The typical Realtor is a 53 year-old woman with at least 10 years of experience who owns her home, according to the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Member Profile, highlights of which were released Thursday. That composite woman is younger than she was last year, and she is destined to become more diverse in the future.
The profile, based on a survey of 150,024 members of the nation’s nearly 1.2 million Realtors®, reports that the typical member reported a median of 10 years of experience in real estate, down from 12 years in last year’s report. Realtors®’ median age also decreased from 57 in 2014 to 53 in 2015, the lowest it has been since 2008 when the median age was 52. 62% of all Realtors® are female. 70% of all members said they were married, 15% divorced, and 10% were single or never married.
“The median age of Realtors® is younger than in the past because more people entered the real estate profession this year than in past years, with 20% of members reporting one year or less of experience,” said NAR president Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “In last year’s report, 41% of members were more than 60 years old, while only 2% were under age 30. This year, the percent of Realtors® over 60 years old dropped to 30%, and the number of those younger than 30 years rose to 5%.
The Realtor group said new members tend to be more diverse than long-time members: 89% percent of Realtors® with 16 or more years of experience are white, compared to 78% of those with two years or less experience.
The median gross income of Realtors® also fell last year, from $45,800 in 2014 to $39,200 in 2015, which NAR said was not surprising, given members’ income typically corresponds with experience. Those with 16 years or more of experience reported a median gross income of $73,400, up from $68,800 in 2014, while members with two years or less of experience had a median gross income of $8,500, a decrease from $9,100 last year. 26% of all Realtors® made more than $100,000 last year, while another 26%made less than $10,000.
The biggest problem Realtors face is finding the right property, with 38% citing that as the most persistent challenge limiting potential buyers, well ahead of obtaining mortgage financing at 19%.
“Limited inventory continues to restrict buyers in many markets across the country,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “This is reflected in the number of transactions reported by members, which has remained the same at 11 transactions.”
Though the average number of annual transactions has remained the same, rising home prices in 2015 triggered the median brokerages sales volume to rise to $1.8 million from last year’s $1.7 million.
The typical Realtor appears not quite ready to embrace the use of drones in sales efforts. This survey was the first to ask about drone use, and, not surprisingly, most Realtors (56%) don't use them. But 18% said they plan to do so in the future, 12% reported that someone in their office uses drones, and 11% said they hire a professional for drone use. 70% of members reported using social media, an increase from 65% last year.
93% of Realtors® have some post-secondary education, with 30 percent having completed a bachelor’s degree and 12 percent having completed a graduate degree.