Best real estate schools for 2024 – Fortune

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Real estate is the ultimate work-hard, play-hard profession. Some of the most successful real estate agents can bring home hefty salaries and eventually build out their own brokerage and personal brand. Real estate is not easy, though; it can very easily tip the scale when it comes to work-life balance. 

But for those who are self-starters and are invigorated by challenge, negotiation, and most importantly, helping others find buy, sell, or rent property, real estate can be a great career. While there is relatively little barrier to entry, real estate school is part of the early journey. Each state does have different requirements when it comes to how to get your real estate license, but Fortune has tried to make the process a little easier with our top picks for the best real estate schools for 2024.


Buy/sell, rent/lease residential &
commercials real estate properties.

Best overall: Aceable Agent

Aceable Agent self-describes their school as being for the “modern student.” Pre- and post-licensure training, exam prep, and continuing education programs are offered in over a dozen states with large populations. Students are taught from interactive learning modules with videos from real estate experts.

Why we picked it: By having affordable price points, a reasonable cancellation policy, and even a pass guarantee program, Aceable Agent understands how to make online learning reasonable. The organization is also transparent with course pass rates and has a modern app for learning on-the-go. Students are put at the forefront, with many ways for them to receive assistance, including private tutoring, live Q&A sessions, and even an AI-powered virtual instructor.

Aceable Agent

Price $149–$779
States offered 13
Format Online
Pass rate 91% (national)
image

Pros

  • Financing options
  • Pass guarantee
  • Mobile app
  • Pass rate transparency

Yes

  • AZ, CA, FL, GA, MI, NY, NC, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA

No

  • AK, AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, RI, SD, UT, VA, VI, VT, WI, WV, WY

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Best for on a budget: RealEstateU

RealEstateU emphasizes flexibility and affordability through its real estate training. In fact, it specifically designs its coursework to get students through real estate school “as quickly and efficiently as possible.” Students can access the training on their mobile device, listen on-the-go through its audio courses, and even download materials. 

Why we picked it: RealEstateU’s pre-licensure training packages are oftentimes less than $100 (even as low as $69 for some states). While there are added packages students can purchase, such as additioanl study guides, agent success course, and more, they are also affordable ways to learn. While there is no pass guarantee policy, students can refund the course within 30 days (subject to a $20 fee) as long as it is not more than 50% complete.

RealEstateU

Price (pre-licensure packages) $69–$503
States offered 14
Format Online
image

Pros

  • Financing options

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • No pass guarantee

Yes

  • CA, FL, GA, MI, MO, NY, NC, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI

No

  • AK, AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, RI, SD, UT, VA, VI, VT, WV, WY

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Best for brand awareness: Kaplan

Kaplan Real Estate offers pre-licensure training in 30 states and post-licensure, continuing education, and exam prep training in many more. Kaplan has an expansive real estate resources page, which includes practice exam questions, FAQ page, industry news, webinar recording archives, and a community forum. Students are also able to schedule 1-1 consultation meetings with a member of their team to ask questions.

Why we picked it: Kaplan is well-known company for its test prep and education programs in various subjects. Looking at search engine search volume, Kaplan exceeds the popularity of any other real estate company. Kaplan also has been in business for decades, and its real estate arm has 4.5 out of 5 average on its Trustpilot review page.

Kaplan Real Estate

Price (pre-licensure packages) $179–$1,359
States offered 30
Format Online (In-person option in FL)
Pass rate 55.14% (TX)
image

Pros

  • Financing options
  • Pass guarantee

Cons

  • No mobile app, but mobile compatible

Yes

  • AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL*, GA, IA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI; *Bob Hogue School of Real Estate, powered by Kaplan

No

  • AK, CT, DC, DE, HI, ID, IN, KY, LA, ME, MT, ND, NE, NH, OH, OK, OR, RI, SD, VT, WV, WY

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Best for continuing education: VanEd (360Learning)

VanEd’s real estate training can be accessed anytime, anywhere—with online chat and toll-free phone support avaliable for students. It offers a variety of learning packages, everything from the bare minimum pre-licensure hours to premium additions like a career kickstart course or an exam practice workbook.

