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Online Real Estate Certificate

Online Real Estate Certificate Programs are typically designed for working real estate professionals who want training in real estate without necessarily working towards a full degree in real estate.

What Are Online Real Estate Certificate Programs?

Online real estate certificate programs are non-degree postsecondary awards that may be designed as a shorter-term alternative to a full real estate degree program. Often requiring about 18 credit hours and approximately one year to complete (varies), courses may be targeted to a specific skillset or aspect of real estate. The colleges and online real estate schools offering these programs may have several tracks to consider. These might include:

  • Commercial real estate
  • Facilities management
  • Real estate finance

Online Real Estate Schools: Potential Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for an online real estate certificate may vary. Some schools may allow students to take a single course from the certificate program, although to be awarded a certificate the requirements of that program typically must be met.

Why Earn a Real Estate Certificate Online?

Some online real estate certificate programs may not require previous training in real estate, so they may appeal to both the student and professional. In fact, depending on your goals, you may be able to earn a certificate as part of a full Masters in Property Management degree program or as a stand-alone course of study. Working toward a real estate diploma online may be an asset for different reasons.

7 Reasons to Consider an Online Real Estate Certificate

  1. A professional real estate certificate may help you enter a new target market.
  2. Working towards a certificate shows your commitment to professional development, and/or customer satisfaction.
  3. It reflects your desire to stay up-to-date with research, techniques and information.
  4. A certificate may help you complete continued education credit as part of a state license real estate license renewal.i
  5. A certificate may offer pre-licensing courses or credit towards a designation program offered by a specific association.ii
  6. It may offer aspiring real estate brokers intending to open their own company some valuable business courses.
  7. A professional real estate certificate may help you expand into a new target market.

Find a Real Estate Curriculum to Match Your Needs

One of the great things about pursuing a real estate certificate online is that you have the opportunity to fine tune or learn quite specific knowledge and skills, depending on the program you select. If you are a commercial real estate professional hoping to potentially advance your existing career, you might select either a real estate development certificate online program or a real estate finance certificate online program.

DID YOU KNOW? When surveyed about their education level, 21% of Commercial Appraisers responded they had a post-secondary certificate.iii

Online Real Estate Certificate: Potential Courses

Each online real estate certificate program may have its own unique set of courses. You may further your understanding and insights in real estate markets as well as the investment strategies that drive them. You may also gain a general perspective of issues that affect property management. Refer to each online real estate school syllabus to make sure you know what you are getting into. Some of the possible real estate course topics that students in a certificate program may study might include;

  • Skills to create, maintain and build living, working or recreational spaces;
  • Real estate project finance
  • Real estate principles
  • Real estate as investments
  • Design and construction
  • Operations
  • Real estate development law
  • Environmental issues for land use
  • Public policy
  • Market analysis
  • Architecture
  • Mortgage financing
  • Real estate development
  • Real estate valuation and assessment
  • Real estate sales
  • Real estate property management

Real Estate Certification

Some regionally accredited colleges and universities that offer online real estate certificates may prepare students to obtain credit towards a specific type program offered by associations, such as;iv

  • BOMI International
  • Community Associations Institute
  • Institute of Real Estate Management
  • National Association of Residential Property Managers
  • Community Association Managers International Certification Board

Furthermore, a real estate certificate program may offer the required courses to pursue licensing in your state. It is always wise to check into what real estate certification you need with your state board. This may help you select a professional online real estate certificate program.

Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: If you have any interest in real estate brokerage or sales, most states require prospective brokers and agents to take state accredited pre-licensing courses to become licensed. In fact, some states may waive this requirement if the candidate has taken college courses in real estate.v

Real Estate Appraisers: Federal law requires appraisers to have a state license or certification when they are working on federally related transactions, such as appraisals for loans made by federally insured banks and financial institutions. Both assessors and appraisers may have to take some of the same courses for certification. vi

Property, Real Estate & Community Association Managers: Property, real estate, and community association managers working in Alaska, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are required to obtain professional credentials or licensure. Earning a certificate may help managers expand on management skills or learn a specialized field such as business and real estate law or operation of mechanical systems.vii

What Is a CPM?

CPM, short for “certified property manager” is a specific designation that is awarded in property management by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).viii Some students who have an undergraduate or graduate degree with a major, minor or concentration in real estate of property management from a regionally accredited college or university may be approved for exemption from some of the courses required to sit for the examinations by the IREM for CPM certification.

Find Accredited Real Estate Certificates Online

Whether you are involved in land use, commercial real estate, real estate development, real estate finance or mortgage banking, the convenience of earning a real estate diploma online may warrant consideration. Since online real estate courses are often asynchronous, even though you may still have set deadlines, you may not be required to be online at a given time. The potential advantage is flexibility. Review sponsored listings for online real estate certificate programs. Connect with prospective schools through our on-page navigation. Take the next step in your education today!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/sales/real-estate-brokers-and-sales-agents.htm |[ii].bomi.org/Students/Educational-Offerings/Designations-and-Certificates/Designation-Programs.aspx [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2021.01 |[iv]bls.gov/ooh/management/property-real-estate-and-community-association-managers.htm  |[v] [i] |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/appraisers-and-assessors-of-real-estate.htm [vii] [iv] | [viii] irem.org/ 

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