Brightwood Real Estate School Reviews

Overview

Brightwood Real Estate Education, which was previously known as Kaplan Real Estate Education, has a wide portfolio of state approved and accredited real estate licensing courses as well as continuing education classes. They offer online bundles, which are a great option for students who are always on the go and looking for a flexible, self-paced way of learning. These programs can be delivered as on-demand videos, text-based bundles (many of which include video supplements), and convenient online home study courses. Besides that, for people who prefer more of a classroom-like, traditional experience, Brightwood provides old-school, live, in-person classes.

The Brightwood real estate pre-license programs are available online in more than a dozen states. Each curriculum is created according to each state’s real estate licensing requirements and tailored to the information students can expect to see on their state’s licensing exam. Students in California, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin can attend the provider’s programs either online or in-person. Brightwood’s tuition prices are a bit higher than many other real estate schools.

Pricing

Exact tuition rates vary by state, because each has its own number of required pre-license education hours and because package options vary by state, too. But Brightwood’s 60-hour Real Estate Principles Course pricing starts at $299. This program includes all the topics (national and state-specific) required by the state to be prepared for the licensing exam, student support, and study materials. Other pre-license packages that include master exam prep sessions are available starting at $329. The career launcher package starts at $629 and includes instruction on creating and growing a real estate business.

Once students earn their license, they will need to take a certain number of continuing education courses each year to keep the license active. Brightwood sells CE course packages, including some that combine CE requirements for two states, as well as individual CE classes starting at $14.

Course Features

  • Different delivery formats: Brightwood offers plenty of different packages, but they have also made sure their courses can be completed by people who aren’t able to attend classes. If you are one of those, you can opt for either an online course with all that it entails, or a straightforward text-based course that can also be completed through the internet.
  • Interactive study group: Brightwood’s course packages include live webinars you can attend from the comfort of your home. They are hosted by the school’s real estate experts, with all students invited to join the discussion and ask any question they might have about the study materials.
  • Exam QBank: QBank is the name of the most comprehensive engine when it comes to real estate exams. The testing platform itself is interactive and can be accessed whenever you need it.
  • Real Estate Accelerator: This is a 2-day course that comes with some of the more advanced packages you can get at Brightwood. It is followed by a 4-week coaching program, the purpose of which is to equip you with all the necessary knowledge to start your career successfully.
  • Experts as instructors: All the instructors at Brightwood are experts in their respective fields. Some of them have even authored real estate textbooks, so you can be sure you are in good hands with them.

Course Quality

Brightwood’s student reviews are mixed. Some former students who left reviews said they appreciated curriculum elements like the course quiz sections and the detailed study material. Other students complained that Brightwood’s tuition was too expensive and criticized the school’s customer service department for being difficult to reach when they had questions or needed assistance.

Convenience

Thanks to Brightwood’s variety of teaching methods, students with different learning styles can find a real estate course that fits their needs as well as their schedule and budget. For example, those who want flexibility can opt for an online video or text-based course, depending on which content delivery method appeals to them more. Individuals who better learn in-person can attend the physical classes as long as they live near a Brightwood campus. There are more than 50 Brightwood class locations nationwide.

Brightwood’s exam prep tools make it easy for students to go into their state license exams feeling well-prepared and confident. All courses come with an interactive bank of hundreds of practice questions students can use to see what they’re already mastered and what they need to study more. The separate exam prep option that’s included in the larger packages adds lectures, quizzes, and diagnostics to the practice exams. Plus, all the pre-license programs have quizzes that help students check how well they’ve understood the concepts so far, so they can make sure they grasp each new concept before moving on. The in-classroom courses allow people to ask questions and get answers from the instructions in real-time. Home-study and online pre-license students can discuss course topics with their classmates in Brightwood’s interactive study groups whenever they have questions.

Brightwood’s website makes it easy for students to find the classes and course packages they need, along with other critical information like the steps to becoming a licensed agent. For some states such as California and Texas where Brightwood offers lots of class options, the school provides downloadable PDF catalogs of all their courses so students can browse them offline, in addition to the course menus on the site.

Comprehensiveness

Brightwood Real Estate School’s study materials are very in-depth, covering every topic that students are required to learn by their state’s real estate commission or board. The exam prep practice questions help students get ready for their license exams, which in many states contain some different information from the required course subjects. Brightwood’s information is continuously updated, so any change in a state’s real estate commission curriculum requirements is reflected in the course materials. The instructors teaching the in-classroom courses are qualified experts who present the details in a comprehensive manner that’s easy to understand and remember.

In addition to the printed class texts, the audio files of real estate terms and definitions make it easy for students to memorize the professional vocabulary they’ll need for the exam and on the job. And interactive online group study sessions or classroom discussions help students reinforce the concepts they encounter during the course.

Many people who’ve reviewed the course said that they felt confident and prepared for their real estate license exams. Brightwood’s overall pass rate is 66.03% and sales agent pass rate is 64.71%.

After students have earned their license, they will need to take state-required post-license and/or continuing education classes to keep their license active. Brightwood offers packages and individual classes for students in many states to meet those requirements at home, through online or correspondence study. Sales agents who are ready to take the next career step and become brokers will find broker pre-license course packages, test prep classes, and individual broker pre-license classes at Brightwood as well.

In addition to the printed class texts, the audio files of real estate terms and definitions make it easy for students to memorize the professional vocabulary they’ll need for the exam and on the job. And interactive online group study sessions or classroom discussions help students reinforce the concepts they encounter during the course.

Many people who’ve reviewed the course said that they felt confident and prepared for their real estate license exams. Brightwood’s overall pass rate is 66.03% and sales agent pass rate is 64.71%.