Why we picked it: In each state, VanEd has a catalog of individual continuing education courses students can take to keep up-to-date with their licensure requirements or simply learn more about a topc that interests them. For example, individuals can learn more about water resources, contracts, or ethics. Over 100 of these courses have been certified by ARELLO-IDECC.

VanEd

Part of 360Training

Price (pre-licensure packages) $75–$799
States offered 14
Format Online
Pass rate 38.10% (TX)
image

Pros

  • Financing options

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • No pass guarantee

Yes

  • AL, CA, CO, FL, GA, MO, MT, NE, NY, OK, SC, TX, VA, WA

No

  • AK, AR, AZ, CT, DC, DE, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY

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Best for student support: Colibri Real Estate

Colibri Real Estate has trained more than 520,000 students across the country, with pre-licensure training available for 40 states as well as Washington, D.C. Additionally, it offers exam prep, post-license, continuing education, broker, and luxury real estate training. Colibri has been in business for more than 25 years and notably has a page listing out names and biographies of their instructors.

Why we picked it: Colibri provides multiple ways for students to be connected with the program, including live Q&A sessions, 1-1 calls, and email support. It also has a thorough FAQ page. Colibri notably offers a pass guarantee, meaning if you take the pre-licensure training and exam prep package and still do not pass, they will provide students their money back.

Colibri Real Estate

Price (pre-licensure packages) $118–$1,999
States offered 40 + D.C.
Format Online
Pass rate 54.82% (TX)
image

Pros

  • Financing options
  • Pass guarantee
  • Partnership with real estate coaching organization, Buffini & Company

Cons

  • No mobile app

Yes

  • AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY

No

  • CT, DE, ID, NH, NM, ND, SD, WV

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Best nation-wide: The CE Shop

The CE Shop offers education programs for those looking to learn more in the worlds of real estate, mortgage, and appraisal. Its website notes that its courses are constantly evolving, similar to the fields they focus in, and are written by industry experts. The CE Shop has a career hub for agents learn about state requirements and ways for agents to grow their business. The company also has a bookstore for textbook purchases.

Why we picked it: The CE Shop offers pre-licensure real estate training for individuals in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C.— the most of any online school. It also publicly shares the pass rates of licensure exams in 20 states.

The CE Shop

Price (pre-licensure packages) $139–$1,859
States offered 45 + D.C.
Format Online
Pass rate 64% (National)
image

Pros

  • Financing options
  • Pass guarantee
  • Military discounts

Cons

  • No mobile app

Yes

  • AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

No

  • AK, NE, NH, RI, WY

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Best for discounts: Tucker School of Real Estate

The Tucker School of Real Estate offers original online and in-person real estate education for those living in the state of Indiana. Hundreds of students have gone through its pre-licensure and broker training programs that are taught by experienced real estate professionals. Its online program comes with an additional state exam prep course, and all class materials can be downloaded for easy access.

Why we picked it: The Tucker School of Real Estate offers a 50% discount on its 90-hour pre-licensing broker course for all active duty members and veterans of the military as well as firefighters, police officers, EMTs, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, doctors, teachers, and school-employed classroom assistants.

Pros

  • Financing options
  • In-person opportunities
  • Military and first responder discounts

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • $300 retake fee

No

  • AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MP, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Learn more

Best for in-person learning, Illinois: Real Estate Institute

The Real Estate Institute has taught more than 195,000 the ins-and-outs of the real estate world through its education training. For its pre-licensure training, students can learn online self-paced, in-person, or live online for less than $250. The program boasts of “exclusive course materials and resources.”

Why we picked it: Real Estate Institute has pre-licensure training and examination centers in multiple locations in Illinois, largely around Chicago. With more than 9,000 reviews and an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, it appears students believe the organization provides the necessary skills to succeed in the Illinois real estate market.

