Surprised by Realtors

The National Association of Realtors just published data regarding their annual member profile survey. It was based on responses from nearly 6,500 Realtors. Key points of information included income, homes sold, experience, etc.

The good news for Realtors is that their income rose last year due to rising home sales and prices. But I was a bit surprised by the information. The average Realtor earned $47,700 last year compared to $43,500 in 2012 and $34,900 in 2011.

Also somewhat surprising is that the average number of transactions, in other words the number of homes bought or sold, remained unchanged from last year at 12. This average has returned to reflects pre-recession levels.

Finally, I was surprised that the age demographics are changing within the Realtor ranks. The years of experience dropped from an average of 13 years to 12 years. The average age fell by one year to 56 years of age. Most surprising is that 9% of agents have one year or less of experience.

Does this information surprise you?

All of it surprised me. What do we do with this information and how does it impact us?

I always thought Realtors earned more money. Yes, the higher producers make more than $47,000 per year, but that’s the average and that means that lots made less than that amount. Nothing wrong with that income level, but if they are averaging 12 loans per year that’s about $4,000 per deal. It shows us how important it is that we get a deal closed fast and accurately when we get the chance to work with a Realtor, because on average, it’s 1/12 of their entire year.

And if Realtors only average 12 transactions, then we have great opportunities to make a big difference for them with not as much effort. If you can help a Realtor get 2 more transactions per year, you’ll increase their annual take by almost 20%. Don’t you think they’d become a big fan of your Credit Union or you if you could increase their income by almost 20%? Stop worrying about the Realtor stealing your member and sending them to another lender (remember the members own us, not the other way around), and send them some referrals.

Finally, the information tells us there are lots of new Realtors out there. Does your Credit Union or originators have a new Realtor reach out plan? These folks are new to the real estate market. They are learning the real estate sales game, but probably are weak on mortgage knowledge. How can you help them? Could you have continuing education classes and help them meet their CE requirements? How about a mortgage update newsletter and help them learn mortgage lending.? Or perhaps sponsor a new Realtor group that provides education and networking opportunities. Lots of options here.

So while I’m surprised by some of this information, I’m thinking there’s lots of information here that could allow Credit Unions to become more engaged with Realtors so we can become a trusted partner. We can help them start earning more income. We can help them start helping more of your members with home ownership. Because together we can more memberlicous.

2 thoughts on “Surprised by Realtors

  1. Tim~ Yes, the usual rule of thumb is that 10% are doing a lot of business and the other 90% are just getting by. The most important thing to the 90% as well is to know they can call you or your team evenings and weekends. The reason is if that 90% agent ,doing maybe those 12 closings a year, needs to write an offer on a Sunday they need help. Unfortunately most consumers will go out and look before they make sure their financing is arranged ( putting the cart before the horse) and the agent see’s an opportunity to write an offer and increase his/her yearly salary. Either having staff available by phone after hours or some kind of realtor hot line is very important to not lose the loan.

    If this isn’t something a credit union can offer its important , like you mentioned, to know that even if a credit union chooses to use a realtor management group they have a great opportunity to create realtor loyalty and build relationships while providing more member value. The credit union isn’t really losing any business from realtors as they sometimes believe.

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