BAM Key Details:
- The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released its 2023 Member Profile, with 32% of Realtors® pointing to low inventory as the number one issue facing buyers in 2022—and 76% saying they’ll stay with the industry for a least two more years.
- Sales volumes for the typical NAR member increased from $2.6 million to $3.4 million, even though the typical number of annual transactions remained at 12.
Almost a third (32%) of Realtors point to lack of inventory as the primary obstacle facing home buyers in 2022. Housing supply that year fell to the lowest level since 1999 as buyers flooded the market to lock in historically-low mortgage rates.
That’s according to the 2023 Member Profile released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), reviewing member business activity and demographics from the prior year.
Despite the challenges in the 2022 housing market, NAR’s Member Profile for 2023 shows 76% of Realtors® are confident they’ll be staying with the industry for at least two more years. At the end of the year, NAR membership grew to 1.58 million—up from 1.56 million at the end of 2021.
Also, thanks to strong buyer demand and rising home prices, sales volume for the typical NAR member in 2022 rose to $3.4 million—up from $2.6 million in 2021—even though the number of transactions per year remained at 12.
The report’s findings clearly show that the lack of housing inventory is impacting Realtors®’ ability to find buyers a home. Housing inventory and affordability continue to be the top obstacles that hold back potential clients in the housing market.
Here in 2023, it’s pretty clear that record-low inventory is a major—if not the number one—concern among U.S. home shoppers. Home prices and mortgage rates are meaningless if you can’t find a home to buy.
The typical Realtor earned more from the same number of sales
The typical Realtor had a higher sales volume at $3.4 million in 2022—up from $2.6 million in 2021—while the typical number of transactions remained the same at 12.
The typical NAR member also earned 27% of their business from repeat clients and customers—up from 16% in 2021. The most experienced agents, with 16 years or more under their belt, had a larger share of repeat business (a median of 43% in 2022 and 44% in 2021). Members with two years or less of experience had no repeat business in 2022.
Overall, 24% of the typical Realtor’s business came from referrals—up from 20% in 2021.
Referrals were also more common for Realtors with more experience (which isn’t surprising). For those with 16 years or more of experience, a median 30% of their business came from referrals (compared to 30% in 2021), while, for those with two years or less of experience, a median 4% of their business came from referrals (compared to 0% in 2021).
Realtor® Income and Expenses
Expenses for the typical Realtor increased across the board in 2022, thanks to higher inflation.
As for income—
- The typical NAR member earned a median gross income of $56,400 in 2022—up from $54,300 in 2021.
- The median gross income for Realtors with 16 years or more of experience was $80,700 in 2022—down from $85,000 in 2021.
- The median gross income for Realtors with two years or less of experience was $9,600—up from $8,800 in 2021.
A majority (55%) of Realtors® worked with an independent RE company
Here’s a quick breakdown of the licenses and specialties of NAR members:
- 64% hold sales agent licenses
- 20% hold broker licenses
- 18% hold broker associate licenses
- 70% specialize in residential brokerage
As in 2021, the most common secondary specialty areas included relocation, residential property management, and commercial brokerage.
The typical NAR member has 11 years of experience in the real estate industry—up from eight years in 2021. The share of members with two years or less of experience dropped to 17% in 2022 from 25% in 2021. The share of those with 16 years or more of experience rose to 42% in 2022 from 39% in 2021.
Echoing recent surveys, more than three-quarters of NAR members (76%) are certain they’ll be staying in the real estate industry for a minimum of two more years.
Regarding office or firm affiliation, here’s the breakdown for 2022:
- 55% of Realtors worked with an independent real estate company
- 89% working as independent contractors—nearly the same as in 2021
- 43% worked at a real estate firm with one office
- 24% worked at a firm with 2-4 offices
- Typical Realtors had a median tenure of six years with their current firm—up from five years in 2021
- 26% worked for a firm that was purchased or merged in the past two years
- Errors and omissions insurance was the most common member benefit provided by firms in 2022—just as in 2021.
Read the full report for more details, including methodology.
Takeaways for real estate agents
Despite the challenges and changes in the industry, results of the survey show NAR members remain committed, with 76% certain of their continued involvement in real estate for the next two years.
As the market evolves, Realtors who continue to adapt to meet the needs of clients and navigate low inventory issues will build successful careers in the real estate industry.