Real Estate Institute

Price (pre-licensure packages) $149–$239
States offered 1
Format Online or in-person
image

Pros

  • Financing options
  • Pass guarantee
  • In-person opportunities

Cons

  • No mobile app

No

  • AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MP, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Learn more

Best for in-person learning, New York: New York Real Estate Institute

The New York Real Estate has been training New York real estate students for more than 35 years. Individuals can complete its salesperson license course in as little as 10 days, and it boasts of a 95% pass rate on the state exam portion. Additionally students can take its broker, continuing education, exam prep, or career acceleration programs.

Why we picked it: NYREI’s courses are approved by the New York Department of State, and with locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, it provides an experience unique to learn about the competitive New York real estate market in-person with expert faculty and among other students. NYREI notably has lifetime job placement assistance, with is big news considering its partnerships with NYCREX and firms like Corcoran and Triplemint.

Pros

  • Financing options
  • Pass guarantee (free retakes)
  • In-person opportunities
  • Hiring partners + job placement

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • No financial aid

No

  • AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MP, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Learn more

Best for in-person learning, Texas: Champions

For more than 40 years, Champions School of Real Estate has been teaching individuals the necessarily skills to become real estate agents, brokers, loan originators, home inspectors, and appraisers. It has a variety of customer service and career services support, including multiple ways to contact the program and even a virtual study hall.

Why we picked it: Champions has six locations throughout Texas—Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston Galleria, Houston North, and San Antonio—for students to learn in-person, collect materials, and connect with instructors and peers. Because real estate is a field driven by market expertise, if you want to grow your career in Texas, learning directly from Texan experts is the way to go.

Champions

Price (pre-licensure packages) $980–$1,978
States offered 1
Format Online or in-person
Pass rate 68.85% (TX)
image

Pros

  • Pass guarantee
  • Military discounts
  • Multiple in-person opportunities

Cons

  • No financing options
  • No mobile app
  • No pass guarantee

No

  • AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MP, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Learn more

Our methodology

Finding where to start can oftentimes be one of the most difficult tasks when making a leap into a new field. Real estate is no exception, with there being countless ways to meet the requirements for licensure. That’s why in the creation of our methodology, we sought to find some of the biggest and most relevant programs to the Fortune Recommends audience. 

We took a deep dive into more than 20 real estate schools and have included 10 of our top choices.

While a variety of factors were used in considering each persona, these data points were used to overall judge the programs:

  • Price (37.5%): We considered a variety of factors, including the cost of pre-licensure program packages, financing options, and discounts for military and first responders.
  • Customer experience (22.5%): How a program works shapes outcomes, so we looked at the real estate course offerings, including FAQ sections, instructor support, and practice questions.
  • Customer satisfaction (15%): Customers—or the students—are the most important part of any real estate school, that’s why we considered factors like pass guarantee, cancellation policy, and reviews from Trustpilot.
  • National presence (10%): We counted the number of states (plus Washington D.C.) each program provides independent, pre-licensure training.
  • Reputation (7.5%): The longer a school has been around, the greater prestige and experience they have in teaching the best tips and tricks for succeeding in real estate; we also look at the school to see if they had any training accredited by ARELLO and/or IDECC.
  • Learning opportunities (7.5%): While nation-wide programs are largely online, in-person offerings can be in addition to innovative learning like mobile apps.

Our expert panel 

We sought out those with thorough expertise in the nutritionist world for the creation of our ranking: 

  • Paula Monthofer: Licensed realtor in Georgia and Arizona; former president of the Arizona Realtors Association; 2017 Arizona Realtor of the Year; former regional vice president at the National Association of Realtors.
  • Phillip Gutman: Licensed realtor in Florida; founder of Gutman Development Market, a real estate consultancy; formerly led a team of 200 realtors 

We discussed the world of real estate school with them both, the pros and cons of the education process, and some of the top skills and advice for someone interested in getting started in the field. By doing so, we hope to better gauge how to effectively make picks for some of the top schools and help individuals get started in real estate. Neither of our expert panelists were directly involved in the ranking of any programs.

