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How much do real estate agents make?

Real Estate Express surveyed agents across the country and found that, a lot of the time, the answer to that question depends on the agent’s specialty. According to the nationwide survey, there can be a significant difference in average earnings depending on what real estate agents specialize in. Here are the most profitable real estate specialties, according to the research:

Green or Eco-Friendly Properties – $78,672
Agents who specialize in eco-friendly buildings work in the fifth-most profitable niche in real estate. What’s an eco-friendly building? Think LEED-certified. LEED is a global standard for energy-efficient buildings. To be LEED-certified, a building must attain a certain amount of LEED credits through a rigorous process. Real estate agents who are educated in this process, as well as other methods of being eco-friendly, have an advantage over others.

Investment Properties – $79,072
Getting into real estate investing might sound intimidating, but there are investment strategies that any beginner can use. Here are four ideas for beginner investors:

  • Wholesaling: The main benefit of this strategy is that it requires very little initial capital.
  • Fix-and-Flip Investment: This is where you purchase a fixer-upper and make necessary improvements before selling it at a profit.
  • Buy-and-Hold: This is where you purchase a property and hold on to it for the long-term while waiting for property values in the area to rise.
  • Rental Properties: Renting an investment property can give you a monthly income while simultaneously waiting for the property values to rise before you sell it.

Foreign Investment – $79,706
Real estate agents who pay attention to foreign markets and are able to leverage their dollars to invest in timely properties overseas earn a similar amount, though slightly more, than agents who find success investing domestically.

Foreign investment requires a great deal of research. Here’s how to evaluate real estate markets you’re less familiar with:

  • Compare list price versus sale price. You’ll get a stronger picture of the true value of real estate in the market by looking at what homes are actually selling for, not what they’re listed for.
  • Find the average days a home stays on the market. Knowing how long it takes homes to sell, on average, will show you what the demand is in the marketplace.
  • What’s the inventory? Comparing the amount of homes available in the market to the amount of property that sells monthly can tell you how flooded the market is.

Relocation – $90,015
Relocation can be lucrative for real estate agents because normally the clients are buying and selling executive-level homes. There could be two transactions in the cards for the agent, not to mention that a job well done could generate more referrals in this exclusive space.

Want to get into relocation services? Connecting with corporate real estate executives and HR managers can help you establish the right connections. Look at companies that are announcing large offices in tech hubs such as Denver or Austin. Follow national trends to find out where businesses are relocating to or launching new divisions.

Commercial Properties – $91,208
Real estate agents focusing on commercial properties make nearly six figures. Getting into commercial real estate can be a new career pathway that many agents haven’t considered. Some corporate real estate jobs hire real estate professionals in-house, so you might also be able to rely on a salary and benefits, instead of earning your income entirely based on commission.

Luxury Properties – $291,000
The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing is an independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market. Real estate professionals who earn The Institute’s Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation for luxury home marketing earn an average of $291,000 per year. Real estate professionals with the CLHMS designation focus on providing high-quality service to the buyers and sellers of luxury homes, and, in so doing, maximize their own success in the upper-tier residential market.

Learn How to Earn More in Real Estate
Asking “How much do real estate agents make?” is one thing, but asking “How can I make more?” is another question altogether. Earning more might mean changing niches, finding a new broker or continuing your education. Whatever it is, find the one task you can start today that can help you earn more in the year ahead.

Alexis Petersen is the Director of Content at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. For the last six years she has been educating real estate professionals on how to successfully launch and advance their career. She’s also a seasoned marketing veteran, with nearly 15 years of experience

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