8 Best Online Real Estate Schools: Discover the Best Real Estate Training Programs in 2021

8 Best Online Real Estate Schools: Discover the Best Real Estate Training Programs in 2021

Maybe you’re a prospective real estate agent (or broker) looking to get your real estate license. Or, maybe, you’re a veteran looking to fulfill your continuing education (CE) requirements, including renewing your NAR (National Association of Realtors) membership.

Where do you turn for all of the different stages in your real estate journey? Well, online real estate schools might help address the situation: these help with education options for real estate agents.

But the thing is, which ones are legit? Which ones cater to beginners (or veterans)? And which ones cover all 50 states, even?

We’ve answered these questions, and more, so you make an informed decision when seeking the best real estate school online.

Top Online Real Estate Schools

  1. Best online real estate school overall – Real Estate Express
  2. Best real estate courses for all states – McKissock Continuing Education Real Estate
  3. Best-value real estate school online – 360 Training 
  4. Top real estate school for interactive instruction – Kaplan
  5. Best online real estate school for test prep – Mbition
  6. Best online real estate school for continuing education – The CE Shop
  7. Top real estate school for specialized designation – Center For Realtor Development 
  8. Best online real estate classes with flexible hours – RealEstateU

1. Real Estate Express – Best Online Real Estate School Overall


  • Approved instructors
  • A wide range of courses
  • Live Q&A hours (for some courses)
  • ARELLO and IDECC certified
  • Money back if you fail


  • Pre- and post-licensing classes in limited states
  • No access to courses after six months

If you’re seeking affordable and comprehensive courses in real estate, Real Estate Express might be worth a try. They offer real estate licensing exam prep classes, prelicensing courses, and CE courses. But what we like most is their pre-license courses are perfect for beginners, which might make for an easier transition into a real estate career.

Real Estate Express is both ARELLO (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials) and IDECC (International Distance Education Certification Center) accredited, boosting its credibility.

The school, which is a constituent of the McKissock group of companies, currently covers 30 states as far as prelicensing courses go. Meanwhile, their post-licensing classes are available in nine states only. You might want to find out if they cater to your state before enrolling for training.

Courses comprise four tiers, with each boasting approved instructors. Just so you get a glimpse of the pricing, the basic course is priced from $119. The “Ultimate Learning” option, meanwhile, is the highest-priced package here. This might make sense as it gives you access to professional development membership, Q&A sessions, and more.

Except for the basic package, Real Estate Express will return your money should you fail your exam. The feature is dubbed “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee,” and it’s applicable in all the listed states, with the exception of Tennessee and Florida.

And while you may not have access to courses after six months, you can pay to extend access for an additional three months.

2. McKissock Continuing Education Real Estate – Best Real Estate Courses for All States


  • Courses are available countrywide
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Access classes in easy-to-digest formats
  • Offers field videos
  • Affordable courses


  • Offers CE courses only
  • Offers courses that are mostly text-based

If you’re looking to fulfill your CE requirements irrespective of your location in the country, McKissock Continuing Education Real Estate might be a good fit for you. They offer a wide variety of real estate education options. Which could end your search if you’re seeking a comprehensive spot for your CE needs. Courses here are mostly text-based, though.

You might want to count on their reliable instructor support, too. Got some questions? Need some clarification? Communicate directly with your instructor via email. This may come in handy if you’re new to real estate online classes.

McKissock Continuing Education Real Estate lets you chat live with other students – a useful feature if you want to learn from your peers or just share materials. 

But what we like most is the platform’s note-taking function. They let you take notes during your coursework: you can export these offline if you want. This might be convenient if you want to apply (some of) your coursework to your real estate business immediately.

This school checks the competitive pricing box, too. Most CE courses sit in the $15 to $35 price range – that’s no more than $10 per credit hour. Package deals are available as well. If you want, you can have 12 hours of CE content for $64.95 – or unlimited access for $110.

Flipping the coin, you might want to look elsewhere if you’re seeking pre-license courses as this school offers CE courses only. It’s why we didn’t choose it as our “best overall” entry.

3. 360 Training – Best-Value Real Estate School Online


  • Affordable pre-licensing courses
  • Offers refunds
  • Purchase separate course materials
  • Partnered with a ton of e-learning ports
  • Approved instructors


  • A non-friendly user interface
  • Pre-licensing courses in limited states
  • Classes are less interactive

With a starting rate of $79 for pre-licensing classes, 360 Training could make for one of the most affordable online real estate schools. And, because they understand you might be on a budget, they let you purchase separate course materials, too. Still, if you feel your wallet is stretching further, you can opt out of the real estate license exam prep courses.

