Where Should I Go to Real Estate School?
If you’re interested in a career in real estate, then you’re probably wondering where the best place to go to school is. There are many different schools out there that offer real estate courses, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of various types of real estate schools, and help you decide which one is right for you!
I’m Evie Brown, a licensed Realtor® in the state of Arizona, and I’ve been loving my career in real estate for over seventeen years. Despite having completed my initial real estate education years ago, many of the agents working for me have obtained their real estate licenses more recently, and after discussing with them what their thoughts were, I’m going to present you with as much as I can so you can make the best decision for yourself.
There are three things to consider when picking a real estate school:
- How much does the school cost?
- Is the class in-person or online?
- How long does it take to finish the coursework and become licensed?
When it comes to the total cost, the average cost for a real estate education and licensing is between $400-1200. The cost varies greatly from state to state, but your initial costs are as follows:
- License Application Fee
- Background Check
- Examination Fee
- Pre-License Education
Depending on the school you attend, you may also be required to pay for textbooks or other materials. Also, some states have post-licensing requirements or continuing education requirements which could be additional costs to factor in while you’re planning on acquiring a real estate license.
You may be asking yourself at this point if real estate school is worth the cost. That depends entirely on how well you maximize your time and resources to get leads and transact business with your potential clients. The average real estate agent earns more than $80,000 per year, so the Return On Investment I feel is worth the cost. Of course, I’ve focused my entire career on generating leads through word-of-mouth referrals, and I love it. I’ll have a blog about that particular topic that goes more in-depth, and I’ll link it here once I have it finished.
As noted above, there is a background check requirement for becoming a licensed real estate agent, which can be a deal-breaker for some, so I’ll outline some things to consider if you think your past may affect your future:
- No state will automatically disqualify someone with a past felony or misdemeanor from earning a real estate license, but you have to apply for approval or a waiver from the state’s real estate commission
- Fingerprint-based background checks are mandatory in most states
- Lies or ommissions about your past can get your application rejected or your license revoked, so always be truthful
- Some states won’t consider your application until a certain number of years has gone by since your conviction or sentence completion. It’s usually between two and five years, but in some states, it can be as long as ten or twenty years, so check your local requirements to make sure you qualify before you start
For prospective real estate agents in Arizona, real estate agents are kept to high ethical and professional standards. The Arizona Department of Real Estate will need a “good cause exception” for individuals who have been found guilty of the crimes as follows:
- Violence against another person
- Conspiracy to defraud
- Crimes of moral turpitude (turpitude means “wickedness”)
These good cause exceptions can take anywhere from about three weeks to several months and may require a formal hearing to be completed.
With the restrictions out of the way, we can continue to talk about whether you should take the classes in-person or online. When considering whether to take an in-person learning class or online self-study, you should ask yourself which environment is best for your learning ability.
Some people learn better in a classroom setting. They’re removed from most distractions, in an environment dedicated to knocking the coursework out, and they have an opportunity to ask questions as the questions arise. They can also learn from questions that others ask that they may not have thought of. There’s the benefit of meeting other individuals focused on the same career as you, and growing your network is always a good thing. You also know exactly how long the course will take to complete, assuming you pass the proctored exams at the scheduled dates.
One drawback to in-person learning is that you have to bend your schedule around the schedule of the class. If you’re a busy person working a job already, have a family that frequently needs your attention, or have an unreliable vehicle, this may not be optimal for your current lifestyle.
With online study, you can generally work at your own pace. Busy Mom? Dedicated Dad? Full-time student? Working two jobs? Travel a lot? Vehicle having trouble? Maybe you just work the graveyard shift and sleep when most in-person classes are going on. Regardless of your reason, sometimes an online course would be more geared to you.
Online programs are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a flexible way to learn. You can often study at your own pace, and there are many different programs to choose from. Keep in mind that you will still need to take a proctored exam when it’s time to test out for completion.
The biggest drawbacks to pursuing a real estate education online are distractions in your environment, and unknown duration until completion. Distractions are something most people at this point have probably experienced or heard about since businesses and schools conducted a lot of their dealings online using teleconferencing software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
If you experienced something that made you wish you had a dedicated space to do any online business so you wouldn’t be distracted, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Children, pets, other people working from home, maybe you have a noisy neighbor or there’s some loud construction outside your home, or maybe your internet is just subpar – all of these can be disastrous to online learning if they prevent you from working efficiently and effectively on the material at hand.
The other drawback to getting an online real estate education is not knowing how long it will take you to complete the coursework. The mandatory 90 hours here in Arizona can seem to fly by in a classroom setting or drag on and on if you can’t do more than a few hours a week due to your other obligations or the distractions that slow you down.
There are workarounds to both issues, however, such as doing your work at a place where you can be delivered from distraction and allocating more time in your day for getting the course completed.
The bottom line is that real estate school is a great investment, and there are many options to choose from to fit your schedule and learning style. Whether you’re looking for an in-person or online program, make sure to do your research so you can find the best fit for you.
If you have any questions about getting started in real estate, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to chat! You can also check out other posts on my blog for more tips on becoming a successful real estate agent. If you’d like to fast-track your career, I’m always looking for agents, as well 🙂
– Evie Brown, Realtor®
(602) 577-7410 direct line/text