Top 3 Real Estate Schools in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is the government agency that establishes all the rules and regulations regarding real estate for Colorado. They are the ones who determine what you will need to do in order to work as a real estate agent (and they didn’t make it easy). Colorado’s #1 priority is to protect the consumer. As a result, they hold real estate professionals to the highest standards and place among the highest requirements for obtaining a Broker license compared to other states.

To get licensed, you will have to complete 168 hours of qualifying education and pass the Broker exam. No matter which school you go to get the 168 hours, they will all contain the same following topics:

  • Law and Practice (48 hours) – This is an introductory course that covers common real estate terminology, concepts, and knowledge as well as national laws that are shared by a majority of states
  • Contracts and Regulations (48 hours) – This goes over the types of Colorado Statutory Relationships, Brokerage Relationship Agreements, Sales Contracts, and other considerations in contracting.
  • Record Keeping and Trust Accounts (8 hours) – This course shows students how to properly keep records as required by law as well as manage other people’s funds
  • Current Legal Issues (8 hours) – This topic deals with current issues going on in the real estate industry and changes periodically as important legal issues and developments arise.
  • Closings (24 hours) – This topic is meant to train people with the basic skills needed to properly close a real estate transaction, including all of the responsibilities after closing.
  • Practice Applications (32 hours) – This course is meant to give new agents a working knowledge of practical applications so that they have a baseline level of competency prior to entering the real estate industry.

Your success at being licensed will largely depend on which school you choose. That’s why it is important to weigh the pros and cons to find the best one that works with your learning style. Here are the 5 best real estate schools that will help you become a Colorado real estate agent.

Pro Tip: Most schools have a promotion running, so be sure to check their website for the promo code.

Best Online Program

Real Estate Express currently holds the #1 market share when it comes to the real estate education industry. Part of the reason for that is they have developed their program to accommodate the unique needs of every individual. The only thing this online school has yet to offer is classroom training.

Real Estate Express gives you 4 packages to choose from:

  • The Basics – 168-hour online program (text-based)
  • Exam Preparation – This includes The Basics package as well as 1,000+ national/state online practice test questions and a money-back guarantee. (If you don’t pass the Broker exam, you will get 100% full refund)
  • Exam Preparation Plus – This includes the Exam Preparation package plus gives you access to talk to certified real estate instructors via live video webinars. They are at scheduled times, usually three times per day, Monday through Friday.
  • Ultimate Learning – You get all of the above plus hardcopy books to go along with the 168-hour online program. You also get access to hundreds of video courses, job aids, discussion forum, etc… that is additional training to use after you get licensed.

Best Live Courses

Kaplan Real Estate is arguably the biggest name in the education industry. This billion-dollar company has over 12,000 employees with programs in over 100 countries. So, they may know a thing or two about how to teach a course. While they do offer an online correspondence course, what really sets them apart is their live classes. They have them available in both a webinar format that you can take from home as well as a physical classroom that you sit in. These live courses give you the maximum amount of interactive engagement and sharpen your study skills.

Here are the 4 different types of formats available:

  1. Home Study – This is where they mail you textbooks, and you study independently by reading the book and answering test questions. You get 6 months to complete the program.
  2. OnDemand – You get access to recorded videos of the course, so you can watch (and re-watch) it at any time. There will be multiple-choice test questions after each section.
  3. Live Online – This format allows you to attend a live class but from the comfort of your home (or anywhere). You have to login at the scheduled date and times, and you can interact with the instructor.
  4. Live Class – This is your traditional classroom setting, where you drive to class and listen to the instructor teach the lesson.
  • Career Launcher (optional) – You can add this on to any of the programs above for an extra $200. This includes an intense 8-hour online course that shows you how to get your real estate business going after you get licensed. You will have access to a professional real estate coach for the first 8 weeks to help you get going.

Regardless of which route you choose, you will get access to their amazing Interactive Study Group. These are live video webinars where you can join a lively discussion on a range of topics with instructors or your fellow peers. It’s like having a virtual study group where you can ask all your questions.

All Kaplan Real Estate programs also include their national and state QBank exam prep. The QBank is a comprehensive test engine that simulates what you’ll see on the actual exam. This powerful tool will drill you with customized questions until you are fully prepared to tackle the test.

Best OnDemand Program

Colorado Real Estate School is a small, homegrown school in Colorado. It was founded by fellow real estate professional Jon Farnlof, who has over thirty years of instructor experience. Jon felt there was a lack of innovation in real estate education, so he wanted to change that by leveraging technology to provide the best learning environment possible.

Colorado Real Estate School offers 3 convenient packages:

  1. Standard – 168-hour on-demand video course plus thousands of online practice tests for the Broker exam
  2. Enhanced – The includes the Standard package, and you get 2 additional months to complete the 168-hour courses and a Broker exam diagnostic test to assess your readiness
  3. Deluxe – This includes all of the above plus an additional 2-month extension (10 total months to complete the program). You can also call in to talk to the instructor, rather than being limited to email support only. The biggest add-on is the Exam Cram Live webinar, which is held once a month. An instructor will guide you through the Broker exam and review key areas of the national and state portions of the exam. If you pass the Broker exam on your first try and within 4 months of signing up, they will reward you by reimbursing you for the state exam fee ($44.95).

OnCourse Learning is a rising star in the space of real estate education, but that’s not because of their size. They are actually a relatively large school with programs in all 50 states. It is because they have been aggressively enhancing their courses with engaging content and top-notch instructors.

They don’t mess around with a bunch of marketing gimmicks or bells and whistles. They focus on delivering what you need in the best way possible.

