68 Real Estate Statistics Every Agent Should Know

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The real estate business is always changing. This makes it hard to keep up with market statistics and demographics. 

Many variables can influence the housing market and how willing home buyers and sellers are to enter the market. For example, economic indicators like the unemployment rate and the stock market can indirectly impact the real estate industry. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has both directly and indirectly affected the real estate industry. 

As a small business owner, it’s essential to make sure you have the most updated information at your fingertips. It can be the difference between an impressed, happy client and a client who feels like you don’t know what you’re talking about. 

Below are 68 key real estate statistics that will give you the full picture of: 

  • agent demographics and financials
  • the real estate market 
  • digital marketing stats
  • cold calling info 
  • home seller & home buyer statistics 

68 Essential Real Estate Industry Statistics

Real Estate Agent Demographics 

  1. The average REALTOR® has at least 8 years of experience.
  2. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has about 1.37 million members.
  3. 67% of all REALTORS® are female. 
  4. The median age for REALTORS® is 52 years old. 
  5. The median number of years a REALTOR® will stay at one firm is 4 years. 
  6. In 2018, REALTORS® worked an average of 35 hours per week. 
  7. The median gross income of REALTORS® for 2018 was $41,800, a 5% increase from 2017. 
  8. 87% of REALTORS® are independent contractors. 

Key Takeaways 

The average REALTOR® is 52 years old and has about 8 years of experience behind them. This means that many real estate agents didn’t even enter the industry until they were in their 40’s. Overall, the real estate industry is a great option if you’re looking to start a second career.

Real estate agents and REALTORS® also don’t spend a decade at one brokerage. The average amount of time spent at one firm is about 4 years. Finding the right brokerage is critical to your success as a real estate agent. Reading peer reviews is one of the best ways to make sure you’ve found the right brokerage.

The majority of real estate agents and REALTORS® are independent contractors, and the median annual income is trending up. 

Real Estate Agent Financials 

  1. The median yearly income for real estate agents was $48,930 in 2019.
  2. The average annual income for real estate agents increased by 18.5% in 2019 (up from  $41,289 in 2018).
  3. The number of real estate agents and brokers employed in the U.S. was 465,500 in 2018. 
  4. New York State had the highest annual mean wage for real estate agents at $111,800 in 2019.
  5. The five states with the lowest annual mean wage in 2019 were Illinois, Minnesota, Idaho, Ohio, Indiana.
  6. Florida had the largest number of employed real estate agents (19,240) in 2019.
  7. Transportation was the largest business expense (average of $1,370 per year) for real estate agents in 2019.
  8. About 17% of real estate agents’ business came from referrals and 13% came from returning clients in 2019.

Key Takeaways

The average income for real estate agents is increasing nationally. But there’s a big difference between the national average and the amount of money you can expect to make across states. Researching how much you can expect to make as a real estate agent in your state will help you plan for the future. For example, the annual mean wage for real estate agents in New York was $111,800 in 2019. That’s more than 2X the mean wages in the five lowest states (listed above).

Budgeting for transportation costs can also help you stay on track, financially. These costs may include car maintenance, gas, public transportation tickets or passes, etc. 

Digital Marketing Statistics 

  1. 84% of home buyers said they frequently use the internet to search for homes.
  2. Older millennials (30-39 years old) were the most likely age group to use the internet to find their home online. 
  3. 51% of  REALTORS® reported having a website for at least 5 years in 2019.
  4. In 2019, 9% of REALTORS® reported having a real estate blog.   
  5. 73% of NAR of members used Facebook for business.
  6. 58% of NAR members were on LinkedIn for professional use.
  7. 66% of marketers see increased leads from social media by spending just 6 hours a week on social marketing. 
  8. 8 out of 10 consumers said they trust a brand more if they are active on social media. 

Key Takeaways

About 5 out of 6 home buyers use the internet to help them find their new home. And 80% of consumers will trust your brand more if you’re active on social media. Even for those who aren’t social media gurus, it’s hard to deny the importance of digital marketing.

Real estate agents are small business owners. One of the best things you can do for your business is to prioritize your online presence. Make sure you have your own website and social media channels set up. Bonus points if you have a blog! 

