Degrees & Certifications Real Estate License

Chicago Real Estate School Review

Prepare for the Illinois real estate licensing exam in as little as six weeks

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Our Take

The Chicago Real Estate School helps individuals complete the educational requirements to become a real estate broker in the state of Illinois. However, you should note that "real estate broker" is the official term for real estate agents in the state. Meanwhile, what you would think of as a real estate broker in another state is actually a managing broker in the state of Illinois.

The school offers online-only real estate courses, as well as a flexible option that includes live webinars or in-person classroom training sessions. 

Qualified instructors with real estate credentials teach the courses at the Chicago Real Estate School, and phone support hours are offered five days a week. Read on to learn how the Chicago Real Estate School could help you reach your career goals, how much their courses cost, and why you may want to consider this school.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Courses are offered in-person, via live webinars, or online

  • Transparent pricing

  • Money-back guarantee

  • Payment plans available

  • High pass rate for licensing exam

  • Accredited by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR)

Cons
  • Courses are pricey when compared to some competing schools

  • No managing broker training offered

  • Not certified by ARELLO or the IDECC to teach distance courses

Key Takeaways

  • Prepare to become a real estate broker in the state of Illinois, either through online courses with live review or a flexible format that features live webinars or in-person training. 
  • Chicago Real Estate School does not offer coursework that leads to becoming a managing broker in this industry, nor does it offer continuing education.
  • Pricing starts at $499 for real estate broker training, or you can pay $539 if you want to pursue schooling via in-person courses or live webinars.

Company Overview

Chicago Real Estate School was originally founded in 2008 with the goal of helping individuals prepare to take the Illinois real estate licensing exam in as little as six weeks. While students do have the option to complete all of their coursework online and from the comfort of their home, this school also offers real estate broker training in a live classroom format. They also offer multiple class time options, with mornings, evenings, and even Saturdays available.

If you opt to complete your training in a physical classroom, you should know that school locations exist in two different Chicago neighborhoods (Rogers Park and South Location) as well as one location in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Chicago Real Estate School is accredited by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). However, the school is not accredited by ARELLO or the IDECC to teach distance courses.

Introduction

The Chicago Real Estate School aims to help individuals prepare for the Illinois real estate licensing exam, and the school features a 90% pass rate on the first try. However, you should know that this school has a fairly singular focus. Their courses can help you become a real estate broker in the state of Illinois, which is what most people think of as an agent in other states. However, Chicago Real Estate School does not offer training to become a managing broker in the field of real estate. The school also fails to offer continuing education courses or other types of supplementary training.

If you're really wanting to become a real estate broker, however, you may be satisfied with the school's learning options. You can take real estate broker training courses in a fully online format, part of which is self-paced. You can also opt for a live format that includes 10 instructor-led in-person or webinar classes. 

Chicago is not one of our top-rated online real estate schools. You can review our list of the best online real estate schools to learn which schools earned our top rankings.

Pros Explained

  • Courses are offered in-person, via live webinars, or online: Where some schools offer training in an online format only, Chicago Real Estate School offers the choice between online, live webinar, or in-person training. 
  • Transparent pricing: You don't have to create an account to see pricing for Chicago Real Estate School. This school is transparent about its pricing online.
  • Money-back guarantee: Chicago Real Estate School has a money-back guarantee that lets you try it out for up to seven days and get your money back if you're not satisfied. 
  • Payment plans available: If cash is tight, Chicago Real Estate School offers a payment plan that lets you begin your coursework with just $199 down.
  • High pass rate for licensing exam: The school features a 90% first-try pass rate for students who take the Illinois real estate licensing exam.
  • Accredited by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR): This school is accredited by the IDFPR, which is the regulating body for real estate in Illinois.

Cons Explained

  • Courses are pricey when compared to some competing schools: You may be able to get a better-priced program at a competing school.
  • No managing broker training offered: This school offers training to become a real estate broker only, but not to become a managing broker. 
  • Not certified by ARELLO or the IDECC to teach distance courses: These two accrediting bodies certify schools to teach real estate courses remotely, and Chicago Real Estate School does not offer any courses that meet eligibility standards.

Chicago Real Estate School's money-back guarantee is only good for seven days. If you become unhappy with the training after the first week, you'll find you're ineligible for a refund.

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All About Real Estate Agents and What They Do

Available Courses

Chicago Real Estate School offers the same training in two different formats. 

All-Online Real Estate Broker Course

The all-online real estate broker course lets you prepare to take the Illinois real estate licensing exam without ever visiting a physical classroom. This course offers a self-study component that lets you learn the basics of the industry, along with four webinars with a live instructor.

