Business Activity of REALTORS®

  • Earlier today we took a look at labor productivity.  REALTORS® on average are very productive, and labor productivity across the board has long term ramifications on homebuyers’ purchasing power.
  • In 2012, the typical agent had 12 residential transaction sides—an increase from 10 transaction sides in 2011 and eight in 2010.
  • Additionally, 26 percent of members reported having at least one commercial transaction side. Members who are residential specialists typically had a total of 12 transaction sides overall compared to commercial specialists who typically had a total of 10 transaction sides overall.
  • REALTORS® with two years of experience or less had a median of four transactions, compared to brokerage specialists with 16 years of experience or more who had a median of 13 transactions.
  • The typical member had one transaction side involving a short sale and one transaction involving a foreclosure.
  • REALTORS® are hard working. The typical REALTOR® worked 40 hours per week in 2012, a trend that has continued for several years. Managers and appraisers reported working the most hours, at 50 per week. All other members reported working 40 hours per week.

Meredith Dunn, Research Communications Manager

Meredith Dunn, Research Communications Representative, manages Real Estate INSIGHTS, the Research Update, and assists in managing Research content on as well as on various social media sites. She also produces video content for the multimedia portion of the Research site.

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  1. The 40 to 59 hour range that sales agents or associate brokers work really shouldn’t be too surprising. Technology today allows for more opportunities to work… the real issue for Realtors is learning to turn everything off.

  2. Sam Featherstone

    Fantastic Numbers! I am in my first few months and will use those new agent median numbers to set an educated goal thanks!

  3. It is good to see that more agents are doing transactions (only 3% had no transactions). It’s not surprising to see how many hours agents put into the job.

  4. Jeremy Farlow

    These numbers absolutely caught me off guard by the inefficiency they report. There is a massive difference between being a hard worker and an effective agent. Working 40 hours each week for 12 sides per year only nets an agent $23-$30k. If this is you and you’re going to work 40 hours, start reading some books and getting some training. One of two things will happen. One – you’ll only need to work 10-15 hours a week for the same production or Two – you’ll double, triple, quadruple, or more your income. I don’t consider myself that big of a deal, but if I can create the volume of business I’ve got in my small community, you can too where you live! I hope this post inspires someone to get after it and be the best possible agent you can be for the clients you serve. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

  5. I’ve been selling for 15 years & I’m surprised the # hours worked has not gone up more. I used to tell my buyers that of the 3 parts of the homebuying process (finding the home + negotiating the Purchase Agreement + everything else up to the closing), usually one of them will be difficult. Now I’m amazed if even one part goes SMOOTHLY! Despite the increased technology available (and probably because of all the changes due to the housing crisis), there seem to be so many more glitches along the way. So if it used to take 4 showing appointments, 2 Counters, and 5 hours of work to reach the closing, now it takes 7 showing appts., 5 Counters, and 10 hours of work. Anyone else agree?

  6. I agree with both Jeremy and Jeri. These numbers can not possibly reflect those who take this profession seriously. Those of us who make it our career do way more transactions and work way more hours.

  7. Lori, I think you hit the nail on the head about not reflecting those who take it seriously. Having said that, where it the poll that shows the percentages of agents taking it seriously? If they could poll for passion and drive, perhaps these numbers would be different.

  8. Easy way to write the poll next time. Add a question – is selling real estate your only means of income?

  9. T.J. Doyle, Marketing & Communications Manager

    Karen, there are two charts in the annual member profile that address that question: chart 5-10 discusses personal occupation and chart 5-16 discusses primary source of income for home.

  10. Well then…if the majority of these agents are full time, there is something amiss.