The real estate industry in the United States is one of the most developed and largest markets in the world. Very few other countries have such a strong, growing housing market with regulation that protects its stakeholders. Due to the mature market and need for professional agents, it is a very attractive way to make a living for MILLIONS of people passionate about serving those that need help making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. So how big exactly is the industry from a people perspective? Let’s take a look at the numbers…
Data from multiple sources like the MLS, NAR, and companies like Homelight, suggest there are about 2,000,000 active real estate agents in the US. 1.3 Million of these agents are licensed realtors meaning they pay dues to NAR and have agreed to a code of ethics.
The industry goes through its fluctuations just like any other. As you can see below in the data provided by NAR, when the market crashed in 2008 the number of agents dropped and is now up near all-time highs.
It makes sense that when there is less business to go around after an event like 2008 that agents will go find money elsewhere. As the market begins to grow again, agents re-enter the market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 20,200 real estate jobs will open up from 2016 to 2026 based on projected 5.8% employment growth over that same time period.
So why are there so many agents? Well they get to set their own schedule, they get to work with people all day, they don’t have to work a 9-5 desk job, and they have the opportunity to grow a business. Real estate agents are entrepreneurs. It’s a lifestyle that is flexible, but also demanding depending on the number of clients an agent has.
I didn’t even mention money… According to U.S. News, in 2017, agents in the top 25th percentile made around $71,950 (luxury real estate agents can make up to $500,000 on a single transaction!) It takes a lot of effort, patience, and consistency to get to that top 25 percentile, but it’s a goal worth achieving and that’s one of the many reasons the real estate industry is so massive!