We know that agent’s median gross income fell by -6% to $39,800 in 2017 compared to $42,500 in 2016, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Member Profile. See the post “Agent Income Plunges By Double Digits.”

Today, we’re looking into which real estate professionals in this changing housing market are actually making money.

All data referred to in this post comes from the NAR 2018 Member Profile.

First, who are the players and what did they earn in 2017?

Sales Agents – earned $29,440 before taxes and expenses in 2017 and $33,750 in 2016 – a -12.8% drop. After taxes and expenses, sales agents made $18,680 in 2017 – 10% of Sales Agents make +$100,000 after taxes and expenses

Realtors – earned $25,900 after taxes and expenses in 2017 – 13% of Realtors make +$100,000 after taxes and expenses

– 65% of Realtors were Sales Agents in 2017

  • 15% of Realtors were Broker Associates
  • 21% of Realtors were Brokers in 2017
  • 2% Realtors were Appraiser in 2017

Brokers – Owners Without Selling – median earnings of $92,500 after taxes – 47% earn +$100,000

Brokers – Owners With Selling – median earnings of $57,810 after taxes – 28% earn +$100,000

Associate Brokers – median earnings of $34,000 after taxes – 28% earn +$100,000

Managers Without Selling – median earnings of $75,000 after taxes – 31% earn +$100,000

Managers With Selling – median earnings of $57,810 after taxes – 26% earn +$100,000

Appraisers – median earnings of $34,000 after taxes – 10% earn +$100,000

Know that the number of working hours a Realtor puts in makes a difference in earnings.

         Realtors – median average of 40 hours/week

Sales Agents – median average of 35 hours/week

Appraisers – median average of 50 hours/week

         Non-Selling Managers – median average of 50 hours/week

         Everyone Else – median average of 40-45 hours/week 

Realtors working more than 60 hours/week had a gross income of $102,630 in 2017.

Know that the years of experience a Realtor has makes a difference in earnings.

Realtors’ median average experience is 10 years overall.

29% of all Realtors had less than 2 years of experience.

         Median average earnings of $8,330.

Median average of 3 closed transactions.

Realtors with +16 years of experience

Median average earnings of $78,850.

Median average of 14 closed transactions.

Take a look at the business/agency models in which these real estate professionals worked in 2017: 

         Nearly 90% are independent contractors.

53% are affiliated with independent companies

44% worked in a one-office firm

25% worked in 2-4-office firm.

52% brokers had some sort of ownership interest.

36% brokers had a sole ownership position.

In terms of commission models…

         78% worked independently

35% had fixed commission splits under 100%

25% had graduated commission splits that increase

with productivity

19% worked as part of a team (median size of 3)

14% had a capped split that rose to 100% after pre-

determined threshold

How did Realtors “get” clients?

35% from Open Houses (Who said these don’t work?)

17% from past clients

12% from repeat clients

***Realtors were not asked about 3rd party lead generation websites as business sources. Why, do you think?