Where did all the kids go? Where are all the young Realtors?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Market Leader, Inc.

NAR released its latest member profile this week, and as usual, it contains a lot of interesting facts, and points to both big challenges and big opportunities for our industry. 

One trend, highlighted by our friends at REAL Trends, is the growing discrepancy between the average age of Realtors® and that of home buyers.  Of course, this discrepancy is not new to us.  But, it has increased dramatically since the downturn.  A quick analysis of the NAR data shows some pretty stunning changes in the Realtor® population between 2007 and 2010:

  • There were 307,000 fewer Realtors® in 2010 than there were in 2007.  That's a 21% drop, and a big deal, but probably not a shock to any of us.
  • What is more noteworthy is where those losses came from.  Of the 307k net losses, 270k came from Realtors® under the age of 50, and 379k came from Realtors® under 65.  Now, you may be thinking, "that doesn't seem to add up"...
  • That is because there are now 72k MORE Realtors® over the age of 65 than there were just 4 years ago - an increase of 44% - offsetting the losses in the other age brackets, and bringing the net loss number down
  • At the same time, the ranks of Realtors® under the age of 65 has been decimated - down by more than 35%
  • The net of all this is that the median age of Realtors® has increased by 5 years to 56, while the average age of home buyers remains 39.

This is of course not all bad news, as it means more consumers are likely being served by seasoned veterans who know a great deal about the business, and are strong enough to have weathered a nasty downturn.  But, it does suggest a big problem - and opportunity - because in general, many consumers often look to be assisted by professionals who are similar to them, particularly with regard to age.    

For young Realtors® looking to build their business, this presents a clear opportunity for them to do so with far less competition from their peer group than those who came before them (just 12% of Realtors® now are under 40).  And for brokerage companies looking to dramatically grow their market share, this points to an outstanding opportunity for them to invest in recruiting and training targeted at building a new generation of real estate professionals. 

Interesting stuff...what do you think?

Comments (2)

Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Fascinating. Veterans knows the fundamentals of real estate and running a customer service business. The youngsters are more tech savvy.

May 20, 2011 12:27 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX

Very interesting.  I have heard that the average age of new students in real esate schools in Texas is 54.

May 20, 2011 12:41 PM