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Real Estate

Here are 5 myths about Realtors, debunked

NAR survey gives snapshot of real estate industry

As in any industry, the real estate industry has its fair share of stereotypes and myths, but a new report from the National Association of Realtors just debunked some of those myths.

Over the past year, NAR reported it saw a 6% jump in memberships, rising from 1.22 million in 2017 to 1.3 million in 2018, according to the organization's 2018 Member Profile survey.

(Video Credit: Alcynna Lloyd)

“While inventory shortages continue and home prices remain high, NAR has seen a whopping 6% increase in membership over the last year,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Younger Americans are seeking business opportunities that working in real estate provides, but the overall trend is a slightly older age profile.”

The report shows that the number of new entrants to the real estate market is rising as 29% of its members reported having less than two years of experience in real estate, compared to 28% in 2017.

Within this growing industry, here are five myths that NAR’s recent survey debunks about Realtors.

1. Part-time: With its flexible hours and unconventional work times, it’s easy to assume that Realtors work their jobs only part-time, especially considering that the agents with two years or less in the industry currently make just $8,330 per year. However, this does not seem to be the case. According to NAR’s survey, most Realtors work 40 hours per week, a trend that has continued for several years.

2. Uneducated: While it’s true that most states don’t require real estate agents to hold a degree, or at times any college education, the survey shows that the typical Realtor has a bachelor’s degree or attended some college. It is important to note, however, that while the survey shows most have attended college, it does not specify how much, or what percentage of Realtors graduated.

It does show, however, that 16% of its members previously held a career in management, business or the financial sector. Another 16% were previously in sales or retail, while just 5% reported real estate as their first career.

3. Multiple careers: Back to the assumption that Realtors work only part-time, and that the first few years could pull in very minimal earnings, many assume that agents have more than one profession. The survey, however, shows that 72% of Realtors said real estate was their only occupation, a number which jumps to 82% when only looking at agents with 16 or more years of experience. They survey also showed that Realtors with 16 years or more of experience earn an average $78,750 annually.

4. Inexperienced: While real estate is sometimes viewed as a profession that attracts a lot of people, but where most have little experience, the survey showed that a typical Realtor has about 10 years of experience. And not only do they have experience selling and buying homes for others, but they also have their own personal experience as about 83% of Realtors own their primary residence.

5. Technologically behind: It is true, the real estate industry remains significantly behind when it comes to the use of technology. However, many Realtors still capitalize on the technology they do have, despite the aging agent population. About 51% of Realtors reported having a website for at least five years, 9% said they have a real estate blog, 71% use Facebook and 59% use LinkedIn for professional use.

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