Your California real estate license is due for renewal every 4 years, at which point you’ll need to accumulate 45 hours of continuing education, pay a fee, and renew your license for another 4 years. There are a number of real estate schools offering continuing education courses and helping you to complete the required steps. In this guide, we’ll highlight the best of them, discussing why they are on our list and why you should consider them.
What Are Real Estate Continuing Education Requirements?
You can renew your California real estate license up to 90 days before the expiration date. The California Department of Real Estate will even send you a reminder letter 60 days before it expires, prompting you to take action.To renew, you simply need to visit the eLicensing Portal, pay a fee ($245 for a salesperson license renewal and $300 for a broker license renewal), and provide course numbers. For the latter, you must complete 45 hours of continuing education via an approved real estate school.The course materials cover:
- Trust fund handling
- Risk management
- Fair housing
- Implicit bias training
It also requires 18 hours of consumer protection courses, with the rest consisting of consumer service or consumer protection.The requirements differ a little depending on whether you’re a salesperson or a broker and whether you’re renewing for the first time or not. All real estate courses are designed with specific licenses and renewals in mind, so as long as you’re applying for the right course and acquiring a completion certificate, you can renew your license.
The Best Online Continuing Education Courses
An online real estate school provides you with a fast, affordable, no-nonsense way to learn. Whether you’re preparing for your pre-licensing exam with comprehensive providers like Aceable Agent and License Solution or breezing through continuing education courses, this is the way to go.Here are some of the best online real estate schools offering this service, all of which have been approved by the DRE:
360training is a vast online education resource that covers a wide variety of courses. It has both pre-licensing and continuing education options, with the latter available for broker and salesperson license renewals.The course material is 100% online and available 24/7. You can learn at your own pace and the content is regularly updated to ensure you meet the most current requirements.Visit this page to see the full range of California real estate courses. The packages are very reasonably priced and there are individual course options as well.
Kaplan Real Estate Education
As with 360training, Kaplan is a large resource that covers many pre-licensing and continuing education courses for multiple states.The California continuing education option is just $144, and this is true for both brokers and salespersons. Additional packages are available if you wish to focus on specific elements or take your real estate education even further.Check out this page to see the full list of active courses.
At less than $55, OnlineEd is one of the cheapest options on this list, but it’s still a great choice for renewing your license and advancing your real estate career.The materials are not as comprehensive as with other online schools, but it covers the basics and gives you a printable certificate upon completion.
The continuing education courses on McKissock Learning are available for less than $100, and there are regular discounts to reduce this price even further.The course includes a variety of how-to videos, an on-demand library of webinars, and over 100 job aids such as scripts and checklists. You will be given 24/7 access to all of these materials.McKissock Learning is also a partner provider for Colibri Real Estate.
Empire Learning’s 45-hour continuing education course is listed at $69,99, but there are regular discounts to make it even more palatable. At the time of writing, it’s available for just $48.00.The package will prepare you for a license renewal. Just sign up, log in, and then download all of the required files from your Empire Learning account.
What Should You Look for in an Online Real Estate School?
The schools listed above are some of the best around and deliver exceptional quality and value, but there are others. Just make sure you’re looking out for the following features when searching for alternative real estate schools:
Approved and Accredited
Any online real estate school won’t do. You need one that has been approved by the California Department of Real Estate, otherwise, the certifications won’t mean anything.
Course Options and Specializations
There are many different online real estate courses out there, from the extensive pre-licensing options at Aceable Agent to the specialized individual courses at 360training. Choose a real estate school that provides the training you need right now, as well as one that offers additional opportunities for growth in the future.
Course Formats and Delivery Methods
How is the course provided and how easy it is to view the content and participate? Are you restricted to PDF forms and other basic content or does it offer live videos, audio, webinars, and interactive content?Some online real estate schools in California will even give you access to your own personal tutor and allow you to connect with fellow students. It can make a massive difference if you’re the sort of learner who struggles with motivation and needs a little extra support.
Course Content and Quality
How good are the tutors? How accurate is the content? How reliable is the software? You can find answers to all of these questions by running a simple Google search for the company.Check what other students have to say about the school and the course materials in particular. Be wary of companies that have no reviews or very few reviews and run a mile if your shortlisted companies have accumulated stacks of negative reviews and complaints.
Cost and Value
This is not a process that you can avoid (not if you want to keep your license), so you’ll want to keep the costs as low as possible.Some online real estate schools offer packages for as little as $50; others go up to several hundred dollars. You usually get what you pay for here, so if the costs are high then it’s probably because there are additional services, course materials, and unique features.Don’t just choose the most expensive option on the assumption that it must be the best, and don’t opt for the cheapest because you don’t think it matters. Check the extra features, compare and contrast, and find the real value.
Customer Support and Resources
What happens at the end of the course? Will you have easy access to the completion data that you need? Is there a capable and reliable customer support team on hand to help if there is an issue?We’re not talking about a simple transactional exchange here, so your research into a company should extend beyond the cost and basic features and into its professionalism and support.
As a real estate agent in California, you need to get closely acquainted with online real estate schools. Whether you’re taking the initial steps toward qualification and completing your real estate exam, seeking to renew your license, or simply improving your industry knowledge, these schools have what you need.