7 Best Real Estate Schools in San Diego, California 2023
Are you looking for the best real estate school in San Diego? With so many options, it can take time to figure out which school is best to assist you in obtaining your real estate license.
There's something for everyone, from virtual, online classes to weekly in-person sessions. It’s also important to factor in the real estate school’s location — is a local San Diego school best? Or a larger, national real estate program?
If you’re struggling to figure out which real estate school is right for you, we’re here to help. We looked at San Diego’s top-ranked real estate schools and outlined how each school compares, using Google Reviews as a guiding point.
We think these public reviews are a realistic and subjective representation of each school's online reputation based on students who’ve taken the course.
#1. CA Realty Training (195 Google Reviews)
With 195 Google reviews and a 4.9 average star rating CA Realty Training's San Diego real estate schools are at the top of the list of pre-licensing programs.
Here’s what one student had to say about their experience in our program:
I highly recommend CA Realty Training! After years of life getting in the way and attempting on my own to get my license, the structure and curriculum of this school forced me to focus and complete the courses. Having nothing to lose I took a chance and signed up for their free intro night class. I immediately signed up for their 3 month courses, attended regular night classes, and used their state exam prep portal. These steps helped me pass and attain my Real Estate license within 6 months! If you are serious about getting your license this school will help you get there. Signing up was the best decision of my adult life!
CA Realty Training Pros
The perks of our school starts before you enroll in the program. We provide a full library of free content that covers steps to become a real estate agent, terminology, exam prep, as well as actionable career advice and interviews with industry leaders.
Also, we provide a live webinar or in-person free introductory class for students who want to test our program out before they enroll. Our online student portal also has its own free trial, which anyone can start to give our online experience a try.
Multiple Class Formats
With in-person, on-demand, and live webinar classes, students can pick the format that works best for them and their learning styles. For in-person learning, we provide one centrally-located San Diego training room which runs weekly, nighttime classes catered to the working student.
For online learning, students can pick between on-demand classes that are pre-recorded or live webinar classes at a scheduled time. This offers added flexibility to ensure the classes fit in with our students’ busy lives.
With several locations throughout San Diego, you won’t have to trek out of your way to get to a CA Realty Training class. Unlike the national schools, our on-the-ground locations provide a meeting point to collaborate, learn, and connect with classmates.
Interactive and Knowledgeable Trainers
Taught by some of San Diego’s best real estate agents, our trainers have over 50 years of combined real estate experience, which means that our program is one of the most knowledgeable programs in the city.
Their in-depth knowledge about the industry helps our students prepare to pass the California state exam and jumpstart thriving careers in real estate. Students love their engaging lessons, both online and in-person, allowing them to build real-life real estate connections.
At CA Realty Training, our online educational platform is a one-stop shop for pre-licensing course material, state exam application assistance, and study resources for the California real estate exam.
We’ve invested in technology to ensure our students have the best online experience possible. With hundreds of vocabulary flashcards, eBooks, online quizzes, and more, you can study for your courses and the real estate exam from anywhere at any time
Don’t believe us? You can sign up for a free trial of our online student portal and see for yourself! l
A Team to Support You
As you attend and graduate from CA Realty Training, you will have support and a built-in network every step of the way. Our team of student advisors are here to assist you through the entire licensing process, while our brokerage partners will help you with job placement and a roadmap to success. Our program is designed to give you support no matter where you are in your educational journey.
Courses For Every Point in Your Career
Unlike other state-specific schools, CA Realty Training offers an education program for every stage of your real estate career. In addition to pre-licensing courses, we also provide broker’s pre-licensing education, continuing education, and state exam prep. No other program offers the variety of classes that we do.
CA Realty Training Cons
Although our courses aren’t the cheapest on the market, our school is the most competitively priced out of any program. At our prices, no other program can provide the amount and quality of education that we can deliver while providing unparalleled student support.
#2. School of Real Estate (42 Google Reviews)
Coming in second in our Google ranking is the School of Real Estate — a San Diego-based company with both online and in-person classes. With 42 reviews and a ranking of 4.8, students like this option for its affordable pricing and fast-paced format.
With online courses starting at $99, School of Real Estate offers an affordable range of courses depending on your needs.
The School of Real Estate has been great for me! I was skeptical at first, but went ahead and signed up, and after a month of pushing myself to finally get started, I did! The material is what you would get with any real estate program, but I like the online format, which keeps the cost down. I can work when I feel like it and ignore it when I don't. I recommend School of Real Estate to anyone who wants to study for their license.
School of Real Estate Pros
Local and In-Person
Unlike the large, national education programs, the School of Real Estate only operates in San Diego and is locally founded. With a knowledgeable instructor and local expertise, they can connect students with San Diego brokerages after graduation.
