Despite strong year 24% of real estate agents made less than $10K

by Steve Randall12 May 2017
There was a 12% increase in business activity in 2016 among members of the National Association of Realtors but there is disparity in their finances.

The association’s latest Member Profile report shows that a typical member saw gross income increase, with a median 8% rise. They also saw the highest number of transactions in recent years.

Transactions hit an average 12 per agent despite the pressure of tight inventories; that’s the highest since 2014 when the average per agent was 11.

Sales volume grew to a median $1.9 million, up $100,000 from the previous year and median income was up to $42,500 in 2016 from $39,200 in 2015. Gross income for 2016 was a median $111,400, up from $98,300 in 2015.

However, the figures show that 24% of NAR members made less than $10k while another 24% made more than $100,000.

“The return of pre-recession market levels and rising home sales and prices have led to increased business activity among Realtors. It is a highly entrepreneurial business, with some members earning six-figure incomes while others were barely scratching out less than $10,000,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Experience makes a big difference for typical real estate agents. The NAR data shows that those who make the most (median $78,850 in 2016) had been in business for at least 16 years. Those who made the least ($8,930 median) had been in business for less than 2 years.

There continues to be a steady stream of new entrants to the industry with those with less than 2 years making up 28% of NAR members in 2016 while 20% of members had less than 1 year of experience.
Meanwhile, those aged 60 or over made up 30% of NAR members and the median age of a Realtor was 53.

“It has become evident over the last few years that individuals are realizing the many benefits and business opportunities that working in real estate provides,” said said NAR President William E. Brown.

“The increase in business Realtors are experiencing reflects the continued value they bring to their clients and communities across the country.”

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