OnCourse Learning offers 2 packages to obtain the Colorado Broker license that breakdowns like this:

  • Gold Solution – 168-hour online program (text-based) with over 1,000 national practice test questions.
  • Platinum Solution – You get the Gold Solution plus additional Broker exam study materials and Colorado-specific practice test questions

Top 3 Real Estate Schools in Illinois

If you want to become a real estate agent in Illinois, you will need to fulfill the requirements set by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). This is the state agency that oversees all real estate-related activities and enforces the rules.

You should be aware there were some recent changes to obtain the Broker license. Before, they required people to complete 90 total hours of pre-licensing education. However, they lowered the requirement down to 75 hours. Also, 15 of those hours used to be required in a classroom or live webinar. Now, you can also take those 15 hours in a standard online format. In other words, the IDFPR has made it a lot easier to get licensed.

Real Estate Express, based out of St Louis, MO, is the dominant online real estate provider in the country. A big part of that is because they innovate and stay up-to-date on current regulations. In fact, they were one of the first schools to reflect the recent changes that lowered the required hours from 90 hours down to 75 hours.

The 75-hour program that they offer is 100% online and is broken up into two courses. The first part is the 60-hour Illinois Broker Prelicense Topics and the remaining 15 hours is called Managing Broker Pre-Applied Management and Supervision. The course itself consists of reading online and passing a set of multiple-choice questions. You have 6 months of online access to pass the final exams.

What I really like about how Real Estate Express is that they give you a lot of packages and options. The Basics is great for people on a tight budget. If you want to add on some exam prep for the Broker exam, the Exam Preparation (and up) packages contain over 1,000 practice test questions and are backed with a Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee. This means that if you fail the Broker exam, they will give you all your money back. There are also live instructors available to ask questions with the Instructor Q&A as well as hardcopy books under the Ultimate Learning package. The Professional Development Membership and 90-day Boot Camp are additional video courses to help you hit the ground running once you are licensed.

There are four packages available:

  1. The Basics – $329 – This gets you the minimum 75 hours of Pre-licensing courses.
  2. Exam Preparation – $429 – You get The Basics plus 1,000 online practice test questions and a money-back guarantee.
  3. Exam Preparation Plus – $499 – You get Exam Preparation plus access to interact with instructors via live webinar at scheduled times. This also includes the Post-licensing course that you need to complete after you get licensed.
  4. Ultimate Learning – $593 – You get all of the above plus hardcopy books to accompany the online courses and additional video courses to help launch your real estate career.

Bottom Line: Best Overall

Real Estate Express has the most complete program out of any school. They have packages to accommodate anyone’s goals, whether you want to do the minimum amount of work to get licensed or if you want full support and additional training materials to help you after you get licensed. Backed by their industry-leading money-back guarantee and frequent promotions, you can’t go wrong with this program.  

The CE Shop was founded in 2005 and is one of the few real estate schools that have programs in all 50 states. Although they call themselves “CE” (as in continuing education), they definitely do more than that. They have every course you will need before you get licensed as well as after you are licensed.

The CE Shop has really been propelling its way to the top of real estate education by developing their own proprietary learning platform called LEAP. This mobile-friendly platform is 100% online and was designed to make learning streamlined and engaging. They incorporate active learning to keep you on your toes the whole time and will come at you with questions from every angle. The courses take real-world examples and present them with techniques that are proven to help people retain the knowledge better. There are definitely no shortcuts with this program.

They offer three different packages for obtaining the Illinois Broker license:

  1. Standard – $325 – This package gets you all you need to successfully get licensed. You get all 75 hours of Pre-licensing courses plus unlimited practice exams to study for the Broker exam.
  2. Value – $375 – This includes the Standard package and includes 3 additional online courses to help you build your real estate business
  3. Premium – $475 – This includes the Value package as well as the 30-hour Post-licensing course

Bottom Line: Best for Overachievers

The CE Shop’s approach is to arm the student with as much knowledge as possible. They do an amazing job at presenting a wealth of information into a clean and sleek format. If you want to learn about real estate as much as possible, this is the perfect program for you. If you just want to fly through the pre-licensing courses as fast as possible, then this is definitely not the right program for you.

Illinois Realtors is the most prominent trade association for real estate agents in Illinois. There are over 50,000 active members that represent all aspects of a real estate transaction. To be clear, being a Broker doesn’t mean that you are automatically a realtor. You first have to get licensed as a Broker and then, you may be eligible to join the realtors association as a member. To become a member, you will have to pay annual membership dues and fulfill the continuing education requirements.

They have two options for obtaining the Broker license.

  1. 90-hour Broker Pre-license package – $544– This is an online program that includes a 75-hour course called Broker Pre-license Topics and a 15-hour Applied Real Estate Principles. You are given 6 months to complete the 60-hour course and can work on it at your own pace, at any time. The 15-hour course is a live webinar that you must attend at a pre-determined date. There will be polls and quizzes throughout the webinar. You do have to be logged in to the webinar the whole time. If you miss more than 15 minutes, you will be dropped from the course and have to re-take it from the beginning.
  2. Accelerated Broker Pre-license package – $619 – This is a 9-week program with classes every Wednesday that lasts 2 to 3 hours long. This is a blended format that has a combination of online reading and 20 hours of live webinar instruction, which is done in partnership with Eastern Illinois University. Although they call it “accelerated,” you are able to finish just as fast, if not faster, with the other package.

