Getting Your Real Estate License Online vs. in a Classroom


While real estate courses have traditionally been taught in a classroom, getting an online real estate license has become the more popular option over the last several years. But which is the better fit for you? How does the learning experience differ in real estate courses online vs. classroom?

There are several factors to consider when deciding between getting your real estate license online vs. in a classroom. Let’s take a look at each of those factors to help you make the best decision for your real estate education.  

Can You Take Real Estate Classes Online?

Nearly all states allow you to take your pre-license real estate classes online. And with the 2020 COVID pandemic pushing online education, the few remaining states will likely begin allowing online courses soon. 

At the time of this writing, only the following states require classroom real estate classes:

  • Connecticut (but you could get a Connecticut license online through reciprocity agreements with Massachusetts)

  • Idaho

  • Rhode Island (but you could get a Rhode Island license online through reciprocity agreements with Massachusetts)

So there’s a good chance you can take your real estate classes online!

get your real estate license with aceable

Real Estate Courses Online vs. Classroom

How does the online real estate course experience compare to the classroom real estate course experience?

1. Quality

Course quality is the single most important factor in deciding whether to get your real estate license online or in a classroom. The quality of your class for a real estate license comes down to three things:

  • How engaging the curriculum is, 

  • How well the course prepares you to pass the real estate exam,

  • And how much access you have to instructors and industry professionals.

Engaging Curriculum

It’s difficult to compare the curriculum in real estate courses online vs. classroom because curriculum can vary greatly from one real estate school to the next. And because learning styles vary from student to student.  

In general, classroom courses are mostly lecture-style with some independent reading and possibly a group exercise or two. Online real estate courses can be as uninspired as a pdf version of a textbook or as innovative as interactive, multimedia experiences.

If you simply learn best from face-to-face instruction, a classroom course might be a better fit for you. And if you’re going to go the online route, choose an online real estate school that offers engaging curriculum that will hold your attention and make the material more memorable. 

Preparation to Pass the Real Estate Exam

If your real estate classes don’t prepare you to pass your real estate exam and launch your real estate career, what’s the point of them?

You may be surprised to learn that online real estate courses are just as effective as classroom courses at preparing students to pass the real estate exam. In fact, some data suggests that online courses may even have an edge over classroom courses.

Take Texas for example. The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) publishes the exam pass rates for each real estate school. And when you compare the fully-online Aceable Real Estate School to the traditionally in-classroom Champions Real Estate School, you can see that far more Aceable Real Estate School students successfully pass the exam.

Access to Instructors and Industry Professionals

Some students prefer classroom learning because of the face-to-face interaction with the instructor. But before you discount online courses on this basis, consider the access to instructors and industry professionals that many online real estate schools now offer. 

Many of today’s online real estate schools have instructors available to answer your questions via phone, email, instant message, and even video calls. And just as importantly, many online real estate schools now have a network of active industry professionals who can answer your real estate questions about real-world scenarios.    

2. Convenience

There’s no doubt that it’s more convenient to take real estate courses online than in a classroom. Convenience comes down to when you can learn and where you can learn from.

When to Learn

One of the biggest benefits of getting an online real estate license is that you can work entirely around your unique schedule. With classroom courses, you have to arrange your schedule around the classroom hours, but with online courses, you can fit your coursework in whenever it fits your schedule. 

In addition to this flexibility, you get to work at your online pace when you take real estate classes online. If you’re motivated to complete your real estate courses quickly, you can typically finish your classes in a matter of weeks instead of the months required when you have to stick with the classroom pace.

And unlike classroom learning, self-paced online learning allows you to pause and rewind as needed to make sure you have time to fully understand each concept before moving on.

Where to Learn From

The ability to learn from anywhere is another key advantage of taking real estate classes online. Most online students enjoy learning from the comfort of home, but you could also learn from your favorite coffee shop, a quiet library, or even the beach!

Some online real estate schools even offer mobile-first design, which makes your courses as easily accessible on your tablet or cell phone as they are on your computer. This allows you to make use of downtime like waiting to pick kids up from school or sitting in a waiting room before an appointment.  

And if time is a factor for you because of a tight schedule, keep in mind that online classes allow you to skip commute time completely.

3. Cost

Classroom real estate courses are typically more expensive than online courses because classroom courses have higher overhead costs. The real estate school has to cover the cost of the building, maintenance, and utilities, and they pass these costs on to the students. And classroom courses require an in-person instructor for each class, which costs more than having a pool of instructors available for questions as needed. 

So online schools are able to provide real estate courses at lower rates because online courses are more cost-effective for the school. 

And the online courses don’t just save money in the form of course fees. They also save you money on classroom-related expenses like:

  • Hard copy textbooks,

  • Gas money to and from class,

  • Parking fees on campus, and

  • Child care costs that would be incurred if you needed to leave the kids for class.

Real estate education costs vary greatly by state and by school, but as an example, you can complete your Texas pre-license courses online for under $500, while the same courses would currently cost $980 classroom-based Champions School of Real Estate. 

Enroll in An Online Class for a Real Estate License Today!

For most learners, there’s a clear winner in the real estate courses online vs. classroom debate. Traditional classroom courses just can’t compete with the convenience and affordability of getting an online real estate license. 

So don’t wait another day to take the first step on the path to your new career. Enroll in an online real estate class today!

*This article was updated on 12/2/2020.

Krista Doyle

Want to know more about being a real estate agent?