Want to be a home-showing, rain-making, card-carrying Realtor?
Cool, welcome to the party.
For those who've got what it takes, a career in real estate can be awesomely rewarding. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Realtor makes $71,730 per year, with the top 10% making over $102,310.
Not too shabby.
But, be warned. The road to becoming a licensed Realtor isn't for the faint-hearted. The process of getting licensed can go on for months, or even years in some cases, and failure rates are high.
That's why the right online real estate school can make all the difference.
Today, we're taking an in-depth look at one of the industry's top real estate schools, Real Estate Express.
Real Estate Express is supported by most states in the US and is great for pursuing Salesperson Apprentice Education (SAE), prelicense and even continuing education (CE), but users need to exercise discipline to carry out exam prep, mostly on their own.
Ask around in any of your favorite real estate groups and they'll tell you:
Real Estate Express is one of the leading online real estate schools.
If you've been actively seeking licensing (or even post-license) courses, this one has probably already landed on list.
But is it really as good as they say it is?
One solid indication that RE Express is a great program to go with is the fact that it's backed by over 200,000 real estate professionals (the highest in the online real estate school industry).
They also boast some of the top instructors and best resources for classroom-style learning in a flexible, at-your-own-pace kind of format. But beyond their features and curriculum, we wanted to hear from a RE Express grad.
“The course was extremely well developed and easy to navigate. Real Estate Express offers an effective learning program that helps you to not only learn what is needed, but retain the information for your exams. I highly recommend if you want to pass the first time!” says Brittany, a producing agent and former RE Express student.
Real Estate Express might be one of the best-known schools out there, but that doesn't mean it's for everyone.
Before you spend your hard-earned cash on something as important as your real estate licensing course, you need to be 100% sure it's the right fit.
You've probably got an entire list of questions lined up, but you'll want to make sure the following three crucial questions are on it.
Question #1: Can you learn autonomously?
Real Estate Express is best for learners who don't require much hand-holding.
Yes, users have access to an online instructor. If you have the occasional question, they'll be there to help.
But just because an online Realtor school has great instructors, isn't a guarantee that you'll pass your licensing exam.
The truth about any online school is that your ability to succeed is directly linked to your capacity for self-led learning.
Mastering an entirely new skill is going to require a ton of grit, a trait common to most successful Realtors. If you have the ability to learn on your own two feet, you're probably going to find success with RE Express, and in your future career as a Realtor.
If you're the type of learner who needs more support, don't worry. You can still win in this business. Rather than opt for an online school, you might be better-suited to a local, in-person course.
Question #2: Is Real Estate Express supported in your state?
Another important question to ask before enrolling in any online real estate license training is whether your state's real estate commission or department approves the course.
Unfortunately, some online real estate courses don't make it obvious if your state is approved or not. (We know, it's kinda shady.)
So, do your due diligence and be sure to check for state compliance, either by calling the course provider or your state real estate commission directly.
One thing we definitely appreciate about Real Estate Express is that it's approved and compliant in most US states. They also offer a handy online search function so you can double check whether the course is approved in your state, right there on their website.
Question #3: What if you fail the exam?
Passing the real estate licensing exam is no easy feat.
The average first attempt pass rate is around 65% to 70% in most states. If you're determined to build a successful real estate career, you need to be willing to hold yourself accountable.
If you fail the exam, take responsibility. Many successful agents have had to retake their licensing exams. The only difference between them and everyone else is that they got back up and tried again.
Still, with a failure rate this high, it's definitely a bonus that Real Estate Express offers a money back guarantee.
If you don't pass, you get a full refund.
1. Flexible learning management system
Back in the day, it was normal to spend months becoming a certified Realtor.
Today, you can do it in a matter of weeks. (Yay, technology!)
Real Estate Express runs on a comprehensive learning platform, boasting an arsenal of cool tech tools like a progress dashboard and tracking to help you stay motivated.
Here are some of its top highlights:
2. Reliable exam prep
One of the biggest gripes against online real estate school is that they don't do enough to help students pass their exam—let alone actually sell homes once they get out in the field.
Luckily, Real Estate Express provides some solid supplemental material, including an extensive resource library that ranges from ebooks for extra exam prep to detailed guides for how to win in the industry.
You'll still have to do your homework to absorb—and more importantly, apply—the information, but it's nice that it's right there at your fingertips as you make your way through the course.
3. Celebrate your win, or get your money back.
As mentioned, Realtor exams are notorious for having low pass rates, so you want to be mentally and financially prepared for a retake… just in case.
Fortunately, RE Express gets this part totally right, offering up to 150 days to take the your state's practice exams as many times as you like.
If you don’t make the cut, you can simply email them your official failure notice and get your money back.
Note: The pass guarantee isn’t covered by the 'Basic' plan.
With Real Estate Express, pricing is pretty straightforward and consists of two main course categories:
The Real Estate Express pre-license package is a bundle course for people who want to become Realtors. Each package offers different study tools catering to different learning styles.
It's important to note that the pricing varies according to state, with basic packages starting around $150 and ultimate learning packages priced around $350.
Here's an example of the pre-license pricing for New York:
Now, let's break down Real Estate Express's pre-license packages, from lowest to highest priced:
You also have the option to purchase just the individual course:
With a modest $45-ish in savings as shown here in our New York example, it's probably worth it to get the state approved instructor support and three real estate eBooks included in the 'Basic' package.
Note: Each Real Estate Express course has different hourly requirements. Make sure you check their website for the latest pricing info.
The Real Estate Express continuing education (CE) course is a professional development course designed to give Realtors an edge over their competition.
For folks who are already licensed with skin in the game, it can be a nice way to stay sharp.
The CE Plus membership is an annual membership offered by McKissock, Real Estate Express's well-known parent company. You get access to an extensive CE resource library and additional content to help you further develop your real estate business.
Image: RE Express CE membership
One nice feature of the pricing for CE membership is that you can choose a single or multi-state membership. It's a pretty ideal situation for brokers who are active in more than one state.
All of the plans will enable you to complete your training, pass your licensing exam, or in the case of the CE membership, grow your business.
The only real difference is that some plans are designed to get you there faster, by offering extra support through additional study prep materials and expert-led sessions.
Bottom line, there isn’t one ideal course that’s better than the other—only the right course for you based on your professional goals and personal learning style.
As you might've guessed, there's no black and white answer to this question.
Real Estate Express is great for people who prefer a more autonomous learning style over a typical classroom environment, but it can be a nightmare for those who have trouble keeping themselves motivated.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to preferences. But no matter what road you take, there's no shortcut to becoming a rockstar Realtor.
You’re going to have to put in the time and effort, on a leap of faith that one day, you'll look back and see it as the best decision you ever made.
Here's to your real estate success!