With a self-reported 96% customer satisfaction rate, The CE Shop is a fully online real estate education provider that offers courses for new licenses as well as continuing education and renewals. The CE Shop offers courses for 25 US states, post-licensing classes for 21 states, and continuing education classes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s courses have earned numerous awards in various states, and its corporate office in Colorado has been named one of Denver’s Best Places to Work. With the mission of being the “world leader in professional education,” The CE Shop is focused on helping its students succeed at whatever point in the education process they find themselves, whether just getting started, continuing their education, or adding professional certifications. The CE Shop reports that its students have seen an overall pass rate of 79.88% and a sales agent pass rate of 80.77% from 2016 through 2018.
Pricing for The CE Shop’s pre-license courses varies by state, based on the number of instructional hours required by each state’s laws and by the features and perks included in the package.
Here is an example of The CE Shop’s package offerings for pre-license education in Florida, which requires 63 hours of classroom or online instruction:
- Basic Package, with all required pre-license content plus career resources, exam prep, math guide, daily support access, unlimited practice exams, money-back guarantee and 30-day refund window: $129
- Best Value Package, with everything in the Basic Package plus three career-building classes on networking, business planning, and commercial real estate: $179
- Premium Package, with all Best Value contents plus a 45-hour post-licensing course package: $239
The CE Shop also sells the individual classes that make up the core of each of its pre-license course packages. Buying classes a la carte is a helpful option for students who already took some of their pre-license coursework with another school, and it can help students on a tight budget to pace their real estate education to match their cash flow. Monthly payment plans are available for pre-license package in selected states. For students looking to save money, The CE Shop routinely offers tuition sales and coupon codes. The school offers a generous tuition discount for active-duty members of the military, veterans, and their family members, valid for most of the states in which it operates.
The CE Shop offers continuing education hours that states require for agents to retain their licenses. Rates for these classes start at $25 for a 3-hour course. As with pre-license coursework, continuing education topics and instructional hour requirements vary by state. The CE Shop offers a free 5-day trial of their pre-license courses, so students can see exactly what they will get for their tuition.
- Free trial: Students get five days to try The CE Shop’s pre-license courses before they buy, to see whether they like the material and the way it’s presented.
- Engaging study material: A lot of the examples used in The CE Shop’s courses were drawn from real-life scenarios, which makes them a lot more engaging and relevant.
- Exam prep tools: States make the rules about what’s on their real estate license exams and in the pre-license classes, but the two don’t always match up. With The CE Shop’s exam prep tools included with all pre-license packages, students can go into their state exam better prepared, thanks to lots of practice questions and review time.
- Real estate math guide: Some of the math that sales agents need is different from what they learned in school. The math guide that’s included with The CE Shop’s class packages helps students get familiar with all the formulas they’ll use on the job once they get their real estate license.
- Business building programs: Want to learn the fundamentals of running a business from experts and people who have already succeeding in what you are trying to do? If the answer is yes, you might want to invest in a more advanced The CE Shop package, which includes packages on lead development, business processes, and commercial real estate career pathways.
- Post-licensing education: For those looking for the best value for money, CE Shop’s premium packages include not just pre-licensing, but post-licensing education as well.
The CE Shop gets quality points for online convenience, a high pass rate for its pre-license graduates, and a curriculum that requires students to master each class topic before they can move forward. Unlike some pre-license course providers whose options are difficult to sort through, The CE Shop’s course requirements and package options for each state where it operates are easy to find and understand on their website. In many cases, students can take a free trial of the course they’re interested in before committing the time and money to the full curriculum.
Because The CE Shop’s courses are 100% online, they are ideal for students who have other jobs during business hours, who have to combine school with family responsibilities, or who live too far from a real estate school campus to attend classes in person. Unlike some other schools, The CE Shop offers support 7 days a week via chat, email, or phone, so that students can get their issues resolved quickly and get back to studying.
Like other distance education classes, the courses are ideal for students who need a flexible schedule and self-paced instruction. However, an added benefit from The CE Shop is that its support is available 7 days a week rather than just during the work week, which is helpful for those studying on the weekends. Additionally, all content is provided online, as opposed to additional hard-copy books, and the courses are optimized for easy use on computers, tablets, and smartphones. The user interface for the course is free of visual clutter and easy to use, and students can check their progress at a glance. Lessons include links to embedded resources that students can use to learn more about specific topics and prepare for their exams. If this learning style fits your needs, it is very convenient. However, if you prefer to have printed textbooks to highlight, take notes, and save, you may find it frustrating having to click and capture each individual slide to print out later.
The course content presented by The CE Shop is extensive and inclusive; some feedback even suggests that the course material is actually more involved than course exams, so if you’re looking to really build your knowledge rather than pass exams at a bare minimum, these courses deliver. The proof of the effectiveness of this approach is a student-reported 90% pass rate, showing that the content included in the courses is well-presented and sticks with its students.
