Read today’s top story: The trouble with appraisals: How the wild market is making it harder to get financing

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What’s The Truth?

by Stephanie Sims

stephanie-sims-chicago-agent-magazine-managing-editorA big thank you to the hundreds of agents who filled out our fourth annual Truth About Agents survey to get the results for this Truth About Agents issue. It is one of Chicago Agent’s most popular issues, and for good reason – you all want to know how you compare to your competitors and if you’re making more money, spending more on marketing and feel the same or differently about hot-button issues in the industry, don’t you?

One result worth noting in particular is that all average incomes are very stable and rising slightly – that’s good news all around, especially when you compare this result to 2011, 2010 and 2009’s average incomes. In fact, the average income for 2012, about $96,000, is only 13 percent below the pre-recession average income of $111,000.

There were other statistics worth noting that we found, though. Ten percent less agents said they would join the association if they already had access to the MLS; 58 percent of agents said they’d join the association compared to 2011’s 68 percent. Emails to  clients remain the most popular marketing tool among agents, with agents’ individual websites the second most popular tool at 66 percent.

The average marketing budget dipped slightly to $3,263 from $3,566 in 2011, but this is still higher than it was in 2010, $2,338. In addition, 94 percent of agents intend to spend the same budget or more money on marketing this year, while 47 percent of agents intend to increase their marketing budgets – great signs for housing and the economy.

Flip to our cover story on page 12 to read more about these results and the other data we found. What do you think about our results? Are you seeing the same sort of things that make you tend to agree with our conclusions about the market, or are your own conclusions completely different? Let me know your feedback on this issue – email me at stephanie@chicago.staging312.com.

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