2022 Guide to Online Real Estate Courses and Certificates

The flexibility of a real estate career can offer opportunities at nearly any stage in your life. Knowing where to find quality classes to begin your real estate career or to enhance your skills if you’re a real estate professional is a good place to start. 

This guide provides an introduction to online courses for real estate professionals and those who aspire to become licensed real estate agents.

Can You Study Real Estate Online?

You can effectively study real estate online. Because of the flexibility that is typical with online courses in real estate, it may provide a convenient and efficient way to learn the real estate business.  

A number of states allow you to pursue some or all of your real estate agent pre-licensing or broker pre-licensing education online with approved real estate schools. For state-specific information on online pre-licensing, refer to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), the licensing authority for each state and territory.  

There are online real estate programs that help you become a real estate professional in certain specialities, such as investment and development, market research and data analysis. Online short courses may help jump-start your development in some of these focus areas. Some studies may be specific to real estate. Other real estate courses online might impart general business skills and knowledge that you can apply to real estate.

Common Topics in Real Estate Online Courses

There are several online real estate classes to help start your career or move to the next level in the real estate industry. These may include classes on real estate:

  • Investment and development
  • Data analysis and analytics
  • Finance
  • Sustainable development and management 

You may even be on your way to becoming a licensed real estate agent or broker by taking some or all of your classes online.

Real Estate Investment and Development Courses

A real estate investment and development course is designed for property developers and entrepreneurs to develop greater insights into identifying and analyzing the viability of real estate investments and developments. 

This type of course is also appropriate for real estate agents, brokers and property managers who want to expand their knowledge of the commercial real estate ecosystem. Finance professionals can develop an understanding of the financial tools and techniques necessary to assess an investment’s feasibility in these courses.

Real estate investment and development courses are often presented online as short courses. These are helpful if you want to learn how to identify and analyze the commercial viability of real estate developments and investing in real estate. 

These courses can teach you the fundamental skills that support knowledgeable commercial real estate investment and development commitments. Concepts covered may include:

  • Analyzing commercial real estate assets
  • Identifying appropriate financing instruments for real estate 

Some courses may provide a certificate of completion at the end to add to your list of credentials.

Commercial Real Estate Analysis Courses

Property management professionals can take commercial real estate analysis courses to  learn technical analysis tools and techniques to better understand the value of commercial properties. 

Building on a foundation of micro- and macroeconomic theories, an online short course can introduce you to practical financial analysis tools to help you make informed decisions. The courses are intended to equip you with the skills needed to evaluate commercial real estate for investment.

Commercial real estate analysis courses are often technically focused. Real estate or financial experience can be beneficial in understanding the concepts in an accelerated time frame. These classes typically teach methods for applying financial tools in the analysis of the commercial real estate market to make informed investment decisions. 

At the end of the course, you may be awarded a certificate of completion validating your knowledge of real estate development and finance.

Real Estate Finance Courses

You can take online real estate finance courses for graduate-level studies that focus on specific areas of finance. These courses are for anyone interested in real estate and property management, investment and development.

Real estate finance courses typically focus on teaching practical skills that can help you jump-start your career in finance or help you develop opportunities in your current position

Real estate finance courses teach you to critically evaluate property investment options. They can also help you to make informed decisions that are founded on economic and financial theories and research. 

The classes typically include instruction for:

  • Acquiring a profit-generating property
  • Valuing property for profit generation
  • Financing property
  • Measuring the impact of tax laws
  • Forecasting expected cash flow
  • Avoiding common investment mistakes and risks

Data Science in Real Estate Courses

Data science is an increasingly important discipline in commercial real estate to help guide companies to profitability. Data science uses scientific methods and algorithms to develop insights drawn from the data that every business generates. 

Real estate data science can help businesses improve outcomes by measuring results and creating forecasts that drive business decisions. Online short courses are available that teach data science that can be applied to multiple industries. Real estate-specific courses typically focus on how to use these skills to support your real estate investment strategies.

Some real estate data science courses use a data science toolkit. The toolkit is intended to teach you how to clean and format data and perform statistical analyses and modeling using software applications like R and Jupyter Notebook. 

The courses can teach you how to use insights from data analytics to make real estate investment decisions. Courses are designed to develop your skills in data analysis relevant to the factors that impact real estate values, such as trends, location and amenities. 

Sustainable Real Estate Courses

The real estate sector plays a significant role in the global climate. Changes are needed in the industry to support a sustainable future. Online sustainability short courses are available to learn more about sustainability in real estate.

Sustainable real estate courses are typically designed for real estate developers, entrepreneurs, city planners, architects, engineers and other built-environment professionals to learn about the latest planning and design considerations.

