Real Estate Agent Median Income is it False?

59 Replies

Hello fellow BP members! 

I am a young aspiring agent/investor and want to get started in the business first as an agent. I was concerned at first reading that the median income for a real estate agent was roughly 39k a year. However I recently read an article stating that you can't really take that number seriously due to many part time agents bringing that number down as well as agents who really don't work that hard. Is this true? Have you seen this first hand? Is being an agent a lucrative career if you work your butt off and know that it will be most likely be a slow start? 

Thank you in advance for your input!

The average agent closes something like 6 deals per year, which comes out to under $30k per year. It's why most agents don't stay in the business for long. 

Hey @Johnny Lujan , welcome to BP.  On the average income I expect it varies a lot from location to location.  Some areas one sale will put $50K in your pocket in others you might not make $1K.  How many realtors in town and how fast real estate sells.  There were about 4 agents in town when I moved here, but nothing was selling, now there is about 15 and the population is possibly lower, but there are a lot more sales.  When I first moved here realtors were starving, everyone was leaving town.

Jerry W.

    @Johnny Lujan

    I love the opportunities of a real estate agent. It's not complicated, and there are plenty of successful people to model your business after. Your success is directly proportional to what types of activities you do and how hard you work. If you are interested in chatting more about it, let me know. 

    Zach Sikes, Real Estate Agent in OK (#157234)

    @Johnny Lujan

    You can make a lot of money in this industry if you work hard. Many agents are pulling in 6 figure incomes. But there are also many agents who are not making much if anything.

    It is really about how hard you work, how smart you work & how much money you are willing to put back into your business. You will need to spend a lot of money on advertising if you want to get your name out there as much as possible.

    James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)

    Originally posted by @Rusty Scott :

    The average agent closes something like 6 deals per year, which comes out to under $30k per year. It's why most agents don't stay in the business for long. 

     Thank you for the response! Is this from personal experience?

    Originally posted by @Jerry W. :

    Hey @Johnny Lujan, welcome to BP.  On the average income I expect it varies a lot from location to location.  Some areas one sale will put $50K in your pocket in others you might not make $1K.  How many realtors in town and how fast real estate sells.  There were about 4 agents in town when I moved here, but nothing was selling, now there is about 15 and the population is possibly lower, but there are a lot more sales.  When I first moved here realtors were starving, everyone was leaving town.

     So location does definitely play a role I can see! My current location is pretty populous and the average home prices I believe are around 200k. Thank you for the response!

    Originally posted by @Zach Sikes :

    @Johnny Lujan

    I love the opportunities of a real estate agent. It's not complicated, and there are plenty of successful people to model your business after. Your success is directly proportional to what types of activities you do and how hard you work. If you are interested in chatting more about it, let me know. 

     Excellent! I agree with those points. I believe the same that many agents don't put their energy and efforts towards the right things and therefore fail. Do you have any book recommendations for me? Thank you so much!!

    Originally posted by @James Wise :

    @Johnny Lujan

    You can make a lot of money in this industry if you work hard. Many agents are pulling in 6 figure incomes. But there are also many agents who are not making much if anything.

    It is really about how hard you work, how smart you work & how much money you are willing to put back into your business. You will need to spend a lot of money on advertising if you want to get your name out there as much as possible.

     Awesome tips! Thank you! So the keys are working very hard, working smart and getting known to as many people as I can? In your opinion what is the single most important piece of advice you would give to a new agent? Again thank you! Love getting advice from successful people in the industry!

    @Johnny Lujan

    The best thing about being a Real Estate Agent is your inventory is limitless. You can make a good living without having to own the house and with no risk on your part. It was a perfect transition for me into REI.

    Sure you will end up driving people around in your car showing them houses but never sell them one, take listings from unmotivated seller's that never sell, but there are plenty of ways to spin your wheels in real estate investing too.

    @Johnny Lujan

    Try "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller. It's a great start. I can send you a copy if you want. 