Audio Learning Available
If you consider yourself an auditory learner,, the School of Real Estate offers audio lessons and vocabulary practice in a few of their packages. If you purchase their silver or gold packages, or one of their crash courses, you’ll get access to those audio sessions so you can study on the go.
Discounted Online Pricing
With some of the lowest pricing available, the School of Real Estate’s packages start at $149 for strictly online learning. If you’re looking to learn the basics on a budget, this might be a good option for you. Keep in mind, however, that this does not come with any type of on-demand videos or live classes.
School of Real Estate Cons
Even though students like the in-person training instructor, some dislike the class format, calling it “extremely boring” in one review. Additionally, there have been errors reported with online software, causing some students to have login problems as they began their coursework.
Since in-person classes are only offered on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, your schedule will have to accommodate those days without another option.
#3. Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar (26 Reviews)
Agent Real Estate School - Del Mar is a pre-licensing program that originated as the KW Real Estate School, but recently changed its name in 2021 to be more inclusive of all brokerages. With 26 reviews and a 4.8 rating, they rank third on our list of best real estate schools in San Diego.
While most of their pre-licensing coursework is done online, Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar does offer in-person boot camps and study groups to those local to San Diego. This hybrid approach offers a unique way for students to have flexibility while getting some benefits of in-person collaboration.
I took the fast track program online, and I feel confident in my ability to be a real estate salesperson. They provide you with many tools and resources. They also answer additional questions very quickly and effectively.
Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar Pros
Flexible Learning Options
Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar offers online learning, making it a good fit for those who don’t want the traditional structure of a class. Their “fast track” options allow students to work through the coursework at their own pace while adding the option to pay more to join an in-person study group and connect with other students.
Career Day Webinars
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a career change, you can attend Agent Real Estate School’s virtual Career Day to learn more. This interactive webinar connects students who are considering becoming a real estate agent with currently licensed professionals.
“Concierge” Approach to Support
From onboarding to passing your exam, this school’s instructors and staff will provide dedicated support and guidance - ensuring you have a clear plan of success.
Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar Cons
With any online course, it can be difficult for some students to keep up and learn the material. One reviewer says, “I feel like they just gave me the books, and I had to learn for myself.”
Lastly, you have to pay an additional fee if you want to benefit from the in-person sessions or study groups. This can be an added financial burden, with upgrades starting at $149 on top of the online program fee.
#4. Clare Institute (11 Google Reviews)
Founded by Kathy Clare in 1997, the Clare Institute is one of the oldest real estate schools in San Diego offering a variety of real estate licensing classes. While they previously offered in-person classes, the Clare Institute has expanded into fully online courses through a partnership with Chamberlin Real Estate School.
As an affordable and local option, they come in at #4 with 11 Google Reviews and a 4.6 rating.
I used Clare institute for my initial Real Estate course, and I am now using Clare institute for my continuing education. Love this school, and the people who run it!
Clare Institute Pros
Through their online courses, you get access to the benefits provided by Chamberlin Real Estate School, like toll-free support and instant graded responses.
If you’re looking for some added help to pass the exam on your first try, Clare Institute does offer a one-day webinar class via Zoom. This once-a-month class gives you a live and personal virtual learning option if you want to boost your studying.
Clare Institute Cons
Clare Institute’s website isn’t the most intuitive to navigate and it can be challenging to find the appropriate information to learn about the courses. Additionally, all of their online classes are hosted by a third-party educational program, without any original content from Clare Institute itself.
As far as affordability goes, their program is also on the more expensive end while offering less than what competitors offer.
In their reviews, some students noted that the small staff could be unwelcoming and difficult to work with, with some reviewers calling the instructor “direct and to the point” and “unprofessional.”
#5. Realty School 101 (9 Google Reviews)
Realty School 101 is a California-wide school that offers online real estate coursework with 24/7 support. They’re working on revamping their website and coursework for spring 2023, but still offer comprehensive online learning options for those looking to complete their salesperson or broker license requirements.
With 9 reviews and a 4.6 rating, they’re ranked number 5 on our best real estate schools in San Diego.
If you’re looking to become a licensed realtor, broker, agent and want the best approach for the pre-qualification courses, then this is it. Realty School 101 Instructors are friendly and they know how to help you pass the state license exam. The online exam prep has questions with instant grading and explanations. There’s other exam prep options that are fantastic including one-on - one tutoring (even more very helpful within a week before taking the exam). I would definitely encourage you to enroll here. The immediacy of starting once you sign up is great (no waiting) and same thing with the certificates when you finish each course (get ‘em right away, no delay)
Realty School 101 Pros
Coursework can begin immediately
One of the main benefits of taking classes with Realty Schools 101 is that you can access the coursework immediately once you pay and sign up for the classes. With access granted immediately, you can start working through the classes at your preferred pace.