Real estate agents can also use the internet to help them find new business. For example, you can conduct paid advertising on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Using Google Ads through Google Search Network or Google Display Network to advertise directly in Google search results, on websites within the display network, mobile apps, Youtube, Gmail or other major networks  is another great way to target web visitors who have already visited your website. Check out more digital lead generation strategies on AgentAdvice.com. 

Cold Calling Statistics 

  1. In a 2012 study, real estate agents made 6,264 cold calls and 28% received an answer.
  2. About 1 out of every 330 (.03%) cold calls will result in an appointment.
  3. About 1 out of every 209 (.05) cold calls will result in a referral. 
  4. The Keller Center for Research at Baylor University estimates that it will take real estate agents 7.5 hours of cold calling to achieve 1 qualified appointment or referral.
  5. 49% of buyers prefer cold calling as the first point of contact method. 
  6. After you’ve made first contact with a potential customer, the best time for a follow-up call is between 4 pm – 5 pm. 
  7. Wednesday is the best day for making calls, cold calls are 70% more successful on this day of the week.

Key Takeaways 

While cold calling statistics may seem low, they still have a relatively strong return on investment (ROI). For about every 7.5 hours worth of work, you can expect to have one legitimate meeting or referral. 

So no, cold calling is not dead. But you can get a serious leg up on the competition if you have a smart strategy in place. There are specific days of the week and time of the day that buyers are more likely to answer a phone call. Plan your calling times around this as much as possible. 

Preparing a call script beforehand will also help you feel more prepared for calls and be able to breeze through your contact list. 

Housing Market Statistics 

  1. Since before the 2008 housing market crisis, the percentage of Americans renting their home increased by 13% (from 2006 – 2018).
  2. Millennials (25 – 34 years old) move around much more than older generations, 45% of adults in this age group have moved within the past two years.
  3. 5.34 million homes were sold in 2019.
  4. Of these, 682,000 newly built homes were sold in 2019. 
  5. The median home sale price was $299,400 in September 2019.
  6. As of May 2020, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, and Boston, MA are the three metro areas with the highest median housing sale price.
  7. Based on U.S. Census and Department of Labor data, the average downpayment for a new home is just under $60K. 
  8. Home price growth is expected to flatten out and increase by 1.1% in 2020. 
  9. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of existing homes are expected to decrease by 15% for 2020.
  10. The median number of days-to-close across Redfin metros in the U.S. was 28.7, as of June 2020.

Key Takeaways

The housing market is shaped by many factors, including the increasing percentage of millennial homebuyers and renters and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the U.S. population ages, more and more millennials will become homebuyers and sellers. According to recent data, 25-34-year-olds are the most mobile group of homeowners and renters in the U.S. 

In the U.S., the COVID-19 pandemic has created a temporary slump in the housing market. But home prices are still expected to grow by about 1.1%. 

However, this isn’t the only change the global pandemic has brought about. As of May 2020, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 13.3%. The total number of unemployed people is about 21 million. This means that a large percentage of the U.S. population that were planning to rent or buy a new home will likely have to put this off until they can find work again. 

Home Buyer Statistics 

  1. 89% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent. 
  2. The most common way (41%) home buyers found their real estate agent was through a referral. 
  3. About 1 out of 5 buyers say the most important factor when choosing to work with a real estate agent is how honest and trustworthy they are.
  4. 63% of homebuyers were very satisfied with the home buying process.
  5. Over 90% of millennial home buyers (22 – 39 years old) frequently used the internet to find their new home, this percentage declines with age.
  6. 52% of buyers found the home they ended up purchasing on the internet.
  7. As of 2020, millennials made up the largest share (38%) of home buyers. 
  8. About 1 out of 4 homebuyers are from Generation X (40 – 54 years old).
  9. 1 out of 3 home buyers purchased a home for the first time. 
  10. 61% of buyers were married couples, while 26% were singles.
  11. 83% of homes bought were detached single-family homes.
  12. 13% of buyers purchased newly constructed homes, while 87% bought existing homes. 
  13. During the home buying process, 45% of younger millennial homebuyers (22 – 29 years old) said the cost of commuting was ‘very important’.
  14. 50% of new home purchases were in a suburb or subdivision. 
  15. Buyers looked for a new home for an average of 10 weeks, and the median number of homes considered was 9.
  16. 55% of all buyers thought the most difficult part of the home buying process was finding the right home.

