Despite inventory hitting a 23-year low, the average Realtor ended last year on a solid note, according to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Member Profile survey, released Tuesday.
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Despite inventory hitting a 23-year low, the average Realtor ended 2022 on a solid note with a double-digit gain in sales volume and a modest increase in gross income, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2023 Member Profile.
Nearly a third of Realtor business came from previous customers and clients, a 68.75 percent year-over-year lift, according to survey results published Tuesday. Members with 16 or more years of sales experience had the strongest repeat business, with 44 percent of their sales coming from past buyers and sellers.
And Realtors with two years of experience or less found it impossible to drum up the same results, according to the trade organization’s latest survey results.
“Regardless of how you find a property, expert real estate agents help take the stress out of the home buying process and navigate what is for many the most complex and important transaction they’ll ever do,” NAR President Kenny Parcell said in a statement upon release of the results.
The average Realtor enjoyed a 20 percent annual increase in referral business in 2022 (20 percent vs 24 percent). More experienced members edged out less experienced counterparts with 30 percent of business coming from referrals (-3.22 percent yoy). Members with two years or less of experience said 4 percent of business came from referrals, a marked improvement from 0 percent in 2021.
A dramatic drop in inventory stifled Realtors’ ability to increase their annual transaction volume, which remained at 12. Thirty percent of members said scant inventory was the top reason their clients put off their buying and selling plans in 2022.
“The report’s findings clearly show that the lack of housing inventory is impacting Realtors’ ability to find buyers a home,” NAR Deputy Chief Economist and VP of Research Jessica Lautz said. “Housing inventory and affordability continue to be the top obstacles that hold back potential clients in the housing market.”
Although Realtors, on average, sold the same number of homes from 2021 to 2022, rising median home prices buoyed their sales volume from $2.6 million to $3.4 million — a 30.7 percent annual increase.
Member median gross income eeked out a minimal annual increase of 0.18 percent, which represents a jump from $54,300 in 2021 to $54,400 in 2022. Realtors with 16 or more years of experience had a median gross income of $80,700 —a 5 percent drop from 2021. Realtors with two years or less on the job had a median gross income of $9,600 — a 9 percent annual increase.
However, inflation chopped at those gross gains with the typical Realtors’ total expenses growing 31.3 percent annually from $6,250 in 2021 to $8,210 in 2022. The boost in total expenses can partially be attributed to Realtors’ growing reliance on technology to stay ahead of the curve in a challenging market.
Ninety-five percent of Realtors have a smartphone with internet capability and 90 percent have a laptop or desktop computer. Members reported using email (93 percent), GPS apps (48 percent) and social media (46 percent) on a daily basis. Text messaging (94 percent) is the top method of communication, followed by phone calls (92 percent) and email (90 percent).
Sixty-six percent of members have their own website. Seven percent of Realtors use drones to create marketing material, with 43 percent hiring a professional drone operator. Four percent of members invest in 3D/virtual tours, and one percent use virtual staging technology daily.
“Despite the changing market conditions that Realtors faced throughout 2022, members rose to the challenge by embracing new technology to help buyers find their homes and sellers to market their properties,” Lautz said.
The shifting housing market’s impact also extended to NAR’s demographic makeup.
NAR’s membership is still quite homogenous, with 81 percent of members identifying as white. The remaining 19 percent are split between Hispanics/Latinos (10 percent), Black/African Americans (5 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (5 percent).
However, the racial makeup of NAR’s newest members proves the Association has a more diverse future ahead, with 41 percent of members with two or fewer years of experience being racial minorities — a 10.8 percent increase from 2021.
For gender and age, 62 percent of all Realtors were female in 2022, a 6.06 percent decrease from 2021. Realtors’ median age increased from 56 to 60 — 52 percent of members were over 60 years old and 1 percent were under the age of 30.
“Realtors are everyday, working Americans who champion homeownership and property rights for the communities they serve,” Parcell said.