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Number of Realtors up or down? It depends on how you look at it

Real estate sign photography by Chris Griffith.

Membership sizes locally vary

Membership numbers are shrinking in some areas, for example, says of New Jersey’s Ocean City Board of Realtors, they “lost about a third of its members in the past four years. The board, once 800 strong, now has about 535 members, with another 19 out-of-state members.”

Ocean City is a small board to begin with, so losing hundreds of Realtors is a substantial change in circumstances.

Membership levels nationally

But how is it looking at the national level? According to the National Association of Realtors, at the end of March (the most recent data), there were 1,003,462 Realtors. Currently at the $80 dues rate, that’s a theoretical total of $80,276,960 in dues for the year.

At the current number of members, if NAR dues rise as proposed, that $80M would be an annual figure of $120,415,440.

But the pertinent question remains – is membership up or down nationally? From 2006, membership has dropped 10%. Uh oh, right?

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March NAR stats compared between 2000 and 2011 reveals a 37% increase, so membership is up despite some outlets that are crying that membership is shrinking. It really isn’t.

What is it like in your area? Is membership up or down?

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.



  1. Colleen Sullivan

    May 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hmmmm….according to this AG post* from back in 2007, NAR membership was around 1.35 million in the fall of that year, which was about the same as it was in 2006….going from that to just about 1 million is a drop of 26%, if I've not messed up on the calculator. Not sure where you're getting the 10% drop figure…hard to believe, if 2011 keeps going along the way it's going, that it won't continue to head down.


  2. Dunes

    May 3, 2011 at 9:36 am


    July 2007..1,369,411…Membership Down every month since that date

    Jan. 2011..1,039,988…Feb. 2011..1,008,195…March 2011..1,003,462

    Numbers according to NAR Monthly Membership Report

    Last time Membership numbers this low..April 2004,,1,002,348

    Yep, there's a lot of doubt that the Membership has declined…..Not

    • Lani Rosales

      May 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Hey Dunes, long time no comment! I clarified for Colleen above, it should help make sense of your numbers as well. Thanks for coming back! 🙂

      • Dunes

        May 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        Oh I see now…
        Membership has increased or stayed the same…

  3. Matt Carter

    May 3, 2011 at 11:22 am

    NAR membership peaked at 1.37 million in October 2006, and has been on a steady downward trajectory ever since then. National membership is currently down 25.8 percent from peak (not 10 percent).

    To put the current membership in perspective, NAR never had more than 1 million members until 2004. It was in the 700,000 to 800,000 range for three decades.

  4. Ruthmarie Hicks

    May 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    God knows that we need a STEEP decline around Westchester – but so far all the dabblers and hanging in and they are in such concentration that they really do disrupt the ability of the serious agents to make a true living. I can't even find a neighborhood where a single agent dominates….No one seems to have a major footprint in any on area. We have been forced to extend our footprint and grab whatever we can.

    Raise that entry bar – and this will stop…but NAR won't ever do that.

  5. Joe Loomer

    May 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Membership in our local board – the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors – has dropped about 20% since 2007. Our market did not enjoy the huge increase in values seen in other markets, and consequently did not see the huge losses of equity experienced in the hardest-hit areas. We have, however, seen over a 25% increase in inventory and 50% decrease in sales since that same time frame. It's a land of opportunity to some, and the end of their real estate careers (even if temporarily) for others.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  6. Ben Fisher

    May 4, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Not sure of the exact numbers here locally. During the peak around 2007 we had about 1100 total members for our small ski resort town. Seemed like everyone had a family member here in the business. Now we are just below 650 which is much more reasonable.

  7. Matt Carter

    May 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

    No matter how you slice the numbers, the statement "From 2006, membership has dropped 10%," is incorrect.

    If you want to use March 2006 membership (1,265,270) as your starting point, membership is down 20.7 percent to 1,003,462 in March 2011.

    If you measure from the October 2006 peak of 1.37 million, membership is down 25.8 percent.

    In the last year, NAR membership has dropped 5.7 percent (from March 2010).

    If you look at the numbers NAR publishes at the state level, five states saw double digit annual declines: Georgia (-10.18 percent), Minnesota (11 percent), Washington (-15.91 percent), Nevada (-10.25 percent), South Carolina (-11.06 percent).

    Other states where membership declines exceeded the national average included North Carolina (-8.29 percent), Tennessee (-8.14 percent), Missouri (-7.83 percent), Oregon (-9.46 percent), Wisconsin (-7.43 percent), Utah (-8.48 percent), Alabama (-8.29 percent), Arkansas (-7.76 percent), Idaho (-9.02 percent), New Mexico (-9.13 percent), Montana (-7.08 percent), Delaware (-8.26 percent), and Wyoming (-7.01 percent).

    Only North Dakota (+4.16 percent) and Washington D.C. (+0.50 percent) showed year-over-year membership gains.

    NAR membership did not hit 1 million until 2004. It was in the 700,000 to 800,000 range for three decades

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