After years of declining fortunes, U.S. real estate agents appear to be enjoying a new wave of prosperity, according to the 2012 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Member Profile.
‘The median income of a Realtor rose 2.3 percent to $34,900 in 2011, which is the first overall gain in nine years,’ says Paul Bishop, NAR's vice president of research. ‘Many Realtors have persevered through very difficult market conditions and understand the cyclical nature of the business, but have never had to endure a cycle like the one that is presently waning. The good news is home sales are rising, overall activity is expected to be notably better this year and individual prospects are much brighter given there are fewer Realtors than several years ago.’
NAR members licensed as brokers earned an average of $48,400 in 2011, while the median for sales agents was $27,200. Higher median income was reported by experienced NAR members in the business for 16 years or more, who earned $50,200. Realtors working 60 hours a week or more earned $80,900, and 17% of all members earned a six-figure income.
Repeat business accounted for a median 19% of activity in 2011 and is higher for those with more experience – for members with 16 years or more in the business, that number rises to 38%. Referrals accounted for an additional 20% of business activity.
Furthermore, NAR determines that its average member is 56 years old; only 2% of all Realtors are under 30 years of age, 4% are 30 to 34 years old, and 22% are 65 or over.