    Zach Sikes, Real Estate Agent in OK (#157234)

    The good news is that successful Realtors come in all colors, sizes and personality types.  The bad news is that it is difficult to predict which will be 'successful' and which won't make it to their 2nd anniversary in the business.

    Here is the best advice that I can give you: get up, get dressed, go to work.

    In other words, treat it like a REAL JOB.  Set your alarm, beat your manager in to the office in the morning, dress sharp, listen intently to the experienced agents.  If you do these things, you will be ahead of 90% of the other agents out there and those experienced agents/managers will send business your way to encourage you (I know that I always send a hard working rookie business whenever I can because I want to see them succeed).

    Plan to have little to no income for 6 months, maybe more.  Don't spend a lot on advertising initially but instead tell everyone you know and meet that you are actively building your business and ask them 'who do you know that is getting ready to buy or sell a home?'.

    Pick up the phone and start making phone calls.  Friends, family, classmates, former co-workers.  Expired listings, for sale by owners, absentee owners, cold call a neighborhood.

    Best of luck to you, Johnny!  It is a career that rewards those who work their tail off.  : )

    Originally posted by @Johnny Lujan :
    Originally posted by @James Wise:

    @Johnny Lujan

    You can make a lot of money in this industry if you work hard. Many agents are pulling in 6 figure incomes. But there are also many agents who are not making much if anything.

    It is really about how hard you work, how smart you work & how much money you are willing to put back into your business. You will need to spend a lot of money on advertising if you want to get your name out there as much as possible.

     Awesome tips! Thank you! So the keys are working very hard, working smart and getting known to as many people as I can? In your opinion what is the single most important piece of advice you would give to a new agent? Again thank you! Love getting advice from successful people in the industry!

     Single most important piece of advice is to keep advertising. Spend the money on building your brand. You have to be in front of people over and over and over again. The phone will not ring unless you keep spending the money to get yourself out there.

    James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)

    Originally posted by @Ron Drake :

    @Johnny Lujan

    The best thing about being a Real Estate Agent is your inventory is limitless. You can make a good living without having to own the house and with no risk on your part. It was a perfect transition for me into REI.

    Sure you will end up driving people around in your car showing them houses but never sell them one, take listings from unmotivated seller's that never sell, but there are plenty of ways to spin your wheels in real estate investing too.

    Great point on the limitless inventory! Im hoping for the same; a perfect transition into REI. Love the response thank You!

    Originally posted by @Zach Sikes :

    @Johnny Lujan

    Try "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller. It's a great start. I can send you a copy if you want. 

     Thank you for the recommendation! I would take you up on that offer however i just ordered the book about two days ago! Great to hear i made a good choice in buying the book! Thank you Zach

    Originally posted by @Sandy Thomas :

    The good news is that successful Realtors come in all colors, sizes and personality types.  The bad news is that it is difficult to predict which will be 'successful' and which won't make it to their 2nd anniversary in the business.

    Here is the best advice that I can give you: get up, get dressed, go to work.

    In other words, treat it like a REAL JOB.  Set your alarm, beat your manager in to the office in the morning, dress sharp, listen intently to the experienced agents.  If you do these things, you will be ahead of 90% of the other agents out there and those experienced agents/managers will send business your way to encourage you (I know that I always send a hard working rookie business whenever I can because I want to see them succeed).

    Plan to have little to no income for 6 months, maybe more.  Don't spend a lot on advertising initially but instead tell everyone you know and meet that you are actively building your business and ask them 'who do you know that is getting ready to buy or sell a home?'.

    Pick up the phone and start making phone calls.  Friends, family, classmates, former co-workers.  Expired listings, for sale by owners, absentee owners, cold call a neighborhood.

