Enrolling in the best real estate school can help you launch a successful, long-term career. For those who enjoy helping people and have a bit of sales savvy about them, taking a few real estate classes can be an excellent way to achieve your goals. A career in this field is financially lucrative, constantly changing, and rewarding. The U.S. Department of Labor says that, from 2016 to 2026, there will be a need for nearly 25,000 additional real estate agents.
What’s even better is that you can take many of the real estate classes you need to obtain a degree right online. It is possible to earn a degree in real estate online.
Are Online Real Estate Schools a Good Way to Get Your Education?
The short answer here is yes! There are countless benefits to enrolling in an online real estate school for your education. If you’re not sure if its right for you, consider the alternative. You could spend eight hours a day at a local school learning. This option means spending a great deal of your time in a local program. It doesn’t give you national exposure and may not offer anything better than online real estate school classes.
Most of the time, the real estate schools available online are within a college or university’s Business Administration area. That means you can also take complementary programs to flesh out your skills if you want to do so. This may include management, marketing, accounting, or sales-oriented paths.
Even better, many of these bachelors, master, and online certificates are all from accredited schools. In other words – they are recognized by local real estate commissions who govern your licensing requirements.
What to Expect in an Online Real Estate School
Several options exist for online real estate education. Depending on what you hope to learn and your current level of education, you may find a wide range of options available to you through online real estate schools.
Keep in mind that state laws change from one location to the next. For example, an Arizona real estate school must be approved by the Arizona Department of Real Estate to meet the state’s licensing requirements. Dozens of colleges, private schools, and online schools may qualify. The Colorado real estate school requirements are a bit more flexible offering both in-state and out-of-state schools both online and locally.
In many states, you do not need an actual bachelor’s degree to practice real estate. Rather, you’ll need to complete specific classes and credit hour requirements before sitting for the state’s licensing exam.
Online Certificate Programs by Universities
Because most states do not require a full bachelor’s degree in real estate to begin practicing, many schools offer an online certificate program. These are still high-quality educational paths, those with a solid amount of insight into the industry and the skills necessary to succeed in the field.
If you choose to go this route, it’s important to ensure the certification program meets all educational requirements under your state’s real estate board. This may include accreditation as well as course hour requirements. Here are some of the best online certificate programs in real estate.
- Real Estate Express: Perhaps one of the most recognized online real estate schools, it offers both affordable access to state licensing courses. It has a comprehensive level of education available online and flexible programs.
- Hondros College: For years, this school was locally based. However, it now offers online real estate educational paths for those seeking a certificate. It’s an excellent program for its comprehensive options and state-specific support. It also offers courses in drones, inspections, and brokerage.
- AceableAgent: This real estate school is a newer option. It’s state-approved in most states. Individuals can take courses at their own pace whenever they desire. You can use these courses to get your license, learn specialized areas, or to get continuing education credits.
- Kaplan: Kaplan offers real estate education and licensing courses. You can use this program in all 50 states to achieve your required education to sit for your license. It’s big on flexible schedules and home-based study.
- 360training: Designed to be an efficient way to earn your degree, 360Training is ideal for those switching careers. It is also one of the more affordable options on the market. You can sign up today and start learning.
- VanEd: A real estate school and appraisal school, VanEd is an excellent choice for real estate education done fully online. You can complete it at your own pace, but professionals working in the industry are available to you by phone or email at any time.
- Barnes Real Estate School: This particular school offers all of the features of an online school, but is more specific for those in Oklahoma. It includes pre-license, post-license, broker courses, and continuing education.
- Cooke Real Estate School: This school offers a self-paced program for students in most states prepping for their real estate license. It is comprehensive and offers a small-school feel.
State Pre-Licensing Prep
Pre-licensing work can help you to prepare for your state-required exam. Perhaps you have taken a few real estate classes some time ago. You may be working towards renewing your license. These pre-licensing educational programs give you information and a refresher.
Pre-licensing prep for real estate is beneficial to help you study and prepare for your real estate exam. Many times, students take this type of educational path when they want a fast route into real estate and already have some educational background in this field.
Many online programs offering pre-licensing real estate education are just fine for those starting out. The key here is to compare their offerings to ensure they meet your state’s requirements. Here are some school recommendations.
- McKissock Learning: This program is a short few weeks long option, but it can help students meet pre-licensing educational requirements. It’s interactive and designed to provide busy professionals with flexibility.
