Real Estate is Trending Younger

May 19, 2016

The median age of a REALTOR® is decreasing, as more young professionals enter the industry, according to the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile.

The median age of a REALTOR® decreased from 57 in 2014 to 53 in 2015. That's the lowest median age since 2008, when the median age was 52.

“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 percent of members reporting one year or less of experience,” says NAR president Tom Salomone. “NAR is excited to have young, fresh perspectives enter the industry, and we are proud to offer resources for our younger members to advance and grow, such as the Young Professionals Network and ‘30 Under 30’ recognition.”

The rise in a younger membership reflects a larger trend in the overall American workforce. A recent Pew Research study shows that more than one-in-three workers in the country are millennials.

In fact, NAR's membership under the age of 30 jumped to 5 percent this year, up from just 2 percent in 2015. On the flip side, the share of REALTOR® members over age 60 dropped from 41 percent to 30 percent, the survey revealed.

New REALTOR® members tend to be more diverse than more experienced members. The report shows that 89 percent of REALTORS® with 16 or more years of experience are white, compared to only 78 percent of those with two years or less experience.  

Some additional highlights from the 2016 NAR Member Profile:

  • Incomes: The median gross income of REALTORS® dropped last year to $39,200 from $45,800 in 2014. REALTORS® with 16 years or more of experience reported a median gross income of $73,400, up from $68,800 in 2014. On the other hand, REALTORS® with two years or less of experience had a median gross income of $8,500, a drop from $9,100 last year. Twenty-six percent of all REALTORS® made more than $100,000 last year, while 26 percent made less than $10,000.
  • Work hours: On average, REALTORS® reported working 40 hours per week in 2015, which is similar to previous years.
  • Specialties: Sixty-seven percent of REALTORS® specialize in residential brokerage, down from 82 percent in 2014. The most popular secondary specialization is relocation at 17 percent, and residential property management at 16 percent.
  • Challenges: REALTORS® cited difficulty finding the right property (38%) as the most pressing challenge limiting their buyer pool. Nineteen percent cited obtaining mortgage financing. “Limited inventory continues to restrict buyers in many markets across the country,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This is reflected in the number of transactions reported by members, which has remained the same at 11 transactions.”
  • Technology: REALTORS® say email, telephone and text messaging are the most often communication methods used when connecting with clients. Seventy percent of members reported using social media, an increase from 65 percent last year. Other technology REALTORS® cited using regularly are electronic contact and forms software, contact management software, and e-document preparation programs.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®