This course includes an array of important features including: 

  • Interactive sessions with a live online instructor 
  • 35 hours of self-paced video lessons
  • Hard-copy textbook
  • Audiobook and PDF versions of the book
  • Quizzes, exams, and practice tests
  • 11-hour test prep video series
  • Flashcard app to help you learn real estate terms

Flex Option Real Estate Broker Course

If you want to make sure you have more access to a live instructor so you can ask questions and get feedback, Chicago Real Estate School also offers a flexible option that includes more interactive features. This training option lets you complete 10 interactive sessions with a live instructor, although you can choose between an in-person class or a live webinar format. You also receive:

  • 35 hours of self-paced video lessons
  • Hard-copy textbook
  • Audiobook and PDF versions of the book
  • Quizzes, exams, and practice tests
  • 11-hour test prep video series
  • Flashcard app

Continuing Education

Upon completion of the prelicensing course, Chicago Real Estate School contacts students to discuss the continuing education options. They do not publish this data on the website.

Course Format

One major benefit of Chicago Real Estate School is the fact students have the option for in-person training if they prefer. However, you can also take real estate broker courses online, although some components of the course are offered via live webinar and the rest is offered in a self-paced format.

Chicago Real Estate School reports that both course formats take four to six weeks to complete.  

The live, in-person courses offered by Chicago Real Estate School cost approximately $40 more, yet you'll get the chance to attend classes in a Chicagoland location. If you don't mind attending training online, you can pay less overall.

Instructors

Instructors at the Chicago Real Estate School have years of experience in the real estate industry. Many of them are licensed Illinois real estate brokers themselves, so they are able to provide students with real-life guidance on what it's like to work in the real estate industry in the state.

Reputation

The school also boasts an average star rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars across more than 600 reviews on Trustpilot. Most reviews on this platform are incredibly positive, with the few bad reviews coming from people who were unhappy with the instructors or the delivery of the content. Keep in mind, however, that less than 1% of reviews were poor (2 stars) or bad (1 star). Meanwhile, nearly 90% of reviews on the site give the school 5 stars.

Price

The price for courses at Chicago Real Estate School depends on the format you choose. Their fully online course option will set you back $499, while the flexible option with in-person or live webinar courses costs $539.

If you're worried about coming up with the money upfront, Chicago Real Estate School offers a payment plan for a flat fee of $20 instead of charging interest. This plan lets you pay $199 on the day you register, then split the rest of the cost over two additional payments in the two subsequent months.

Customer Service

Chicago Real Estate School offers phone support five days a week at (773) 647-1830. Customer service hours run from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m. CST Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

They have an email form you can use if you prefer to correspond in writing, but you can also email the school at support@realestateschoolchicago.com.

Competition: Chicago Real Estate School vs. Real Estate Express

While Chicago Real Estate School has a solid reputation and plenty of good reviews, it can make sense to look at other schools that offer similar coursework. If you're thinking of studying for the Illinois real estate licensing exam online, you should know that an array of online real estate training institutions exist.

To help you decide which school might work better for your needs, we compared Chicago Real Estate to a highly rated online real estate school—Real Estate Express.

  Chicago Real Estate School Real Estate Express 
Price  Real Estate Broker: $499 to $539 Real estate broker: $339 to $649 ($237.30 to $454.30 with coupon code CAREER30) Managing broker basics: $200 ($140 with coupon code CAREER30) Post-licensing: $279
Courses Offered  Real estate broker training and courses Broker and managing broker licensing courses, post-licensing courses
Course Format In-person and online courses during daytime or evening, self-paced online courses Live stream  Self-paced courses in some states
Availability  Illinois Available in 36 states and Washington, D.C.

Once you take the time to compare these two real estate schools, you'll notice some pretty important differences. For starters, Real Estate Express offers a broader range of courses, from real estate broker courses to managing broker courses and post-licensing training. If you want a school you can use to take care of all your educational needs throughout your real estate career, you'll probably find Chicago Real Estate School rather limiting.

Also note that Real Estate Express starts at a much lower price point, which can make a big difference if you need to prepare for the Illinois real estate licensing exam for as little out-of-pocket expense as possible.

The bottom line: Real Estate Express offers more value and more choices for people who prefer to learn online.

Then again, Chicago Real Estate School offers the option for in-person learning, whereas Real Estate Express only offers online learning options. This can be an important consideration for people who prefer to learn in a physical classroom setting with a live instructor.

Final Verdict

While the Chicago Real Estate School may be slightly more expensive than some of the competition, this school does offer an in-person option that can be preferable for people who are tired of doing everything in a virtual format. Since the school offers a payment plan, you could even begin your preparation to become a real estate broker for as little as $199 down. 

Ultimately, we believe the Chicago Real Estate School is a solid choice due to its accreditation and many excellent reviews. Even so, it never hurts to compare other real estate schools to find the right fit.

Methodology

We researched and analyzed numerous facets of each real estate school with a quantitative approach in mind. Some of the elements considered include costs of the classes, course formats, accreditation, and former student reviews. We also look at the overall reputation of the provider, geographic areas where the courses are available, and instructor qualifications. Additionally, we assess how easy it is to navigate the website and whether it includes additional student resources such as blogs, webinars, and career tips.

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