Thank you, thank you, thank you to the hundreds and hundreds of agents who filled out our fifth annual Truth About Agents survey to get the results for this 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, or are eager to see if you’re making more money, spending more on marketing and feeling the same or differently about the most prevalent issues in the industry.
A large takeaway from this year’s survey: agents are more confident. The market is becoming more stable, and with that, agents have a higher annual income (the average in 2013 was $102,000, compared to 2012’s $96,000). Therefore, agents have more confidence to take risks, including: changing offices if dissatisfied (53 percent, up from 36 percent); not taking on as many rental clients (less than 25 percent of agents had rental business last year); and spending more money on marketing (48 percent of agents intend to spend more on marketing this year).
Also, the numbers suggest the market is becoming more stable. In 2011, 55 percent of agents needed to cut the prices of their listings, and in 2013, only 43 percent did. In addition, agents are negotiating commissions less – 67 percent of agents did that in 2011, but in 2013, that percentage trended lower, down to 55 percent in 2013 from 62 percent in 2012.
Flip to our cover story on page 10 to read more about the results we found – and thanks to you, our readers. What do you think about our results? Do you agree with our conclusions about the market, or are you seeing something completely different? Let me know your feedback on this issue – email me at [email protected]