Top 5 Washington State Online Real Estate Schools
There are currently 43 proprietary education providers that offer real estate courses that have been approved by the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL).
When you start going down the list, you begin to notice a pattern: they all sound the same.
They all say, “we have the best program,” “our courses get the highest pass rates in the industry,” or “look at our long list of glowing recommendations from our students.” Some schools will even post reviews on themselves. And wouldn’t you know it? They always come back with the highest ratings.
To make matters more complicated, everyone has different study habits. So, what may be a great school for one person is not going to necessarily be a good fit for another person.
Having researched through the entire list, we have narrowed down our picks on who we feel are the 5 best real estate schools for obtaining your broker license for the state of Washington.
1. Rockwell Institute
Rockwell Institute is based in Washington and has been around since 1974. They are one of the smaller schools, offering real estate programs for Washington and California. They offer both live classroom training and online courses.
The live classes are led by instructors who present complex materials in a way that is easy to understand. Throughout the lecture series, students are quizzed with questions that will prepare them for the state exam. Instructors encourage active participation and classroom discussion during the course.
Rockwell Institute offers only one location in Bellevue for the live lectures. They are held during regular business hours from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. There are new classes that start every 2 to 3 weeks, and you can complete all 90 hours of pre-license coursework plus the state exam prep in 3 weeks.
If you can’t make it to the class, they offer an online program as well. The interface is a bit antiquated, but if you can look past the appearance, it delivers reliable content. There are hundreds of challenging exercises and quizzes, along with thousands of sample state exam questions.
Rockwell Institute backs their programs with a guarantee, provided that you have completed the courses with them and passed their Cram course with a score of 80% or better. They will refund you the test fee if you fail on your first attempt.
Best suited for: the Local Resident
Rockwell Institute is the “school next door.” It’s not the flashiest or most innovative program on the market, but it is run by your local neighbors in Washington, which gives you a sense of community and familiarity. There is limited availability which could make it challenging to attend.
Learn more at www.rockwellinstitute.com
2. Real Estate Express
Real Estate Express is currently the nation’s top real estate educator and was established almost 30 years ago. They have a refreshingly modern website loaded with tons of content. Being a big school, you get a sense that they have a system in place for everything, with a track record of success to back it up.
They list 4 different packages on their website that you can pick from. The Basics package covers the bare minimum requirements of the 90 hours of pre-license education. The next package called Exam Preparation includes practice tests and a money-back guarantee that you will pass the state exam. If you want to be able to ask a live instructor questions, you’ll need to get the Exam Preparation Plus package. The top package, Ultimate Learning, gives you all of the above plus hardcopy textbooks.
The Real Estate Express online courses look nice and clean. However, it is just reading the text. There are no videos or interactive exercises. You really have to have the discipline to study on your own to succeed with this format. They do offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for the first 7 days. If you are not happy with it, they will give you your money back. No questions asked.
A key differentiator with Real Estate Express is the massive amount of content they have available for when after you get licensed. They have a Career Hub which contains hundreds of useful blog posts that will help you hit the ground running. Also, if you subscribe to their Professional Development program, you get access to webinars, video tutorials, job aids, and more.
Best suited for: the Value Shopper
Real Estate Express gives you the best overall value at a great price. They score top marks in pretty much every category. The online courses can be a bit dry at times, so you do have to be diligent in your study habits.
Learn more at www.realestateexpress.com
Kaplan Real Estate Education is one of the more well-known names in the education industry. They have an online program that is second to none. However, the courses are only available online, so it is like reading a book on the computer.
There are 3 packages available to obtain the Washington broker license:
The 90-hour Licensing Package fulfills the basic requirements of the 60-hour Real Estate Fundamentals course and the 30-hour Real Estate Practices course.
The next package at Kaplan Real Estate Education adds on the Master Exam Prep, which gives you access to two of the industry’s most powerful test engines: the National PSI Real Estate Drill and Practice QBank and the Washington Real Estate Drill and Practice QBank. These advanced testing platforms are interactive and allow you to simulate nearly any testing scenario. You also get access to the Interactive Study Group which covers the national portion of the state exam through live webinars with other students and faculty.
The Career Launcher Package is the top package. This includes everything mentioned above plus additional state exam prep for both the national and state components through video courses that you can watch at any time. Kaplan Real Estate Education also gives you the Real Estate Accelerator course, which is also in video format. This 16-hour program teaches you everything you need to know after you get licensed so you can launch your real estate career quickly.
Best suited for: the Independent Learner
Kaplan Real Estate Education offers one of the most comprehensive state exam prep materials in the industry. They will be able to diagnose and analyze the areas that you need to work on the most and provide you with all of the tools. However, you will be the one to have to put it together.
Learn more at www.kapre.com
360training.com has a large presence in the online education industry. Their approach is to deliver the required information straight to the student at the cheapest price. They do not mess around with interactive learning methods, hardcopy books, or marketing gimmicks, such as money-back guarantees.
360training.com gives you exactly what you need to get licensed. Nothing more, nothing less.
They have 2 packages listed for Washington at 360training.com. The Basic Package includes the 90 hours of required pre-license education as well as some real estate math prep. The Premium Package throws in the Online Prep Course to help you prepare for both the national and state portions of the exam. This will help you remember critical real estate vocabulary, concepts, and products. There’s no “fluff, no nice-to-know, no war stories,” just the essential information you need to know that is presented in an easy-to-read format.
If you decide to try out this low-cost program and change your mind, you will only have 72 hours to request a refund in writing, assuming that you have not attempted any tests and completed over 50% of the course yet.
Best suited for: the Budget Learner
360training.com has a barebones online real estate program that meets the education requirements at a super low cost. You really have to be confident in your studying skills or knowledgeable about the real estate industry to succeed with this program. Otherwise, if you fail the exam, you may need to buy additional exam prep and pay re-testing fees. So, it may end up costing you more in the long run than if you had just gone with a more expensive, but comprehensive program in the first place.
Learn more at www.360training.com
5. The CE Shop
The CE Shop offers an online-only program that is focused on helping you retain the course material as much as possible. It is primarily text-based but they implement various scenarios throughout the course to make it more interactive. The scenarios are based on real-life situations that actual real estate agents have dealt with in the past.
All 3 of their package options come with the 60-hour Real Estate Fundamentals course, 30-hour Real Estate Practices course, state exam prep, support 7 days a week, 30-day refund policy, and money-back guarantee. So, even with their lowest Standard package, The CE Shop will give you everything you need to get licensed.
The Value package gives you an additional 3 professional development courses. These short, 3-hour online courses are not required for licensing, but simply to help you develop your business plan and get your real estate business off the ground.
The Premium package also includes the 90-hour post-license course that you will have to complete within the first 2 years of obtaining your broker license. If you do this early, then you will not have to worry about continuing education until your 4th year.
Best suited for: the Knowledge Seeker
The CE Shop not only arms you with the knowledge needed to get licensed, they require that you master it. Their learning system follows a rigid format that will most likely have you spending more than 90 hours to complete the program. However, you will come out of it knowing the material like the back of your hand, and ultimately, you will be able to pass the test with ease.
Learn more at www.theceshop.com