Bottom Line: Best for Networking

Illinois Realtors hasn’t updated their program yet to reflect the lower 75-hour pre-licensing requirement. That means that you will be doing (and paying for) the additional 15 hours of education. Nonetheless, if you are serious about building a real estate career and are thinking long-term, then having them listed on your resume will look good, especially if you are planning to join the realtors association.  

Top 4 Real Estate Schools in Kentucky

If you want to become a real estate agent in Kentucky, you will need to obtain the Sales Associate license first. The Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC) is the agency that regulates the entire real estate industry for the state, including licensing requirements. 

KREC requires that you complete 96 hours of approved real estate education and pass the Sales Associate exam to get licensed. It’s a pretty simple process to obtain the license. However, that largely depends on which school you decide to go with. 

Every school has pros and cons. That’s why we have come up with a list of the four best real estate programs in Kentucky to help you become a real estate agent. 

Best Bang for the Buck

$439 96-Hour Package

If you Googled “real estate school”, you probably saw Real Estate Express show up at the top of the search results. That’s because they have been around for about 30 years and are the biggest online real estate school in the nation. With a large school like this, you can rest assured that they know what they are doing and that their system works. In fact, their students have given them a 4.33 out of 5-star rating on their Kentucky courses alone. This is based on 496 reviews.

What I really like about Real Estate Express is your flexibility to customize the options that you want. If you just want to fulfill the minimum state requirements, you can get the cheapest package, The Basics. If you want to add on comprehensive study materials for the Sales Associate exam and extra training to take after you are licensed, you can go with the top package called Ultimate Learning. If you want something in between, there are two packages in the middle that you can choose from.

Also, Real Estate Express is the only school that I’ve seen that offers a true money-back guarantee, which means if you don’t pass the Sales Associate exam, they will give you all of your money back. Other schools usually only cover the $100 exam fee or only give you your money back after the second exam attempt.

Best Exam Prep

$415 96-Hour Package

Hondros College is a large online education provider located in the Midwest, offering programs in real estate, home inspection, appraisal, and much more. Despite its name, it’s not an actual college like where you would go to get a bachelor’s degree. That is not to say they don’t have a good program. Quite the contrary. They have helped over a million students in their 50-year history.

The 96-hour course is online and follows a pretty standard format. You get 6 months of unlimited access to complete the course. There are multiple-choice quizzes at the end of the chapters and when you reach the end, there is a final exam.

Their real claim to fame is their exam prep for the Sales Associate exam. CompuCram is what Hondros College calls their proprietary test prep that they have refined over the past several decades. You get study vocabulary tools along with simulated practice exams that will identify the areas that you need to focus on. There is a Readiness Indicator that gives you dynamic feedback on your progress and displays it on a meter. They report that 86.5% of people who use CompuCram will pass the exam on their first try.

If you want to read from a physical book, they are available for an additional cost in their most expensive package.

Best for Prestige

$679 96-Hour Package

Kentucky Realtor Institute (formerly known as the Kentucky Real Estate Education Foundation) is affiliated with the Kentucky Realtors Association. They actually don’t develop their own Sales Associate courses but have partnered with REcampus to sell theirs. Just to be clear, taking their pre-licensing courses does not make you a realtor. It just fulfills the state requirement to become a real estate agent, which is not the same thing. You can always become a realtor by joining the Kentucky Realtors Association directly after you obtain your license. While being a realtor is certainly not required for real estate agents, it does open up more opportunities.

The Kentucky Realtor Institute program consists of 4 parts:

  1. Part A
  2. Part B
  3. Course Project
  4. Final Exam

The course is 100% online with hardcopy books available at an additional cost. Part A and Part B can be taken in any order, but they must both be completed before starting the Course Project (and of course, the Final Exam). The Course Project involves two case studies. You are required to complete forms for both the buyer and seller side as well as answer multiple-choice quizzes. One thing I liked about this program is they give you one year to complete everything, which is much longer than other schools.

If you want additional exam prep for the Sales Associate exam, there are online practice test questions available for an added cost.

Best Small School

$359 96-Hour Package

2 My Classes is a one-woman show run by Joyce Bea Sterling. She writes her own KREC-approved material, has over 14,000 hours of experience as a certified instructor, and is a realtor herself. She does it all! She definitely takes a more personal approach with her school. In fact, if you miss less than two questions on the Sales Associate exam, she will buy you lunch as a bonus reward.

2 My Classes is online and is broken up into three parts:

  1. 60 hours of From the Ground Up to cover the National portion
  2. 32 hours of Kentucky Laws to cover the State portion
  3. Course Final Exam

The courses come with physical textbooks and consist of mainly reading. However, there are also videos, audio files, and matching quizzes incorporated throughout the course to make it more engaging. The Kentucky Laws course also has a section with a live webinar, where you can interact with the instructors via a webcam from home. These webinars are held at pre-scheduled dates.

Although it’s great to be able to learn from one of the most knowledgeable instructors in Kentucky, there is also some risk. There aren’t a lot of extra study materials or packages to choose from. This program requires you to take the final exams on Tuesday evenings. Support hours are limited and responses to your questions will be slower compared to a bigger school. You are putting all your eggs in one person.

Top 4 Real Estate Schools in South Carolina

Let’s be honest. 

It’s not going to be all sunshine and roses to become a real estate agent. There will be ups and downs along the way. That’s why it is important to find the best real estate school to get you there so that you are setting yourself up for success.

After reviewing the list of schools that are approved by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR), these are my top picks that will help you launch a successful career as a real estate agent in South Carolina. 

