How Do Realtors Survive In A Soft Market?

with No Comments

The United States alone lost more than 2.6 million jobs in 2008. Meanwhile, Canada’s economy experienced a delayed effect, with some months of the year even seeing job growth.

For as long as possible, the markets tried to hold on. There are no exact numbers on how many real estate agents became unemployed during the crash, but considering that media outlets reported overall annual job loss to be at its highest since World War II, the effects were definitely massive.

Unemployment rates in the United States rose to 7.2%. In Canada, they climbed from a record low in January 2008 to highs of 8.6% by the time October rolled around–and the real estate market was far from the only one affected.


The Housing Crash’s Widespread Impact

For the United States and Canada alike, 2008 saw tremendous decreases across multiple housing-related sectors.

A media outlet in the USA reported that some 800,000 jobs had been lost through the year in the manufacturing industry with another 630,000 jobs disappearing in the construction sector as home building came to a halt. Canada’s economy began to mirror the states as the impact spread across borders.

The financial sector didn’t go unaffected in these two massive countries either, with brokers and banks alike experiencing setbacks along with publishing housing, trucking companies, department stores, and even hotels seeing opportunities dry up as households began pinching pennies trying to pull through.


How long do realtors last in markets in general?

While many realtors have never faced something as devastating to the market as the 2008-2009 market crash (and never will again), realtors tend to face plenty of other challenges that keep the turnover rate amongst real estate agents fairly high.

According to the National Association of Realtors:

  • Around 65% are licensed for sale, 21% hold a broker license, and 15% hold a broker associate license.
  • Most real estate agents hold 10 years of experience, on average.
  • Most real estate agents stay at a firm for 4 years.
  • More than 86% of real estate agents work as independent contractors.

Today, a record number of new agents enter into the real estate sector every year. More than 1.34 million find themselves to be a member of the National Association of Realtors. Millions more work independently.

The top 10% of realtors only earned around $109,490 in 2017. The bottom 10% made less than $23,000, with the average being about $46,000.

The housing bubble has popped in most places, and the markets are expanding once again, but real estate agents are facing extreme competition with the number of real estate agents entering into the market gradually outpacing the growth of the market itself.