The median gross income of a Realtor jumped almost 25% in 2021, as a shortage of housing inventory was the biggest obstacle to homebuyers seeking to purchase homes, according the 2022 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile.
NAR membership rose from 1.48 million at the end of 2020 to 1.56 million at the end of 2021 as people sought to take advantage of the hot housing market. Amid the increase in membership, the typical Realtor saw their business increase, with transaction sides increasing to 12 from 10 in 2020 and sales volume increasing to $2.6 million from $2.1 million.
“In the last year, Realtors continued to navigate a challenging housing market and cited the biggest factor holding back the housing market was tight inventory,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “As buyers relocated throughout the pandemic, housing affordability and lack of supply became a hurdle that agents and brokers found ways to overcome.”
Median income for Realtors jumped to $54,330 from $43,330 in 2020. However, the amount earned varied widely by experience, as 57% of Realtors with two years or less experience earned less than $10,000, compared to 45% of members with 16 or more years’ experience, who made more than $100,000.
Median experience was eight years, while 39% of respondents had 16 years or more in the business, and 25% had two years or less.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents cited limited inventory as the main impediment to clients closing on home purchases, followed by 16% citing housing affordability and 12% citing difficulty finding the right property.
Fifty-four percent of those surveyed were affiliated with an independent firm, and 87% were independent contractors at their firms. Thirty-six percent were compensated under a fixed commission split, 20% were compensated with a graduated split increasing with productivity and 18% with a capped commission split.
By demographics, 66% of respondents were female, up from 65% in 2020, while the median age was 56, and 77% were white, 11% were Hispanic and 8% were Black. Ninety-three percent had some post-secondary education, and 31% completed their bachelor’s degrees.
NAR conducted the 97-question survey in March, emailing it to a random sample of 176,494 Realtors and receiving a total of 9,220 responses.