    Best of luck to you, Johnny!  It is a career that rewards those who work their tail off.  : )

     Excellent excellent advice! I will definitely treat it just as a real job and do as you said! Thats such great advice. I could see how agents could get lackadaisical and show up late and really not take it seriously. I have a plan for the no income part of the business for the first couple years since i know it will be hard to get off the ground. Will definitely speak to my sphere of influence and make phone calls as soon as possible. Thank you so much! So glad to hear that it is lucrative if enough work is put in!

    Originally posted by @James Wise :
    Originally posted by @Johnny Lujan:
    Originally posted by @James Wise:

    @Johnny Lujan

    You can make a lot of money in this industry if you work hard. Many agents are pulling in 6 figure incomes. But there are also many agents who are not making much if anything.

    It is really about how hard you work, how smart you work & how much money you are willing to put back into your business. You will need to spend a lot of money on advertising if you want to get your name out there as much as possible.

     Awesome tips! Thank you! So the keys are working very hard, working smart and getting known to as many people as I can? In your opinion what is the single most important piece of advice you would give to a new agent? Again thank you! Love getting advice from successful people in the industry!

     Single most important piece of advice is to keep advertising. Spend the money on building your brand. You have to be in front of people over and over and over again. The phone will not ring unless you keep spending the money to get yourself out there.

     Awesome! Advertise advertise advertise! I need to become a well known name. Appreciate that! What is your favorite form of advertising/marketing?

    @Johnny Lujan There's far too many variables to have a median income. I can tell you there are agents that think they work full time, but in reality though they may show up at an office, they sit at a desk for 8 hours, but do nothing to list or sell real estate. On the other hand, I've seen agents that focused strictly on listing, never came into the office and were top producers. 

    If you are going to work as an agent, work on being the best agent you can be. Know your market, the inventory and what is available, etc. Find the niche you are interested in and become an expert. When people call you, call them back. If you get really busy, hire someone to keep you organized, run your escrows, take out flyers, signs, etc. to listings. Customer service is the KEY to earning a good income. Don't think about how much money you want to make, just about taking care of your clients, and the money comes. At the same time, weed out people quickly that aren't buyers or won't be listing with you, but do it in a way so that when they're ready they'll come back if possible. Good luck! 

    Karen Margrave

    As with anything in real estate the name of the game is location location location.  I am a Realtor in a rural area where the top agents bring in about 100k annually.  The average agent might make 30k though.  The average sale price for homes stays around 50-80k for most home in the area.  The real question is what do you really make?  There are a lot of expenses in this busines.  Someone netting 30k a year might be bringing in more like 55-60k in gross commissions.  Just because that's what you brought in doesn't mean that's what you make!

        The best advice I can give to someone just breaking into the business is get out there!  Let people know you exist.  I always tell our new agents to make sure you hand out at least five business cards every day!  Sometimes taking the laptop to the local coffee shop is another inexpensive piece of advertising  you can do. Do the people you volunteer with know you're in the business?  Just some thoughts.  

    Robert Breen, Real Estate Agent in MI (#6502376288)

      Originally posted by @Johnny Lujan :
      Originally posted by @James Wise:
      Originally posted by @Johnny Lujan:
      Originally posted by @James Wise:

      @Johnny Lujan

      You can make a lot of money in this industry if you work hard. Many agents are pulling in 6 figure incomes. But there are also many agents who are not making much if anything.

      It is really about how hard you work, how smart you work & how much money you are willing to put back into your business. You will need to spend a lot of money on advertising if you want to get your name out there as much as possible.

       Awesome tips! Thank you! So the keys are working very hard, working smart and getting known to as many people as I can? In your opinion what is the single most important piece of advice you would give to a new agent? Again thank you! Love getting advice from successful people in the industry!

       Single most important piece of advice is to keep advertising. Spend the money on building your brand. You have to be in front of people over and over and over again. The phone will not ring unless you keep spending the money to get yourself out there.

       Awesome! Advertise advertise advertise! I need to become a well known name. Appreciate that! What is your favorite form of advertising/marketing?