Best Overall Value

$600 90-Hour Package

Real Estate Express is the industry leader when it comes to real estate education. They have found a formula for helping people get licensed that works and have replicated that process across the country. In fact, they are so confident you will be successful with their program that they back up their claims with a Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee. That means that if you do not pass the state exam, they will give you a 100% full refund. That is a bold claim since real estate courses are not cheap and cost hundreds of dollars.

Real Estate Express offers more package options than any other school, so there will be something for everyone. If you are on a small budget, you can get The Basics package, which provides you with the required 90 hours of pre-licensing courses. At a minimum, I would recommend the Exam Preparation package, because that includes over 1,000 online practice test questions to help you study for the state exam. This is also the lowest package that still offers the money-back guarantee.

If money is no object to you and you want the best chance at success, the Ultimate Learning package gives you everything they have to offer. You get access to talk to their live instructors with the Instructor Q&A, hardcopy books so you don’t have to read on the computer if you don’t want to, and additional training materials to use after you get licensed with the 90-day Boot Camp and Professional Development membership.

Best Exam Prep

$670 90-Hour Package

Hondros College, based in Ohio, has had a dominant presence in real estate education for nearly 50 years. While they do offer classroom for some of their courses, it is 100% online only for South Carolina real estate courses. However, you can still get hardcopy books to accompany your online studying. The course is a pretty standard online format. You are given 6 months to read the book online and take multiple-choice quizzes along the way. You can study at any time and at your own pace.

What really sets Hondros College apart is their exam prep, which is more comprehensive than any other school. If you want to feel 100% confident that you will pass on your first try, this is the best option for you. Their proprietary exam prep is called CompuCram, which boasts a pass rate of 86.5% for first-time test takers. There are vocabulary flashcards intermixed with matching and fill-in-the-blank quizzes. You get unlimited access to the practice exams, and you will never see the same one twice. There is a Readiness Indicator that tracks your progress the whole time and will let you know when you are fully prepared to take the actual exam.

Hondros College is a premium brand, which means they cost more than other schools. Fortunately, they have partnered with Paypal to offer qualifying applicants a 6-month payment plan with zero interest.

Best Classroom

$644 90-Hour Package

Real Estate School for Success has one of the biggest classroom programs in South Carolina, offering courses in Columbia, Charleston, Spartanburg, Florence, Aiken, and Sumter. They make a deliberate effort to distinguish themselves from every other real estate school by hiring only the most exceptional instructors. They incorporate real-world examples into their training program so that you are not just prepared to pass the state exam but are setup to thrive in your real estate career.

Real Estate School for Success offers three different ways to take the courses. You can go to a traditional classroom, watch a live video webinar, or watch a recorded webinar. The video webinars make you feel just like you are sitting in a classroom without having actually having to drive there. You do have to login at specific times and dates, but you get the live interaction with the instructor, and you can ask your questions on the spot. If the scheduled class times do not work with your schedule, you can go with the recorded webinar option. This allows you to still get that classroom feel by watching the videos at any time. You can even re-watch sections if you need to. There is an online discussion forum for you to ask questions, but you may not get an immediate response.

Best Live Webinar

$660 90-Hour Package

Real Estate School of South Carolina has been around for over 30 years and claims to be Columbia’s oldest and biggest real estate school. No matter what direction you want to go in your real estate career, be it as a real estate agent, home inspector, appraiser, or property manager, this family-owned business has every real estate course available that you could ever possibly need.

Real Estate School of South Carolina currently only has one location in West Columbia, but they have four different classrooms and offer the courses during the daytime, evenings, weekends. If you are really in a rush, they even have a full day option that allows you to complete the 60-hours of pre-licensing in 10 calendar days.

If you can’t make it out to their location, they also provide a live video webinar format. You get to watch a live stream of what is happening in the classroom from the comfort of your home. This is only available for Unit 1.

Real Estate School of South Carolina does claim to offer an online option as well. However, after doing some research, I found they don’t actually carry the online program themselves, but partnered with Hondros College to resell Hondros’ courses. In my opinion, if you are planning to go this route, you may as well take the courses directly from the main provider rather than go through a middleman.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Tennessee

Do you enjoy meeting new people and helping others?

If you do, then a career in real estate may be a great option for you. Even if you are not totally convinced, it doesn’t take a whole lot to get licensed. In fact, most people who get licensed already have a full-time job.

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) is the state agency that oversees everything related to real estate for Tennessee, including establishing the qualifications for obtaining a real estate license. There are two main types of real estate licenses in Tennessee: Affiliate Broker and Broker.

If you are new to real estate, you will begin with the Affiliate Broker license. This is pretty easy for anyone to obtain and doesn’t require any previous real estate experience. Once you are licensed as an Affiliate Broker, you will have to work under a company that is a licensed real estate broker.

The Broker license is a more advanced license that requires 3 years of actively licensed experience, 120 hours of approved classroom education including 30 hours in Office/Broker Management. The purpose for this license is really for people who want to start their own company and potentially hire employees.

Right now, there are 29,595 Affiliate Brokers and 7,601 Brokers who are actively licensed in Tennessee.

I’ll walk you through the steps on how to get the Tennessee Affiliate Broker license.

Short Answer

  1. Complete 90 total hours of pre-licensing education
  2. Pass the Affiliate Broker exam
  3. Submit license application
  4. Find a broker

From start to finish, the whole process takes about 6 to 8 weeks.

