NAR’s 2022 Member Survey: Realtor membership grew 5.4% to 1.56M. The typical Realtor had sales volume of $2.6M and 12 transactions – a year-to-year increase.

WASHINGTON  – Amid a persistent housing-supply crunch, 57% of Realtors® said that lack of inventory was the top item keeping potential clients from completing transactions, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) 2022 Member Profile. The annual report analyzes members’ business activity and demographics, and compares it to the prior year’s study.

The study period largely covers 2021, and during that time, the number of Realtor members rose higher – from 2020’s 1.48 million to 2021’s 1.56 million.

Housing demand also surged higher, according to NAR, with 6.12 million existing homes sold – the most since 2006.

“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,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights.

Realtors’ business characteristics

  • Two out of every three Realtors (67%) hold sales agent licenses, while 21% hold broker licenses and 14% hold broker associate licenses. Most (71%) members specialize in residential brokerage. Relocation, residential property management and commercial brokerage are members’ most common secondary specialty areas.
  • Members typically had eight years of real estate experience though 18% had one year or less, with both numbers unchanged year-to-year. However, another 18% had more than 25 years of experience, up from 15% in 2020.
  • Appraisers, broker-owners and managers had the most experience, while sales agents were typically the newest in the field with six years of experience.
  • Consistent with recent surveys, nearly four out of five members – 79% – were certain they will remain in the real estate industry for at least two more years.

Business activity

The typical NAR member had a higher sales volume ($2.6 million vs. $2.1 million) and more transactions (12 vs. 10) in 2021 compared to 2020.

The typical Realtor earned 16% of their business from previous clients and customers, a slight increase from 15% last year. The most experienced members – those with 16 or more years’ experience – reported a greater share of repeat business from clients or referrals (a median of 44% in 2021 vs. a median of 37% in 2020). Members with two years or less experience reported no repeat business.

Overall, Realtors earned a median of 20% of their business from referrals, a slight increase from 19% in 2020. Referrals were also more common among members with more experience.

Demographic characteristics of Realtors

  • White: 77%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 11%
  • Black: 8%
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders: 5%

NAR says that newer members tend to be more diverse. Among those who had two years or less of experience, 37% were racial minorities, an increase from 34% one year ago.

“The real estate industry attracted new entrants who were increasingly more racially diverse and more likely to be women,” Lautz adds.

  • Gender: 66% of Realtors are women, up from 65% one year earlier. Realtors’ median age was 56, up from 54. About 41% of Realtors were over 60 years old and 4% were under age 30.
  • Education: More than 9 in 10 members (93%) had some post-secondary education, with 31% completing a bachelor’s degree, 6% some graduate school education, and 14% completing a graduate degree.
  • Volunteerism: Two out of every three members (67%) reported volunteering in their community. Volunteering was most common among members aged 40 to 49 years.

“All across our nation, Realtors are dedicated to building, improving and serving their communities,” says NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith.

Income and expenses

  • Realtors’ median gross income was $54,300 in 2021, up from $43,330 in 2020.
  • Realtors with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $85,000, an increase from $75,000 the previous year
  • Total median business expenses for members was $6,250 in 2021, an increase from $5,330 in 2020.


On a daily basis, the strong majority of Realtors use a smartphone with wireless email and internet capability (96%), along with a laptop or desktop computer (91%).

  • The smartphone features members use most are email (94%) and social media and GPS apps – both at 53%.
  • Text messaging (94%) is the top method of communication for members and clients, followed by phone calls (92%) and email (90%).
  • 68% have their own website.
  • 6% of Realtors use drones themselves as part of their business, while 37% have hired a professional drone operator.
  • 4% and 2% of members, respectively, use 3D/virtual tour and virtual staging technology on a daily basis.

Office and firm affiliation

A slight majority of Realtors (54%) worked with an independent company and 87% were independent contractors at their firms, little changed from a year earlier: 43% worked at a firm with one office and 26% worked at a firm with two to four offices.

The typical Realtor had a median tenure of five years with their current firm, the same as in 2020, with 8% working for a firm that was bought or merged in the past two years.

Errors and omissions insurance is the most common benefit provided by members’ firms.

Survey Methodology

In March 2022, NAR emailed a 97-question survey to a random sample of 176,494 Realtors®. Using this method, a total of 9,220 responses were received. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 5.2%. The confidence interval at a 95% level of confidence is +/- 1.02% based on a population of 1.5 million members. Survey responses were weighted to be representative of state-level NAR membership. Information about compensation, earnings, sales volume and number of transactions are characteristics of calendar year 2021, while all other data are representative of member characteristics in early 2022.

For more information from NAR’s 2022 Member Profile webpage.

© 2022 Florida Realtors®

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Author: kerrys