If you are thinking about pursuing a career in real estate, the first step is to find a school that is accredited by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) to get licensed. Your biggest challenge here will be to choose one out of the 100 education providers that currently offer the mandatory Florida real estate courses.
If you are like me, you just want a simple answer and go with the best. The problem is that everybody learns differently, so what works for you may not work for someone else. The good news is that since there are so many different options available, you will easily be able to find a school that fits your own learning style.
We have broken the list down and hand-picked the 4 best real estate schools that will cater to any learning style to get your sales associate real estate license in Florida.
360training.com is a no-nonsense company that gives you the mandatory courses needed to meet the state requirements, at the lowest cost. They have over 6,000 courses in all types of industries with students from over 67 different countries. They do not specifically specialize in the real estate industry. They specialize in providing online courses.
The only reason to go with 360training.com is the price. It’s cheap.
The course material is online and text-based. There are no printed books, money-back guarantee, or additional study materials apart from the practice tests included with the Premium package. You really have to be experienced with online courses or knowledgeable about the real estate industry to successfully pass the state exam with this program.
You also want to be aware of the cancellation policy if you change your mind. 360training.com only gives you 72 hours from the date that you enrolled to request a refund. You must not have completed any portion of a test or exam, complete 50% or more of the purchased course, and you have to email your receipt as proof of purchase along with an explanation on why you want your money back.
Best suited for: the Budget Shopper
If you are new to the real estate industry or just don’t want to commit a lot of money to this yet, 360training.com is a low-risk option for you. While it doesn’t provide a lot of extra study materials or support, they do provide a solid program to fulfill Florida requirements without breaking the bank.
Learn more at www.360training.com
2. Gold Coast Schools
Gold Coast Schools is the leading education provider for getting your real estate license in Florida. They started with a single office in 1970 and now have 7 locations all over the state. They also provide programs in the mortgage, insurance and construction industries. Gold Coast Schools are very well-known in Florida and have a great reputation for their online courses and live classes, which are both offered in Spanish and English.
You can complete the live courses in as little as 7 days, where you attend a class every day from 9 am to 6 pm. If that doe not fit your schedule, then they have morning and evening classes available with their 4-week and 5-week long programs. They have office locations in Boca Raton, Orlando, Tamarac (Broward), North Miami, Jupiter, South Dade (Doral), and West Palm Beach (Lontana).
If you can’t make it to class, there is an online program where you can study at your own pace from home. The graphics in the courses are a little outdated, but they do a good job with engagement. Gold Coast Schools incorporate videos, animations, memory tips, and throw in a lot of charts and diagrams to make the course interesting and not simply reading the text.
Once you sign up with Gold Coast Schools, there is no turning back, so make sure you are totally committed to getting your real estate license first. There are no refunds or credit once you purchase an online course from them. All cram course and book item sales are final. For the live classes, no refunds are given after the first session of any course.
Best suited for: Learning in the Classroom
Gold Coast Schools excels with their live classes, which are led by engaging and experienced instructors. Although they have a tight refund policy, they allow you to use virtually any of their materials for up to 2 years for live classes and 1 year for online courses until you successfully get licensed. They are committed to showing you that “The Proof is in the Passing.”
Learn more at www.goldcoastschools.com
3. Real Estate Express
Real Estate Express is the “Amazon” of real estate education. They are the biggest real estate school and only offer online courses. They do not have any brick-and-mortar locations that offer classes. As a result, they are able to offer a really good online program at a great price.
According to their own surveys, their Florida real estate program earned an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars from 7,368 reviews, which is really good. However, any time a company publishes self-reported reviews, you have to look at the numbers with a healthy dose of skepticism and take it with a grain of salt.
Real Estate Express offers 4 packages to help you obtain a real estate license. All of the packages contain the required 63-hour pre-license online course. The more expensive packages give you additional study materials and support. The top package, Ultimate Learning, includes the hardcopy books and a year of Professional Development tools to help you after you get licensed.
What really caught my eye was all the extra training materials you can get with the Ultimate Learning package. There are several comprehensive video courses that show you how to close your first real estate transaction in the first 90 days. This makes for a well-rounded program to launch your career.
The only real gripe I have with the Real Estate Express platform is that it is all text-based. There is nothing really exciting or engaging about it. You are basically just reading a book the whole time.
Best suited for: the Value Shopper
If you are a self-starter and looking for a great deal, Real Estate Express is perfect for you. The course itself is pretty standard, but you can get a lot of other helpful study materials and support with their top packages. They leave it up to you to decide how much you need.
Learn more at www.realestateexpress.com
4. The CE Shop
The CE Shop makes unique courses in the way they deliver the material. The courses are primarily text-based. However, they make it interactive by using scenario-based learning. This has been proven to help retain information better, especially with adult learners. They develop their content by using actual events that real estate agents have experienced.
The CE Shop teaches you not only about the required information on real estate law, but they try to take it to the next level by helping you apply that in the real world. They do not just want to prepare you to pass the state exam, they want to help you succeed in your real estate career after that.
The courses look refreshingly modern and have a clean interface. The CE Shop has a liberal 30-day refund policy and industry-leading phone, email, and chat support 7 days a week. The courses are mobile-friendly, which makes it much easier to read if you want to study with your smartphone or tablet.
The CE Shop claims they have an 83% pass rate on the state exam. This number is based on their own self-reported surveys from 101 reported test-takers between May 2016 to December 2018. This is significantly higher than the average pass rate of 49%. However, I think it is too early to tell if their program warrants such a high pass rate. The sample size is simply too small. In 2018 alone, there were over 15,000 people who took the Florida sales associate exam for the first time.
Best suited for: the Knowledge Seeker
If you want to not only fulfill the education requirements to get your license but also want to learn as much as possible, The CE Shop is the right program for you. You cannot pass the course by merely guessing or tricking the system. You will have to genuinely know the material inside and out to move forward. As a result, it will prepare you the best, but you may end up taking more time to complete it.
Learn more at www.theceshop.com