       Bigger pockets for my out of state clients & signs/billboards for my local clients.

      James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)

      I know that you concern about earning money being an agent. What is priceless is the advantage that you'll gain as agent / investor. I'm also going that route, I have a family of 5 that depends on me, I understand the importance of having current income. If you can obtain your realtor license by all means go for it.

      Originally posted by @Karen Margrave :

      @Johnny Lujan There's far too many variables to have a median income. I can tell you there are agents that think they work full time, but in reality though they may show up at an office, they sit at a desk for 8 hours, but do nothing to list or sell real estate. On the other hand, I've seen agents that focused strictly on listing, never came into the office and were top producers. 

      If you are going to work as an agent, work on being the best agent you can be. Know your market, the inventory and what is available, etc. Find the niche you are interested in and become an expert. When people call you, call them back. If you get really busy, hire someone to keep you organized, run your escrows, take out flyers, signs, etc. to listings. Customer service is the KEY to earning a good income. Don't think about how much money you want to make, just about taking care of your clients, and the money comes. At the same time, weed out people quickly that aren't buyers or won't be listing with you, but do it in a way so that when they're ready they'll come back if possible. Good luck! 

       Thats exactly what i thought, you can't really find a median income with a job so heavily based on that one persons abilities and hard work. Love the point on customer service being the key. Too many people these days don't know how to provide proper customer service. Great advice and ill make sure to not focus so much on my income but rather on taking care of my clients! Thank you so much. greatly appreciated!

      Originally posted by @Robert Breen:

      As with anything in real estate the name of the game is location location location.  I am a Realtor in a rural area where the top agents bring in about 100k annually.  The average agent might make 30k though.  The average sale price for homes stays around 50-80k for most home in the area.  The real question is what do you really make?  There are a lot of expenses in this busines.  Someone netting 30k a year might be bringing in more like 55-60k in gross commissions.  Just because that's what you brought in doesn't mean that's what you make!

          The best advice I can give to someone just breaking into the business is get out there!  Let people know you exist.  I always tell our new agents to make sure you hand out at least five business cards every day!  Sometimes taking the laptop to the local coffee shop is another inexpensive piece of advertising  you can do. Do the people you volunteer with know you're in the business?  Just some thoughts.  

       Got it! Luckily the median home price around my area is around 200k i can see how location does factor in quite heavily. Great tip on handing out 5 business cards a day! Have to make myself known. Thank you so much!

      Originally posted by @Taheem Bellz :

      I know that you concern about earning money being an agent. What is priceless is the advantage that you'll gain as agent / investor. I'm also going that route, I have a family of 5 that depends on me, I understand the importance of having current income. If you can obtain your realtor license by all means go for it.

       That is so true, so much to learn and take advantage of! How is your journey going so far? Appreciate the encouragement and i will definitely go after my license in the near future. More power to you and your business!

      @Johnny Lujan

      You've already received some really great advice.  I've been a Managing Broker for two national companies.  I've had the opportunity to manage hundreds of agents, with very different personalities.  The best advice that I can give you is this...don't start out with bad habits.  The real estate industry is replete with agents who NEVER answer their phones, don't respond to emails, and don't respond to voicemail messages.  In my opinion, being responsive is the most important thing you can do. The good news is that it's fairly easy to do, if you're committed to it. 

      The other thing I would say to you is don't fall into the trap of believing that your picture is your brand.  It's NOT, regardless of how many agents believe that.  Your service is your brand, and that will follow you, throughout your career.  Real Estate (at least on the agent side) is a bit of a goofy business.  I can't think of another industry on the planet who would ever even dream up the idea of plastering their pictures all over their business cards...and anything else they can find as  landing spot.  Remember...if you're working as a sales person (or a Broker), it's not all about you.  It's about your client.  Represent them vigorously, respond to them promptly, and always put their needs ahead of your own.  I wish you well on your journey.

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