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NAR Data Show Realtor® Education Level Closely Tied to Income

Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013 / Email

SAN FRANCISCO (November 9, 2013) – There is a significant relationship between Realtors®’ educational attainment and their income level, according to panelists at today’s “Learn. Live. Lead. Lifelong Learning and Real Estate Success” forum during the 2013 REALTORS® Conference and Expo.

During the session, academics discussed the role that lifelong learning plays in the success of real estate professionals. National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that continuing education can help Realtors® better meet the needs of their clients and stay ahead of competitors. 

“Realtors® bring value to home buyers, sellers and investors and as markets transition and real estate transactions become increasingly complex, it’s important for successful agents to invest in their education and keep current on the latest issues and technologies affecting their business, especially since data show it pays off,” he said.

Hugh Kelly, professor at New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate, said that educated professionals migrate to top industry positions. “Degrees can be very helpful to Realtors® as they progress through their careers; degrees provide individuals with skills to gain entry into executive positions in top firms, manage diverse businesses and advance entrepreneurially,” he said.

Lawrence Souza, professor at Golden Gate University, agreed and said he’s a true believer in education. Souza provided attendees with resources to help identify and explore advanced education and training. “My advice is to attain the education to get ahead and find a mentor who can help you identify your best options,” he said.

At the session, economists from NAR and the California Association of Realtors® presented various NAR research and data that illustrate how better education often equals higher incomes.

NAR economist Jessica Lautz said while Realtor®’ incomes are up for the second year in a row following nine years of declines, NAR data show earnings were even higher for members with advanced educations. Thirty-six percent of Realtors® with a bachelor’s degree grossed between $35,000 and $100,000, compared to 31 percent of Realtors® with a high school degree or less; and eighteen percent of Realtors® with a bachelor’s degree grossed over $100,000, compared to 14 percent of Realtors® with a high school degree or less.

CAR Economist Selma Hepp said on average, Realtors® with bachelor’s degrees netted a 12 percent increase in income over those without a degree; and Realtors® with graduate degrees netted a 23 percent increase in income.

Lautz said real estate firms realize how important education is to their agents’ success and many require continuing education. NAR data show the typical firm requires new agents to receive a median of 21 hours of training and continuing education annually, while experienced agents acquire 12 hours.

More than eight in 10 firms reported they have agents with professional certifications or designations, which also have a positive impact on income, according to Hepp. NAR data show the median income of Realtors® with at least one designation was $61,100; the median for those without a designation was $33,500, a difference of $27,600.

NAR research shows that two-thirds of real estate firms provide some sort of training or education for their agents and staff. Primary sources include private education or training providers, 61 percent; courses and training through NAR, 51 percent each; fellow real estate professionals, 48 percent; franchise, 24 percent, and Realtor® University, 20 percent.

NAR and its affiliates offer designations and certifications for a wide range of real estate specialties for Realtors® looking to increase their expertise and income. During the month of November, Realtors® can receive 20 percent off all online designation and certification courses offered through Realtor University’s School of Professional Development and Continuing Education.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Video” tab on the website.