Realtor Income Increases 24.6 Percent in 2012

by devteam May 13th, 2013 | Share

Realtors saw an increase in their income in 2012 for the second year in arnrow after nine straight years of losing ground The National Association ofrnRealtors® (NAR) said today.  The medianrngross income of a Realtor was $43,500 last year compared to $34,900 inrn2011 (+24.6 percent).  Paul Bishop, NAR vice president ofrnResearch said the median income fell by 35 percent over the course of thernhousing downturn, “but with the help of sustained increases in both home salesrnand prices, it’s recovered to the highest level since 2006.”  </p

NAR President Gary Thomas said the real estate business is cyclical. rn”Realtors have some way to go to surpass the peak income recorded back inrn2002.  Interestingly, the peak wasn’t during the bubble years becausernthere were way too many people in the business,” he said.  “To help smoothrnout the peaks and valleys associated with residential sales, many Realtors arerndiversified into related services.  As a result, changes in Realtor incomerndon’t exactly parallel changes in home sales and prices.”</p

NAR recently surveyed 58,000 of its members about personal and business matters.  The survey generated an 8.4 percent responsernrate which was weighted to be representative of state-level NAR members.   Realtors account for about one-half of thernactive real estate licenses in the U.S but probably a much larger share ofrnworking agents; many firms make membership a condition of affiliation with thernoffice.    </p

The median gross income of NAR members increased with experience and hoursrnworked and brokers earned more than those licensed as sales agents by a largernfactor, $54,900 to $34,000.  Those whornwere in the business for more than 16 years had a median gross of $57,300 andrnthose who worked 60 hours per week or more had a median of $85,700.  Twenty-one percent of NAR members earned arnsix-figure income in 2012 and the median number of sales transactions (buyer orrnseller side) was 12, up from 10 in 2011.</p

The median age of Realtors is 57.   Only 2 percent are younger than 30 and 25rnpercent are over 65. Fifty-seven percent are women.</p

Few Realtors – only about 6 percent – started out in that field.  Nineteen percent had a previous career inrnmanagement, business, or financial fields and 15 percent in sales orrnretail.  The “typical” NAR member hasrnbeen in real estate for 13 years, works 40 hours a week and ninety-four percentrnsay they will remain in the field for at least two more years.</p

Eight out of 10 NAR members focus on residential sales and 73 percent havernsecondary real estate specialties with 18 percent offering, in addition,rncommercial property management, 17 percent relocation services, and 15 percentrncommercial brokerage. For Realtors who have other primary specialties, 37rnpercent listed residential brokerage as a secondary business.</p

Repeat business and referrals are important to the success of NAR members’ business;rnrepeat business accounted for a median 21 percent of activity in 2012 and forrnthose in business 16 years or more nearly twice that amount.  Referrals were responsible for an additionalrn21 percent of all business.</p

Most NAR members – 56 percent – are licensed as sales agents; 27 percent arernbrokers, 18 percent broker associates and 4 percent appraisers (some hold morernthan one license).  Thirty-nine percent of Realtors hold at least one outrnof six NAR certifications in specialized training and 36 percent have obtainedrnat least one professional designation, most commonly the GRI (Graduate RealtorrnInstitute).  Twenty-two percent ofrnRealtors® belong to one or more of NAR’s affiliated institutes,rnsocieties or councils; the most common is CRS (Council of ResidentialrnSpecialists), identified by 12 percent.</p

Sixty-four percent of NAR members have a website as do 94 percent of theirrnfirms.  Fifty-six percent use social orrnprofessional network sites, and 12 percent have a blog.  Email is a more popular method of keeping inrntouch with customers (94 percent) than the phone (90 percent) with textrnmessaging (74 percent) a distant third. </p

Eighty-three percent of members work as independent contractors for theirrnfirms with few fringe benefits (4 percent have health insurance through theirrnfirms, 22 percent care covered by errors and omissions insurance</p

Respondents worked for a firm with a median of 23 brokers and agents,rntypically with one office, and had been with that firm for seven years. rnFifty-six percent of members are affiliated with an independent firm, and 40rnpercent are with a franchised company.  </p

Almost 90 percent of Realtors are homeowners, 36 percent own at least onernresidential investment property and 10 percent own at least one commercialrnproperty and 3 percent own at least one vacation home.  About half have collect degrees, 15 percentrnare fluent in a second language, and they vote – about 94 percent ofrnrespondents participated in the last national election. </p

Realtors said several factors limit potential clients in completingrntransactions.  Members said the biggest impediment was difficulty inrnobtaining a mortgage, cited by 29 percent of respondents, followed byrndifficulty in finding the right property, 25 percent.

All Content Copyright © 2003 – 2009 Brown House Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.nReproduction in any form without permission of is prohibited.

About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

See all blogs


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Latest Articles

Real Estate Investors Skip Paying Loans While Raising Billions

By John Gittelsohn August 24, 2020, 4:00 AM PDT Some of the largest real estate investors are walking away from Read More...

Late-Stage Delinquencies are Surging

Aug 21 2020, 11:59AM Like the report from Black Knight earlier today, the second quarter National Delinquency Survey from the Read More...

Published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

It was recently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which is about as official as you can Read More...