As you would expect from this challenging real estate market, the number of real estate agents has really taken a dive over the last few years. At the peak of the market, people were joining the real estate industry in droves, thinking it was a glamorous business or that they could make a lot of money easily. As soon as the market started correcting downward, however, these agents realized just how difficult it would be to stay in business. In other words, only those who were serious about their career and committed to gaining the skills necessary to sell homes in this market were able to stay in business full-time.
This attrition has been just as true in Flagstaff as in the nation as a whole. There was a high of 656 Realtors* in northern Arizona in 2007 and it’s down to 401 Realtors in August 2012. That’s a reduction of over 250 agents or 39%! Essentially, more than 1 out of every 3 local Realtors didn’t make it through the recession.
Nationally, the drop was about 27% from a high of 1,370,758 Realtors in October 2006 to 998,983 Realtors in August 2012. This is a return to the same level as spring 2004 and marks the first year that membership has declined to below one million since 2004.
This really is good news for both the full-time agents who are serious about their real estate career and for consumers who are better served by a knowledgable and professional agent who has experience in this type of market.
*Realtors are real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors and their local board, such as the Northern Arizona Association of Realtors.
Source for national membership numbers: http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2012/nar-membership-count-by-month-1970-to-current.pdf
Local stats provided by the Northern Arizona Association of Realtors.