of their reputation, The CE Shop has received numerous awards, including:

  • Online education program of the year
  • Nomination as the best place to work by Denver Business Journal
  • Community Service Award  for their CE Shop Foundation and our Core Value of “We Give Back”

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Overview: The CE Shop’s pre-licensing courses can be taken in 34 states, through four different course packages: Courses Only, Standard Package, Value Package, and Premium Package. Every package comes with business ebooks, career resources, downloadable resources, real estate glossary, digital flashcards, study schedule, and access to instructor-led webinars.

The CE Shop’s past students have praised the content of the courses, both pre-licensing and post-licensing ones. Everyone found the materials very useful to extend their knowledge and easy to follow and memorize, which is why they have one of the highest ratings among online real estate schools.

While The CE Shop doesn’t cover other industries or areas, they have a section Agent Essentials where Agents and Brokers can access free resources to advance their career, get the latest news from the industry, and develop their professional skills and knowledge. The blogs, ebooks, videos, podcasts, and webinars in this section are regularly updated to match the latest changes in regulations so students can receive the latest information.

The CE Shop ProsThe CE Shop Cons
Multiple study package materials and monthly payment plansOnly text-based study materials
The widest variety of course topicsMaterials take longer to complete than the predicted course time
Unlimited practice tests Broad exam prep questions
Frequent discounts and promotionsDoesn't cover real estate math well

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Best Value: Real Estate Expressreal estate express

Editor’s Score: A

Top Feature: Ability to study at your own pace

Why we chose it: Real Estate Express was founded in 1996, making it one of the longest-standing real estate schools in the US. They’ve been a pioneer in providing online real estate education for every step of a real estate career, from pre-licensing to exam prep, post-licensing, and finally, continuing education. To date, Real Estate Express has helped over 400,000 professionals launch and develop their real estate careers.

Real Estate Express is part of Colibri Group, a family of brands that provide education for licensed professionals from different industries: real estate, property appraisal, nursing, mental health, cosmetology, engineering, and massage therapy.

The real estate courses provided by Real Estate Express are accredited by both ARELLO and IDECC, proving they adhere to the highest real estate educational principles and regulations.

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Overview: Another major benefit of studying with Real Estate Express is the ability to study at your own pace. You can track your progress and plan your study schedule in a way that best fits your goals and time, which is something that students often praise about REE’s courses.

As with most self-paced courses, studying with Real Estate Express requires a lot of discipline and strong will. In addition to this, a lot of students complained about the test prep and quizzes that were sometimes confusing to them.

Colibri Real Estate ProsColibri Real Estate Cons
Different course and package options Course access expires six months after purchase
Created by real estate prosConfusing study materials 
Pass or don't pay guaranteeLower pass rates than other top-ranking schools
A lot of study materials providedOutdated materials for the state portion

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Best on a Budget: RealEstateUrealestateu

Editor’s Score: A-

Top Feature: Most affordable courses available

Why we chose it: RealEstateU is a relatively new real estate company compared to the other ones on this list. It opened its doors less than a decade ago, but has gone very quickly in that time. To date, the school has had over 60,000 students take their classes, all of which are approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and ARELLO.

The main focus of RealEstateU is to provide audio classes that students can listen to on a computer, smartphone, or tablet anywhere they are. RealEstateU provides the best courses for someone wanting to study while on the go. The course package includes:

  • Several chapters that are broken down into separate lessons.
  • Audio lectures with related key terms. The lessons may also include an infographic/diagram, a supporting document, or a mini-quiz.
  • A multiple-choice quiz.
  • After completing the last chapter in the course, you will be eligible to take the course final exam.

The final exam is proctored online by ProctorU, and once you pass it, you will also receive a certificate of completion. Keep in mind that the courses have to be completed within one year.

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Overview: One of the biggest perks of RealEstateU is the low price point. It is by far one of the most affordable courses. They focus heavily on discounts and promo codes, so you can often find the pre-licensing courses for as low as $99. However, don’t let the price be the only factor you consider when looking for a pre-licensing education provider.