Key Takeaways

Digging into homebuyer demographics and sentiment reveals a few key things. It’s clear that age, referral networks, and internet research are important factors. Millennials now make up the largest portion of homebuyers on the market. They are also the age group that uses the internet the most to find their new home. Advertising on social media, beefing up your online presence, and catering to the younger generations is becoming increasingly important. 

Another important insight for real estate agents is that the most common way for their clients to find them is still via referral. This means that asking happy clients for referrals is more important than ever. Along with other lead generation tactics, finding new clients through referrals remains a great way to attract new business. 

Home Seller Statistics 

  1. 78% of home sellers are 40 years old or over. 
  2. Only about 23% of home sellers are between 22 – 39 years old.
  3. 72% of home sellers are married couples. 
  4. The majority of all home sellers (72%) move within the same state. 
  5. On average, sellers live in their home for about 10 years before deciding to sell.
  6. About 90% of all sellers worked with a real estate agent to list and sell their home. 
  7. 4 out of 10 home sellers reduced the asking price of their home. 
  8. 64% of home sellers said they were ‘very satisfied’ with the overall selling process. 
  9. On average, home sellers sold their home for a median of $60K more than they purchased it for.
  10. The median income for all home sellers was $102,900.
  11. For sellers, the most common reason (16%) for selling their home was to be closer to family and friends. 

Key Takeaways 

The home seller population is older than the homebuyer population. Gen Xers and Baby Boomers make up the largest portion of total home sellers. Reasons for wanting to sell a home are also fairly distributed. The most common motivation for selling, wanting to be close to family and friends, was chosen by only 16% of sellers.

64% of sellers were ‘very satisfied’ with the home selling process. This closely matched the percentage of buyers (63%) that were ‘very satisfied with the home buying process. For real estate agents, it’s reassuring to know that a majority of buyers and sellers are satisfied with this process. But this also means that real estate agents still have work to do. You have the opportunity to make this process better for about 36% of buyers and sellers. 

More Resources for New Real Estate Agents

It’s important to keep your thumb on the tab of real estate agent demographics, financials, and housing market stats. This will help you stay aware of vulnerabilities in the market and be on top of new trends. Most importantly, it will help you better understand your clients.

Along with staying on top of real estate market trends, maintaining your professional credentials is another key ingredient for real estate success. All real estate agents need to renew their license every few years, and many go on to earn specific certifications.

AgentAdvice.com has detailed information and reviews of real estate schools across states. These schools provide materials for licensing exams, info about investing in real estate, and continuing education courses. 

If you’re new to the industry and looking for your first brokerage, reviews from fellow agents can help you find a brokerage that’s right for you. Find more information about everything you need to be successful as a real estate agent, such as how and where to network, on AgentAdvice.com. 

Many thanks to the following sources for providing information for this AgentAdvice.com article: NAR Quick Research and Statistics, NAR 2019 Member Profile, U.S. BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents, U.S. BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, G2 Learning Hub’s 60+ Must Read Real Estate Statistics, Forbes’ Here’s How Much Real Estate Agents Earn In Every State, NAR 2020 Generation Trends Report, Placester Real Estate Marketing Academy’s Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Real Estate Social Media Marketing, Sales for Life’s What is the Real Evidence for Cold Calling Effectiveness?,  Baylor University Keller Center for Research’s Has Cold Calling Gone Cold?, Wade Webb’s AgentsBoost’s Shocking Real Estate Sales Stats That Will Change How You Do Business, Realtor.com 2020 Housing Market Forecast, Zillow’s On The Move: Why Young Adults Today Are More Mobile Than Previous Generations, smallbizgenius’ 30+ Essential Real Estate Statistics, Redfin’s COVID-19 Weekly Housing Market Data, NAR 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report