Long Answer

Basic Requirements:

  • 18 years or older at the time of applying for the state exam
  • High school diploma
  • Have not been under probation, convicted, or released from incarceration within two years of scheduling the state exam date

1. Complete 90 Total Hours of Pre-licensing Education

The 90 total hours of coursework is actually broken up into two courses:

  1. 60-hour Pre-licensing course
    2. 30-hour New Affiliates course

While you need to have both courses done to obtain the real estate license, you only need the 60-hour pre-licensing course to apply for the exam. So, if you are in a rush, the fastest option is to apply right after you finish that course. Then, you can just work on the 30-hour course later. However, from my experience, it would be advantageous to do both courses upfront. The additional 30 hours of knowledge will only help you on the exam. Plus, it is only 30 hours, so you should be able to knock it out very quickly.

Online Courses vs Classroom

When you go looking for a real estate school to fulfill this education requirement, you will see there are a lot of choices. Most people take the courses in a traditional classroom. However, the format that is the cheapest, and believe it or not, has the highest pass rates are the online courses. The table below shows you the exam pass rates that compare the top 2 schools with an online program and the top 3 schools that have classrooms.

TestedPassedPass RateTestedPassedPass Rate
The CE Shop (Online)60037462%47441186%
Real Estate Express (Online)98955956%79064181%
Continual Learning Institute (Classroom)153564041%1,20579466%
TREES (Classroom)121058648%93874079%
Tennessee Real Estate and Comprehensive Sales School (Classroom)80434242%56645380%

There’s a pretty big difference, especially on the National portion of the exam. 

If you decide to take an online course, you will be reading the book online with multiple-choice quizzes at the end of the chapters. Typically, you get 6 months of unlimited access to the course, and you can just move at your own pace. If you already have a full-time job, this will definitely be the best option for you.

2. Pass the Affiliate Broker Exam

After you complete the 60-hour pre-licensing course, the real estate school that you attended should be notifying the testing company called PSI Services. You will not be able to register for the exam until they have been notified.

Registering for the exam is a quick and easy process. You just go to their website at and pay the examination fee of $39.

The Affiliate Broker exam consist of 2 sections:

  • National portion – 80 questions – 160 minutes maximum time allowed
  • State portion – 40 questions – 80 minutes maximum time allowed

You will need to pass both portions with a 70% or higher to get credit for passing the exam. If you don’t pass one portion, you only have to re-take the one that you missed, and you can re-attempt it as soon as the next day if you want. After the second attempt, you will have to wait 30 days for every additional attempt.

The actual test is administered on a computer at one of their seven testing centers listed below:

6918 Shallowford Road, Suite 314
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Availability: Tuesday through Saturday

Dyersburg State Community College
1510 Lake Road, Room 126 Student Center
Dyersburg, TN 38024
Availability: Wednesdays only

368 North Parkway #3
Jackson, TN 38305
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday

904 Sunset Drive, Suite 7A
Johnson City, TN 37604
Availability: Monday through Saturday

301 South Gallaher View Road, Suite 114
Knoxville, TN 37919
Availability: Monday through Saturday

Apple Tree Center
6099 Mt. Moriah Extended, Suite 17
Memphis, TN 38115
Availability: Monday through Saturday

The Oaks
1102 Kermit Drive, Suite 101
Nashville, TN 37217
Availability: Monday through Saturday

3. Submit License Application

After you completed all 90 hours of pre-licensing education and passed the Affiliate Broker exam, you will be ready to submit your application to TREC. The fastest and easiest way to apply is online at

You will also need to provide the following:

  • Proof of high school diploma
  • Certificates of completion for 60-hour and 30-hour courses
  • Proof of Errors and Omissions insurance
  • Electronic fingerprinting
  • Eligibility Verification form
  • License application fee of $91

4. Find a Broker

When TREC has finished reviewing your application, they will issue your Affiliate Broker license. However, this does not mean you can just go off on your own and start working. You will have to find a broker to work under.

This is the easiest part. Because this position is typically 100% commission-based, companies are always trying to recruit new agents. When you are first starting out, I suggest going with a broker that has a strong mentorship and training program. The first year will be the hardest and most agents take six months on average to close their first deal. This is a great time to learn as much as you can and develop a solid business plan to launch a successful long-term career.

If you want to become a Broker yourself, TREC does require three years of experience. However, the vast majority of real estate agents are Affiliate Brokers. You do not have to deal with overhead expenses, marketing budgets, payroll, etc.., and you can focus on helping other people achieve their dreams.

Top 5 Real Estate Schools in Tennessee

When you begin your journey to become a real estate agent, there are many decisions you will have to make. The first one is to decide where you want to go to get your real estate license, which is technically called the Affiliate Broker license. The good news is there are a lot of options out there. There are schools where you can go to study in a traditional classroom setting, and there are online schools where you can study from home and at your own pace.

In the end, what really matters is which real estate school has the best track record for helping people get licensed successfully. I went through the entire list of schools that are approved by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) and compared the exam pass rates from the five biggest schools in the state. Nevertheless, although exam pass rates are very important, I think it was also important to research into each school a little further to see what else they have to offer. After all, every school has their own strengths and weaknesses. This would be a more fair and well-rounded review. Here is what I found for getting a real estate license in Tennessee.

RankSchoolOverall Pass Rate
1Real Estate Express69%
2The CE Shop75%
3Tennessee Real Estate Education System64%
4Tennessee Real Estate and Comprehensive Sales School61%
5Continual Learning Institute54%

Online Courses vs. Classroom

One thing that really caught my attention was that most people seem to be taking these courses in a classroom. However, if you look at the data, people who take online programs are doing significantly more better. In fact, less than half the people in classrooms from the three largest schools are passing the National portion of the exam.

