A Plus Real Estate School

Overview

Founded in 1994 by Tony Portararo – a Ph.D. and former university professor who later became a real estate agent and one of the top 1% producers in sales volume in the country – A Plus Real Estate School offers expertise in Colorado real estate licensing requirements, exams, and scenarios. Today, the school is owned and operated by Debi Portararo, also a top performing real estate agent in Colorado, along with a staff of real estate professionals that act as course instructors. Debi and Tony co-wrote the original online course content for A Plus based on their classroom teaching experience. The school’s course materials are regularly updated to reflect current Colorado real estate laws, and Debi now oversees the school’s continuing education and distance learning programs.

A Plus Real Estate School’s pre-license courses cover the 168 hours of content required to become licensed in Colorado real estate agent, and students can take the entire course online or attend classes at one of A Plus’ two locations, in the Denver-area suburbs of Westminster and Greenwood Village. The school promotes its one-on-one support, tutoring help, a career placement program, and a pass guarantee for the state licensing exam. A Plus Real Estate School is licensed by the Colorado Department of Education, and its courses are approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission. The school has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Pricing

A Plus Real Estate School offers a wide range of courses for continuing education for current real estate brokers, including those certified in other states, but its only offering for prospective brokers is a single comprehensive package. This course covers the 168 instructional hours required to take the exam for the Colorado Real Estate Broker Associate license. Students also have access to tutoring, career counseling, a guaranteed state exam pass program, a guaranteed job placement program for graduates who have passed the state license exam. Printed textbooks, PowerPoint presentations, and access to class videos are included with each pre-license package.

Colorado Real Estate Broker Associate Pre-Licensing Course: $825

Course Features

  • Ongoing Course Schedule: The in-classroom courses are held every week at A Plus’ Westminster and Greenwood Village locations. The schedule includes three-hour sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, plus a two-hour session on Saturday mornings. You can start when you like, pick up with whichever topic the class is studying at that time, and you will eventually get a class on all the topics in the required 168 hours. Once you enroll, you have up to a full year to complete all your classes and coursework.
  • Online or In-Classroom Courses: The school has built an online version of its pre-licensing course for students who are unable to commute to classes in the Denver area or whose schedules make regular class attendance impractical. As with the in-class course, students have a year from the date of enrollment to complete the work. Online students get a hardbound copy of the textbook plus online access to class videos and other instructional materials.
  • Extended Assistance: The instructors at A Plus Real Estate often receive high marks for being willing to offer extra help and tutoring to students, and the school offers a money-back guarantee to students on the state licensing exam. Additionally, the school offers career counseling and job-placement assistance to students who successfully complete the pre-license course and pass the state license exam.

Course Quality

A Plus Real Estate School’s in-person and online pre-license courses are challenging because they have to get students ready for one of the country’s more challenging license exams. Part of the reason the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies requires 168 hours of study before the exam is because there’s not a separate exam later for sales brokers who want to become employing brokers. Instead, sales brokers with at least two years of active on the job experience can take a 24-hour Brokerage Administration class to meet Colorado’s employing broker requirements. That means pre-license students have to be ready to face an exam that prepares them for both phases of their new career, which is why the instructors at A Plus Real Estate School work hard to make the material interesting and relevant, with current, real-life examples of situations students may face on the job.

Convenience

In-person classes are held 4 days a week (in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and during the day on Saturdays) at both of the school’s two locations, in Greenwood Village and Westminster. The classes follow a regular rotating schedule of required pre-license course topics, meaning that you can join in at any time without having to wait for specific sessions and semesters to open.

A Plus Real Estate School also offers the pre-license course online, so students who can’t attend classes due to their schedules or distance have an option that meets their needs. The online course includes the class textbook and digital resources including class videos and PowerPoint presentations.

Once they’ve earned their broker associate license and met Colorado’s other prerequisites, students can come back to A Plus when they’re ready to take the next step in their career path. A Plus offers the 24-hour brokerage administration course required to become an employing broker in Colorado. Topics include business planning, setting up office policies and procedures, and communicating with the state real estate commission.

Comprehensive

In addition to the state-mandated course topics for pre-license education, A Plus instructors make the information more helpful and easier to remember by adding real-life examples and up-to-date information. Topics covered in the pre-license course include real estate law and practice, Colorado contracts and regulations, trust accounts and recordkeeping, current state and federal legal issues, real estate closings, and practical business topics like marketing, establishing business relationships, and showing properties. The course goes into the details of issues including real estate finance, property valuation and appraisal, the closing process, recordkeeping, and state and federal real estate laws. The course also covers skills that new broker associates will need to build their clientele and grow their business, such as showing properties, preparing and presenting offers, establishing customer relationships, and building a market.

