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August 2018

Annual survey profiles changes in Realtor population

Membership in the National Association of REALTORS® grew by 6 percent from 2017 to 2018, with most of those members (83 percent) saying they are homeowners, according to NAR's 2018 Member Profile. The latest survey also indicated new entrants (those with less than two years of experience) edged up from 28 percent to 29 percent of the membership.

Women continue to make up the biggest segment of the country's largest trade association, accounting for 63 percent of NAR's 1.3 million members. The profile report also showed the typical Realtor was a 54-year-old white female who attended college and owned a home.

A sizable majority of the membership - 83 percent - own their primary residence, with 39 percent owning a secondary property.

Relationships prove to be a significant factor in members' business activity. Realtors attribute 12 percent of their business to repeat clients, and 17 percent through referrals from past clients and customers.

Realtors average 10 years of experience and typically work 40 hours per week, with much of that time focused on finding the right property. For the fifth consecutive year, inventory shortages posed the biggest challenge, again surpassing the difficulty in obtaining mortgage financing as the most cited limitation.

NAR's research shows a strong correlation between experience and income. Realtors with 16 years or more experience reported a median gross income of $78,850, while those with two years or less in the business had a median gross income of $8,330.

Real estate is the only occupation for 72 percent of Realtors; for the more experienced with 16-plus years in the business, that number jumps to 82 percent. Most members worked in another field before becoming Realtors; only five percent reported real estate was their first career.

Slightly more than half the survey respondents (53 percent) were affiliated with an independent company, and nearly nine in 10 members were independent contractors at their brokerage firms. The median tenure for Realtors with their current year was four years, unchanged from 2017

Surveyors found the industry lagging in the use of technology, attributed in part to an aging agent population. About two-thirds of Realtors reported having a website, nine percent said they have a real estate blog and 59 percent use LinkedIn for professional use. Facebook is the post popular platform, used by 71 percent of the survey respondents in their professional lives.

The 2018 National Association of Realtors® Member Profile was based on a survey of 200,964 members. It generated 12,495 usable responses, representing an adjusted response rate of 6.2 percent. Information about compensation, earnings, sales volume and number of transactions are characteristics of calendar year 2017, while all other data are representative of member characteristics in early 2017.