If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in real estate, you’ll need to take numerous hours of real estate education from an accredited real estate school and pass the state licensing exam before you can start selling homes. When selecting a North Carolina real estate license school, you have a couple of different types to choose from: live classes or self-paced online courses. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each to help you decide which option is best for you.
Pros and cons of self-paced online real estate courses
Why do students love self-paced online real estate courses? Here are the main advantages:
People like online real estate courses for the same reason that they want to pursue a career in real estate: the flexible, self-made schedule. Most online courses are designed so that you can go through course material whenever you find some spare time, wherever you are—at home, at the office, waiting for your kid to get out of soccer practice, etc. Online education allows you to break the material up into smaller sections and spread it out over time instead of sitting through a scheduled in-person or virtual classroom session for 4+ hours at a time.
Save money and time
Online real estate courses tend to be less expensive than live courses. On top of that, taking your courses online saves you the cost of traveling to the nearest classroom location, the time you’d have to take off work, and the cost of whatever else you might need to take courses in-person (snacks, a babysitter, coffee, and so forth). However, keep in mind that if the live courses are offered virtually as live-stream courses, you won’t need to account for travel time and cost.
But, alas, there are some drawbacks of taking online real estate courses:
Need for self-discipline
The greatest benefit of taking online courses—the ability to choose when and where you study—can also be the biggest obstacle. When you don’t have a set time to show up to the class session, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to go through the course material.
Lack of interaction
When compared to live real estate classes, self-paced online courses can lack opportunities for students to network with their peers or ask professors in-depth questions about the course material.
So, if you’re good at prioritizing, you’re not a procrastinator, you’ve got a solid internet connection, and you want to start your coursework now, online education may be the way to go. If not, then live classes may be a better option for you.
Pros and cons of live real estate classes
Here’s why some students prefer to take live real estate classes, where you attend real-time classroom sessions either in-person or virtually:
Attending real estate courses in a classroom—whether it’s a brick-and-mortar classroom or a virtual one—gives you the ability to meet your professor, ask questions, and take part in class discussions, which often go beyond the material in the course. You can ask an educated professional about his or her experiences, opinions, tricks, tips, horror stories, and big wins. The classroom is also a great place to network with peers in your chosen profession.
Live, interactive learning
Reading the computer screen isn’t for everyone. Whether they’re conducted in-person or virtually, live classes may better suit your learning style because you can interact with your instructor and fellow students during the scheduled class sessions.
Scheduled meeting times
If the unstructured nature of self-paced online courses isn’t your thing, then having a set time to attend class might make it easier for you to complete your coursework and earn your real estate license. Live classes are usually offered during the day or evening and run between 4 to 8 hours per session.
Some drawbacks of live classes include:
Lack of flexibility
Live classes, whether taken in the classroom or virtually, don’t have the same anytime/anywhere freedom as online courses. You can’t complete coursework on your own time to fit your schedule. Rather than jumping online and getting started any time you want, you have to wait for your next scheduled classroom or live-stream session.
Potential cost of travel and time
If the live classes are conducted in-person, then depending on your location and the offerings of your chosen North Carolina real estate license school, you may have to make a lengthy commute to attend class. This will eat into your wallet and the time that you might otherwise spend working to turn a profit. However, if your classes are conducted virtually as live-stream real estate courses, travel time and cost won’t be an issue.
Take the time to choose the right North Carolina real estate license school and course format for you, and you’ll come away more informed, more prepared for a successful career, and ready to pass the state exam.
Superior has helped more new agents pass the North Carolina real estate licensing exam on the first attempt than any other school in NC. Attend one of our career nights, read the Superior Plan, and take our NCREC-approved 79-hour pre-licensing course—live version or self-paced online—to kick start your real estate career.