If you’re looking to hire a real estate agent for your home search, take note: Although business slowed down among Realtors® last year, veterans with considerable experience and broker licenses stayed ahead of the pack.
The National Association of Realtors® released its 2015 Member Profile, for which it interviewed 180,703 members and found this: They sold fewer houses because—we know you know this—there are fewer houses to sell.
“Slightly fewer transactions resulted in the median gross income of a Realtor falling to $ 45,800 from $ 47,700 in 2013,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
But Realtors who had been in business for more than 16 years earned $ 68,200 and made 13 transactions, while those with only three to five years of experience earned less than half that amount ($ 37,400) and had 10 transactions.
Experience, of course, comes with time. The median age of a Realtor is now 57, up from 51 in 1999. Only 2% of them are under 30. (Take note, millennials!) The rising age is due to boomers retiring later, and because of the popularity of the profession as a second job.
According to the report, only 5% of Realtors began their career in real estate. The rest bring a wide range of expertise to the profession, with the highest share having previous full-time careers in management, business, or financial services (19%); or sales and retail (16%). They also bring personal experience with home buying: Most (85%) are homeowners themselves, and many also have firsthand experience with investment property—38% have invested in at least one.
You can expect to connect with your Realtor in a variety of ways. Email is still the preferred method for 93%, followed by telephone at 91%, and text messaging at 85%. Some 65% reported that they use social or professional networking sites.
“To put it in perspective, only 35% of Realtors used social media in 2008, and text messaging was the preferred method of communication among only 40% in 2010,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, AR.
“Attracting potential clients online and communicating with them through various platforms helps Realtors stay a step ahead—especially as millennials become more active buyers in the years ahead.”
And for home buyers of any age, an experienced Realtor is an invaluable asset in navigating this seller’s market.