An Influx of Young Members to the REALTOR® Family

(3 min read)

First, in NAR’s 2015 Member Profile, only 11 percent of the REALTOR® membership had less than one year of experience. That share nearly doubles to 20 percent with less than one year in the industry in 2016. Next, we see that new entrants are by and large younger in age. In 2015, only two percent of NAR members were under the age of 30. By 2016, that number increased to five percent.

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The arrival of new, younger members to NAR has had a ripple effect on the demographics of its members. Most obvious is that it decreases the median age of NAR members. The median age for NAR members had been steady around 56 or 57 from 2011 to 2015. In the 2016 report, the median age of REALTORS® dropped to 53, the lowest it had been since 2008.

With so many agents with less than a year of experience, the median income decreased to $39,200 in 2015 from $45,800 in 2014. As younger agents are starting out, their incomes are lower. Thirty-two percent of NAR members with less than two years’ experience reported generating more than 50 percent of their business income from a secondary means, which is a large increase from only 14 percent in the previous year.

The typical REALTOR® in 2016 reported having 10 years of experience, which decreased from 12 years in the 2015 report. The median number of years residential sales agents (who account for 65 percent of all REALTORS®) reported being in the business dropped from 10 to six years of experience in 2016. Only 16 percent of members transferred from the management role to real estate in 2016, down from 19 percent in the previous year.


Additional indicators pointing to a younger membership for NAR abound. Members who reported they were single or not married rose from seven percent in 2015 to 10 percent in 2016. Homeownership for members 39 years and younger decreased from 70 percent in the previous year to 63 percent in 2016. Older members tend to have more vacation homes and properties for investment, which younger members cannot afford.

The share who owns a residential property (aside from a primary and vacation home) declined to 31 percent from 38 percent. The share who owns a commercial property declined to eight percent from 10 percent. The share who owns a vacation home remained unchanged at 13 percent.

NAR Members earned a median of 14 percent of their business from past clients and customers, decreasing from 20 percent in 2014. This figure declined due to the large share of new members with less than two years’ experience who reported no repeat business or referrals. Overall, it will be interesting is to see how these numbers will change in the coming years. To access the full report, go to: