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Realtor income rises 25%, prepare for wave of new licensees

Realtor income and sales rose in 2012, and despite challenges cited, this news alone will have some considering getting back into real estate, or starting a new career, a potential wave which could be a double edged sword.

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2013 Realtors Member Profile shows incomes up

According to the 2013 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Member Profile which outlines member data from 2012, income and sales are up for Realtors for the second year in a row following nine years of decline, news that will likely lead to a new wave of professionals looking to diversify income or quit job hunting to seek their real estate license.

After all, the median gross income of a Realtor rose 25 percent from $34,900 in 2011 to $43,500 in 2012 is admittedly an attractive stat, and many will jump on the bandwagon, or perhaps return to the bandwagon regardless of any other facts in the report.

Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of Research put the earnings in perspective, noting that “the median Realtor® income had fallen by 35 percent during the housing downturn, but with the help of sustained increases in both home sales and prices, it’s recovered to the highest level since 2006.”

Brokers, experienced Realtors earn more

NAR reports that in 2012, brokers typically earned $54,900 while the median for sales agents was $34,000 and Realtors in the business for 16 years or more earned $57,300. NAR members working 60 hours a week or more earned $85,700, and 21 percent of all members earned a six-figure income.

Sales are up as well, with the number of sides in 2011 averaging 10 per NAR member, up to 12 in 2012.

NAR President Gary Thomas, said the real estate business is cyclical. “Realtors® have some way to go to surpass the peak income recorded back in 2002. Interestingly, the peak wasn’t during the bubble years because there were way too many people in the business,” he said. “To help smooth out the peaks and valleys associated with residential sales, many Realtors® are diversified into related services. As a result, changes in Realtor® income don’t exactly parallel changes in home sales and prices.”

More about members

Most (80 percent) of NAR members focus on residential sales and 73 percent have secondary real estate specialties. Fully 18 percent of residential specialists also offer commercial property management, 17 percent relocation services, 15 percent commercial brokerage, 8 percent counseling, and 7 percent land development. For Realtors® who have other primary specialties, 37 percent listed residential brokerage as a secondary business.

NAR reports the typical Realtor has 13 years of experience, is 57 years old, works 40 hours per week, and 57 percent are women. Half have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 90 percent are homeowners. Under two percent are under 30, and only four percent are between 30 and 34. Only six percent of Realtors surveyed were uncertain they would remain in the business for at least two more years.

Over half of all NAR members are licensed as sales agents, 27 percent are brokers, 18 percent broker associates, and four percent appraisers, some holding more than one license. Only four percent have two or more personal assistants, while 14 percent have one.

Only 39 percent of Realtors hold certifications in specialized training, of which, Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Certification (SFR) is the most popularly held certification (23 percent) followed by e-Pro (17 percent) and Real Estate Professional Assistant (REPA, at seven percent).

Over one in three Realtors have obtained at least one professional designation with the GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) as the most popular (21 percent), followed by ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative, 15 percent) and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist at 11 percent).

How Realtors now operate

Fully 36 percent of Realtors still do not have their own website, but 94 percent say their firm has a web presence, and 88 percent report to be without a blog, even though 56 percent say they use social media sites. Although it feels like every real estate professional in the country is on every social network and has multiple blogs, that simply isn’t the case, and the industry has a lot of room to grow.

Sixty-eight percent of Realtors are compensated through a split commission arrangement, 18 percent receive all of the commission and another four percent receive a commission plus a share of profits; 10 percent received some other form of compensation.

Most NAR members see no fringe benefits, and while four percent receive health insurance through their firm, a surprising 78 percent are not covered by errors and omissions insurance.

Challenges for Realtors

NAR members continue to report the biggest obstacle to any real estate transaction is obtaining a mortgage (cited by one in three respondents) and tight inventory levels (25 percent report difficulty in finding the right property).

Repeat business accounted for a median 21 percent of activity in 2012 and is higher for those with more experience – for members in the business 16 years or more, repeat business was 40 percent of their activity. Referrals accounted for an additional 21 percent of all business.