Another advantage of studying with RealEstateU is the flexibility of taking the classes at your own pace. All their classes come on audio files that can be played on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, which means you can study on the go. There are no mandatory in-person classes.

Previous reviews from students also state that the instructors holding the classes are very knowledgeable and easy to understand.

RealEstateU ProsRealEstateU Cons
Affordable prices and high discountsStudy materials don't go in-depth 
Flexibility with taking the coursesNo live instructor help
30-day money-back guaranteeNo additional study materials included

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Honorable Mention: Kaplankaplan logo

Editor’s Score: B

Top Feature: Most versatile courses available

Why we chose it: Kaplan is one of the world’s leading education providers with a history spanning over 80 years. Kaplan offers students the option to choose how they want to take the classes with the following options:

OnDemand: Features pre-recorded classes. This delivery method has two packages you can choose from: The On-Demand Solution and the Career Launcher package.

Live online: you can do it from your office or home without having to commute. The available course packages are Live Online Solution and Career Launcher Live Online Package under this delivery method.

Textbook Home Study: Includes a printed-textbook with some chapters offered online. You can also choose from two different packages within this category: Home Study Solution and Career Launcher Home Study Package. The offered packages can be either taken fully, with all courses included or individually through any of the delivery methods.

Overview:  When studying with Kaplan, the courses you get are written by people who work in real estate, giving you some valuable insight into a specific area that some other providers don’t necessarily provide. There are multiple course packages, so anyone can choose the delivery method and price that best suits their financial and educational needs.

Users have also praised Kaplan for the additional study resources they provide during their courses. Students get access to a lot of interactive course study groups and online learning tools that will help them ace the real estate exam on the first try.

Most complaints on their official website and reviews left on Agent Advice were towards the test prep program. Some of the students found it a bit redundant, and others complained about the instructors who teach the curriculum.

Kaplan ProsKaplan Cons
Can choose between in person, online, or hybrid coursesLack of tutoring assistance
Instructors are people working in real estateRedundant materials 
High pass rates Hard to get a refund

360Training  360-training-logo

Editor’s Score: C

Top Feature: Text-based studying through electronic PDFs

Why we chose it: 360Training used to be a bigger part of the real estate education, though AceableAgent have surpassed it due to customer satisfaction issues.

Currently, 360Training has two types of course packages: Basic and Premium.

Although it was once one of the biggest real estate schools, 360Training has fallen drastically in the ratings. It didn’t take long for the school to dip below 4 out of 5 stars with almost 25% of the reviewers marking their courses with a terrible, 1-star rating.

The biggest complaints were about how confusing the course material was. Many also noted that they initially went with 360 Training because of the extremely low price point, but later had to end up taking courses through another school because they had not retained any of the information from 360.

Overview: As an education provider with over 20 years of experience, 360Training has developed study programs that are straightforward and easy to understand. As they are fully online, you can access your courses whenever you want, which allows you to plan your study time and study at your own pace.

The courses also come at a more affordable cost than some other providers, which is another advantage to consider. There is also customer support seven days a week, which is rarely offered by other real estate education providers.

There are currently a lot of complaints about the study materials. Students complain about the lack of interactive studying methods as most of the materials are PDFs and not as engaging as other delivery methods. Some complaints are also directed towards the content of the courses. Students have noticed that the courses’ topics are not updated and relevant to current state and national licensing exams.

Other users complained about their customer service. They ranked it as “one of the worst” as they take longer to reply and sometimes don’t adhere to their refund policy.

There were also a few reviews that complained about the technical aspects such as the system crashing, slow response, software issues, and similar problems.

360Training Pros360Training Cons
Simple and easy to understand the contentStrictly text-based materials 
Flexibility to study at your scheduleProblems with the software
Free phone support seven days a weekSlow support response

 

Our Methodology

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:

1.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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

online-class

 

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

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.

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