5 skills and attributes real estate agents should have

Real estate school is much different than other education pathways. One of the biggest is that there is not much emphasis placed whatsoever where you received your training, Gutman says. 

“To be a successful real estate agent—it’s not so much the school you’re coming out of, it’s where you land after,” he tells Fortune

While the school process will teach individuals necessary bits of information around rules and regulations on a national and state level, the hands-on skills you obtain on the job and from a broker is where the real learning starts. In fact, it can be “reckless” for a brokerage to not provide a new agent with additional training before dealing independently with consumers, Gutman adds.

Some of the skills and attributes any great real estate agent should have, he says, includes:

  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Likeability
  • Art of negotiation 
  • Market knowledge

The last point in particular, Gutman tells Fortune, is the most important because that is what will help agents defend pricing, know about neighborhoods, and get the best deals for clients.

Above all, for those new to real estate, he explains it is crucial to be aware of the long learning curve. It can take 2-3 months of study and exam time, and then an additional 8–12 months before money starts rolling in.

“You have to do what makes you happy,” Gutman says. “And then the financial and the economic gains come right after.”

What does real estate school teach?

The biggest takeaway anyone should know about real estate school is that it actually does not teach you how to become a real estate expert, Monthofer explains. In fact, she says classes are tied more directly to helping you pass the exam.

“What you’re learning in real estate school is a lot of statute and law, that while important, is not going to apply very often at all to your day-to-day helping clients with their transactions,” she says. 

However, even though it may be more of a check-box process, she emphasizes that people should not be deterred if they have to take the test more than once.

“I know so many amazing realtors that are killing it in the industry, and really showing up for their clients in amazing ways, that had to take it multiple times,” she says.

When considering different programs, it is important to pick what’s best for your own style—whether that be in-person or online. She suggests reaching out to someone who has gone through the course to ask questions—or to even contact your local real estate association.

And even though there is a significant number of real estate agents who quit the profession each year, especially those early in their career, Monthofer says that just doesn’t have to be you. Instead, surround yourself with positivity and the right people and know that success is determined by your own goals.

“Please define success for yourself,” she says. Don’t use somebody else’s ruler to measure your success.”


How long does it take for you to study in real estate?

Real estate education is largely self-paced. If you really focus, you could take all the pre-licensure requirements and study in a week or two, but a few months is probably a better estimate. However, it may take longer to book an examination, pass any background check requirements, or for your state to process everything.

Is the real estate exam hard?

Without studying or taking an exam preparation course, passing the real estate exam can be difficult due to some of the technical and regulatory items you may need to memorize. However, keep in mind that a large number of prospective real estate agents do not pass the exam on the first go around. Several real estate schools offer pass guarantees, meaning you either can retake the test for free or even get your money back. 

How much is a real estate school?

Pre-licensure programming at real estate schools averages between $300 to $900, depending on the state, package, and format. The most basic online training can sometimes cost closer to $100, but additional costs can come with in-person learning and further exam preparation.

How long is a real estate course?

Most online real estate training programs are self-paced, meaning you can complete it as soon as you please. However, some states have restrictions on the maximum amount of time. For example, in North Carolina, individuals have 180 days from enrollment to complete the program, including passing the end-of-course exam.


Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to get your real estate license?

The cost of real estate licensing differs state by state.  According to Fortune’s list, RealEstateU tends to have some of the more affordable pre-licensure training programs. However, exam costs, background checks, and other fees may also apply in certain states.

Which course is best for real estate?

Aceable Agent is the best real estate school for 2024, according to Fortune’s analysis. The school is relatively affordable, offers a pass guarantee policy, and has a modern website and mobile app. While it only offers pre-licensure training for 13 states, it has exam preparation available for everyone.

Can you get a real estate course online?

Yes, there are several companies offering the schooling required to obtain a real estate license. The CE Shop has pre-licensure training in the greatest number of states (45 plus Washington D.C.), but overall it is most important to complete the training for the state you are seeking to become an agent in.


Sources

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned on the title of this site

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