A Plus Real Estate School also offers 72- and 120-hour courses for students who have a real estate license in another state to meet the pre-exam requirements for the Colorado Broker Associate license. The 72-hour class is intended for students who have an active broker’s license, an expired license, or a license less than two years old from another state. The course content focuses on Colorado contracts, regulations, and closings. For students who have a sales agent license from another state, the 120-hour course covers more ground, like current Colorado and national real estate issues, trust accounts and recordkeeping, and the practical professional development topics that are covered in the 168-hour broker associate pre-license course.

Once students have earned their Colorado broker associate license, they can turn to A Plus for their required continuing education hours. Continuing education class topics include the state’s yearly commission update, new contracts and forms, working with buyers, working with sellers, current legal issues, skills for success, negotiation, broker liability reduction, buyer agency, fair housing guidelines, and listing contracts. A Plus Real Estate School also schedules in-person seminars on the use of persuasion in business and on developing stronger negotiation skills.

Broker associates whose Colorado license has expired, and active broker associates who want to complete their continuing education requirements with one course, can enroll in A Plus Real Estate’s Colorado broker reactivation course. This class reviews and updates contract, brokerage, and other issues.

A Plus Real Estate School is licensed and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational School Board, as required for all real estate schools in the state.

Engaging

The in-classroom courses are mostly conducted with a textbook plus PowerPoint presentations and videos, to add variety to the material and to reach students with a variety of learning styles. The instructors supplement the course material with real world examples and case studies to help reiterate lessons and help students retain concepts. Pre-tests help students gauge how ready they are for the state exam and show which areas they need to focus on more to get ready.

Many students appreciate the networking that in-class courses offer with instructors and other students, as well as the ability to ask questions in-person and get additional tutoring help as needed. Additional seminar classes give students the opportunity to build their negotiation skills and earn the specialized professional negotiator designation.

Positives

  • More than 20 years of experience instructing students in Colorado-specific real estate regulations and requirements
  • Ongoing course schedule means you can join any time without having to wait for a new semester, with up to a year to complete the full course from your date of enrollment
  • One-on-one tutoring available, as well as post-exam job placement assistance and career counseling
  • Online courses also available for additional flexibility and for students who can’t attend classes in the Denver area
  • Available in-person career development seminars on effective negotiation and persuasion skills

Negatives

  • Only two locations for in-class lessons, so students outside the Denver metro area may not be able to attend in person.  
  • The website is not the easiest to navigate; the course information is presented in a way that can make it hard for some users to see what’s available and required. Rather than steer students to the school’s customer service line if they have questions about which classes they need, the site encourages students to contact the Colorado Real Estate Commission to find out what courses they need to take.
  • Online content is not the most technologically advanced as some fully online real estate schools, although you do receive a textbook and materials to supplement the online course.
  • While exam prep and pre-tests are included in the courses, no separate exam-prep option is available for a la carte purchase.

Student Reviews

I just took real estate state exam and passed both. A Plus Real Estate School was great. I’ve always thought about being a realtor but the idea of going to school for several months was out of the question. I went through A Plus classes and passed my exam all with in 9 weeks.  Thanks Debi.” – Yelp

Passed my exam on the first try. Came to this school once I realized that the online program was to dry to get through on my own. They do a good job of trying to make it fun even though the material is boring and hard to get through. The stories that are told during class are important and helped me score some extra points on the exam. So pay attention to them. They have a purpose. You will have to study a lot out of class, but this is true for any real estate program, you can’t pass by just going to class. This class was way more motivating and entertaining than the online stuff.” – Google

Review Summary

While there are not as many reviews of A Plus Real Estate School as of some other schools, the students that have commented seem to be pleased with the coursework and the professors. The majority of students have said the teachers are engaging and do a great job of explaining the content. Many students have also said that they were able to pass Colorado’s tough licensing exam thanks to the A Plus curriculum, instructor support, and study tools. Reviewers also said that the real life examples helped them relate to the content and better understand the concepts that were being taught.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a smaller, more traditional classroom experience with quality instructors who are proud of their student support and one-on-one availability, A Plus Real Estate might be the right choice for you. Many students said they enjoyed the in-classroom setting because it not only allowed them to meet other students and real estate professionals, but it also let them ask questions and receive immediate answers or more explanation as needed.

While an online version of the course is now available, students said it doesn’t provide all the bells and whistles of some of the industry’s fully-online schools; however, the in-depth content and local expertise, developed by the founder and continually updated over the last two decades, is top notch. The school’s exam-pass and job-placement guarantees ensure that students will have a successful experience or get a tuition refund. A Plus Real Estate offers a personalized, quality option for those wishing to become licensed real estate broker associates in Colorado.

States for which the program is valid: Colorado

Headquarters: 1333 W. 120th Ave. Suite #307, Westminster, Colorado 80234