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Market Intelligence
It's the REALTOR®'s Business
Highlights from the 2007 NAR Member Profile

by Paul Bishop, Anna Barlett and Jessica Lautz
NAR Research

Every two years, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® conducts a survey of its members. The survey asks questions about REALTOR® business characteristics, demographics, income, expenses, and use of technology. The new 2007 NAR Member Profile will soon be released, and below we present some highlights from that report.*

REALTORS® play a variety of roles in the real estate industry depending on their function within the firm and business specialty. Most REALTORS® report that they act as sales agents and a majority consider residential brokerage their primary business specialty. Still, a sizable number of REALTORS®work in commercial brokerage, property management and appraisal areas.

The range of experience and functions within their firm help REALTORS®satisfy the needs of customers and clients.

Type of License and Business Specialties
The majority of REALTORS® (63 percent) hold a sales agent license, and many have a broker’s or broker-associate’s license as well. REALTORS® who have been in real estate for more than five years are more likely to have a broker or broker-associate license. Those who are just starting their career are most likely to only have a sales agent license.

Overall, 75 percent of REALTORS® specialize in residential real estate brokerage. A similar percentage of REALTORS® holding a sales agent or broker’s license – and an even larger share of broker-associate licensees – specialize in residential real estate.
Eighty-seven percent of REALTORS® licensed as appraisers specialize in residential appraisal.

Among broker/broker-associate licensees, the share specializing in residential brokerage has varied between 75 percent and 84 percent in recent years with few apparent trends in the share of brokers specializing in other areas. Among sales agent licensees, residential brokerage is the most frequently cited primary business specialty. The most significant increase was among those sales agents whose primary business specialty is relocation.

Many REALTORS® work in other areas of real estate in addition to their primary specialty area. More than one-quarter of REALTORS® cite relocation as a secondary business specialty – an increase from the 20 percent reported in the previous survey. Eighteen percent of REALTORS® reported commercial brokerage and 18 percent reported land development as secondary business specialties. Counseling has also increased as a secondary business specialty since the last member profile survey conducted in 2005 – from 12 percent to 16 percent.

Technology Use
REALTORS® use many types of communication and technology tools. In 2006, they spent a median of $820 on technology products and services. Thirty-six percent of REALTORS® spent less than $500, while 5 percent spent more than $5,000.

Certain technology and communication products, such as cell phones and e-mail, are used by nearly all REALTORS®. Digital cameras are also used by nearly all REALTORS® but less frequently than cell phones. Approximately one-third of REALTORS® use instant messaging, wireless e-mail, and GPS. A small percentage of REALTORS® use blogs, podcasts, and RSS feeds.

REALTORS® have a growing assortment of technologies available to them to communicate with clients. Fifty percent of REALTORS® report that they communicate with their clients by e-mail more than 50 percent of the time, up from 44 percent in 2005. Among REALTORS® with five years or less experience, 55 percent communicate at least half the time via e-mail compared with 41 percent of REALTORS® with 16 or more years experience. The use of instant messaging has remained steady since the 2005 report. Over one-quarter of all REALTORS® use instant messaging, however few do so frequently.

Nearly 90 percent of REALTORS® reported that their firm has a web site for business use – this percentage has increased from 87 to 89 percent since 2005. In addition, a significant majority of REALTORS® have a web site of their own that they use for business. Sixty-one percent of REALTORS® have a web site for business use, with an additional 12 percent noting that they plan to have a web site in the future. This is a substantial increase from 2005, when 44 percent of REALTORS® reported that they had a web site. Thirty-five percent of REALTORS® developed their own web site and maintain it on their own, while 27 percent use a web site that their firm provides.

Nearly all REALTORS® show their own property listings on their web site. Over three-quarters of them also include information about the home buying and selling process. More than two-thirds include mortgage or other financial calculators and a link to their firm’s web site. Commercial specialists also provide the same type of information on their web site.

Looking Ahead
Most REALTORS® intend to continue their real estate career in the future. Among all REALTORS®, 80 percent report that they are "very certain" they will remain active in the real estate profession during the next two years. Fifteen percent are only somewhat certain with a slightly higher percentage among sales agent licensees and REALTORS® who have been in the field for less than two years.

A significant share of REALTOR® business is "repeat business" from a previous client or from a past client's referral. That is good news for real estate professionals. For all REALTORS®, a median 25 percent of their business is from a previous client. And the more experience REALTORS® have, the higher percentage of "repeat business" they are likely to capture.

Secondary Business Specialty of REALTORS®
(Percent of Respondents)
*In January 2007, NAR mailed an 87-question survey to a random sample of 70,000 REALTORS®. An identical questionnaire was also distributed to another group of 70,000 members via a Web-based survey. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 7.9 percent. Survey responses were weighted according to each state’s NAR membership. Information about compensation, earnings, sales volume and number of transactions is characteristics of calendar year 2006, while all other data are representative of member characteristics in early 2007. The National Association of REALTORS® is committed to equal opportunity in the real estate industry. In accordance with this commitment, racial and ethnic information was collected and is included in this report.

Karen Rice Keller Williams Real Est
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

I fail to see what this cut and paste blog has to do with the blog title...I'm confused!


Apr 20, 2007 04:36 PM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Whoa... The title grabbed me, but way too much text.  You lost me after about three paragraphs.  This might be enough material for 3 or 4 blogs, padded with stories or examples to make the point AND more interesting reading  I think it has great potential, but I'm more likely to stick with it if you break it up a bit.
Apr 22, 2007 01:01 AM