REALTORS® saw their median gross income increase 8 percent in 2016 year-over-year, as the average member also reported closing their highest number of transactions in recent years, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Member Profile, based on a survey of more than 165,000 members.
REALTORS® saw transactions grow to 12 per agent, the highest since 2014. Median incomes rose from $39,200 in 2015 to $42,500 in 2016. The median gross income of REALTOR® households rose from $98,300 in 2015 to $111,400 last year, according to NAR’s Member Profile.
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“The return of pre-recession market levels and rising home sales and prices have led to increased business activity among REALTORS® and an increase in REALTOR® membership,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “It is a highly entrepreneurial business, with some members earning six-figure incomes while others were barely scratching out less than $10,000.”
About 24 percent of REALTORS® earn under $10,000, while 24 percent earn above $100,000, according to the report. REALTORS® in business for more than 16 years saw some of the most business with an earned median income of $78,850 and 15 transactions. On the other hand, REALTORS® with two years or less of experience had a median gross income of $8,930 and had four transactions.
Incomes also varied by license type, according to the survey. Members licensed as brokers earned $69,640 in 2016, while the median earnings for sales agents was $31,670.
More REALTORS® Enter the Business
As the real estate market heats up, more real estate professionals are entering the business. The number of new members to NAR is on the rise. In March 2016, there were 1.16 million REALTORS®. By March 2017, there were 1.22 million. The typical REALTOR® had 10 years of real estate experience.
Younger members are entering the industry. Twenty-eight percent of REALTORS® have less than two years of experience. Members with less than one year of experience comprised 20 percent of membership.
“It has become evident over the last few years that individuals are realizing the many benefits and business opportunities that working in real estate provides,” says William E. Brown, NAR President.
The median age of REALTORS® remained 53, however, despite more younger members joining the association last year.
“The leveling in age may be attributed both to older members retiring and to more new, younger entrants to the business,” Brown says.