The CE Shop’s offerings go beyond the pre-license coursework students need to become licensed sales agents. The company’s post-license coursework in selected states plus its continuing education and professional development classes for all states create a one-stop shop for agents and brokers at any stage of their career. For students and agents who want to earn their licenses in more than one state, The CE Shop’s course advisors will put together a customized plan to get licensed in the most efficient way.
Students can measure their concept mastery throughout the course so they know what they need to study more to get ready for their exams. Regular quizzes serve as learning checkpoints, which has pros and cons. These quizzes can be helpful to ensure you are understanding the content. However, quizzes must be passed at 100%. If you get a less-than-perfect store, you’ll need to re-take the quiz, and the course system will serve up new questions. Some students said they found this approach helpful, while others described it as frustrating and time-consuming.
- Regularly offers discounts that can drive down costs, so students who are not on a tight timeline may be able to wait for a special deal.
- No extra expense from hard copy books because all the course materials are online.
- Free trial helps ensure you like the teaching style of the course before you commit to the time and cost of the full pre-license course
- Quizzes and practice exams can be taken multiple times, although new questions are generated each time, so you get a thorough understanding of each test topic.
- Students can get in touch with customer support seven days a week through various channels, so problems on the weekend or on weeknights don’t have to derail a planned study session
- Some previous students have left feedback that The CE Shop’s quizzes are actually harder than state exams, meaning students are very prepared for their licensing test.
- No hard-copy textbooks, which means you must be comfortable with online-only study materials
- Some feel the studies take longer than the hours of education received upon completion, so you may want to budget extra time to ensure you can get through all the coursework before your target exam date.
- You must make a perfect score on some practice exams to continue, which means you may have to re-take those tests, and the re-takes may include new questions.
- Proctoring requirements, procedures, and fees are not always outlined before purchasing the class, so additional costs may be incurred at the time of final exam. Read the fine print before enrollment to make sure you understand the fee structure.
- Some students have reported problems saving their class progress online for later review.
- Some customer experience issues have been reported by past students.
“I enjoyed this format and was able to get through the 168 hours of Real Estate coursework in just under 2 months. I passed the licensing exam on my first attempt with a lot of room to spare with my score. I did find the exam to use different terminology in some places and there were many ambiguous questions, but that’s not the fault of The CE Shop. I listened to a test prep audio book the couple days before the exam and that was a great way to solidify the information. Nothing in that book was new to me based on taking the course. Plus, it was a great price. I’m happy!” – Facebook
“I am mad at myself that I’ve become stuck to this awful education provider. This company is the reason online learning fails. I am taking the real-estate licensing classes (all 180 hours in TX) from the CE shop and all I have are REGRETS. The learning is tedious and not at all creative or engaging. Many of their classes take WAY longer than they are required to take – you cannot move any faster than the system, and they have sub-contracted to the cheapest and worst exam-moderating company where you have to basically schedule your exam out 3 days in the future and even then you’re looking at options like 4AM. 4AM?! Additionally, the site itself is cumbersome to navigate and not at all intuitive and freezes all the time. Also, they set expiration dates on your courses and then force you to pay another $75-$100 per extension, even if you only need a couple more days. There are too many other Real Estate licensing companies out there to subject yourself to this terrible one. Just don’t do it. No wonder they have to have discount codes every single day. NOT WORTH IT.” – Birdeye
The CE Shop is praised by students for its pricing of the courses, but has taken some heat for additional incurred costs that come up at the end of the course. For example, students have complained about proctoring costs they were not made aware of, but have to pay to take the exam. That being said, some students have found the course exams to be harder than the state exams, which helped them be better prepared for the actual test. Others have found the material irrelevant to the real exam content. In addition, some students have found the site to be not user-friendly while others said they were unsatisfied with the customer service, a common complaint about real estate schools in general.
If you’re looking to really build your knowledge to benefit your career in real estate — knowing that some of the content may not be covered on licensing exams but is helpful to your career — the in-depth amount of information in The CE Shop courses may be perfect for you. The curriculum does include quizzes along the way to check for understanding and you must pass these at 100% before progressing on with the content; this ensures that all students fully understand a wide range of covered topics. The rigorous nature of these checkpoints is probably one of the reasons The CE Shop has a 90% average exam pass rate. If you are comfortable learning with primarily digital tools as opposed to hard copy materials, the courses in The CE Shop licensing program will suit your style well, especially if you have the ability to self-pace and manage your time. Be sure to read and understand the fine print, such as extra costs and requirements for proctoring that may be needed to complete your course.
States for which the program is valid: Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Continuing education for all 50 U.S. states.
Headquarters: 5670 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Suite 420. Greenwood Village, CO 80111