By Travis Close, ABR, GREEN, GRI, e-PRO
President, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors
For the recent Labor Day, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released statistics about those of us who choose real estate as a profession. The data caused me to think about the many different careers real estate affords – helping people buy and sell homes, office buildings, industrial property and corporation farmland, property management, land development, mortgage banking, urban planning, real estate counseling, appraisal and research.
With the variety of careers and real estate being a determining factor in the economy, real estate and related courses now can be found in the curriculum of colleges and universities. Some higher learning institutions offer offer a bachelor’s degree and/or graduate level courses in real estate.
Licensing and passing a written exam is required to practice real estate. Each state varies in its licensing and continuing education requirements. An individual’s education and interests impact the field in which they enter real estate. Once licensed and a member of the NAR, Realtors have access to formal education and training for specific real estate disciplines.
Many real estate professions allow for a flexible work schedule. With specific goals, self-discipline and persistence, real estate can be a rewarding, long-term career. Due to the freedom to work at your own pace and tremendous people skills, it can appear to those working in other industries that Realtors have an easy path. Yet, NAR’s statistics demonstrate how hard Realtors work and the diversity that comprises our profession.
Realtors put in the time. The typical Realtor has been in the real estate industry for a median of 12 years, and has been at their present firm for five years. Realtors worked a median number of forty hours per week in 2014, with 59 percent working forty or more hours per week.
Realtors have focus. 58 percent of Realtors are licensed as sales agents, 26 percent as brokers, and 18 percent as brokers associates. For 77 percent of Realtors, real estate is their only occupation. This percentage increases with experience. 85 percent of Realtors with 16 years or more of experience cited real estate as their only profession. The majority of Realtors specialize in residential brokerage at 80 percent followed commercial brokerage at 4 percent.
Realtors have the drive to succeed. In 2014 the typical Realtor had an average of 11 transactions, and a median sales volume (not median income) of $1.7 million. 98 percent of Realtors are certain that they will remain active as a real estate professional during the next 2 years.
Regardless of your Realtor having recently passed the licensing exam or being a Realtor Emeritus (40 or more years as a member of NAR), they are part of a unique profession – one that requires as many or more hours as other professions. Realtors make possible the place where families break bread and friends gather to celebrate work successes, where manufacturing takes place and where individuals put down roots to launch their own lives and careers. Here’s to you, my fellow Realtors, for your efforts and labor to establish others in their family and professional lives.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,500 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit