In-Person vs. Online Real Estate CE Classes: Which Is Best for You?

When it comes to continuing education for real estate agents, there are a variety of different options available. You can choose to take online webinars, online independent learning, or in-person classes.

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When it comes to continuing education for real estate agents, there are a variety of different options available. You can choose to take online webinars, online independent learning, or in-person classes. Each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this blog post, we will compare and contrast online versus in-person Real Estate CE classes. We will also discuss the different types of CE classes that are available for real estate agents.

Independent Learning

Independent learning is one of the most popular formats for CE classes. These classes are often sold as part of a CE bundle and they allow you immediate access to course materials for you to complete. One advantage of these classes is their cost—they tend to be more affordable and you can save on bundles. Another is that you can learn at your own pace. The independent format is more schedule friendly and you can access the course materials at any time. This makes these classes more flexible and convenient. You can also reaccess and review materials as you need during your access period.

Some of the advantages of independent learning, however, can also become disadvantages.  Because you're not learning with or from other people, the engagement is often low and you may find it difficult to focus on the course material. The ability to stop and start can seem appealing at first glance but often results in high drop-off rates and course incompletion. Additionally, it can be hard to get insights from the instructor because they're not present in real time. Another disadvantage is that you won't have the opportunity to network with other agents, which can make CE more beneficial than just knocking out credit requirements.

In-Person CE

A less common type of CE is fully in-person classes.  While it may not be as convenient to have to travel and find time to attend, there are several advantages to learning in person. First, the interaction between agents as well as the instructor is often more beneficial than learning from a screen. You can network and build relationships with other agents which can lead to referrals down the road. Additionally, classes are typically smaller so you'll get more one-on-one attention and opportunities to gain insights on specific topics and questions you may have. And finally, it's sometimes just easier to learn and absorb information in a traditional classroom setting.

The disadvantages of in-person CE are more straightforward.  First, you have to be in a specific place at a specific time, which can be difficult to coordinate if you have a busy schedule. Additionally, these classes can be more expensive since there are often fees for the instructor's time and the use of the space. And finally, you may not have as many options when it comes to choosing a topic; however, in-person CE often focuses on topics more relevant to the day-to-day of a real estate agent and are tailored to your local market.

Online Webinars

Online webinars are something of a middle ground between in-person and independent learning.  You get the convenience of learning from home on your own time, but you also have the opportunity to interact with both the instructor and other students in real time. These classes are often less expensive than their in-person counterparts since there's no need to rent out space, and they may offer a wider range of topics to choose from.  

The main downside of online webinars is that it can be difficult to pay attention for the entire duration of the class, but unlike online independent learning classes, you're more likely to knock out all required credit hours at once. And, if you do happen to zone out during a lecture, you can always go back and watch the recording at a later time.

In Summary

So, which type of real estate CE class is best for you?  It really depends on your learning style and goals. If you're looking for an opportunity to network and build relationships with other agents, in-person classes are the way to go. And, if you need the flexibility to complete your CE credits on your own time, independent learning may be the best option. If cost is a factor, online webinars are typically the most affordable option but still allow you the benefits of gaining insights from real people with opportunities for interaction. No matter which route you choose, just make sure you complete all required CE credits before your license expires!

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