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How to Choose the Best California Real Estate School

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Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education

Published: March 31, 2020

Deciding to pursue a career in real estate in California is a great goal that can provide you with a flexible work schedule and unlimited earning potential. All these benefits might have you eager to get started but unsure of where to begin when it comes to completing your state’s education requirements. Finding the right state-approved real estate school for you is easier said than done.

Before committing to a California real estate school, there are a few things you should consider. In this article, we’ll walk through what you should look for in a potential school, so when the time comes to make a decision, you feel confident and ready.

10 Tips to Find the Best California Real Estate School

1. Make sure the course content satisfies California’s requirements and is regularly updated.

When researching schools, it’s important to find out if the courses are approved by the California Department of Real Estate and will count towards your 135 hours of prelicensing education. Good schools will stay up-to-date with the latest info when it comes to California real estate licensure and prelicensing requirements, so when requirements change or new information comes out, they can move quickly.

2. Look for courses with multiple format options.

A comprehensive real estate school will offer you different formats for completing your courses. Several different course format options are available for real estate students, including on-demand, live online, and in-person courses.

There are benefits to each course format. If you currently have a full-time job or are a busy parent, you may want to look for online options, as you may not have the time needed to travel to in-person courses. But, if you learn better in a classroom setting, attending an in-person course might be the perfect fit for you. Whatever your circumstances, make sure the real estate school you choose offers your preferred course format.

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3. Find a school with comprehensive student support.

Having access to a comprehensive student support team can be a lifesaver when you're dealing with technical or logistical issues. The support team’s contact information should be easy to find on the real estate school website. Many people don’t realize how important this is until they find themselves in a situation where they aren’t receiving adequate help. Checking for an accessible support team at your real estate school can be a big relief down the road if the unexpected occurs.

4. Search for instructors who are licensed agents and brokers.

Instructors who have actually lived the material they’re teaching are the best sources of information for prospective real estate agents. Real-life agents and brokers will be able to provide you with on-the-job examples and experiences that could help illuminate the course material. Look for licensed instructors, so you can avoid trying to learn from someone who is just reading a textbook.

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5. Ask around for recommendations.

Chances are, you might already know someone who is a licensed real estate agent or who knows one. Asking around could be a good method for getting suggestions you might not have already considered. Friends or family might be able to connect you to a licensed agent or broker who could give you advice on choosing the right real estate school.

6. Learn about the school’s teaching methodology.

The study practices and teaching styles employed by your chosen real estate school could make a big difference in your success during the course. Although the curriculum may seem fairly straightforward since it is dictated by the California Department of Real Estate, the way the school implements the curriculum could mean the difference between a fulfilling learning experience and a lackluster one. Make sure the school you choose is teaching in accordance with the latest info in learning science, so you can avoid attempting to learn from ineffective methods.

7. Identify practice questions in the curriculum.

Putting your skills to the test with practice questions is key to retaining and learning new information. Look for opportunities to test yourself on the course material in the curriculum. Some schools offer tools like online question banks, which can be great assets when attempting to assess your knowledge. The more you practice with quiz questions, the better prepared you’ll be for real estate exam day.

8. Research the real estate school’s history.

A real estate school’s history of past student successes will tell you a lot about what you can expect. If it’s evident the school has many past success stories, then you’ll feel more confident putting your education in their hands.

When you’re doing your research, look for examples of time-tested teaching techniques, licensed instructors, and, most importantly, happy and successful students. Former student testimonials can tell you a lot more about your potential experience at the school than flashy marketing. Newer schools without a history of student successes might still be working out issues that more experienced schools have already streamlined.

9. Ask about average enrollment numbers.

The number of students that the real estate school serves can be a reflection of its popularity among your peers and the quality of instruction. More students mean more opportunities for the school to gather feedback and learn what needs improvement. Make sure you’re not a test subject for a real estate school without much experience by inquiring about average enrollment numbers.

10. Check if the school offers CE and broker licensing education.

If a real estate school is comprehensive and well-equipped, chances are it offers continuing education courses and broker licensing courses in addition to your prelicensing education. This might not seem important now, but when you are ready to complete your CE courses or decide to pursue a broker license, you’ll be glad that you’re already familiar with a real estate school that’s ready to serve you.