REALTORS are members of the National Association of REALTORS. The word REALTOR is often confused with the job title “real estate agent”. I like to think of the word as a brand name.
Here in the Metro area, most real estate agents are REALTORS. The number of REALTORS peaked at 1.38 million in 2007 which was just after the housing market peaked and as it was starting to crash.
Membership numbers dropped to slightly less than a million in 2008. I remember it well. Some members got jobs if they could find them and others were able to retire.
In 2018 membership numbers reached a new high and as of 2019, there are 1.4 million members nationwide. Membership growth has slowed. Home sales have declined as fewer homeowners are selling.
In Minnesota, membership numbers peaked at 25,400 in 2006 and went down to 16,071 by 2012. The latest numbers I can find showed that there were 19,752 members in 2017. California and Florida have the largest number of REALTORS.
Real estate agents learn on the job. By hiring an inexperienced agent you are giving him/her/an opportunity to learn on the job. If you would rather not provide a learning experience there are plenty of qualified and experienced agents to choose from.