REALTOR isn’t a job title

I am a REALTOR because I belong to the national association of REALTORS. Most of the people I meet use REALTOR as my job title. There are now about 1.3 million REALTORS and every the National Association of Realtors (NAR) publishes some statistics about members.

Here are some interesting highlights from the latest survey:

Demographic Characteristics of REALTORS®

  • The typical REALTOR® was a 54-year-old white female who attended college and was a homeowner.
  • 63% of all REALTORS® were female.
  • The majority of REALTORS®—83%—owned their primary residence and 39% owned a secondary property.

Office and Firm Affiliation of REALTORS®

  • 53% of REALTORS® were affiliated with an independent company.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 members were independent contractors at their firms.

Business Activity of REALTORS®

  • For the fifth year in a row, the difficulty finding the right property surpassed the difficulty in obtaining mortgage financing as the most cited reason limiting potential clients.
  • Most REALTORS® worked 40 hours per week in 2017, a trend that has continued for several years.
  • The typical REALTOR® earned 12% of their business from repeat clients and customers, and 17% through referrals from past clients and customers.

Income and Expenses of REALTORS®

  • In 2017, 35% of REALTORS® were compensated under a fixed commission split (under 100%), followed by 25%with a graduated commission split (increases with productivity).
  • REALTORS® with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $78,850 compared to REALTORS® with 2 years or less experience that had a median gross income of $8,330.
  • The largest expense category for most REALTORS® was vehicle expenses, similar to last year, which was $1,310.

. . . the more you know.

Even though the typical REALTOR is a 54-year-old white woman, advertisements about real estate agents and companies most often feature mostly men and some women in their 20’s and 30’s. The reason for this is that our culture favors youth, especially in pictures.

At one point about ten years ago the median age of REALTORS was 57. The great recession and the crash of the housing market caused older agents to quit or retire.

The job of real estate agent does not attract a lot of young people and it never has. There is no health insurance except what we purchase on our own and there are no paid vacations or benefits. To me, there are plenty of benefits.

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