When you want to find the best online real estate training schools, it helps to know a bit about the background of each school and to be able to do comparisons between various top offers.
Here we’ll show a rundown on two such schools that have high numbers of students annually in the state of Texas, and in other states where they operate.
Aceable Agent is a real estate school with a big reputation – a top contender in the industry. Real Estate Express is another leading educator in the field of real estate.
Many of those who are evaluating online real estate schools see Aceable Agent as a relatively traditional offering. However, they also see that Aceable Agent has modernized its curriculum and brought a blended learning process to offering real estate licensing and other real estate courses.
For instance, Aceable Agent contract workshops give students hands-on experience dealing with various types of real estate contract documentation. By bringing students through an interactive model and offering video content, as well as other resources, Aceable Agent helps to prepare students for the real world of real estate in states like Texas, New York, and California.
Aceable Agent is also famous for being a flexible real estate school. Scheduling is convenient and many have touted the excellent customer service model, where students can get support by phone, email, chat, or through various social media platforms. That, along with a pass rate near 90% in Texas, is a strong draw for Aceable Agent.
“The content is well written and easy to follow,” says Jennifer Patterson Wright on Facebook. “It’s presented in a way that helps you remember stuff, too.”
“Aceable Agent is by far the best real estate class that I have ever found!!” says Meagan Barnes. “The courses are engaging and not as boring as the others I have seen. They include your name in the text and even make jokes. I would recommend them to everyone!!”
In addition to liking the humor and jokes added into Aceable Agent’s curriculum to keep things light, students also cite proctoring that is helpful and engaging, and resources that help lead students to “a-ha” moments where they understand the content.
“Clever, well written, and educational!,” writes Amanda Thomas. “I loved it and would highly recommend AceableAgent for online CE hours. The tablet experience was amazing.”
With Real Estate Express, students like the staff responsiveness.
“Very helpful staff,” says Sukhjeet Chhabra Sherry.
“Great customer service, good content, very good course overall,” says Kurt Lanham.
“Woohoo, love it, like any online courses you have to be motivated and disciplined but worth it!!!” writes Penny Richard Bullock. “Pass the Arkansas first attempt today!!! Do all the quizzes and exams … and then review the law the day before and especially the vocabulary and you got this. I took live classes 8 years ago and wished I had done the online course as no one takes the class in another directions!!! Love it and the phone support team especially McKenzie!!!”
Other students serve up less enthusiastic and mixed reviews of the Real Estate Express curriculum and program. It certainly does not get the rave reviews offered up to Aceable Agent on the Facebook reviews section. Take a look in-depth at how RE Express materials help students to prep for a license test.
Here’s another major component that students want to evaluate when comparing online real estate schools.
Format can be very important in helping students to access real estate education.
When presented with one dense PDF with enormous amounts of information, students often get frustrated, especially if they’re sitting on mobile devices, or anywhere besides their desktop workstation at home.
That’s because it’s extremely hard to target a piece of the curriculum if you’re studying, checking resources, or doing other kinds of research.
Students have said that Aceable Agent tries really hard to provide both multiple formats and searchable formats, where students can efficiently and effectively learn on the go. Time is money, and in online real estate training, time is extremely valuable. Students do not have time to try to scan long PDFs with no searchable function.
“Basically, this is the most impressive software I have seen for an online course, of any subject,” writes Tony Crawford at Aceable Agent’s Facebook page, explaining why the format work that the program planners did helps students out a lot.
“The information you need to memorize to pass these exams is not fun, and this is the first company to design something for real estate that has the UI/UX (basically, how easy it is to click around and understand the program) at such an intuitive level of modern web development to make it all easier,” Crawford says. “If you’re not using this program to learn the info, which is equally as simple as hopping around on Instagram or Facebook as far as usability is concerned, then you’re either going to be sitting in (probably) night classes, or you’ll be given one giant PDF written in extremely dry language. … Everyone has to learn the same information, this is just a much simpler and attractive way to do it, and currently no other company exists to provide this level of ‘smoothness’ in a program when studying for this exam.”
Video is another format that makes abundant sense. Some students use video while doing other tasks in order to learn without dedicating hours of time to sitting and studying.
For example, pre-license videos from Aceable Agent help to place students for licensure in applicable states.
