You know you want to become an agent.  You know the advantages of online classes.  But how do you choose what online course to take?  What features should you look for in the course, and what should you look for from the school itself?

There are many options for Online Real Estate Pre-License Courses

There are a wide variety of courses available, from straight text and timer courses, to full video.  You want to make sure the information is presented in a way that is engaging, and understandable.  Text only courses, especially because of state time requirements, can be very tedious, with a wall of words on a webpage being the only thing you see, and having to constantly wait for a timer when you read too fast.  Ideally you should get a course that stimulates in multiple ways, with an audio instructor, and visual examples.  Full on videos can be great, but they aren’t always as effective as other formats that present the information in multiple ways so that it sticks in your memory.  If possible, take a sample class before you pay for a longer course, so that you can see if the format fits your needs and learning style.  If the school doesn’t offer a sample class, or if they hide it behind a registration link, then they may not feel confident in their courses.

What Books are Included?

Look for additional materials.  Is the textbook included?  Is it included in PDF or as a printed book? If the course is audio, and the textbook is included, then you have multiple learning paths covered.  PDF textbooks are often more convenient than print, because you can easily search for a keyword, and find information about it.

How Do You Prepare to Take the Exam?

What about exam preparation?  Since real estate licensing requires that you pass a written exam, do they provide similar practice exams to give you the feel and practice of taking the actual exam? How many exams? You want to make sure you get enough review that you feel confident.  Remember also that practice exams aren’t always best, and you need to be able to review the material in other ways as well, such as repeating classes you don’t remember well, or seeing the information summarized in other ways.

Do They Answer the Phone When You Call?

What if you have questions during the course?  An online course is usually self-driven, so you don’t have direct interaction with an instructor, but when those questions do come up, how are they answered?  Ideally you will have direct access to an instructor during regular business hours, and email support at a minimum during the off hours.  You don’t want to be waiting for answers to your questions, make sure that they provide great support to students.

Consider these 3 things:

  1. What experience and credentials do the staff have?  Look up the instructors on LinkedIn and see what they have done professionally.  Make sure they are qualified to teach the subjects, and that they have the experience to back up their knowledge.
  2. Honesty.  An education institution should be up front about everything to do with their products. The more information you can find about a school and their courses, the more it shows their openness, and efforts to inform their students.   If you feel like their focus is more on selling the class than teaching it, then you may find that their classes have a similar slant.  Call and talk to a live person, and get your questions answered, before you enroll.
  3. What do other students say about the school?  Unfortunately, everyone only takes a pre-license course once, so you won’t find people that have attended multiple schools to get their experience, but check out online reviews, and put more faith in schools that have a lot of good reviews, rather than a few great ones.