What do real estate agents and brokers have to say about their careers? A report recently released by online pre-licensing education company Real Estate Express—2019 Real Estate Agent Income Guide—surveyed over 1,000 active real estate agents and reveals comprehensive statistics about building a career in real estate.
There are over 2 million active real estate professionals across the U.S. For agents, income, on average, is $ 71,000 per year, with 21 to 40 hours worked and a career satisfaction rating of 4.08 out of 5. Real estate brokers earn $ 123,000 per year on average, put in 21 to 40 hours of work and have a career satisfaction rating of 4.59 out of 5.
Earnings, however, vary depending on various criteria. Those with longer careers earn higher incomes, and agents who stick it out after the first year of business reportedly make at least $ 20,000 more per year than brand-new agents. Agents who have worked in the industry for over 25 years earn $ 86,329, compared to agents who have only been in the industry for less than a year and make $ 41,023, on average.
Additionally, longer hours worked typically lead to higher earnings. For example, industry professionals who work less than 20 hours earn an average of $ 31,159, while those who work over 60 hours per week make $ 123,024—nearly four times the amount.
Location also impacts income earnings. Virginia topped the list as the most profitable state to work in real estate, with the potential to earn $ 122,813 on average. Other highly profitable states include Ohio ($ 101,190), Washington ($ 94,000), Massachusetts ($ 88,750), New York ($ 83,269), Texas ($ 80,833), North Carolina ($ 78,508), Tennessee ($ 76,042), Connecticut ($ 74,375) and Minnesota ($ 73,088).
Those in major metropolitan or urban areas typically earn higher incomes, making $ 83,227 on average, while suburban agents earn an average of $ 71,187 and rural agents earn $ 52,446. Additionally, specialization plays a role. Those in commercial or relocation career paths earn $ 91,208 and $ 90,015 on average, respectively, while those who specialize in property management and affordable housing earn $ 64,976 and $ 55,820 on average.
What about hiring practices? Reportedly, 83 percent of brokerages face recruitment challenges specifically related to new agents. Why is that? The majority of agents (58 percent) end up switching brokerages—this may be attributed to a lack of benefits such as savings plans (only offered by 17.75 percent of brokerages), medical insurance (17 percent), reimbursement for education fees (14.25 percent), dental (13 percent), vision (10.5 percent), and more.
Additionally, women face a gender pay gap, although it is 6 percent less in real estate than the national average (20 percent vs. 14 percent). Female industry professionals earn, on average, nearly $ 15,000 less per year than their male counterparts.
These challenges have not, however, negatively impacted career satisfaction, the results are overwhelmingly positive—eighty percent of agents and 85 percent of brokers say their future looks bright. The majority of respondents (71 percent) say having a flexible schedule makes their career worthwhile, while others rank the ability to help people (63 percent), income potential (61 percent), being their own boss (52 percent) and having an on-the-go work environment (43 percent) as the top benefits of a career in real estate. Their overall satisfaction rating? Brokers rank high at 93 percent with agents not far behind at 79 percent.
For more information on the report and methodology, please visit www.realestateexpress.com.
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