A career in real estate can be rewarding.  You are a business within a business.  The job is representing buyers and sellers.  They hire you to help them buy or sell a home, business, land or even a ranch.  It can be exciting most of the time but it can be and is a lot of work to become a success.

It is a business with income based on the work you do and the people skills you have.  It also has costs to not only start the business but to run and operate your business.  You must understand that it takes time to build a clientele and to start receiving income from your work.  If this sounds like the beginning of a new and rewarding career, then we invite you to review the licensing process.



Since we are dealing with property and money and people it is required that we be licensed by the state and educated to a minimum standard to start.

  1. Get the required pre-licensing education, cost is about $1,000.00
  2. Take and pass the state exams for new licensees, cost is a minimum of $190.00
  3. Fill out an application including a back ground check, cost is $267.50
  4. Find a real estate company to work for, costs to join a board of realtors and possibly the company franchise if one are variable.



DakotaWest Institute, a school for real estate, is the logical place for you to begin. DakotaWest shares an office with RE/MAX InThe Hills but is not directly associated with them.  Several other schools are available in Rapid City if you so choose.

We have graduates in nearly every office in the northern Black Hills and get referrals from many of them.  We also have graduates in Rapid City and the southern hills.  The school does not recruit for RE/MAX nor does it allow anyone else to recruit during class.  Finding that first job is up to you, the new agent.  You would need to visit the office of your choice to find out if they have openings.  Typically, about half of the people in a class have not yet selected a company to work for.

We do provide a quality education to give you a good foundation for your career in real estate.  The education begins with an online portion that teaches the new broker associate the basics of real estate.  The book is studied and tests need to be passed online.  The online process is going to take anywhere from two weeks to a month depending on the time available and your dedication to getting it done.  This part should be completed prior to beginning the class room portion. 

Below you will find information on DakotaWest's next pre-licensing class.  A portion of the education is done online through the link attached.  The second portion must be done in the class room.  You can begin the online at any time but it should be completed before you begin the class room work.



Pre-Licensing Education

Pre-licensing Class For Real Estate

The course requires 54 Hours by Distance Learning and 62 Hours of Classroom Instruction.  This portion should be completed prior to class starting on January 22nd.  Start at least one month ahead to get it done.

The next class schedule is as follows:



Jan. 22 thru Jan. 25, 2018

           Mon., Wed.,Thurs. - 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.     
          Tues. - 9:30 am to 2:30 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This covers Agency and Contracts


Jan. 26, 2018

            Friday - 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           This covers the Property Management Portion which is 6 hours.                                                                                                         



Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, 2018

            Mon. - 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Tues. - 9:30 am to 2:30 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This covers Closings


January 31, 2018

           All Day Wednesday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
           This covers the SD State Law Portion which is  6 hours.


February 1, 2018

           All day Thursday - 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.    
           This covers Human Resources, Test taking, and Math


February 2, 2018

           Friday - 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         This covers Fair Housing


February 5, 2018

          Monday - 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Fair Housing, Code of Ethics, Law Review and Final Exam


Cost: $1000.00

MasterCard and Visa Accepted

About Us

David McDowall is licensed in South Dakota.  He holds a Masters Degree in Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.  David retired in 2001 after 30 years of service at the Homestake Mine. While working at the mine, he spent 3 years as the Land Manager. David offers a wealth of knowledge and practicality in his approach to owning a real estate business as well as working in the real estate industry. 


DakotaWest Institute looks forward to helping you prepare for success in passing the South Dakota Real Estate exam and for a career in the real estate profession. Feel free to contact us with additional questions.


Below are some of the recent comments from past students:


  1. Very knowledgeable regarding all aspects or the course
  2. Great to listen to and learn from.  Never a moment I wasn’t glad I chose this class.
  3. Thank you for teaching me what would have taken me months to learn on my own.
  4. Instructor was very knowledgeable and gave many “real life” examples to help relate materials.
  5. David really knew what he was teaching.  He explained information very well and made it easy to understand.
  6. Material was presented in a very professional manner which made things easy to comprehend.
  7. I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot.  It was beyond my expectations.
  8. GREAT!  Extremely knowledgeable, very thorough ... communicates in a way that is easy to understand.
  9. I would and will highly recommend this class.


These are only a few comments from the last few classes.  We are looking forward to seeing you in class.


The South Dakota Real Estate Licensing Process


Candidates for a Broker Associate License must:


1.      Complete the “Real Estate Principles and Practices” course (116 hours) at a state approved school, including passing the final exams.  This course can be taken in two ways:

a.      116 hours in-class instruction

b.      54 hours by ON LINE Studies and 62 hours of in-class instruction

2.      Pass the state exam with a score of at least 75% on each of the three tests:

a.      50 multiple choice questions on South Dakota laws, rules and regulations

b.      10 Simulation exercises designed to test the candidates skills in information gathering and decision making

c.      100 multiple choice questions on Real Estate Fundamentals


A “Candidate Handbook” will be provided by the school which gives details about the state exam.


The state exam is given each day (Monday – Friday) in Rapid City by appointment.  Normally, appointments must be made about one week in advance of the test date.  You may schedule all tests for the same day or you may schedule them for separate days.  The cost per test is $95.00.  If a candidate fails either of the multiple choice tests or the simulation test, they will need to reschedule and pay to retake the test.


After passing all of the state exams, the candidate must submit an “Application for Real Estate License” together with an application fee of $225.00 to the SD Real Estate Commission within 60 days of passing the first exam.


Upon approval of the application, the candidate will receive an inactive license.  The license will be activated when the licensee associates with a brokerage company.


Fee Schedule


Distance Learning Pre-License Course (54 hours) $600.00 * (includes Modern Real Estate Practice book and ON LINE Access)
Broker Associate Course for Pre-Licensing (62 hours) $400.00 (includes 6 hours of state law plus additional books)


Courses can be paid by cash, credit card (MasterCard or Visa) or personal check


Textbooks:      Modern Real Estate Practice (19th Edition)

SD License Law & Administrative Rules

South Dakota Exam Prep.


State Examination:    The state Broker Associate examination is given in Rapid City.



If you have questions, please call David at 717-2501.






It is very helpful to read ahead in this book. Concentrate on understanding the words in bold print. 


We will cover all of the “Key Points” in class, but at times we move quickly so having read the chapters first is very helpful. We normally cover the first 4 chapters in the first two days of class. 


There is a quiz at the end of each chapter. It is good to practice with these. The answers are at the back of the book. Don’t mark the correct answers now – so that you can use these quizzes later to review the material. 


It is likely that you will “get stuck” (not understand some concepts) the first time through the book. If that happens, don’t stop reading! Just skip over that material and go on. We will spend the time in class to bring your understanding up to the required level. 


In accordance with Administrative Rule of South Dakota, 20:69:04:19 – Pre-licensing Education Certificate of Attendance, “No certificate of attendance may be issued to a licensee who is absent for more than ten percent of the classroom”. This translates to each student can miss up to 6 hours in the first 60 hour course and one hour in each of the seven 8 hour segments, which covers the last 62 hours of instruction.


Click Here to Print Registration Forms and Info Packet

Fill out the registration form and fax to (605) 642-2555 or mail to the address below.


Click here to access online course   https://portal.recampus.com/re/dakotawest

Email David for access to the Online course.


DakotaWest Institute 1145 N. Main St. Spearfish, SD 57783

Class size is limited – reserve your spot today!



Email David at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or for more information.

Join RE/MAX In The Hills

For an interview, or to discuss how to put your Real Estate plan into action, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call her at 605-642-2500.