A career in real estate isn’t smooth sailing for many who enter the field — there's an old adage that over 75% of new real estate agents leave the industry within their first five years. But if you dream of having a successful career in real estate, you shouldn't let that figure throw you off.
Though employment for real estate agents and brokers is only projected to grow 2% from 2019 to 2029 — according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics — the field is still exciting and potentially lucrative. But succeeding in it is easier said than done, and if you want to thrive in real estate, your skills need to be in tip-top shape.
To help you get there, we've put together a guide on the ins and outs of real estate training and a list of the best programs for it.
Real Estate Sales Training
Here are the key skills we recommend honing in on when pursuing continuing education as a real estate agent.
Whether you are facilitating the purchase or sale of a property, having strong negotiation skills is a must. Seek out training opportunities that introduce you to new negotiation techniques and give you clear examples of effective negotiation that can deepen your level of understanding from all sides.
2. Writing strong copy
When selling a property, good photography alone does not make a strong listing. You want to learn how to write copy that sells, using search-driven keywords so your listings can be seen by those who are looking for them.
Additionally, you want to ensure you can write compelling copy that draws potential buyers in. Look for training or continuing education courses that allow you to hone in your writing skills so you can create stellar materials.
3. Working through objections
Handling objections is a common part of your job description as a real estate professional. However, objections don’t always have to lead to an immediate "no."
When managed properly, objections can get you closer to making a sale because they can help you learn what your buyer is truly after. While handling objections can be challenging at first, with practice you can effectively resolve many customer objections to make the sale.
Whether you are delivering a pitch or showing a property, having strong presentation skills is critical for success in the real estate profession. Many training programs offer public speaking and/or presentation resources that can help you feel more confident and in-control pitching a sale or new property.
5. Local area knowledge
Knowing your local market is essential. While some distance education programs cannot speak to your geographic location, you can learn best practices that can help you successfully navigate and stay on top of what’s happening in the real estate market in your area.
Real Estate Courses
- Real Estate Express
- Kaplan Real Estate Education
- Udemy: The Modern Real Estate Agent
- Cornell Commercial Real Estate Certificate
- The National Association of Realtors
- 360 Training Online Real Estate Training
Here are some online training courses that can help you strengthen your skills to be successful in real estate.
- Pricing: Contact for Pricing
Real Estate Express is a multifaceted training program that covers the requisite legal and certification-oriented elements of virtually every stage of professional real estate — both pre and post-license. It features programs specific to the laws of 36 states and offers convenient and consistent access to high-quality educational content and instructor support.
Best for Someone Interested in Getting or Upgrading Their Real Estate License
Real Estate Express is dedicated primarily to aspiring and current real estate agents as a means of acquiring and upgrading their real estate licenses. Its curriculum tends to be about guiding professionals through the technical, legal requirements of being a real estate agent — as opposed to providing insight on more abstract, strategic elements.
If you're interested in a program that will prepare you for your real estate exam or other aspects of either getting or improving your license, Real Estate Express might be for you.
- Pricing: Varies by Program
Like Real Estate Express, Kaplan offers industry-leading real estate courses and exam prep for those seeking a real estate license or continuing their education. It offers real estate education resources specific to each state, so you can attain relevant education for your area. It also has courses on important subjects such as appraisal, home inspection, wholesale real estate, and contractor licensing.
Best for Current and Aspiring Real Estate Agents, Seeking General Knowledge
Kaplan offers a wider array of services than most other options on this list. It has courses that offer concrete exam-prep — on top of refreshers for current agents to help advance their careers and more effectively apply their experience. If you're interested in having access to a broad range of insight for any stage of your real estate career, consider looking into Kaplan.
Udemy's "The Modern Real Estate Agent" course is a cost-effective resource for any licensed real estate professional, looking to kickstart or revitalize their career. The course offers insight on effective goal-setting, relationship-building, sound financial decision-making, and several other elements that make for a long, successful career in the field.
Best for a Licensed Real Estate Agent, Looking to Add Some Spark to Their Career
Udemy's program is primarily geared towards real estate professionals who have already breached the field. It doesn't feature much in the way of the kind of technical knowledge that will show up on a real estate exam.
Still, the three or so hours of video programming it offers — coupled with downloadable resources and a certificate of completion — can be a big help to agents with any degree of experience.
If you're a licensed real estate agent, looking to add some new life to your career, consider checking out Udemy's course.
Cornell's Commercial Real Estate Certificate is one of the more concentrated, rigorous options listed here. As you can assume from the name, the series of courses is dedicated to helping agents better understand and approach elements of commercial real estate — including property management, property valuation, and financial planning.
The instructor-led program lasts roughly three months and is conducted 100% online. The curriculum is structured to fold into your existing work schedule — though it's relatively labor-intensive, the certification isn't a particularly strenuous weekly time commitment.
Best for Current or Aspiring Commercial Real Estate Agents
Shockingly enough, Cornell's commercial real estate program is tailored towards commercial real estate agents. It's an excellent resource for those kinds of professionals to improve their skills, bolster their resumes, or simply get a refresher on the field's fundamentals. If this series of courses covers your specialty and any of those perks appeal to you, you should look into the Cornell Commercial Real Estate Certificate.
- Pricing: Varies by Course
The National Association of Realtors offers an extensive suite of courses, tailored to help real estate agents better understand the nuances of the field, develop new skills, and grow their businesses.
With close to 100 classes and presentations available, The National Association of Realtors is one of the better, more comprehensive resources real estate professionals have at their disposal.
Best for Real Estate Agents Seeking Continuing Education
The National Association has one of the most — if not the most — robust libraries of online real estate courses of any program listed here. Its curriculum ranges from using Excel as a financial calculator to diversity and inclusion in the field to selling to buyers by generation.
Its classes and presentations cater primarily to working real estate agents, looking to expand their industry knowledge and personal skill set. It's not tailored to suit non-agents interested in learning more about the field or trying to get their real estate license.
- Pricing: Varies by Course
Mbition offers a collection of courses that cover topics related to real estate, appraisal, and home inspection. The company's programs are designed to thoroughly educate real estate agents at any stage in their careers without distracting too much from their personal and professional lives.
Best for New and Aspiring Agents Interested in Every Aspect of Real Estate
Mbition sets itself apart from similar programs through its content diversity, offering lessons that extend beyond conventional real estate. Students can leverage the company's content to obtain licenses in home inspection and appraisal.
It also provides courses for continuing education in all three fields. If you're looking for a resource that can help you better understand every facet of the real estate business, Mbition might be for you.
- Pricing: Varies by Course
360 Training is an excellent resource for aspiring and current real estate agents to bolster their professional knowledge and progress their careers. The program includes courses related to preparation for various state-specific real estate exams — as well as continuing education classes about elements of the practice like environmental hazards and fair housing.
Best for Agents Who Need to Fulfill Continuing Education Requirements
360 Training differentiates itself from similar programs with its continuing education courses. While other resources on this list also offer similar kinds of material, few have a bank of lessons as extensive and high-quality as 360 Training's.
Its curriculum covers requirements for virtually any state and is eclectic enough to give agents the flexibility to pursue the subjects they're most interested in. If you're an agent looking to cover your CE requirements, take a look at 360 Training.
With an effective training plan in place, your potential in the real estate industry can reach new heights.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.