TestedPassedPass RateTestedPassedPass Rate
The CE Shop (Online)60037462%47441186%
Real Estate Express (Online)98955956%79064181%
Continual Learning Institute (Classroom)153564041%1,20579466%
TREES (Classroom)121058648%93874079%
Tennessee Real Estate and Comprehensive Sales School (Classroom)80434242%56645380%

Although Real Estate Express doesn’t have the highest overall exam pass rate, there are so many other things that the school offers that bring significant value. The pre-licensing courses are setup in a standard online format where you basically just read it online and answer multiple-choice questions along the way.

What really impressed me was all the other stuff you get with their top package called Ultimate Learning. You get over 1,000 practice test questions for the both the national and state portions of the exam. The Live Q&A allows you to talk to certified real estate instructors via video webinars. If you have a hard time studying on the computer, you will get hardcopy books in the mail that are identical to the online books. After you get licensed, Real Estate Express gives you additional training courses to help you hit the ground running. The 90-day Boot Camp is a video course by world-renown real estate coach Sherri Johnson that will show you how to close your first deal in 90 days. You will also get ongoing access to hundreds of video tutorials, discussion forums, and job aids with their Professional Development Membership. Real Estate Express is the top pick because they don’t just help you get licensed, they are the total package to help you launch a successful career.

The CE Shop is a 100% online program. They setup their courses so that you really learn the material by attacking the content at multiple angles. Although it is primarily like reading a book online, they incorporate lots of activities such as fill-in-the-blank, matching, and multiple-choice quizzes. They have robust support, offering phone, chat, and email support 7 days a week. The CE Shop boasts a 97% student satisfaction rate and considering they have the highest pass rate, I can see why.

TREES has been around for over 40 years. They have helped over 100,000 people become licensed and genuinely seem to care about helping their students achieve their career goals.  They are best known for their classrooms, which can be completed Monday through Friday in a couple of weeks or there is also a 5-week option during nights and weekends.

Here are their 5 locations:

5705 Marlin Rd
5900 Bldg., Ste 1300
Chattanooga, Tn. 37411

Twelve Oaks Building 1
5401 Kingston Pike, Suite 220
Knoxville, Tn. 37919

Nashville – Elm Hill
Atrium Way, Landers Plaza,
2451 Atrium Way, Suite 120
Nashville, Tn. 37214

Georgetown Park, Suite 501
1602 West Northfield Blvd.
Murfreesboro, Tn. 37129

Great Smoky Association of Realtors
109 Glennhill Lane
Sevierville, Tn. 37862

TRECS has dominated classroom learning in Knoxville. Having been founded in 1977, they have built a strong track record of helping people pass the exams. They only have the one location in Knoxville and their class schedules only run Monday through Friday, so it may not work with your schedule if you have other commitments.

Continual Learning Institute has been one of the leading education providers in Tennessee. They only have one location in Nashville. However, they offer multiple classes during the week, nights and weekends to fit your schedule.

COMPLETE LIST | NMLS Schools in California (MLO)

PE = Pre-licensing Education
CE = Continuing Education

1Allied SchoolsOnlineOnline
2Mortgage EducatorsOnline, Webinar, Classroom (Walnut Creek, Visalia)Online, Webinar, Classroom (Walnut Creek, Visalia)
4First TuesdayOnline
5Real Estate Trainers, Inc.Classroom (Anaheim)Classroom (Anaheim)
6Affinity Real Estate ServicesOnline, Classroom (Bellflower)Online, Classroom (Bellflower)
7AAA Mortgage TrainingOnline, Webinar, Classroom (Tustin)Online
8Learn MortgageOnline, WebinarOnline
9LoanOfficerSchool.comOnline, Webinar
10My Mortgage TrainerOnline, WebinarOnline
11OnCourse LearningOnline, WebinarOnline
12Real Estate InstituteOnline, WebinarOnline
13Ameritrain Mortgage InstituteOnline, WebinarOnline
14OnlineEdOnline, WebinarOnline
15AA Real Estate SchoolClassroom (El Monte)Classroom (El Monte)
16Duane Gomer IncClassroom (Mission Viejo)Classroom (Mission Viejo)
17RDH Education ServicesClassroom (Livermore)Classroom (Livermore)
18The C.O.R.E.Classroom (Pasadena)
19Golden Hyde SchoolClassroom (Rosemead)
20GoGo Real EstateClassroom (Diamond Bar)
21Q & A Real Estate InstituteClassroom (Fountain Valley)
22Real Estate Educational ServicesClassroom (Carlsbad)
23The Training AcademyClassroom (Huntington Beach)

Getting Licensed

If you want to originate loans in California, the state requires you to complete 20 hours of Pre-licensing Education (PE) and pass the National Exam. Depending on your situation, you may or may not need the 2-hour DBO course. This will come down to which agency you go through: the Department of Business Oversight or Department of Real Estate. This part confuses a lot of people because it really is confusing. So, don’t feel bad if you need to read this a couple of times. 

Department of Business Oversight (DBO)

If you just want to originate loans and not be involved with buying/selling real estate, you will most likely be working for a mortgage broker that is registered under the DBO, then you will need to take this 2-hour DBO course. Since you only need 20 hours of PE to fulfill California’s requirement, some schools already have this course in their package setup as a 18-hour National PE course + 2-hour DBO course (20 total hours). However, there are a lot of schools (usually based outside of California) that just have the standard 20-hour National PE course. So, that means you have to also take a 2-hour DBO standalone course. If you go with one of these programs, you will be doing 22 total hours.