Quick facts about Realtors:

  • Realtor median gross income rose from $34,900 in 2011 to $43,500 in 2012
  • Brokers earn $54,900
  • Sales agents earn $34,00
  • Realtors with 16+ years of experience earn $57,300
  • Realtors working 60+ hours per week earn $87,500
  • Realtors average 12 sales per year, up from 10 in 2011
  • Typical Realtor has 13 years of experience
  • Typical Realtor is 57 years old
  • 57% of Realtors are women
  • Half of all Realtors have at least a bachelor’s degree
  • 90% of Realtors own a home
  • Less than 6% of Realtors are under 34
  • Half of all Realtors are sales agents
  • 27% of Realtors are brokers
  • 18% of Realtors are broker associates
  • 36% of Realtors don’t have their own website
  • 88% of Realtors don’t have a blog
  • 44% of Realtors don’t use social media
  • 78% of Realtors aren’t covered by errors and omissions insurance
  • 96% of Realtors do not receive health insurance through their firm
  • One in three Realtors say obtaining a mortgage remains the top obstacle to a transaction
  • 25% of Realtors say the top challenge is finding the right property
  • 21% of Realtors’ sales are from repeat business
  • 21% of Realtors’ sales are from referrals

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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Walmart delays the launch of its Amazon Prime competing service

(BUSINESS NEWS) Walmart+ is being delayed once again, but the service has yet to be cancelled. Will it be another flop?

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Walmart+, the supposed Amazon Prime alternative of the century, has been delayed from launching until further notice. This marks the second delay of the year.

Vox reports that the Amazon Prime competitor was initially supposed to launch in the first quarter of 2020, but Walmart pushed the release back to July due to Coronavirus concerns. Now, Walmart+ doesn’t have a definitive launch date–indecision that’s easy to chalk up to both the ongoing pandemic and trepidation regarding profitability in an Amazon-dominated world.

Amazon Prime, a service which runs customers $119 per year, has well over 100 million members in the United States; that works out to at least one member in a little over 80 percent of households here. Between its ubiquitous nature and the fact that Amazon Prime members are more inclined to use Amazon frequently than non-Prime members, it isn’t hard to see why a premium Walmart subscription seems a little redundant.

But Walmart doesn’t see it that way. “Walmart executives have hoped the program would strike a balance of being valuable enough that customers will pay for it, while boasting different enough perks from Amazon Prime so that there aren’t perk-by-perk comparisons,” Vox posits. At $98 per year, Walmart+ would include things like same-day delivery, gas discounts, line-skipping, a dedicated credit card, and potentially even a video streaming service.

While there are some clear parallels between Amazon Prime and Walmart+, one can attribute those to convenience rather than imitation. People seem to enjoy having extra streaming options as a perk of Prime, so for Walmart+ to include something similar wouldn’t exactly be inappropriate.

The largest obstacle to Walmart+’s success in a post-Coronavirus world probably won’t have much to do with brand loyalty, but the fact remains that Amazon’s value is so far above and beyond Walmart’s that people who regularly use Amazon Prime aren’t likely to make the switch–and, as mentioned previously, the sheer number of people who have a Prime membership is high enough to be concerning to Walmart executives.

However, for customers who frequently shop at Walmart or live in relatively rural areas, Walmart+ doesn’t seem like a bad gig. It isn’t Amazon Prime, to be sure–but that’s the point.

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Business News

What COVID-19 measures do workplaces have to take to reopen?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employers can’t usually do medical screenings – but it’s a little different during a pandemic.

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COVID-19 temp gun

Employers bringing personnel back to work are faced with the challenge of protecting their workforce from COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have issued guidelines on how to do so safely and legally.

Employee health and examinations are usually a matter of personal privacy by design through the American’s with Disabilities Act. However, after the World Health Organization declaration of the coronavirus as a pandemic in March, the U.S. EEOC revised its guidance to allow employers to screen for possible infections in order to protect employees.

Employers are now allowed to conduct temperature screenings and check for symptoms of the coronavirus. They can also exclude from the workplace those they suspect of having symptoms. The recommendations from the CDC also include mandatory masks, distant desks, and closing common areas. As the pandemic and US response evolves, it is important for employers to continue to monitor any changes in guidance from these agencies.

Employers are encouraged to have consistent thresholds for symptoms and temperature requirements and communicate those with transparency. Though guidance suggests that COVID-19 screenings at work are allowed by law, employers should be mindful of the way they are conducted and the impact it may have on employer-employee relations.

