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Realtors ahead of the curve on tech

by Timothy Inklebarger

Realtors ahead of the curve on tech

The National Association of Realtors has released its annual member profile, and while the data was gathered prior to the coronavirus outbreak, it shows that Realtors had already begun increasing their use of new technology prior to stay-at-home orders.

More than 90% reported using smart phones and computers and nearly all used email. Ninety-four percent of members said they preferred texting with clients, making it the most popular method of communication, followed by email at 91% and telephone at 89%.

“As members have become more reliant on their smartphones and the internet to stay in touch with their clients, they’ve also found that some of these social media sites are another avenue to reach potential homebuyers and sellers,” Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, said in a press release.

Nearly three-quarters (70%) said they have their own website for their real estate business, and they reported being most active on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Highlights of the report also noted the following in 2019:

  • 37% were paid a fixed commission split.
  • Median gross income was $49,700, up from $41,800 in the previous year.
  • Realtors who have worked 16 years or more earned a median gross income of $86,500.
  • Median business expenses were $6,290, up from $4,600 in 2018.

Realtors said inventory shortages have hurt the industry and that “difficulty in finding the right property” is the No. 1 reason for not completing a transaction.

“Low inventory continues to be a problem,” Lautz said. “Pre-pandemic, housing supply was the number one hurdle holding back potential buyers, but we continue to be faced with a great deal of pent-up demand but not enough homes.”

Repeat customers made up 15% of Realtors’ business — that figure was much higher (39%) for those who have spent 16 or more years in the industry. Twenty percent of business came from referrals, members reported

Nearly two-thirds of Realtors (64%) were women; the typical member was a 55-year-old white woman.

Race demographics showed that 80% of members were white, 10% Hispanic or Latino, 6% Black and 5% Asian/Pacific Islander.

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