360 Training offers courses that are developed by real estate professionals. The 1997 real estate platform is headquartered in Texas’ Austin area, and it has partnered with more than 1,000 e-learning portals.

This platform lets you choose from individual courses, from pre-licensing to CE and real estate exam prep. Note, pre-licensing options are available in limited states, including Texas, Georgia, Alabama, New York, and Washington. Consequently, you might want to find out if your state is catered to before enrolling.

Note, while you might enjoy the convenience of studying independently, your training may not be as interactive as with other online real estate schools on this list. Nevertheless, 360 Training will return your money if you fail your exam thrice in one of their pre-licensing tiers.

4. Kaplan – Top Real Estate School for Interactive Instruction


  • A wide range of interaction options
  • CE hours are priced reasonably
  • Professional instructors
  • Technical support available 24/7
  • Free unlimited exam attempts


  • The interface is somewhat dated
  • Pricing is comparatively higher
  • Covers limited states

Looking for an interactive learning experience? Kaplan could be the place to be. They have a large pool of interactive features for your pick, depending on how interactive you want your classes to be.

While some classes feature on-demand and live formats, the vast majority of courses here are instructor-led. Consequently, Kaplan might be a good fit if you fancy a more classic approach to studying – while keeping the flexibility of virtual learning intact.

Online lessons are priced from $177, and these boast an Interactive Group Study feature. But what we like most about Kaplan is their two-day Bootcamp. It could be beneficial if you’re a prospective real estate agent (or broker) seeking your first licensure.

The user interface is a bit dated, and some of you may find it’s not friendly enough. This might not subtract from the overall learning experience, though, considering Kaplan boasts a 76.16% overall pass rate in the Texas market.

In the same vein, Kaplan’s comparatively higher pricing might account for the self-paced courses the school offers.

5. Mbition – Best Online Real Estate School for Test Prep


  • ARELLO and IDECC certified
  • An efficient exam prep tool
  • Free webinars available
  • Approved by the Appraisal Foundation
  • Affordable courses


  • CE courses lack variety
  • No access to courses after six months
  • Instructor support is less customized

If you’re looking to just prepare for your real estate exam, Mbition could save you the trouble. This platform boasts a “Prep xL” feature, which caters to test prep hours specifically. And with a whole 1,000 questions at your disposal, a passing score here might help gauge your level of exam preparedness.

The school’s exam prep goes for only $79. It comprises both training and testing modes. The latter mimics a real test, complete with a timer and results with feedback.

This nationally accredited school also offers pre- and post-licensing courses. And it’s not uncommon to bump into some CE classes. Courses are priced from as low as $129 – the pre-licensing higher-tier packages come with a “Pass-Exam Guarantee” feature. Mbition provides textbooks, too – you can buy those separately to help with your training. 

Note, while you can access course materials for six months at Mbition, you can extend access for an extra three months. You only need to pay for it.

You might also want to know that this school was established by instructors with home-inspection experience. Yet, when it comes to instructor support, it may not be as customized, at least comparatively.

6. The CE Shop – Best Online Real Estate School for Continuing Education


  • Access volume discounts
  • Some free trial courses available
  • Access offline study options
  • Large selection of CE online courses
  • CE courses are priced competitively


  • The user interface isn’t as user friendly
  • Pre-licensing courses in limited states
  • Pre-licensing and exam prep courses aren’t separated

For those seeking CE courses, The CE Shop might have a spot for you. This school offers CE classes nationwide (even though course specifics may vary by state), which might be convenient for you. Courses here are available in many selections for your pick. And, if you want, you can purchase individual courses, which are priced from as low as $9. 

In case you’re wondering, The CE Shop offers pre-licensing courses, too, with packages priced from $119. Just ensure you’re residing in one of the limited states the school caters to.

This 2005 real estate school is ARELLO accredited, and their instructors are veterans of the real estate industry. And while you might find the user interface isn’t friendly enough, you don’t want it to compromise your real estate journey.