- TheCEShop: The pre-licensing education offered here is done fully online and is approved by the real estate commission in most states. There’s also a five-day free trial which makes it a good option for students unsure if this is the right path for them.
Bachelor’s Degree in Real Estate Online
For those just starting out and hoping to earn a bachelor’s degree, is a good idea. Though it is not a requirement in some states to have this degree, it nearly always offers advantages to the student. You’ll have a more advanced career and better sales skills. To obtain a bachelor’s degree in real estate, look to accredited colleges and universities offering these programs online. Here are some examples.
- Ashford University: A leading business and technology school, this location offers a Bachelor of Arts in Real Estate Studies completed fully online. This is an excellent option for those starting out as well as those already working in real estate who hope to earn a full bachelor’s degree.
- Purdue University: This well-recognized university offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a real estate focus for students.
- University of Memphis: Students can obtain a professional real estate certificate here, or they can minor in real estate to obtain a full bachelor’s degree. The online program is a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, with a minor in real estate.
- University of Florida: With a full Bachelor of Arts or Science in Business Administration and Real Estate, this school is one of the most spot-on options for students.
- Liberty University: A smaller, private college in person, the online options for real estate are excellent. Students will earn a Bachelor of Science in Business administration and Finance with a real estate focus.
Online bachelor’s degree programs are a bit more challenging to enroll in for some people. They take more time to complete and may require taking a set number of course hours of work to complete the school’s graduation requirements. Yet, they are becoming more readily available.
Master’s Degrees in Real Estate Online
Once you obtain your degree and start working in the field, you may want to further it. Though it is not usually a requirement to obtain a master’s degree, many people seek this out, especially if they hope to grow their career further.
A master’s degree is flexible when you enroll in it online. A master’s degree may help you round out skills you may want more help with, or it can help you to advance the current skills you have to a managerial level. Many will take this course path prior to becoming their own brokerage. Here are some schools offering an online master’s degree in real estate.
- University of Illinois at Chicago: Within the school’s Liautaud School of Business, students can earn an MBA in the area of real estate. This course requires 54 credit hours and takes about 18 months. However, you can work it at your own pace.
- Georgetown University: This Ivy League school has a 33-credit hour online master’s degree available for real estate. It takes a bit longer at two years but is also self-paced for most students.
- University of Arizona: The Master of Real Estate Development degree is a bit different. Because of the fast-pace of development in Arizona, this program can be highly sought after.
Continuing Education in Real Estate Online
Most states require students to enroll in continuing education after they get their license and begin working the field. You may be required to take a certain number of approved credit hours of study. Many times, you can get your continuing education in real estate online. That is very important for those working to build their career and may not have time to enroll in in-school programs. Here are some online options to consider. Also, note that many of the previously mentioned online schools for real estate also offer continuing education hours!
Kaplan: A number of continuing education options are available here. This school offers several online, including fully online training as well as live classroom courses. It meets continuing education requirements for many states.
National Association of Realtors: One of the best routes comes directly from the industry’s leading association. There are a number of continuing education options available through the NAR. It’s also a great resource to find out what your state’s CE requirements are.
OnCourse Learning: This is an easy continuing educational format that’s designed to be fully online. The courses are also meant to support you with value-added features. They often use industry experts to support your educational path.
Are There Free and Low-Cost Real Estate Schools Available Online?
To be frank, there may be free online real estate schools available, but they may not meet the specific requirements set by your real estate commission. If you choose an organization like this, it’s always important to consider the value it can provide to you.
Discounted options may be available. For example, the American Public University offers a lower costing option that’s accredited. It only provides an Associate of Arts in Real Estate Studies, but that may work for many students.
Another example is Cornell University. It offers a short, three-month program that results in a commercial real estate certificate. It’s designed to be quick and easy to get but may not fulfill licensing requirements. It can offer a nice specialization to your degree, though.
What Will You Learn in a Real Estate Degree?
Though coursework changes between bachelor’s and certificate programs, most students learn everything there is to know about real estate based on what their state’s real estate commission requires. Some of the courses you are likely to take include:
- Income property appraisal
- Real estate laws in your state
- Urban economics
- Real estate finance
- Real estate management (including property management)
- Commercial real estate
- Professional selling
- Environmental factors in real estate
- Marketing in real estate
- Real estate appraisals
- Principles of real estate selling
There’s a wide range of opportunity to specialize your degree, too. Some students may wish to focus on commercial real estate. Others may want to focus on property management and financial advising. Many electives exist in these programs to give you the flexibility you desire.