Why would anyone take more hours than they have to? Some people really want to take the course in a video webinar format because they don’t like studying by reading online. However, most schools with webinars don’t include the 2-hour DBO course and just offer 20 hours of National content. You have to add that on separately as an online course. As a result, you will have to do more hours (22 total hours) and pay extra. This is purely a personal choice.

Department of Real Estate (DRE)

If you originate loans, you also have the option to get a real estate license (if you don’t have one already). This will allow you to earn more money and opens up more opportunites. In fact, if you work for a company that is registered under the DRE, then you will be required to have both the real estate and loan licenses.

However, what happens is that your loan license sits on top of your real estate license, and instead of using the word “license,” California calls it an “endorsement.” Don’t worry about all the semantics though. The requirements are the same. You still need to complete the 20-hour course and pass the National Exam. The DRE doesn’t have any agency-specific course requirement like the DBO does. The DRE allows you to take any approved elective course, so you can just get any approved 20-hour National course.

Top 4 Real Estate Schools in Virginia

It can feel exhilarating when you decide to get a real estate license. Then, when you go through the steps to actually do it, you may get second thoughts.

The truth is that it’s actually a pretty easy process to start working in the real estate industry… if you do it the right way. I have friends and have talked to many others in passing that they struggled in the beginning because they simply tried to wing it or save a couple of bucks by going with the cheapest school they could find.

This is an investment into your future. If you want the best outcome possible for yourself, shouldn’t you go with the best program that will get you there? That’s why we have come up with the “Big 4” real estate schools in Virginia. You can pick any school from this list and be confident that they will help you start working in Real Estate Like A Boss.

Best Overall Value

Real Estate Express is by far the biggest online school in the real estate industry. They have a plethora of options available for you to choose from. While most schools offer two or three packages, they give you four packages to pick from. If you have a small budget or you are not totally committed to a full-blown career in real estate, you can try out the lowest package called The Basics. This gets you the required course to get licensed at the cheapest price. However, I would recommend, at the very least, going with the Exam Preparation package, which is the next level up. It adds on 1,000 online practice test questions to help you study for the state exam and gives you the Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee, which means if you don’t pass the state exam, they will give you a full refund!

The courses can be repetitive at times, but I guess that just helps drill the material into your head better. I liked the interactive videos they have at the end of each section. It helps you focus on the main points that you really need to remember.

Best for Millennials

Aceable Agent is bursting into real estate education with a fresh approach. They don’t believe that learning has to be boring and are using technology to help make that happen. Their courses are designed by top-producing real estate agents, so they know what you really need to know and perhaps, more importantly, what you don’t.

They only offer one package, so you don’t have the ability to customize it based on the things you actually want. However, if you are starting out new to real estate, then this will definitely be all you need. It has the required 60-hour pre-license course and some practice tests. This package has been built to be comprehensive enough so you won’t need anything else to successfully get licensed. They also provide you with instructors called Career Mentors that can help you 7 days a week.

Believe it or not, most real estate schools don’t have a mobile app. Aceable Agent does. This makes education-on-the-go a snap. While you are waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, you can easily pull out your phone and study for a few minutes. When you get back to your laptop or desktop computer, you will seamlessly be able to pick up where you left off.

Best for Prestige

Kaplan Real Estate is the 800-pound gorilla of real estate education. This billion-dollar company has been around for almost 100 years, and is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Being such a well-respected brand with top-notch instructors, they do charge premium prices for their courses.

Regarding the Virginia real estate courses, they give you three simple online options. You can get the 60 hour course as a standalone course. This is a text-based format that gives you an introduction into real estate laws. With their middle package, you get exam prep too. This is a video course with multiple-choice questions that is broken up into separate components to help you with both the national and state components of the exam. With this package, you also get to participate in their Interactive Study Groups. This is a live webinar that makes you feel like you a part of the class. You can join in on the discussions and ask the faculty your questions.  

If you really want to hit the ground running, Kaplan Real Estate has a Career Launcher package for an extra $200. This includes an intense 8-hour course along with 8 weeks of professional coaching that allows you to get immediate training after you get licensed.

Best for Academic Achievers

If you are one of those people who genuinely enjoys learning, The CE Shop is the perfect school for you. While they do not offer any physical study materials such as hardcopy books, they designed their online platform to make sure you learn the material in multiple ways. You are not just reading the whole time like at other online schools. They developed their own proprietary system called LEAP to give you scenario-based examples to make it as close to what you will experience in the real world as an agent. The LEAP system also encourages active learning with frequent multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and matching quizzes. This system seems to be working: 77% of their students pass the national portion and 74% of people pass the state exam. Compare this with the state average of 56% and 58%, respectively.

The packages aren’t laid out very well on the website. Their Standard package gives you everything you need to get licensed. You get the 60-hour course and exam prep. If you want to add on some extra training to help get your real estate business going after you get licensed, they have offer those in the Value Package. With their top package, the Premium package, you get all of the above as well as the post-licensing course.

Top Real Estate Schools in the US | POWER RANKING

When you decide to become a real estate agent and get licensed, you are excited and eager to see what the future will bring. You are building a new career (or trying to get out of one). So, when you do a quick search to find the best real estate school, you discover there are a lot of choices out there. Thousands of choices.

Although they may sound the same on the surface, each real estate school is different. They develop their own content, have their own staff of instructors, and they build their courses on different technology platforms.

It can all be very confusing but don’t worry. Whether you already have a full-time job and want to make some extra cash on the side, or if you are fresh out of college trying to build a new career, I got you. Here is the list of the 7 best real estate schools in the nation to get licensed. 

