Chicago Agent sent out its fifth annual Truth About Agents survey, a comprehensive survey to find the truth about agents, the industry and what changes took place from 2012 to 2013. We received hundreds of responses (special thanks to our readers for taking the time to fill out the survey), and the results on the next few pages reveal the truth about what agents are doing, how much they are earning, what they spend money on and more.
For one thing, agents seem more confident, which seems to go hand in hand with the market getting stronger. Agents’ incomes have increased again, to $102,000 from $96,000 in 2012, suggesting the average income is very stable. It still remains 8 percent below the pre-recession average income of $111,000, but has risen gradually every year since 2010.
Agents said that they have dropped prices less – in 2011, 68 percent of agents said this; in 2012, 55 percent of agents said that more than 20 percent of their listings required price changes; and in 2013, only 43 percent said this. In addition, less agents are negotiating commissions with clients; after rising to 67 percent in 2011 from 60 percent in 2010, the percentage of agents negotiating commissions with clients has dropped steadily, from 64 percent in 2012 to 55 percent in 2013.
The improvements in income and the market seem to have emboldened people more than in the last few years. The number of dissatisfied agents increased from 16 percent to 22 percent from 2012 to 2013, and the percentage of dissatisfied agents who intended to change offices jumped dramatically to 53 percent from 36 percent, suggesting less people are willing to accept their situations and are confident enough to change offices. In addition, less and less of agents’ business is in rentals, suggesting agents don’t need to expand their clientele to rental clients as they may have done during and since the recession.
Take a look at the following pages to see more of the survey results.