Hourly Rate Worksheet: How Much Am I Really Making?

Even small commission cuts can chip away at your take-home pay.

February 1, 2007

To determine whether you might be getting too generous with commission discounts, try calculating your hourly rate — and make sure you’re bringing in more than minimum wage.

Plus, once you know your hourly rate, you may be more motivated to always ask for and get what you’re worth as a professional. After all, even seemingly small adjustments — an extra $500 per transaction or a loss of $500 per transaction over the long haul — still can have a substantial impact on your financial success.

Here’s a simple worksheet that will guide you through three steps in estimating your hourly earnings.

Determine Your Hourly Rate

Step 1: Determine your monthly income.

Total Adjusted Monthly Gross Income
Your check after franchise fees and split. You can base this on your 2006 income.

Step 2: Add up your business expenses.

Business Expenses
Include all fixed and variable costs.
Monthly Average
Referral fees paid  
MLS dues and subscriptions  
Rent of space or desk fees  
Fliers and brochures  
Personal marketing, printing, and postage  
Advertising (print and online)  
Telephones (cell phone and land line)  
Office transaction coordinator  
Salaries paid (personal assistant)  
Commissions paid  
Other administrative costs  
Car expenses (lease, gas, and maintenance)  
E&O insurance  
Office equipment  
Internet and Web hosting costs  
Business lunches and expenses  
Closing gifts  
Other/miscellaneous expenses  
Total Monthly Expenses $

Step 3: Calculate your hourly rate.

A) Subtract your monthly income from your monthly expenses  
B) Enter the number of hours you work per month.Include hours calling vendors, doing personal marketing, and taking classes to grow business skills or comply with continuing education requirements.  
Divide Figure A by Figure B.
Your hourly wage =

Elyse Umlauf-Garneau is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.