This is the largest real estate school in the country, and they give you the most options more than any other school. Hardcopy books, live instructor support, video training courses, and money-back guarantees are just some examples of what you can get. Whether you are on a tight budget or can afford to get everything they have to offer, there is something for everyone. Plus, they seem to have a promotion going on all the time, so you can get a great deal too.

Kaplan is one of the most well-establisehd and well-known brands in education in the world. Founded in 1938, they have since grown into a $1.5 billion juggernaut in the industry. Regarding real estate education, where they really shine is their video courses, being one of a few handful of schools that offer them. Depending on availability, there are live webinars where you watch it at a scheduled time over the internet or you can take the recorded ones which allow you to watch it at any time.  

OnCourse learning has been quietly moving up the ranks in online real estate education. They are one of only two online school to offer both the real estate and mortgage license programs across the nation, so if you need both licenses, you can get them all at one place. There is nothing too flashy going on here. They don’t bother with throwing a lot of extra features that you don’t need at you. They focus on presenting you with what you need to know and delivering it at the highest quality while still making it affordable.

Aceable Agent is the newest player in the game. As of this time, they only have real estate programs in six states. However, they are developing their courses in other states as fast as they can. Aceable Agent wants to change how people learn. They focus on incorporating state of the art technology to make the courses as engaging and memorable as possible. They have a 4.8 out of 5 star rating based on over 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot, so it is safe to say that their formula is working. is a very large online school that dabbles in a little bit of everything. In addition to real estate, they have programs in the medical industry, food management, hospitality, and OSHA safety. They don’t get too deep or comprehensive with their programs. They simply provide the courses that your state requires to get licensed and try to do that at the lowest price point. If you only want the required pre-license courses at the cheapest price, this is the perfect program for you.

Contrary to its name, The CE Shop offers more than just continuing education. They offer pre-licensing courses and exam prep to help you get licensed in most states. They are a 100% online only program, so they don’t offer any physical study materials like hardcopy books. They focus on making their courses rigorous, which forces you to study harder. There are no shortcuts, and they will definitely put your knowledge to the test, which will also give you the confidence to pass the state exam with ease.   

Hondros College is the dominant real estate school in the Midwest. Although they are based in Ohio and specialize in getting the Ohio real estate license, they do have online programs for most other states for real estate, mortgage, and appraisal. However, it is their live classes in Ohio that they are best known for. They have 6 locations in Ohio: Westerville, Uniontown, West Chester, Independence, Fairborn, and Maumee. If you are on a tight budget, they have partnered with Paypal to offer qualifying applicants a 0% interest payment plan for six months.

COMPLETE LIST of Real Estate Schools in Iowa

 Whether you need to take courses to obtain an Iowa real estate license or simply get continuing education to renew an existing license, you will need to make sure you get them from a school that has been approved by the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau (PLB).

There are currently 52 approved schools listed on their website. However, it’s not as easy as just picking any school off the list. There are some schools that only offer continuing education courses and not pre-licensing courses. While other schools offer pre-licensing courses but not the three required 12-hour courses that have to be taken in a classroom. I found some schools that haven’t posted information about any upcoming classes or don’t have a website at all, which makes me wonder if they are even still in business. Then, there are the ones with marketing gimmicks such as promotional discounts and money-back guarantees, which makes you wonder about the quality of the content.

If you want to save yourself the hassle that I went through to find the best real estate school for getting an Iowa real estate license, check out my list below.

1American School of RealEstateExpress Overall top pick for getting licensed; Promotions; Money-back guarantees; hardcopy books; live instructor support
2Iowa Association of RealtorsTop pick for realtors; Classrooms available for pre-licensing; Online CE
3Center for Real Estate ExcellenceTop pick to fulfill the 12-hour live class requirement; Classrooms available for all courses
4Quad City Area RealtorsOnline pre-license course; 12-hour live classes available
5Legacy Training Center LLCClassroom pre-license course; 12-hour live classes available; CE
6Concepts Real Estate School Online pre-license course; 12-hour live classes available; CE
7Mid-America School of Real EstateOnline pre-license course; 12-hour live classes available; CE
8 OnCourse Learning Online pre-license course; CE
9Kaplan Real Estate EducationOnline pre-license course; CE
10Real Estate Training InstituteCE only
11Carmel Streater CE only
12McKissockCE only
13Iowa Real Estate Investor Association CE only
14At Your Pace OnlineCE only
15Continuing Ed ExpressCE only
16The CE Shop, Inc.CE only
17Hondros College IncCE only
18WebCECE only
19Central Iowa Board of Realtors
20East Central Iowa Association of REALTORS
21Iowa City Area Association of Realtors
22Quad Cities School of Real Estate
23Hubbell Realty Company
24America’s Preferred Home Warranty, Inc.
25Iowa Chapter, ASFMRA
26Residential Real Estate Council
27National Property Inspections, Inc.
28Iowa State University Center for Ag Law & Taxation
29RE/MAX Home Group Masters Program
30Home Warranty Inc
31Iowa State University Dept. of Economics
32Capital City Real Estate School, LLC
33Preferred Systems, Inc.
34Northeast Iowa Board of REALTORS
35First American Exchange Company
36Southwest Iowa Association of Realtors
37Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors
38Cape School
39Northwest Iowa Regional Board of Realtors
40Skogman Real Estate School
41Midwest Educational Institute
43Iowa Chapter, Appraisal Institute
45UNI Real Estate Education Program
46Signature Education
47Iowa Real Estate School
48Iowa Real Estate Seminars
49Real Estate Pro LLC
50Elite School of Real Estate
51Council Bluffs NP Dodge Real Estate School
52QC School of Real Estate
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