Getting Your Real Estate License Online vs. in a Classroom

If you’re thinking about getting a real estate license, one of the first questions you’re going to have to answer for yourself is how you want to take your pre-licensing classes. 

Back in the day, you had to go to a series of in-person classes, but increasingly, people are opting for online real estate pre-license education. In fact, by 2027, there will an estimated 57 million people using online learning platforms. 

But who cares what all those other people are doing. What’s the right choice for you? There are a few things to weigh when making your decision, but we believe that for most people, online learning is the superior choice. Let’s talk about it!

Will It Help You Pass the Test?

Of course you want your pre-licensing course to teach you the ropes of the profession, but the main goal of taking pre-licensing education is to pass the state licensing exam. You want to choose a course that will help you ace your exam the first time. 

And while every student learns differently, a study found that online learning helps students retain between 25% and 60% more information than in-classroom learning. In fact, 77% of academic leaders said online learning was as good or better than classroom learning. Why? There are several reasons.

Interactive Learning

Most in-person classes are conducted lecture-style, with maybe a Q&A at the end. That kind of passive learning is less effective at sticking in your long-term memory. 

Online courses require you to continually engage with interactivities. These keep your brain working and help to solidify what you’re learning. They often include knowledge checks along the way to ensure you’re absorbing the information. That gives you a kind of early warning system if there’s a portion of the course you’re struggling with, so you know where to focus your study.

Plus, with an online class, you can always go back and review anything you’re fuzzy on. The structure of online classes make it easy to find the spot with the information you need to review (you won’t have to scrub through a two-hour video of a lecture). Also, most online classes come with additional tools and resources to supplement your learning.

At Your Own Pace

With online learning, you can move at your own pace. Some people learn best by blocking out a big chunk of time when they can really dive in and find a flow. Others prefer to learn in smaller chunks, or to learn one day and review the next. In an Aceable survey, 84% of respondents said they preferred online learning because they could stop and clarify the material as they go.

In a classroom, you’re beholden to your teacher’s preferred method of delivering the information. With an online course, you’re in charge of the schedule.

Get It Done Faster

A study found online learning takes 40% to 60% less time than in a traditional classroom setting. Online courses give you what you need to succeed without any of the time wasting that can happen in a classroom. 

When classes are structured with a certain amount of time for the teacher to fill, they will fill it whether or not they’re giving you relevant information. With an online course, you’ll only get the information that’s relevant to you, and you’re free to take as much or as little time as you need to learn it. Aceable’s survey found that 80% of respondents said they preferred to learn online because they got to set the pace.

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.

Learn Anywhere, on Your Own Schedule

There’s no doubt that it’s more convenient to take real estate courses online than in a classroom. 82% of people surveyed said they chose online learning because it fit their schedule better or offered more flexibility. Online learning lets you choose both when and where you study.

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. Many people wanting to switch careers to real estate already have a job and other responsibilities like childcare.

With classroom courses, you have to arrange your schedule around the classroom hours, which can be tough, especially when your other responsibilities mean your schedule can change at the last minute with little warning. 

With online courses, you can fit your coursework in whenever it fits your schedule. If life happens and you have to take a few weeks off, you won’t find yourself behind the rest of the class. You can just pick up where you left off.

You can even multi-task and learn. If your course has audio narration, you can listen while you commute or run errands. Bite-sized lessons let you learn while waiting in line or walking the dog.

Where to Learn 

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 people find loud classrooms to be distracting learning environments. Aceable found 77% of respondents preferred online learning because they can control the environment. Work better with music on? Not a problem. Hate fluorescent lights? Don’t turn them on. With an online class, you control the temperature, light levels, noise levels, and ambiance. You can even learn in your jammies surrounded by your snack nest. The learning environment is entirely up to you.

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.

Online Classes Are Cheaper

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. 

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

  • 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 with Aceable.

Ready to get started with an online real estate course? You don’t have to wait for a spot to open up or the next series of classes to begin. You can take the first step today!

Want to get your Real Estate License? Begin your Pre-Licensing Course today!

Get Started Now!
Audrey Ference

*This article was updated on 05/31/23

Want to know more about being a real estate agent?