There are officially nearly 1.2 million Realtors in the U.S., with more people opting into the real estate profession this year, the National Association of Realtors reported in its 2016 NAR Member Profile.

Members of NAR account for about half of all active real estate licensees in the U.S. The member profile is based on a survey of 150,024 members, which generated 10,194 usable responses.

Some of the demographic trends typical of Realtors over the years are still present, but there are a few new trends starting to take off, including more younger Realtors and Realtors using more digital avenues.

“The median age of Realtors is younger than in the past because more people entered the real estate profession this year than in past years, with 20% of members reporting one year or less of experience,” said NAR president Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “NAR is excited to have young, fresh perspectives enter the industry, and we are proud to offer resources for our younger members to advance and grow, such as the Young Professionals Network and ‘30 Under 30’ recognition.”

This is welcome news given that, like the lending industry, the average age of the real estate industry is teetering very close to retirement.

According to NAR, last year, 41% of members were more than 60 years old, while only 2% were under age 30. This year, the percent of Realtors over 60 years old dropped to 30%, and the number of those younger than 30 years more than doubled to 5%. Thirteen percent of members who have two years or less experience are under 30 years of age.

As far technology goes, 93% said that their firm has a web presence.

When communicating with clients, members say that email, telephone and text messaging are used most frequently.

Also, 70% of members reported using social media, an increase from 65% last year. Other technology that members report regularly using includes electronic contact and forms software, contact management software and e-document preparation programs.

Check out this infographic for other key facts from the survey.

Click to enlarge

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(Source: National Association of Realtors)