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How much did the modern REALTOR earn last year? Did they own an iPad? How many leads did their website generate? These answers and more in our annual summary of modern professionals.

First, an important acknowledgement: The stats in this post and video come from a variety of sources, the largest of which is the National Association of REALTORS Annual Member survey (2011). We compile this summary each year to help the industry benchmark itself against similar industries and general societal trends. It’s a snapshot, to be sure, but an important one for an industry at the center of our economy.

The Big Picture – Getting Older, Smarter
The typical member of the National Association of REALTORS has 12 years of experience.  On the surface of it, that means the NAR is comprised of members who remain in the business significantly longer than the average real estate license holder in most states (60% leave within 18 months of licensure). Three quarters of current REALTORS also p

lan to stay in the business at least two more years. Other key demographics:

  • Most REALTORS are female (57%)
  • They are getting older (56 in 2011; 51 in 2007)
  • 40% are over the age of 60.
  • Younger REALTORS are leaving the industry (3% under 30)
  • 30% have a Bachelor’s degree

Production Levels – Fewer, Working Harder, Earning less
2010 was a tough market for REALTORS. Even  markets that didn’t experience meteoric rises or precipitous falls saw the broader economic malaise take its toll. Some key performance indicators are:

  • The average agent did 8 transactions in 2011 (up from 7 the year before)
  • The median gross income was $34,100 (down from $35,700)
  • REALTORS with 16-plus years of experience earned a median gross income of $47,100
  • New REALTORS with less than 2 years experience earned a median gross income of $8,900
  • Most REALTORS worked an average of 40 hours a week; those who reported an average of 60 hours worked a week earned a median gross income of $73,000
  • Only 4% of REALTORS did more than 51 transactions last year
  • Only half of all REALTORS did adeal that involved a foreclosure

Technology and Sales Tools
The use of common technologies continues to be uneven along a spectrum. In some cases, REALTORS have widely adopted the most obvious tool, but even then, more than 25% of REALTORS reported not using a smartphone every day. Other tools, like blogs and social media fared significantly worse:

  • 50% of REALTORS use social media every day
  • 92% of REALTORS used email every day
  • 90% used a laptop or desktop computer
  • 72% used a smartphone
  • 28% used a digital camera daily; 53% weekly
  • 11% used a blog one or more times a week
  • 3% used a podcast one more times a week

On the software front, even stranger data appears. When you consider the following numbers, imagine what a typical agent’s day must be like if they only use these software tools so infrequently:

  • 74% use MLS one or more times a week
  • 44% use a contact management program once or more weekly
  • 44% use document management weekly
  • 48% use comparative market analysis software weekly
  • 21% use graphics or presentation software weekly

Website marketing:

  • 34% have their own website
  • 29% have a website provided by their firm
  • 38% have no website and only 8% plan to have one in the future
  • 10% have a blog; 9% plan to have a blog in the future
  • The average spent to maintain an agent website was $250
  • 27% of websites generated no consumer inquiries
  • 37% of websites generated 1-5 inquiries
  • 9% of websites generated more than 51 inquiries annually

Business generated, by source

  • About 18% of REALTORS generated repeat business from past clients
  • Those with 16+ years of experience generated more than 34% from past clients
  • Most REALTORS generate ZERO deals at open houses; 4% generated 4% of their business from open houses. More experienced agents generated less business from open houses than younger ones.
  • 35% generated no business from their website inquiries
  • 4% generated more than half of their business from their website inquiries

Income and how they spent it:
From an average of $34,100 in income (down from 2010), how did REALTORS spend it on their business?

  • REALTORS spent $250 annually on their websites
  • The median spent $0 on referral/affinity relationships
  • Most spent about $500 marketing their services
  • 79% spent little to nothing on office space/lease
  • The average spent on professional development was $600 for the year
  • The average spent on business promotion was $580
  • About $630 (down from $710) was spent on technology  

So, let’s summarize: REALTORS are getting older, working longer, earning less and barely use social media, blogs and podcasts. They spend virtually nothing on their websites, receive virtually no leads from them, yet also close no business at open houses each week. They plan to remain in the business, while investing only $600 in training and $630 in training each year.

What do you think?
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