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Realtors® and Dead Cats: What does your market look like?

Commercial Real Estate Agent with Contour Investment Properties

I've been hearing how easy it is to hit a Realtor® by swinging a dead cat, so I thought I'd do a little research. I couldn't find a source that tracked dead cats, so I focused on the number of Realtors instead. In Hawaii, there's a licensed Realtor for every 161 people, but in West Virginia you'd need to whack 648 people with that cat to be sure you hit a Realtor.

I looked up the stats for my local market, Jackson Hole, WY, and WOW! Just over 400 licensed Realtors belong to the local board, and the year-round population here is just 20,000. That works out to be one Realtor per 50 people in Jackson Hole, WY! It was even worse in 2008, when there were some 1,000 licensed agents, making the ratio an astounding 1 Realtor per 20 people. One in Twenty. Think about it. Now that's competition.

Or is it? 60% of those agents have disappeared in the past two years, as the real estate market collapsed. How much business did they really do? How many were part timers, listing only family property, or getting a license because the business seemed so easy?

What does your market look like?

Realtor to Population Ratio 2010

Posted by

Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties
172 Center Street, Suite 200
PO Box 1152
Jackson, WY 83001
(307) 733-6400

CCIM logoTim Bradley is an owner of Contour Investment Properties, the only brokerage firm in Jackson exclusively focused on commercial and investment property in Jackson Hole and Teton Valley. Tim has earned the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute as well as the CCIM designation from the CCIM Institute.


Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Tim, those are fascinating statistics.  And, I love them.  Considering where I live.  You couldn't get much better numbers if you are willing to work hard!

Jun 19, 2011 10:02 AM
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

And the numbers keep changing....here on the Toronto Real Estate Board, we are swinging at 30,000 agents Tim.

Jun 19, 2011 01:11 PM
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Tim, your blog post sure was a catchy one! I'm glad this post wasn't really about dead cats, though. :)

Interesting...I would have thought California would be higher on the list.


Jun 22, 2011 02:25 PM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Leilani, California is still in the top 7, and I'm sure certain markets in California are pretty saturated.

Jun 22, 2011 03:38 PM
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Great numbers, Tim!  Of course, your narrative is what makes it really fun!

Jun 24, 2011 10:20 AM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Richard, I suspect you're right. The same names that have been in the business, making a good living, for the past couple of decades, are still here, still working, and still making a good living. The other 80-90% come and go...

Nice of you to say so Brenda, and good to see ya!

Jun 24, 2011 04:24 PM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Tim, what a great post. I had no idea what the numbers were. We could lose a few more and it wouldn't hurt anything!

Jun 26, 2011 05:23 AM
EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA

Out of all those Realtors in California, I had to choose one of the bad ones. I’m tempted to see if she is still in business.

I had no idea that there are states with fewer people than those who call the City of San Diego their home!

Jun 29, 2011 07:23 PM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Hi Connie, thanks for stopping by. It is an eye-opener, isn't it.

Eric, sorry you had a bad experience. Here's a link to look up and see if a particular person is licensed in California... http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp You've landed in a great place with Russel though! Say hi to Russel for me.

Jun 30, 2011 01:35 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Just stopped by to say that I

Happy Fourth of July!

Jul 04, 2011 08:36 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

I guess West Virginia is the place to hang your license. 

Jul 17, 2011 03:19 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Happy Friday!

Aug 05, 2011 12:23 PM
Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com - Dallas, TX

Tim I love your blog post why important to have a niche you specialize in therefore higher % of clients ;p

dallas homes for rent by owner dallas houses for rent by owner lynn911.com

Aug 10, 2011 06:55 AM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Thanks for stopping in Russel, Jane and Lynn!

Aug 13, 2011 01:44 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Oh, Tim? Where are you? I hope you're not having too much fun there in JH.

Happy Wednesday!

Aug 17, 2011 12:49 AM
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

When I started in August 2005, my mom said, "But there are so many of you!" So many of them are not here in August 2011. I am!

Aug 31, 2011 04:10 PM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Russel AND Jim?? Hi guys! Thanks for stopping by, and I'll be posting again soon, I promise...

Aug 31, 2011 04:54 PM
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Tim, Very interesting post. I remember at the peak of the market, everybody had a real estate license, because it was sooo easy.  We went from about 1000 Realtors to over 4000 in a couple of years.  Each new agent was good for one or two transactions.  It was crazy back then.  Now we are back down to under 1600, I believe.

Sep 15, 2011 09:48 AM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Your featured post brough me over here.  I like the title.  Our State Association reported that there was 1 licensee per 54 adult Californians.  That may be right because many licensees are not NAR members.

Here's the old joke

Guy walks into a liquor store to cash a check.

The clerk asks to see his Real Estate license.

Guy says: "Real estate license?? Don't you mean my 'Driver's License'"

Clerk says: "Well, not everyone has a Driver's License.


Sep 16, 2011 08:14 AM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Tim, that's too funny!  I see Texas isn't too bad. I knew Hawaii was ridiculous, and I assume the others are high too with their huge bubbles.  I think in San Antonio there are 7,000 registered with the board with a pop of 2.2M for the greater MSA.  Austin has twice as many Realtors and half our population!  Have a good week!

Nov 01, 2011 08:34 PM