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We Know The Market Is Better. How About The Realtors®?

Written by on Monday, 12 November 2012 6:00 pm
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A 56 year old white female, she attended college and is a homeowner. Last year she had ten real estate transactions, which was better than the eight she had the year before. Who is that? It is, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Member Profile 2012, the typical Realtor®. (60% are female, by the way.)

Each year NAR conducts a membership survey. In January of 2012 a questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 58,823 Realtors®. (Total NAR membership is slightly under one million.) The same people also received an email version. After accounting for questionnaires that were undeliverable, the survey had an adjusted response rate of 10.8 percent. (We note that, because the questions went out in January, it gives us data from 2011.) The 2012 results are not only of intrinsic interest, but also they show that, like the market, Realtors® are doing somewhat better than in recent years.

The typical agent had a sales volume of $1.3 million, up from $1.1 million the previous year. That resulted in a little more than a 2% increase in gross income, up to $34,900 in 2011. That increased gross income was somewhat offset, though, by a slight increase in business expenses. Most Realtors® reported that they work a 40 hour week, so that typical gross income works out to somewhere around $15 - $18 an hour, depending on expenses and how much vacation time was taken.

Most Realtors® have about eleven years experience. Those with sixteen years or more report a median gross income of $50,200; those with less than two years, $8,700.

The Realtor® population is aging. The median age is now 56. That median has increased steadily since 2007 when it was 51. Only 6% of Realtors® are under 40. That number has been dropping steadily since 2009. From 2001 - 2008, ten to eleven percent of Realtors® were under 40.

The vast majority of Realtors® -- 80% -- are in residential brokerage. 6% are in property management, and they average thirty properties apiece. More than ½ of all Realtors® works for an independent company. The typical Realtor® is in a business with 23 other agents and has been there for six years.

Almost 2/3 of all Realtors® have had their own web site for at least five years, at a median cost of $200 per year. Members typically brought in about 3% of their business from their web sites. Almost 40% of a typical Realtor®’s business comes either directly from past clients or from referrals from those clients.

The median gross income of Realtors®’ households is $94,000, which is to say, most Realtor® households are (at least) two-income households. Only 43% report real estate as their sole source of income.

17% of Realtors® report a gross income greater than $100,000. 18% of Realtors® have a personal assistant. There may be a connection there.

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