Choosing the Best Real Estate School
October 28, 2017 |
- Is the School Approved and Accredited?
- What are their Prices?
- What do their Reviews Look Like?
- What are your Personal Needs and Priorities?
- What does their Customer/Student Support Look Like?
Confirming the School’s Legitimacy:
1. Is the school approved?
Since real estate licensing happens at the state level, it’s important to know an approved school has your back. However, every state is different. For example, in Ohio, you will need to check with The State Board of Career Colleges and Schools and The Ohio Department of Higher Education.
2. Is the school accredited?
Accreditation means that the courses you take will lead to degree credit; should you ever want to become a broker or own your own business. It also tells future employers that the courses you took were legitimate. The school you’re considering needs to be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education. It is imperative that you choose a legitimate and credit-eligible school in order for your education to be approved and lead to your success! For more, read about House Bill 532 here and here.
An accredited school:
- Follows approved recruitment and admissions policies
- Advertises their courses factually
- Has an approved study program
- Operates on a sound financial basis
- Employs qualified instructors
3. How long has the school been in business?
Schools that have been in business longer tend to be run more smoothly. They’re also likely to be more familiar with state and federal regulations. Not to mention, future employers might recognize the name!
4. What are their prices?
After accreditations and approvals, narrow down the choices that fit your budget. Keep in mind, approved pre-licensing education providers cannot discount tuition. This is because of state regulatory requirements.
5. What do their reviews look like?
What have past students said about the school? Are there many successful students who have benefitted from the school’s program? What does the state regulatory, or accrediting, body say about the school or its programs?
6. Can I talk to an administrator?
Gather all of the questions you have and call the number given on the school’s website. Make sure you speak to an actual human, not just a computerized pre-recording. This is another indication of the support you’d receive as a student.
Consider your personal needs:
1. Layout and analyze your personal priorities.
What schools align with your personal needs? Develop a spreadsheet or a checklist in order to visualize your criteria.
Things to consider:
- Your schedule: If you have a family and full-time job, you’ll need a flexible course load. Should you take classes online? In classroom? A mixture of both? Most schools only offer one type; take into consideration what your learning style is.
- Your learning style: How have you learned best in the past? Do you like working with other students? Do you need a lot of contact with your instructors? Are you a visual learner?
- Your finances: This comes down to “how much can you afford to pay right now?”.
2. Look for student support services.
Do they have a student services department to help your courses run smoothly? Make sure they’re staffed by more than one person; even if the real estate school is only online! They should have multiple contact options, i.e. phone, email, and fax.
3. Find out if there is educational support.
How responsive are their instructors to student questions? How long have the teachers been with the real estate school? Are the teachers active agents or have they been in the past? Are they nationally recognized?
Research the school’s delivery methods:
Plain and simple, this comes down to how you learn; and consider how they teach that education.
1. For online courses:
- Can you interact with the instructors? Are they available via phone or email?
- Are the courses available from your phone or tablet, or only desktop and laptop computers?
- Are you able to work at your own pace, or do they have strict deadlines?
- Are there study groups that you can join?
- Are there intermittent quizzes during the courses to make sure you’re staying up to speed?
- Can you take practice exams?
2. Explore the course content.
- Does the real estate school offer both general real estate courses and state-specific content?
- Do they offer a free trial?
- Does the school publish their own course materials? Do they write their own curriculum?
- Make certain the school offers everything that your state-based licensure requires.
3. Choose a real estate school.
Choose the one that best suits your needs as a student. Make sure it works with your schedule, your learning style, is affordable, and will be considered legitimate when you graduate.