Editor’s Note: This information has been updated to reflect the most recent State of the Real Estate Agent survey results conducted in the summer of 2019. For more information about the survey and methodology, download the free report.
How much does a real estate agent make? That’s an important question to answer before you jump into a new career, but also one to keep asking throughout your career to see how you compare to others in your field. Our recent survey found real estate agent income varies by brokerage type — so you can maximize your earnings by choosing a brokerage that’s more likely to boost your profits.
Here’s what we know about how your brokerage can impact your bottom line.
How much does a real estate agent make? That depends on the brokerage
Not every brokerage is created equal. Each brokerage has a unique set of values, business philosophy, and ethos that can impact your experience as a real estate agent. There are quantitative differences between brokerages too. Our survey revealed an agent’s income can more than triple depending on the kind of brokerage they’re connected to. Agents at hybrid brokerages reported annual incomes of $46,250 while agents at national brokerages reported earning an average of $82,535 annually.
Yes, you can switch brokerages
What do you do if your brokerage isn’t working out for you, or if your earnings seem limited where you’re currently at? Well, you can always switch. Our survey revealed that more than half of agents — 60 percent — have switched to a new brokerage at some point in their career.
FREE Guide: Learn how agents across the country are earning more with our 2019-2020 Real Estate Agent Income Guide.
What to look for in a brokerage
When you’re choosing a brokerage there’s a lot to consider. Keep in mind the typical earning potential in each category of brokerage. While the averages aren’t set in stone, the could be a useful way to guide you as your search for the right fit.
In addition to potential income, there are some other factors to consider when choosing a brokerage.
1. Will you receive mentoring from other agents?
Especially if you’re just starting out in real estate, you’ll want to make sure there are more experienced agents around you that can help with finding leads, closing different kinds of transactions, and developing a network in your market. If you’re a woman, you might want to consider joining a brokerage that has a track record of mentoring women in real estate and providing leadership and advancement opportunities for new women real estate agents.
2. Does your brokerage offer any extra benefits?
Our research shows that less than a quarter of brokerages offer benefits to agents — despite the fact that 83 percent of brokerages struggle to retain talent. This could be a good bargaining tool to consider as you negotiate at a new brokerage. Here are some benefits you might consider inquiring about:
- 401(k) contributions
- Health insurance
- Dental or vision coverage
- Paid continuing education opportunities
3. Does your brokerage invest in professional development?
Our research shows that agents who invest in professional development can almost more than double agents who don’t. Finding a brokerage that values professional development and will push you to be more innovative yourself — which can have a huge impact on your earnings.
Choose a brokerage that will help you earn more
Deciding on the right brokerage for you isn’t an easy task, but as you’re evaluating new brokerages you can make smart financial decisions for your career by finding a brokerage that has the highest chance of helping you maximize your profits as a real estate agent.