Courses in sustainability in the real estate industry are often specialized finance-related courses. They explore and identify the specific risks and impact of the built environment on sustainability. 

Sustainable real estate classes can provide insight into the future of investment and development relative to the impact of global trends and forces on commercial, residential, and sustainable real estate. With a foundational framework of theory and practice, you can be better equipped to appraise development and investment opportunities and build a resilient real estate portfolio.

Real Estate License Courses 

Can you get a real estate license online? Are there real estate license schools for obtaining your license online? 

If you’d like to become a real estate agent or broker, you can enroll in online real estate licensing courses. The details on how to become a real estate agent through online courses depend on where you live. Each state has individual requirements administered by the real estate commission or other governing agencies in that jurisdiction. 

The first thing to do is read and understand the real estate licensing requirements for the state where you want to practice. In some states, you may be able to earn a certificate from an online real estate course that enables you to take a real estate exam for a state license to actually practice as an agent.

Many states require real estate pre-licensing education that can be completed online or in a classroom. States may have a list of approved real estate schools where you can receive the education you need to prepare for the licensing exam. Online learning to become a real estate agent often needs to meet a state’s requirements.

The number of education hours and topics varies according to a particular state’s requirements. It is important that you follow the approved coursework for your state. The courses usually prepare candidates to take the state’s real estate licensing examination. In Arizona, for example, after completing the pre-licensing course and successfully passing the school’s final test, you are issued a Pre-Licensure Education Certificate to verify you have met the licensing requirements. Then you can sign up for the licensing exam with the state’s approved vendors. You may be required to complete the examination in person at a proctored testing center.

Is a Real Estate Course or Certificate Worth It?

Depending on your goals and dedication to the field, improving your skills in the real estate industry or becoming a real estate agent could be worth it to you. You also may be more prepared to embark on a new career path or enhance your skills to upgrade your current knowledge. 

Looking at Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the job market for real estate brokers and agents is expected to continue to grow. Many residential agents and brokers are self-employed. The median annual wage for real estate brokers in May 2021 was $62,010, with the lowest 10% of real estate brokers earning less than $30,470 and the highest 10% earning more than $176,080 annually.

If you are considering a career as a property, real estate or community association manager, courses and certificates may possibly advance your career. In May 2021, the median wage for that role was $59,230, with a range of $30,740 to $124,680. 

Commercial property developers and managers could enhance their skills with courses and certificates to build their project analysis and finance knowledge to identify and pursue real estate opportunities.  

3 Benefits of an Online Real Estate Certificate or Short Course Program

1. Career Advancement

A primary reason for enrolling in online classes for real estate professionals may be to boost your career. Online real estate certificates and short course programs focus on core aspects of the industry. 

You can delve into the real estate-specific elements of data analysis or sustainability. If you’ve already earned a graduate degree like an MBA, these classes can be a good way to help position you for a more prominent or challenging role. Obtaining an online real estate certificate may set you apart from others by gaining a strategic, future-focused perspective on the real estate industry.

2. Flexibility

The beauty of online classes for real estate professionals is the flexibility, both in terms of time and location. In many cases, you can pursue learning on your schedule by reading or watching online classes and presentations. You may also have opportunities to interact and network with fellow classmates. 

Online certificates and short courses may allow you to put your knowledge to work faster. A master’s degree typically takes two years compared to several weeks for an online course. 

3. Fulfillment

Challenging yourself can provide long-term benefits for your career and your outlook on life. In a short online real estate course, you can learn about a topic that’s of interest to you in a relatively fast-paced environment. The benefits of online learning vary according to what’s important to you as well as your schedule or your personal or professional situation.

You may gain satisfaction from applying what you’ve learned to your career. Short courses can also set you apart from others in your field.

You may find some topics, such as sustainable real estate, important to the greater good of humanity. You might also enjoy learning ways that real estate can contribute to a more inclusive and resilient society and positively impact the community.  

Online Courses in Real Estate to Consider

Online real estate courses can help real estate professionals gain knowledge of specific topics. Here is a compilation of some online real estate courses and certificates that could help further your real estate career.

School NameType of ProgramTopic
Cooke Real Estate School
Kaplan Real Estate Education
London School of Economics and Political Science
MIT School of Architecture and Planning
MIT School of Architecture and Planning
MIT School of Architecture and Planning
MIT School of Architecture and Planning
National Association of Realtors
Northwestern University
Real Estate Express
Rice University
The CE Shop
UCLA Extension
Short Course
University of Cambridge
University of Cape Town
Short Course
University of Oxford

Last updated May 2022