Texas RE license courses/schools

17 Replies

Hey everyone,

I've decided to get my RE license for a multitude of reasons. Mostly, it is to further educate myself on the transaction basics and to familiarize myself with terms, etc as my education is in Engineering. Also, if I lose my job or decide to leave it, and end up needing extra income I can supplement with sales at a brokerage.

Anyway - I live in Houston and hopefully I can get some responses from those who have taken these classes there. I'm curious to know if it's worth it to pay extra for the classroom type schools vs. taking the courses online. I'm sure I could learn it online (I downloaded every engineering textbook and managed to graduate w/ a 3.5), but perhaps the physical texts will be useful in the future to reference? Also, the only other benefit I can see to the classroom type setting is networking with my classmates and teachers.

What did you do? Do you think the benefits of networking and the texts outweigh the cheaper and faster route of online classes? If you recommend the schools, do you have any experience with the 6 or 7 that are in Houston?

Thanks for your replies everybody. 

I am a New Jersey realtor so I can not speak for Texas but from my experience and from what I hear from other agents around the county the class you take is basically useless information that is for the test once you pass the test you will use a very minimal amount of information you learned.   Being in the classroom can be useful for networking, when I took my class I found 5-6 people that invested in real estate.  The people you find in your class you can likely make a better connection then meeting them at a networking event but I don't know if that is worth your while or not cause you may have to take off work or spend your evenings in a classroom.  

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I did the online classes back in the late 90's because i needed my studies to fit in around my full-time work schedule. In my opinion, get your classes done online as quickly as possible and spend every waking moment honing your knowledge and skills. There is a wealth of information online and most title companies offer low cost specialized classes taught by an attorney. 

You will need to commit to be the professional you wish to be.  It won't be easy but it's well worth it if.

On the TREC website there is a database of accredited schools. 

http://www.trec.state.tx.us/education/examination/...

The database also shows each school's pass rate. 

I chose  http://www.texasstateonlinerealestate.com/ because their pass rate was higher than most and it was only $500. You only have six months to take their course, so I would go with someone else if you can't complete it in that time.

RealEstateExpress has the same thing and I got caught on it because I bought it with a Groupon back in August but didn't get to start things till November.  They start the six month time on all the courses at the moment of purchase so I am scrambling to get it done especially since I got sick in December.  They do offer a 2 month extension for $100 which I will probably have to take.  Still less than $300 even with the extension.

I will say that the classes are hard.  Mostly from a mind numbing factor.  I really would do better just reading a book than reading the slides online.  It is less hard on the eye.  I got the book Modern Real Estate Practice in Texas to actually study by.

@Greg H. Thanks for the tip, I will check out if any Groupon deals exist.

@Guy Gimenez  I appreciate your explanation, and advice. I have a weird work schedule because I spend weeks at a time on the Gulf oil rigs. I found classroom-type schools that would let me schedule individual classes whenever I came home but from everyone's input it seems that the 1k+ for the classroom setting isn't really getting any more educational benefit and the networking opportunities aren't enough to make it worth the cost/hassle.

You intrigued me with the specialized attorney-taught courses...if you would recommend a few to take first, what might those be?

I agree with your comment on commitment as well. Personally I haven't found it hard to fully commit once I became educated that investing in real estate would allow me to be a full-time entrepreneur; I have already devoted every waking minute of free time to online research and organizing opportunities to network with local investors. My difficulty lies in trying to nail down the most efficient path to reach my goals, but I'm making progress.

@Fred Heller   That is an excellent resource! Thank you so much for that link. I will be enrolling very soon as I'm still in the process of becoming a Texas resident.

@Paul Ewing  I appreciate your take on the study of this material. I will check out that book

Thanks everyone for your input! Much appreciated

@Benjamin Ouderkirk

That's a good questions Ben. Not sure if you can attend prior to licensing and it may not be that beneficial until you have some basic knowledge to work from.  But you can email the title companies anyway and ask.  

As far as other educational opportunities, I'd say hit your local Half-Price Books location and get some good basic real estate books that were printed in the last 2 to 3 years and are specific to Texas real estate. Then research topics nightly on the internet. 

Don't every take anything you read or are told as gospel...trust, but verify.  

@Benjamin Ouderkirk  I'm also an engineer and I got my RE license last year from Champions. I decided to do the classroom courses for two reasons, first, I know myself and with family and chores at home, it would've taken me longer to complete online rather than sitting in classroom for several weeks. The second reason is the real life experiences told by the teachers. Through my career and studies (including the PE license) I've learned that when teachers mix lecture with real life examples, it's easier to remember things and later apply on your own. Books and online courses can teach you the essentials but to me it's the day-to-day experiences what makes it interesting and enjoyable. Some of the classroom discussions were amazing and very informative and most of the time derived from the students questions to the teachers. 

I also met very nice people and even decided to hang my license with one of the teacher's brokerage firm. 

Hope this helps. 

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I'm using allied schools online right now, all online and they sent me the books as well. It also came with the continuing education courses. I like having the online course and the books if I feel like getting off the computer. So far so good.

I used and have several associates who have used TrainAgents.com.  It is all online, priced right and has a high first time pass rate for the state test.  I also use them for much of my mandated continuing education.  I know some people do better in a classroom setting but this worked out well for me.  Worth considering for you.  Let me know if I can be of assistance as I'm in the greater Houston area also.

@Benjamin Ouderkirk  

Just take the classes online and use the course that is the best deal.  The reality like with a lot of schools is the classroom knowledge will not be as applicable in the field as you think it will be.  It is not investment based so while you will learn a few "dont's" it is not going to help you much with the "do's" .  Bigger Pockets and getting it done and getting out in the field are 1000x more valuable IMO

I agree with @Greg H. much of the class at least the Principles part is fairly common knowledge if you have been around real estate much.  The rest is things like the composition of the TREC board and how often they meet and going through the full section on Real Estate of the Occupations Code.  You will learn a lot of don'ts that are important but as we have seen on some threads here, the coverage of these don'ts are debated a lot and it seems to boil down to don't piss people off to the point they report you.