Aceable Agent and Real Estate Express: State Real Estate Markets
Part of the context of evaluating these top real estate training schools involves looking at what they offer in specific state real estate markets.
For example, in the state of Texas, real estate licensing and training allows students to unlock opportunities around major markets in one of the biggest and most populous U.S. states. Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi are among the largest and most vibrant Texas real estate markets, with highest median home prices in Austin, followed by Midland and Odessa areas, as well as markets like San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Research from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center shows how these markets compare and coexist – and regulatory resources like these from TREC show how the state approaches real estate accreditation and regulation.
Elsewhere, in the state of California’s $3 trillion economy, Aceable Agent and Real Estate Express prepare students for work in major markets such as San Francisco/Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Santa Barbara.
In the state of New York, Aceable Agent and Real Estate Express work to help students evaluate markets in the five boroughs and other population centers around the state.
When it comes to real estate training and professional real estate work, context is everything. Experts talk about location as a massive selling factor for individual properties – but state regulation context is inherently important for orienting someone beginning a real estate professional career.
That’s why schools like Aceable Agent and Real Estate Express are so valuable – the curriculum and instruction that they bring isn’t just confined to the general real estate process, but also factors in state-by-state market realities that influence how students learn and what they do after they ‘graduate’ and achieve licensure.
Working on Broad-Based Real Estate Strategic Knowledge
Both of these schools address some of the fundamental philosophies of real estate training that have to do with effective real estate strategy and professional acumen.
Most real estate agents, and even many brokers, find themselves predominantly working for independent clients – helping buyers and sellers of properties to come together and make deals, completing sales agreements, and proceeding through settlement.
In that context, there are a large number of step-by-step procedures and items that are important in educating newcomers to the real estate field.
Some of the most basic ones involve other professionals who are also licensed at a state level – home inspectors and appraisers being foremost among them. But other aspects of the real estate process involves documentation – for example:
- Seller disclosure
- Title research
- Sales agreement
- Transfer of deed
- Land survey
- Easements and right-of-ways
The documentation end of real estate deals thoroughly with the various issues that can come up in a real estate deal.
Part of the complexity of the real estate industry is the legal process of figuring out what constitutes a particular real estate parcel and how it is treated in municipal, state and federal law.
For example, going beyond basic curriculum, schools like Aceable Agent and Real Estate Express have to advise students, or at least begin to advise students, on things like mineral rights, real estate investment trust activity, the potential for eminent domain, and the various impacts of different types of liens on the property.
Good real estate schools don’t just prepare students for the ‘average deal’ – they prepare them for the outlier or ‘black swan’ event where someone’s professional history and knowledge may become directly challenged.
In a sense, a lot of real estate work is about problem-solving.
Problems can come up anywhere in the real estate process or from any corner of a real estate deal.
Professionals then have to help solve them.
For example, a home inspection can turn up any one of many types of property damage.
These findings trigger additional work for agents, brokers, appraisers, and others.
Real estate is also a communicative process.
Everybody has to stay on the same page.
With that in mind, the best real estate schools also have to be problem solvers.
They have to anticipate the types of challenges that students will face in the real world.
They have to present these problems clearly and transparently.
They have to be able to present solutions in order to help students learn and be proactive in becoming experienced agents and brokers.
The schools also have to be good communicators.
Just like professional real estate agents and brokers need to communicate with clients, schools need to communicate with students.
The best schools offer their course value propositions upfront and let students know what to expect.
They promote versatile and flexible scheduling and formats – online learning in classroom learning according to students needs.
They invest in hiring good instructors with a lot of professional knowledge.
They also have a passion for what they do.
But how do you measure having a passion?
Finding the Best Real Estate Schools: The Value of Knowing Neighborhoods
Here’s something we talk about a lot in evaluating real estate schools, whether they are classroom-based or online.
For professional real estate agents and brokers, it’s important to understand local markets – not just to “practice real estate” in a generic way.
That’s why the best real estate schools work according to the conditions in their states, and according to the specific state process.
The best schools will cultivate that strategy of learning real estate in a local way.
For example, take some of the top Texas cities that we mentioned above.
You’re going to have a downtown “core” in a local market, but you’re also going to have a large suburban metro area. What those homes look like in terms of square acreage and facade and size and shape is going to matter.
