June 29, 2010

Do You Stand Out in the Crowd? A Glimpse into the 2010 NAR Member Profile

Q: What does Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming all have in common?

A: They all have less people in their states than the National Association of REALTORS has members.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. This includes brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in in both residential and commercial real estate.

Each year the NAR surveys their membership to identify trends and general census statistics that give those who read the report a good sense of the pulse of the membership. The Profile report is available as a free download for NAR Members via Realtor.org or the hard copy can be purchased via the site as well. The Profile is broken down into five basic categories:

  • Business Characteristics of REALTORS

  • Business Activity of REALTORS

  • Income and Expenses of REALTORS

  • Office and Firm Affiliation of REALTORS

  • Demographic Characteristics of REALTORS

    • I really enjoy reviewing this report each year to not only identify emerging trends and potential obstacles but also to measure the success of our local agents. The report tends to create a "bar" of standards that can either be raised or surpassed by agents looking to find success.

      In today's and tomorrow's posts are a few areas that I found noteworthy. My comments follow the results in blue.

      The average REALTOR is a 54 year old white female. (Females outnumber males 57%-43%)

      77% of REALTORS said real estate is their only occupation yet 45% responded that real estate is their primary source of income. ~ This seems to mean that while 3 out of 4 in the business don't have another job, less than 2 of those same four rely on their income to pay the bills. There's an old saying that says "How hard will you work Plan A if you have a Plan B?"

      The median income figure is a bit questionable. If you quickly read the report you would think that $35,700 is the median income but that is the figure for all REALTORS. Most REALTORS are considered "sales agents." The median income for "sales agents" is just $26,600 ($17,200 after taxes). Those licensed as Brokers or Broker Associates pull in a median income of $49,100 ($31,900 after taxes). ~ Maybe with income levels that low we see now when only 45% say it's their only source of income.

      "Honey, if you quit your job I might have to start focusing more on business development activities instead of spending all day searching the MLS for homes for my tire kicking buyers and making fliers for my over-priced listing."

      89% of all members own their own home while 13% of members own a vacation home. 17% own one investment property, while 8% owns two investment properties and 14% own 3 or more. ~ I guess that shows great credibility for those members who are "putting their money where their mouths are." I do wonder if I would trust a Realtor who was telling me "it's a great time to buy" when they are currently renting a place to live.

      56% of REALTORS use a smart phone (with wireless email and Internet capabilities). ~ Maybe the other 44% are just looking to the sky for the smoke signals or carrier pigeons their clients must be using?

      10% of agents have a blog. ~ This is up from 7% in the 2009 report so more and more people are starting to find a voice in the crowded landscape through on-line web logs. If you're an agent, what are you doing to become the "trusted advisor" and source of information on your community, market place or neighborhood? A blog isn't hard to create and there is plenty of information out there to be shared with people who know, love and trust you.

      In Part II of this post, we'll look at some of the areas in the 2010 Member Profile discussing where REALTORS are getting their business, how they're spending their money and how they spend their time.