Chicago Agent sent out its sixth annual Truth About Agents survey, a comprehensive survey to find out what changes took place in the industry and what agents experienced from 2013 to 2014. We received responses from the real estate community (a 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 likely goes hand in hand with the market getting stronger. Agents’ incomes have increased again, to $132,149 from $102,000 in 2013, suggesting the average income is very stable, and finally higher than the pre-recession average income of $111,000.
Agents had a decrease in the amount of times they’ve dropped their listings’ prices – in 2012, 55 percent of agents said that more than 20 percent of their listings required price changes; in 2013, only 43 percent said this, and in 2014, that number further decreased to 33 percent. In addition, fewer 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, and then jumped back to 2011 percentages – from 64 percent in 2012 to 55 percent in 2013, and now to 66 percent in 2014. In addition, 13 percent of agents negotiated a lower commission last year.
When it came to renegotiating commissions with brokerages, in 2013, a whopping 77 percent of agents renegotiated their split, and in 2014, only 31 percent did. Office satisfaction and office loyalty were up last year, as well, most likely as a result from 2013’s renegotiations; the percentage of dissatisfied agents who intended to change offices had jumped dramatically to 53 percent in 2013 from 36 percent in 2012, and in 2014, that decreased dramatically to 12 percent.
Advertising on Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com was the second most popular marketing tool, used by 69 percent of agents; the most popular was the “old-school” but proven method of postcards and mailers, with 74 percent of agents sending them out. Take a look at the following pages to see more of the survey results.
Take a look at the following pages to see more of the survey results.