I became a first-time homeowner (house-hacking a SFR) in late June. The whole process made me realize I like the real estate industry way more than my current one(financial analyst). At least that background gives me a leg up on analyzing deals.
At 168 hours, I figure that's a pretty cheap "entry cost" to figure out in more certainty whether or not I want to be in the industry as a profession. If not, I'll still probably gain valuable knowledge for my investing purposes. This google docs sheet provides a list of pass/fail rates for different courses, but I figured someone here might have input if any of them are better suited for investors.
I used VanEd and passed (1st attempt) in Jan 2017. It is all CBT (computer based training) with an additional yellow book for studying.
You will learn about legal processes / land descriptions. Very little in the way of practical real estate or investment advice.
VanEd was sufficient. I have no experience with any other course to make a recommendation.
Wow those pass figures really hurt. I and quite a few agents I know have used http://www.creschool.com it's all online. They also have an exam cram which is a one day class which is geared towards passing the test. You don't get the interaction of a class situation but that's probably not a bad thing... there is always that one student that throws off the conversation in directions that no one really cares about and in an interactive class when that one student takes the instructor off course, it's usually at the detriment to the material you need to learn. You can call and email their office with questions on things you can't wrap your head around and you'll usually get a pretty quick response. They also have a facebook page that they post lots of tidbits to clarify material based on questions they get asked directly.
A lot of people will tell you that you pass the class and then learn in the real world. That's true, but the more you get involved with real estate you'll harken back to subjects that you thought were a waste of time.
The big, big plus once you become an agent is you get unfettered access to the mls and the rpr resource. That's gold when it comes to really being able to analyse potential investments. You still have to learn the trade, but that's the biggest hurdles investors have in the beginning which is accurate data to make decisions on.
Similar to @Rick Thomas , I also used Colorado Real Estate School (http://www.creschool.com). It is all online and I was able to crank through the class in about 1-2 months by trying to do at least 1 chapter 3-4 nights a week, sometimes a couple chapters a night. I passed my exam the first time.
I think that if you genuinely try to absorb the material as you are learning, you should be fine. After you complete all the coursework, they have practice state and national exams. I found that if you could consistently pass those every single time, you should be good on the test. I personally liked the online aspect as I was able to go at my own pace and do it when I had time.
I also do agree that you will learn most of your knowledge about real estate outside of the class, but there are things that come up where you remember having studied it for your class. So I do still think its valuable to try to learn and retain the information as well as you can instead of just trying to cram and remember it only for the test.
Best of luck! Feel free to message me with any questions.
I also used Colorado Real Estate School at the start of the year and passed on my first attempt. Loved being able to do everything online at my own pace. My brother took his class in person (in Tucson) and said that wasn't great due to the instructor going slower. It took him a month longer before he could take the exam and by that time he had forgotten some of the early material. With 168 hours, there is a ton of material to learn and remember so the faster you can get through it the better. I took a 3 week vacation in the middle and when I got back that early stuff I had learned was hard to remember.
I would just say make sure you actually watch the lectures and do all of the reading. Being online it's easy to get distracted and have a video run through. Also try and do all of the exams with as little internet help as possible, even if it takes you a few tries to pass.
Also if you use CRE School, there are 3 different packages to choose from. The differences really are in how much support you can get from them, none/email/phone. I didn't use them at all but I paid for the middle package where I could email them questions. I think there is a lot of great resources out there and the class itself covers everything you need to know so if I did it again I would do the cheaper package.
Just purchased the creschool course. Thanks everyone!