Realtor Income Overview – The Past And The Present

realtor incomeHere are a few interesting facts about real estate agent earnings. In 2202 according the DOL the median real estate agent income was $30,930. It certainly wasn’t bad because back then you could have a comfortable living with earnings like this. Back then the cost of living was much lower than in 2010 so as an agent you could easily spare 30% of your commissions to your broker. There were plenty of buyers and real estate industry didn’t go "web crazy" yet and you could easily have a solid client pipeline from referrals. On the other hand, annual earnings of brokers was close a bit over $50,000 and that is not bad taking in consideration that brokers spent most of their time in the office environment. However, as we all know, things have changed – a lot! Cost of living went up, home value and commissions went down, if you are an agent and do not have a web presence then you are  mostly spending your time to search for new clients who are not as enthusiastic about the current market and your income lacks stability.

During those good ole’ days earnings largely depended on the commission structure and all freshmen agents could afford to pay even 50% of their earned commissions to their broker on a first few deals or even for the entire year. This would be pretty much impossible in today’s environment and currently many traditional real estate brokers have reduced their commission splits greatly. Also as I have mentioned the amount of commission has been decreased.

Real estate agent earnings fluctuate dramatically from one agent to another. It is not only based on current market condition of geographical location. It depends on the agent’s ability to sell real estate. Even today, some agents earn over 100K per year while some barely make $10K per year. Well, to be fair, many agents are part-timers and just make some extra living from realty on the side.

Women should be very enthusiastic about real estate career because they make almost as much as men in this industry while other major industries show female earning potential of about 30% less than men. Later as real estate market showed significant increase in pricing, in 2005 the average income of real estate agent has increased to $38,300.This earnings number was diluted by a huge flood of new realtors mainly consisting of people who lost their jobs due to globalization process.

Not all newcomers were able to adapt to a new career choice and many failed to become successful sales professionals. What counts in real estate is experience. The longer you sell homes the more money you are likely to make. Statistics clearly show the connection between realtor earnings and the number of years in the industry. Building realtor career takes time. Booming real estate market of 2005 was especially lucrative for real estate brokers whose income fluctuated around $86,000 annually. Broker associates easily made close to $68,000 per year without having to worry about overhead.

Associate brokers earnings were not affected by the increase of operational cost in later years but currently many are becoming more active in the field to maintain adequate earnings levels. Some say that is being members of National Association of Realtors earn slightly more but that could be due to the fact that usually these realtors are more experienced and successful.

We have seen a huge reduction in broker earnings in 2008 when real estate market downturn started showing first its first signs. In that period, an average broker have earned between $36,420 and $93,970.

Income and Commission Structure

Since most agents are working on commissions it is very important to consider what your commission split agreement is with your broker. A few brokers offer a straight 100% real estate commission split and New Century Online is one of the leaders in support and assistance. While it is tempting to join a broker who offers 100% commissions please make sure you get adequate support.

Another big factor in how much are you going to make on each sale the lead source. Some brokers provide with leads but most high-earners in real estate generate their own leads. Since brokers are paying for leads, eventually they will ensure that real estate agent will share additional points from their commissions. It is only fair – leads are not free.  The main source of real estate leads is Internet, of course. In recent studies it was clearly shown that agents who have Internet portals and know how to use them for marketing purposes are earning more than agents who rely on rather outdated lead generation sources.

In some real estate transactions commissions are split between several brokers and agents. This usually involves complex transactions. Unlike a straight 100% commission brokers a traditional real estate broker will require to split commissions even if a listing was received by the agent without broker’s involvement. In today’s economy this is becoming a true burden for some agents. So, how much commission do agents earn these days. In the past it was quite common that agents would give out about half the gross commissions to the broker in a form of a split and/or broker fees. These days commission split is probably closer to 30-40% of the real estate agent earnings, which is still a substantial amount. Being active in the field, listing properties, selling them, representing buyers, getting referrals and organizing online lead generation can greatly increase ones income.

What Can You Do As A Realtor To Improve Your Income?

As we have published in our previous articles, it is very important to stay focused and realize the changes in the real estate industry. Kick back attitude in today’s market will simply put you out of business. Concentrate on your performance, not on your commission structure, with us it is always 100% with a low $495 fee per transaction and no recurring broker fees. If you planning to promote yourself, think locally whether this concern your online marketing or promoting yourself in local social events. If you are a new agent you should be comfortable with idea that your first year earnings will fluctuate from month to month because you do not have the established list of clientele to provide you with referrals and you probably will spend more time than an experienced agent on the paperwork and perhaps even make a few mistakes along the line. As long as you learn from them and you are willing to do better, your earnings will increase.

A couple of words about commission advancement; this option is usually available to agents who were with a firm for awhile or at least have a couple of sales under their belt. Therefore, if you just starting make sure you can sustain yourself for a period of a few months or start as a part timer. This is a recap of real estate agent earnings, much of which depends on choices you make about the place your employment, your goals and habits.