Can You Make Money with an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Real Estate?
With real estate, you control how much you earn. There is no doubt that you can build a career in this field. Once you take the necessary classes and sit for your licensing exam, you are able to set out to work. Most students work with a local brokerage for several years or for their entire career. Some will expand to own their own brokerage, increasing their earning power.
The U.S. Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that real estate brokers earn about $79,000 annually, as a median wage. Many earn much more than this.
What Are the Benefits of Online Instead of a Real Estate School Near Me?
Individuals must consider their own goals and needs when determining if this is the right educational path for them. However, there are key benefits to enrolling in online real estate education:
#1: Self-Paced Study
Learn at your own pace. If you have an hour to dedicate to your education each day, use it. You may want to enroll in a program that’s fast-paced so you can get to take your licensing exam faster. This is an option in some programs.
#2: Affordable Education
The cost of real estate education online varies significantly. Generally, you can expect to pay between $8,000 and $25,000 depending on where you go to learn and what type of program you enroll in. Many certificate programs are much more affordable than this.
Additionally, some brokerages will pay for you to take courses. Some will sponsor you or pay for your education until you earn the funds back after getting your license.
#3: More Comprehensive Learning Options
A nice benefit of enrolling in online education is that you have industry experts from around the country available to you. You can specialize your education in any area that fits your goals. While your local educational programs in real estate may not offer this type of flexibility, you’ll find it readily available online.
#4: Get All of the Education You Need
There’s a lot to learn in real estate. Most of the time, agents need to continue learning as they go. For example, schools like 360training provide you with pre-licensing courses, continuing education, and specialized focus.
You can get the type of education you need at any time. That means you can study for your initial exam, study for your reinstatement exam, get the continuing hours of education required, and advance your skills in masters level programs.
#5: Make Career Change Easy
You want to work in real estate, but you can’t afford to just quit your current job. It’s hard to make a transition like this happen in many cases. However, with online real estate classes available, you can do just that.
You can learn at night or on the weekends when it works for you. You do not have to break up your current work schedule to drive to a college, take a class, and drive home. That means you don’t have to sacrifice a lot of family time to get your real estate degree. For many people, this is one of the key benefits to enrolling in online education.
What Makes for the Best Real Estate School?
The best real estate school is one that gives you what you need to excel. You can take real estate classes at any of these programs, but what makes one the best over the other? They cater to your needs. The schools listed here are considered the top-level options, though others exist. Take a look at what factors make schools stand above the others out there.
#1: Easy Access
You need a school that’s accessible to you no matter what your existing background is. Most require high school diplomas, but no other educational requirements. They are also available to you in various formats that make it easy for you to learn, including:
- Live classes
- Online based curriculums
- Self-paced programs
- Hybrid offerings between local and online education
Choosing the best real estate school is important, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to get to that point. These schools are designed to provide you with a more affordable way to study. They can offer lower prices because their programs are online-based. That means they don’t have to pay for buildings and classroom materials.
Many do not require you to buy expensive course books either. This can drastically help you to cut down on your expenses while getting a career-quality level of education.
#3: Excellent Variety in Courses
You need more than just the principles of real estate. It’s best to choose a school that offers a comprehensive range of educational material and insight for you. The best school do this by offering you benefits such as:
- Complimentary learning, such as learning digital marketing concepts for real estate or exploring financial aspects of home buying
- Courses for investment not just selling
- Options designed specifically for commercial real estate
#4: State-Approved Courses
You don’t want to end up sitting down for your exam with the state and not having the real estate education you need. The best programs are designed specifically for your state’s testing requirements. They cover local laws and industry standards, not just a broad range of real estate knowledge.
#5: They Are Well Respected
You may not have realized online real estate school was a legitimate option. Now you know that some of the leading colleges and universities in the United States offer online degree programs in this area. When you are able to list a big school name on your resume, you know that is going to turn heads when you are working to find big clients and industry movers and changers to partner with in your career.
Which are the best real estate school options for your needs? Consider the schools mentioned here as well as the best real estate schools in your state. Learn as much as you can about the programs and determine which one fits your goals the best before you enroll.