Stanford Health Care is taking a bold approach by performing COVID-19 testing on each of its 14,000 employees that have any patient contact. They implemented temperature scanning stations at each entrance, operated by nurses and clinicians. The President and CEO of Sanford Health Care said, “For our patients to trust the clinical procedures and trials, it was important for them to know that we were safe.”

Technology is adapting to meet the needs of employers and identify symptoms of COVID-19. Contactless thermometers that can check the temperature of up to 1,500 people per hour using thermal imaging technology are now on the market; they show an error margin of less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit. COVID-19 screening is being integrated into some company time-clocks used by employees at the start and end of each shift. The clocks are being equipped with a way to record employee temperatures and answers to a health questionnaire. Apple and Google even collaborated to bring contact tracing to smart phones which could help contain potential outbreaks.

Fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing are the three most common symptoms of COVID-19. Transmission is still possible from a person who is asymptomatic, but taking the precautions to identify these symptoms can help minimize workplace spread. This guidance may change in the future as the pandemic evolves, but for now, temperature checks are a part of back to work for many.

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Business News

Technology that may help you put the “human” back in Human Resources

(BUSINESS NEWS) Complicated application processes and disorganized on-boarding practices often dissuade the best candidates and cause new hires to leave. Sora promises to help with this.

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Even in a booming economy, finding the right applicant for a role can be a drawn-out, frustrating experience for both the candidate and the hiring manager. Candidates submitting their resume to an automated HR system, designed to “seamlessly” integrate candidates into their HRIS accounts, face the interminable waiting game for feedback on whether they’re going to be contacted at all.

Ironically, this lack of feedback on where a candidate stands (or even if the resume was received at all) and a propensity for organizations to list roles as “Open Until Filled”, overwhelms the hiring manager under a mountain of resumes, most of which will not be reviewed unless there is a keyword match for the role. And if they do somehow manage to see the resume, studies indicate that in less than 10 seconds, they’ll have moved on to the next one.

The problems don’t end there, however. Once the candidate and hiring manager have found one another, and the HR team has completed the hire, the dreaded phase of onboarding begins. During the first few days of a new job, a lack of effective onboarding procedures—ranging from simple tasks like arranging for technology or introductions to a workplace mentor—can be the cause of a significant amount of employee turnover. Forbes notes that 17% of all newly hired employees leave their job during the first 90 days, and 20% of all staff turnover happens within the first 45 days.

The reason, according to Laura Del Beccaro, Founder of startup Sora, is that overworked HR teams simply don’t have the bandwidth to follow up with all of those who are supposed to interact with the new employee to ensure a seamless transition experience. Focusing on building a template-based system that can be integrated within the frameworks of multiple HRIS systems, Sora’s focus is to set up adaptable workflow processes that don’t require the end-user to code, and can be adjusted to meet the needs of one or many employee roles.

In a workplace that is becoming increasingly virtual, out of practicality or necessity, having the ability to put the “human” back in Human Resources is a focus that can’t be ignored. From the perspective of establishing and expanding your team, it’s important to ensure that potential employees have an application experience that respects their time and talent and feedback is provided along the way, even when they might not be a fit for the role.

Take for example the organization who asked for an upload of a resume, then required the candidate to re-type everything into their HRIS, asked for three survey responses, an open-ended writing task, a virtual face-to-face interview, *and* three letters of reference—all for an entry-level role. If you were actually selected for an in-person interview, the candidate was then presented with another task that could take up to two hours of prep time to do—again, all for an entry level role.

Is that wrong? Is it right? The importance of selecting the right staff for your team can’t be overstated. But there should be a line between taking necessary precautions to ensure the best fit for your role and understanding that many of the best candidates you might find simply don’t want to participate in such a grueling process and just decide to move on. There’s a caveat that says that companies will never treat an employee better than in the interview process and in the first few weeks on the job—and that’s where Sora’s work comes in, to make certain that an employee is fully supported from day one.

Bringing on the best to leave them without necessary support and equipment, wondering at the dysfunction that they find, and shuffled from department to department once they get there creates the reality and the perception that they just don’t matter—which causes that churn and disconnect. Having your employees know that they matter and that they’ll be respected from day one is a basic right—or it should be.

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