Young Turks on the Move, Though Not Dominant--Yet

April 1, 1998

Several years ago, I began to hear real estate speakers announce a new kind of industry salesperson, one that was expected to dominate the ranks of superstars--the Young Turks.

This new breed is described as being male, in their 20s or early 30s, often entering real estate as a first career, and quickly rising, like cream, to the top of the earners' lists. This perception has become fairly common in the industry. When I speak to real estate audiences about changes that are taking place, I'm often asked, "Aren't Young Turks controlling production and dominating the business?" The answer appears to be "Not yet."

Consider some research on highly successful salespeople. In 1996 NAR and Real Trends reported on a joint survey of 5,000 top salespeople chosen because they were among the top 10 producers at their companies or had closed at least $3 million in annual volume. The median income of this group was $130,600.More than 14 percent of these salespeople earned at least $250,000 annually.So do Young Turks dominate this group?No, they represent only 4 percent of the top earners. Add Young Turkettes to the mix, and the group grows to 6 percent.

However, more young men are entering the business and becoming successful than in the past. Although women outnumber men among top salespeople older than 45, men dominate in the group younger than 45. In the youngest age group--23–34--men outnumber women two to one.

If we analyze the top salespeople by overall age breakdown, we find that the 45- to 54-year-old salespeople dominate the high-earning ranks (see chart).

Age Breakdown of Highly Successful Salespeople

Age Percent of Top Salespeople*
23-34 6
35-44 25
45-54 46
55-64 21
65 and older 3

*Numbers don’t add up to 100 because of rounding.

Source: Joint NAR and Real Trends research for NAR's report Recruiting and Retaining the Best and the Real Trends report Marketing Your Products and Services to Highly Successful Salespeople.

Young Turks are entering the business and moving into the ranks of very successful salespeople. At least for now, though, the kings and queens of the hill are still the experienced 45- to 54-year-old salespeople. Add in all those older than 45, and you have two out of three top producers.

But watch out, the young Turks are on the move.

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