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NAR members understand the importance of a web presence and communicating with their clients through several channels. More than two-thirds have a personal website – operational for a median of eight years – and 91 percent report their firm has an online presence. Sixty-one percent of the respondents use social or professional networking sites – an increase of 5 percent from 2012 – and 12 percent have a blog.REALTORS® use a variety of communications methods when interacting with current clients or customers, with 94 percent preferring e-mail, followed by telephone at 90 percent and text messaging at 80 percent.

Compensation structures for REALTORS® and firm affiliation remained mostly the same from 2012. Sixty-eight percent of respondents are compensated through a split commission arrangement, 17 percent receive all of the commission and another 4 percent receive a commission plus a share of profits; 11 percent received some other form of compensation. Eighty-two percent of members work as independent contractors for their firms. The vast majority of REALTORS® receive no fringe benefits, although 33 percent are covered by errors and omissions insurance. Only 5 percent receive health insurance through their firm.

NAR members are well-educated (50 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher), own a home (86 percent), invest in at least one residential investment property (39 percent), and bring a wide range of expertise, skills and experience to the profession. Only 6 percent began their career in real estate, with the majority having previous full-time careers in management, business or financial (19 percent) or sales and retail (15 percent). Forty-one percent of those fluent in other languages speak Spanish and 96 percent are registered to vote.

Respondents worked for a firm typically with one office and had been with that firm for six years. Fifty-seven percent of members are affiliated with an independent firm, and 38 percent are with a franchised company; 5 percent are other. Nine percent of REALTORS® report their firm was bought by or merged with another firm during the past two years, down for the second consecutive year and from 11 percent in the 2012 study.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org/prodser.nsf/Research.

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