The business activity and income of Realtors are up for the second year in a row following nine years of decline, according to the 2013 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Member Profile. The study’s results are representative of the nation’s Realtors; Realtors are members of NAR and account for about half of the approximately two million active real estate licensees in the U.S. Many non-member licensees are inactive or part time. Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of Research, said growth in the housing market has improved the earnings of real estate professionals.
“The median gross income of a Realtor rose to $43,500 in 2012 from $34,900 in 2011, which is only the second gain in the past 10 years,” Bishop said. “To put that in perspective, the median Realtor income had fallen by 35 percent during the housing downturn, but with the help of sustained increases in both home sales and prices, it’s recovered to the highest level since 2006.”
Members licensed as brokers typically earned $54,900 in 2012, while the median for sales agents was $34,000. Median gross income tends to increase with experience; NAR members in the business for 16 years or more earned $57,300. Realtors working 60 hours a week or more earned $85,700, and 21 percent of all members earned a six-figure income. Among Realtor members the median number of transaction sides or commercial deals handled in 2012 was 12, up from 10 transaction sides in 2011.
Eight out of 10 NAR members focus on residential sales and 73 percent have secondary real estate specialties. Eighteen percent of residential specialists also offer commercial property management, 17 percent relocation services, 15 percent commercial brokerage, eight percent counseling and seven percent land development. Smaller percentages were also in residential appraisal, residential property management, auctions, international or commercial appraisal.