7. Center for Realtor Development – Top Real Estate School for Specialized Designation


  • Large selection of specialized CE courses
  • The school’s affiliation with NAR boosts credibility
  • Interactive classes
  • Covers all 50 states
  • Frequent discounts


  • A NAR membership requirement for most classes
  • No courses for pre-licensing and prep exams

Maybe you’re just looking to advance your career as a licensed expert? If so, the Center for Realtor Development might be a good place to start.

Their designations and certifications, including green real estate, are available in all of the 50 states. And while most of these designations will fulfill CE credits, they might vary by state. You might want to cross-check it before getting yourself a seat here.

Most of the classes are interactive. You can join remote class discussions and also contact your instructor. Which could make for a convenient place if you’re seeking something close to traditional learning.

And no, you’re not going to find pre- or post-licensing courses here, but it might be just that the platform is designed to cater to real estate agents who want to advance their careers. This could explain why you can’t enroll in the vast majority of the courses here without an existing NAR membership. 

8. RealEstateU – Best Online Real Estate Classes with Flexible Hours


  • Flexible class hours
  • Knowledgeable instructors
  • Enjoy audio-learning format
  • A decent refund policy
  • Affordable courses


  • Pre-licensing courses in limited states
  • Visual content is lacking

RealEstateU boasts courses with flexible hours, which might be helpful if you want to take the classes at your own pace. The school is not only accredited but also boasts knowledgeable instructors.

So, whether you’re a prospective agent (or broker) or are a veteran looking to grow your career in the real estate industry, you may want to give RealEstateU a shot.

Their licensure programs, however, cover seven states, including  Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, and Texas. You might want to check if your state is covered before enrolling for courses here. Yet, with classes priced from $100, RealEstateU might come in handy if you’re on a budget.

From real estate accounting to purchasing multi-family homes, classes at this 2013 real estate school last anywhere from 8 hours to 8 months, depending on the qualification you’re training for.

Online Real Estate Schools: Your Questions Answered

What Is a Real Estate School?

A real estate school offers various courses to help with your real estate journey – whether you’re a beginner or veteran. Classes range from pre-licensing to exam prep and post-licensing. The newbies can get licensed. The experts in the field can take on CE classes to further their careers. And niche professionals can enroll in specially designated courses, including NAR.

Are Online Real Estate Courses Legit?

While you might bump into one or two bogus schools, rest assured there are accredited online real estate schools. To find out if a potential school is legit, check with your state’s list of approved schools – each state has it.

Just don’t overlook your state’s licensing requirements. Familiarize yourself with those before enrolling in a potential real estate school.

How Much Does Online Real Estate Education Cost?

Roughly, online courses are priced between $100 and $1000, approximately. Which is way cheaper than in-person courses that might cost you at least $750. 

Yet, the pricing depends on two things: your state of residence and the type of course – pre-licensing, exam prep, etc. Pre-licensing courses, for instance, won’t have the same price tag as post-licensing classes. CE training is charged differently, too. 

Does Online Real Estate Education Take a Long Time to Complete?

Again, it depends on your state of residence. In New York, for instance, pre-licensure programs could take a whopping 75 credit hours to complete. Meanwhile, in Virginia, the same programs might take you just 45 hours to finish.

Overall, the time taken to complete a pre-licensing course can range anywhere between 24 and 180 hours.

But more importantly, it’s all about pacing. 

Of course, you might want to do the courses at your own pace, based on what works for you conveniently. Consequently, you might take a longer or shorter time to complete a course, even though the program hours stay unchanged.

Can I Take the Real Estate Licensing Exam without Taking a Real Estate Course?

We don’t think so. Each state requires that you complete a certain pre-licensing education requirement before you even qualify to take the exam. The course curriculum and the number of hours are dictated by the respective states’ real estate commissions.

Online Real Estate Courses: The Takeaway

There you have it: the top online real estate schools that might end your search when it comes to real estate education.

Our winner is Real Estate Express. We chose this platform as the best overall because their pre-licensing courses are not only comprehensive but also ideal for individuals with little or no experience. 

Our first and second runner-ups are McKissock Continuing Education Real Estate and 360 Training, respectively. The former offers comprehensive courses countrywide, and the latter gives the best value for the money.

The real estate industry isn’t for everyone, but getting licensed doesn’t have to be daunting, either. We’ve done the heavy lifting so you can hop onto any of our top picks above and get the ball rolling. Good luck!


The reviews and statements published here are those of the sponsor and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or views of Observer.

8 Best Real Estate Schools: Get Licensed with an Online Real Estate Course