NAR study explores top reasons for becoming a Realtor

by Stacy Carchman

More than three out of five Realtors chose to pursue real estate as a career of their own volition, and over half said in order to make it as a Realtor, one must be a self-motivated problem solver, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

The survey examines the reasons members chose real estate and how race, gender and sexual orientation factored into the decision.

Realtors were asked questions such as why they entered the field, skills important in real estate, areas they worked in, typical number of transactions, sales volume and income differences.

“Realtors from all walks of life share the common purpose of making a positive difference in communities across the country and delivering excellent service to their clients,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said in the press release.

Residential Realtor members were more likely to be attracted to the profession by the flexible work hours and working with people. Many were also referred by a friend to work in the industry.

When breaking down income by sex and race, there were also vast differences. Men in residential real estate had a $35,700 median gross personal income, while women had $33,500. There were also differences in income amongst white, Black, Hispanic and Asian member Realtors.

White members had the highest median gross personal income at $49,000, followed by Asian/Pacific Islander members at $27,400, Hispanic members at $26,600 and Black members $16,700.  Another interesting finding was that white Realtor members said that real estate was their only career, whereas Black members made up the largest share of survey respondents who had additional jobs.

White member Realtors seem to have advantages in many other areas as well compared to members of other races. White members’ tenure in residential real estate is 10 years compared to Asian/Pacific Islander members (five years), Black members (four years) and Hispanic members (four years). White Realtors also had more median residential transactions in 2020 (seven) as compared to Hispanic members (three), Black members (two) and Asian/Pacific Islanders members (two).

In regard to sexual orientation, LGBTQ members were more likely to work in the city or urban areas as compared to straight/heterosexual members. The median gross personal income for LGBTQ members was $38,800 as compared to straight/heterosexual members at $34,100.

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