By Peter Ricci
According to new numbers just released by the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR), Illinois’ new licensing requirements for real estate agents have resulted in a 22.3 percent decrease in overall licensees for the state.
That number comes straight from the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), which has finished filing the many thousands of applications it received before the April 30 deadline.
Other important points:
- According to IDFPR, there were 69,228 licensees on April 30, 2011, and when it finished processing applications, there were 53,785, a 22.3 percent decline.
- For IAR specifically, as of July 27 the association had 38,853 members, down from 45,654 in 2011, a 15 percent decline that is actually slightly less than what the association has projected. Interestingly, before the transition, IAR represented 66 percent of Illinois agents, but post-transition, it represents 72 percent.
- For brokers who did not complete the transition, they are not classified as “non-renewed” in the system and “expired” if they were salespersons.
- Overall, IDFPR is reporting that 30,278 people made the transition from a salesperson license to broker, and 16,373 made the transition from broker to managing broker. There are now 37,248 brokers licensed to work in Illinois and 16,537 managing brokers.
Jon Broadbooks, the director of communications for IAR, said the the new licensing requirements effectively highlighted the most serious of real estate professionals.
“The numbers bear out the fact that if you are serious about selling real estate in Illinois, you are much more likely to be a Realtor,” he said. “IAR worked over the course of several years to get our members ready for transition, and it’s encouraging to see that the percentage of licensees who are also members of the association has actually increased.”
Broadbooks also clarified IAR’s 15 percent drop in total membership. On average, he explained, IAR annually loses roughly 12 percent of its members because of retirements, job changes or relocations, among other reasons, and because of that, the association estimates that 3 to 4 percent of that decline was a direct result of the transition process.
Though that 3 to 4 percent decrease will result in less revenue for IAR, and though Broadbooks was unable to comment on the specific total, we did some computations for a rough estimate:
- Based on the numbers Broadbooks provided, there were maybe 1,836 IAR members who did not renew their licenses.
- Membership dues for IAR are currently $99, and there is a $50 annual assessment fee that funds RVOICE, IAR’s political advocacy group that works throughout Illinois.
- So, assuming those 1,836 members will not be paying the $149, IAR stands to lose approximately $273,564 in revenue from the transition process.
In response to that (and to the post-boom trend of declining membership), Broadbooks said IAR will raise its dues in 2013 by $51 to $150, though that is the association’s first due increase since 2001; and, the association’s membership has been growing in 2012, at an average rate of 100 members a month.