AgentAgents/BrokersReal Estate

The typical real estate agent is a 60-year-old white woman

According to the NAR Member Profile, the typical agent is 60, female and college educated

As the National Association of Realtors membership grew in 2022, the diversity of the trade group’s members did not, according to NAR’s 2023 Member Profile, published Tuesday.

The Member Profile is based off a 98-question survey sent to a random sample of 146,624 NAR members in March 2023. The trade organization said it received 6,902 responses.

In 2022, NAR membership grew to 1.58 million, up from 1.56 million at the end of 2021. Of the nearly 7,000 survey respondents, 81% identified as white, up from 77% a year ago, while 10% identified as Hispanic or Latino, 5% identified as Black and 5% identified as Asian or Pacific Islander. However, NAR found that newer agent came from more diverse backgrounds with 41% of agents with two or fewer years of experience reporting they identify as a racial minority. In addition, 13% of respondents said they were born outside of the U.S.

Even as agent count has risen over the past two decades, the share of NAR members who are only fluent in English has remained at roughly 82% since 2003. According to the report, the most common second language for NAR members to be fluent in is Spanish and Realtors between ages 40 and 49 are the most likely to be fluent in a second language.

While the share of women in real estate declined from 2021, the industry is still female dominated, with 62% of respondents identifying as female (down from 66% in 2021). In addition, the industry also appears to be aging, with the median age of respondents jumping to 60 from 56 in 2021, as 52% of respondents reporting that they are over the age of 60. In contrast, just 1% reported they were 29 or younger.  

Of the agents under the age of 30, 12% reported having two or fewer years of experience, the same as in 2021.

But with this uptick in median age, the experience level of agents has also increased. According to the report, the median number of years of experience for an agent was 11 in 2022, up from eight in 2021. Overall, just 17% of respondents reported having two of fewer years of experience, down from 25% in 2021, while 42% reported having more than 16 years of experience, up from 39% a year prior.  

NAR members are also very likely to have at least some post-secondary schooling with 91% reporting some post-secondary education, 31% reporting they have a bachelor’s degree and 12% reporting they have a graduate degree. It is also likely that real estate is not a NAR member’s first career as just 6% of respondents said real estate was their first career. Sale and retail (17%) or business and finance (15%) were the most likely fields for agents to have previously worked in.

According to survey results, the majority of NAR members specialize in residential real estate (70%), with 64% holding sales agent licenses, 20% holding broker licenses and 18% holding broker associate licenses.

The majority (55%) of respondents work at an independent brokerage and 89% reported being an independent contractor at their firm, the same as in 2021. In addition, Realtors reported a median tenure of six years at their current firm, up from five years in 2021. Less than a quarter of respondents (24%) reported a tenure under two years. When broken down by specialty, appraisers had highest median tenure at 20yrs, followed by broker-owners who don’t sell at 19 years and broker-owners who do sell at 16 years.

Perhaps in line with the majority of agents working for independent brokerages, 43% of respondents reported that they are affiliated with a firm that has one office, with the overall median number of offices at two, down from three in 2021.

As the housing market shifted in 2022, it appears agents were more likely to be part of a merger or acquisition, with 26% of agents reporting that they are part of a firm that was bought or merged over the past two years, up from 8% in 2021.

Despite the changes in the housing market, errors and omissions insurance remained the most common benefit firms provided their agents with at 41%, but 43% of respondents reported that they paid for this insurance on their own. Health insurance was the most common benefit provided to an agent’s partner or family at 25%, however 50% of respondents still said they pay for health insurance out of pocket.