Engagement

Brightwood students can choose among four format options for their pre-license courses, depending on the options in their particular state. For example, pre-license students in California can choose the most budget-friendly option, which includes PDF course materials, an audio file of important real estate terms and definitions, study group access, and an exam drill and practice-question bank. Another package for home study replaces the PDFs with a textbook and adds state exam prep tools online. Visual learners might prefer the Online OnDemand package, which includes 39 hours of instructor-led online video review. And students who learn best in a traditional classroom setting can opt for a campus-based live instruction course. Brightwood’s curriculum for each state also includes quizzes throughout the material that help students evaluate how well they’ve understood the information.

Brightwood takes pride in the quality of its team of more than 150 instructors, noting that their average faculty member has nine years of real estate teaching experience. Many Brightwood instructors are considered industry experts who consult with license exam developers, real estate publications, real estate conference organizers, and textbook authors and editors. Many are sought-after speakers and textbook authors themselves.

Positives

  • Good study materials. The courses, whether they are in written, video, or classroom lecture format, have in-depth explanations of all the real estate concepts students need to learn in order to qualify to take their state’s licensing exam. One area where Brightwood stands out is the quality of its textbooks, some of which are recommended by state license exam authors.
  • Helpful quiz sections. Each class includes quizzes that help people self-check their level of understanding. This way, students can immediately identify if there are any areas they need to focus on more. Classroom discussions and online interactive study groups can help students get the answers they need.
  • Helpful with the state real estate license exam. With  hundreds of practice questions that students can use to test their knowledge and progress—plus the optional exam prep class that adds in lecture and diagnostics—Brightwood courses are designed to prepare future agents to pass the state exam so they can get licensed and begin their new careers. Everything that’s needed for passing the test is explained throughout the classes. Plus, the curriculum is always kept up to date in line with state requirements, so that no one has unpleasant surprises when exam day arrives.
  • Many course package options for different learning styles and budgets. Basic home study packages are designed to deliver all the information students need, even on a tight budget, while classroom-based courses are ideal for people who prefer traditional instruction and don’t mind paying the corresponding tuition. In between these two options are packages that include written texts, audio and/or video instruction, and online study groups.

Negatives

  • Poor customer service. In reviews, students have often mentioned receiving bad customer service. According to numerous reviewers, they had a hard time getting in touch with Brightwood’s student support team to have their  questions answered in a timely manner. For students who are on a strict timeline to finish their coursework, pass the exam, and start working, customer service delays can be a real issue.
  • Lacks real-life scenarios to help relate to the material. Some individuals may find it challenging to understand and remember theoretical concepts without linking them to real-life examples. The school’s course materials don’t include many examples correlating the information to real scenarios, according to students who have left reviews about the curriculum.
  • Pricier. The programs offered by Brightwood are pricier than many of its competitors, which can be an issue for many students.  Students for whom cost is an issue may want to focus on the basic packages that Brightwood offers.
  • Doesn’t save your progress. Some reviewers mentioned that Brightwood’s online course platform doesn’t allow students to bookmark where they leave off. Therefore, they can’t save their learning progress.

Student Reviews

Kaplan gives you a crash course into everything you need to know to pass your state and national exams, and as they tell you on the first day, it is like drinking straight from a fire hose. It can be grueling work and tons of information to process but the study guides they give you to prepare you for the exam is the best study aid around. They phrase the questions in the way you will see on the exam and they get you used to knowing why a certain answer is wrong, rather than what is automatically the correct answer. The exam deals with trick questions and the way Kaplan prepares you for the exam you should pass your first try. Highly recommended.” – Active Rain

I took the at home course and so far:  Syllabus is confusing and leaves out important pages of books that you will be later rebuked for not studying.  You are told to study the contracts as you go, but with no real guidance on how or what that looks like. The first 3 weeks of the course are incredibly easy, but suddenly the last 4 weeks are a MASSIVE (literally 3 times more work) load.  Why not spread it more evenly? Bottom line: My father and cousin attended a lecture with two different companies and passed the RE license on first try.  I’m scared after studying much longer and harder than both that I won’t pass at all!” – Yelp

“I enjoyed Brightwood’s Real Estate program because I chose how quickly I finished my program. I was able to fit in my schooling in between my duties to my husband and children. It was a perfect plan for my lifestyle. I have and would continue to recommend Brightwood based on the quality of its education and the flexibility of its schedule.” – Kapre.com

Review Summary

Brightwood, previously known as Kaplan, has received mixed reviews from its past and current students. While some students pointed out and complained about the lack of real-life examples along the course material, others felt that Brightwood’s curriculum offers just enough information to pass the final exam. The prices for Brightwood’s bundles are slightly more expensive than some other online real estate programs, but with that, the school has been complimented on their comprehensive, top-notch study material, extensive state exam prep tools,  and helpful quiz sections. What they haven’t really been praised on is their apparently poor customer service, which is a common refrain among real estate students at many schools. Numerous students have said they found Brightwood frustrating to reach when they had questions. Overall, Brightwood’s material has received good reviews and is said to be helpful in preparing for state real estate license exams.

Conclusion

Because Brightwood College Real Estate Education uses Kaplan Real Estate Education’s curriculum and has built on its resources, the school has extensive experience in preparing students for real estate careers. Brightwood’s programs are available in a range of course delivery methods, from reading at home to in-class lectures, and they make use of online discussion, video, and audio tools to enhance students’ learning experiences and help reinforce the concepts students need to master for their license exam. With all that said, Brightwood’s curriculum is focused mainly on theory and principles rather than practical, state-specific examples. It’s probably best for students who prefer a straightforward approach to pick up the required information, those who are self-motivated to dig into the details on their own, and students who are able to easily understand theoretical concepts.

States in which this program is valid: California, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

Headquarters: 332 Front Street South, La Crosse, WI 54601