REALTOR® Ranks Grow Amid Hot Market

The number of REALTORS® is quickly growing with more professionals entering the industry as the housing market heats up. The Wall Street Journal notes that there are more real estate professionals than homes for sale in the U.S.—a feat that has only occurred once before in December 2019.

In January, NAR had 1.45 million members, a 4.8% increase compared to a year earlier.

Home buyer demand is soaring. But housing inventories remain tight across the country, hovering at or near record lows. Many economists are hopeful for a turnaround in the number of homeowners willing to sell as vaccines become more widely available and the pandemic gets more under control.

Redfin, which hires real estate professionals as employees, says it furloughed 41% of its agents in April as the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It’s now hiring 162 people a week as the housing market surges. “It is by far the most hiring we’ve ever done,” Redfin Chief Executive Glenn Kelman told WSJ.

But some newbies who’ve entered the business during the pandemic are finding it difficult to break in. After all, networking can be key to success and that can be a challenge as COVID-19 limits in-person interactions, says Michael Mitchell, who got his real estate license in Boston in October.

“The barriers to success are very high” in real estate, Nick Bailey, chief customer officer at RE/MAX Holdings Inc., told WSJ.

Buyers are facing bidding wars and home sellers often tend to favor real estate pros with experience and a proven sales record or a strong referral. The first few years can be an adjustment: Real estate pros with two years of experience or less earned a median gross income of $8,900 in 2019. The median gross income for all real estate pros in 2019 was $49,700, for comparison, and the incomes tended to rise based on experience. (Read more: States Where Real Estate Pros Earn the Most)

Access resources from the National Association of REALTORS® if you’re just starting out in a real estate career:

Get a Guide from NAR: Starting Your Career

Add to Your Skillset: REALTOR® Designations and Certifications

Access a Network: Young Professionals Network

Stay Informed: REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate News

Source: REALTOR® Magazine