Some five years after the GFC critically affected the real estate market, agents are once again getting on board, with new agent numbers growing in markets across the country. In July of this year RE/MAX in Long Beach, California, reported its first major jump in agent numbers since 2010 – with more than 1300 new agents. In South Carolina, more than 10,000 licensed agents fell off the rolls between 2009 and 2011. But so far in 2012, more than 1750 new licensees have joined the ranks of the real estate agents, showing the first significant increase in several years.
“I expect, based on how the first half of the year has gone, if that trend continues, I’m expecting to end the year actually with our first membership gain since 2007,” S.C. Realtors Association president Nick Kremydas told media.
With what are generally reported to be higher professional standards and stricter adherence to best practices, the industry is again growing in popularity for new graduates and career changers alike. And more people are said to be realizing the opportunity for home ownership while interest rates and prices remain lower than pre-GFC, creating strength in the market for agents.
In cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, agents are seeing more interest in homes than they’ve seen in four years. One six-year veteran has seen multiple offers on homes this year for the first time in her entire career.
Many firms across the country are in the process of extending advanced services and training to agents in anticipation of market improvement. While now isn’t the time to bank on huge commissions, many agents report that prices are increasing and it is less of a buyers’ market than it was a year ago. For agents, both new and experienced, willing to put in the effort, the horizon looks bright.