Variety of courses depending on your needs
Realty School 101 offers an a-la-carte style sign-up process, allowing you to pick the specific courses you need to complete your pre-licensing requirements. This gives students some flexibility to work through the courses in order of their choosing.
No matter when you need it, Realty School 101 offers a 24/7 support line for questions or technical help.
Realty School 101 Cons
While they previously offered in-person classes, Realty School 101 is now entirely online. This might be a deterrent for students needing an in-person option for their preferred learning style.
Additionally, without a San Diego presence, their website is general to California as a whole. They don’t have a local, personal touch like some other institutions.
#6. San Diego Real Estate License (5 Google Reviews)
Even though they only have 5 reviews, the San Diego Real Estate License program has a 5.0 rating. This school is an affiliate of the national program, The CE Shop, giving them the power of a robust online network without a local presence.
San Diego Real Estate License Pros
Robust Online Program
Thanks to their association with the CE Shop, the San Diego Real Estate License school benefits from the national company’s extensive online coursework. They are constantly updating their technology platforms and coursework to keep up with industry changes.
Through the CE Shop, students can get a 100% refund on their coursework if they start the classes and change their minds. If you’ve purchased a class in the last 30 days and have completed less than 50% of the course, you can get your money back.
24/7 Customer Service
Similar to other large national entities, this school also offers 24/7 support through phone or chat.
Realty School 101 Cons
With packages starting at $249, Realty School 101 is one of the more expensive pre-licensing options. Additionally, as with other national programs, they don’t have connections to local brokerages like some on-the-ground options.
#7. EP Real Estate School (4 Google Reviews)
Last on our list is EP Real Estate School, located in Mesa, California with 4 reviews. Their online-only format offers flexibility and a fully digital experience for students.
Phenomenal team, great online courses!
EP Real Estate School Pros
If you prefer to learn through audiobooks, EP Real Estate School might be a good fit for you. They offer over 20 hours of audio coursework - including vocabulary, lectures, and practice questions. This is perfect for someone who spends a lot of time in the car and still wants to get their studying in.
Live Crash Course Sessions with Professionals
If you like online learning but want the added personal touch of an expert, you can sign up for a live crash course with EP Real Estate’s instructors.
EP Real Estate School Cons
Despite being an online-only school, EP Real Estate School’s website remains difficult to navigate and outdated. They also don’t list their prices on their website, making it hard to determine their cost structure or affordability.
Honorable Mention: Colibri Real Estate
Colibri Real Estate is worth mentioning on our list because they are a national program that provides state specific online learning that students can take on their own time. Although their program is limited with what it can offer, students do enjoy the bare bones approach to their education.
Colibri Real Estate School Pros
Pass or Refund
Colibri’s program offers money-back if you do not pass the state exam on your first attempt. This does require students to submit proof that they did not pass the exam, and you can only choose to be reimbursed for your pre-licensing education or exam prep package. Additional terms and conditions do apply, so make sure you read the fine print.
Access to the State Instructor
Students have the opportunity to contact a state instructor who can answer their questions regarding the educational material. However, they can only communicate with the instructor through email, so this could delay the response time.
Because Colibri’s program is online, they have created a mobile friendly system that students can access. However, some people have mentioned that their website is cluttered and overwhelming.
Colibri Real Estate School Cons
No Broker’s Program
Colibri does not offer a broker’s program for California. So, if you would like to complete your broker’s pre-licensing education, you will have to choose a competitor.
No Physical or Local Schools
As a national program, Colibri does not provide in-person classes for students. This makes it harder for students who prefer to be physically in the same room as their trainer. Although they do provide a Live Exam Crammer Series and Instructor Q&A that students have access to online at different intervals throughout the month.
Colibri is limited in the options they provide their students. At their price point, they do not provide as many program features that other competitors offer, which makes it hard to learn the material.
Expensive Without a Coupon Code
Unless you have a coupon code, Colibri’s program is an expensive option. As we mentioned in the previous point, the higher price may not be worth the investment. So, be sure to find a coupon code before purchasing.
Final Thoughts on the Best Real Estate Schools in San Diego
Getting your real estate license is a major investment in yourself and your future career. Make sure you take the time to understand all of the educational options out there, ensuring you find the best fit for your personal goals and learning style.
TL;DR: The best real estate pre-licensing program in San Diego is CA Realty Training because of no other program provides students with such a robust package at their competitive pricing.