So in addition to state markets, local markets are important. However, state markets provide the general “ecosystem” for licensure.
New York State and CA Markets
The state of New York has one really big market, and other smaller markets.
New York real estate is iconic and unique:
Just look at the Empire State building and other major landmarks in terms of property value and attraction.
So New York State real estate courses are going to be different from those you encounter in Texas.
California, meanwhile, has an enormous economy and quite a number of large markets. It also has some excellent coastal markets, as well as northern inland markets, that are each unique and valuable.
It seems evident and simple to say that one state is not like the next, and that local real estate markets are inherently different
But when you look at what real estate schools are doing today, it really puts this idea in a new light.
Schools are anticipating how students jump right into real estate in a particular state – and trying to help them with the challenges that they are going to face.
They’re localizing the training process to make sure that students have a firm grounding of what they’re involved in from the start.
A “ready on day one” approach ensures several things:
First, it helps with the success that the student will have after licensing.
Second, it ensures that the school will be able to maintain its reputation in the community as a thought leader and a good provider.
It also serves the clients who will come to these professionals for guidance!
Buyers and sellers are not always that knowledgeable about their own local markets.
They’re not real estate experts – they’re people with assets who want to buy and sell.
The real estate agent or broker is supposed to be the expert – and that’s why the training that they get is so important.
For sellers and buyers to feel like they’re in good hands, the agent or broker should be able to explain what’s happening in a given local market.
He or she should be knowledgeable about the usual players in the real estate pipeline, including lenders, title companies, appraisers, inspectors and various types of real estate investment opportunities.
The real estate professional should also understand some of the realities around local neighborhoods in terms of the condition of properties.
In Texas, part of that experience and acumen means understanding the horrific damage that natural disasters can cause.
It also means understanding that sometimes, devastating storms can have unintended effects.
“Hurricane Harvey had some fascinating and somewhat surprising effects on the Houston Real Estate Market,” wrote Maco Santarelli for Norada Real Estate Investments just over a month ago. “Harvey’s devastating economic impacts have a silver lining for home buyers in the Houston. Houston real estate market forecasts look promising after the hit the city took from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Big weather events hit many areas of the USA hard last year, and the costs of repairing the damage have been astronomical. But Houston has shown its trademark resilience, and 2018 is predicted to see real estate growth of 2.8% in the city, meaning now would be a good time to invest.”
Santarelli talks about Houston as a “hotbed of buyer activity” and explains why so many investors will be interested.
That’s just one example of how pros work to understand the context of Texas markets and markets in other states.
When new agents understand these factors, they can make better decisions.
The best agents and brokers get good at understanding what’s happening in the neighborhood – what investors are doing, and what their clients could do, either to live in a neighborhood or to invest there.
Real estate schools should be right there, too – they should be able to accommodate this kind of outlook.
So that’s one simple way to measure your real estate school’s passion – sit down with representatives and talk about how the school approaches real estate.
Does the school work with you to build a solid foundation for your strategy?
Or do they just offer out-of-the-box cookie-cutter results?
A Checklist for State-and-Local Real Estate Training Options
In addition to figuring out how your chosen real estate school addresses a state market, here are some other items that can help you make good choices about where to go for online or in class real estate training
1. Good Feedback
Take a look at what’s coming out from students who have taken the course before. What did they like? What did they not like?
Reviewing student feedback on items like these will help you measure your level of comfort with a particular real estate training school:
- Core content
- Classroom experience
- Online support
- Precision and accuracy
- Format and accessibility
2. Teaching to the Test
In addition, you’re going to want to look at whether students feel the course actually prepared them for the licensing exam or other result they wanted.
If you see students high-fiving each other and celebrating victory at the state license exam table, you’re more likely to have made a better choice in terms of a real estate school.
If you see students complaining that the courses simply didn’t prepare them for the test, that’s a big red flag.
3. ‘Show and Tell’ Lessons
The best schools are also upfront about showing you how they educate.
You might get demos or video views, or be able to tour a school before you put your money down.
For online learning, you might see in-depth details about what’s on the syllabus, or get testimony from a reliable instructor.
All of this helps those who are seeking a real estate license or continuing education to make their decisions about real estate schools and training.
We presented you with a comparison of two of the top schools, but that’s just the beginning!
Do the right due diligence to make a good choice for your real estate future.