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Agents Outnumber Homes for Sale; Observations

A young couple with a real estate agent tour an open house.

In 2003, Matt Mullenweg created WordPress, one of the largest and most successful website and blog hosting service companies in the world.

What is fascinating though is that when you hear Mullenweg interviewed, he will say that he hesitated to get into the business because it was already so crowded in 2003.

This is a recurring theme for many successful founders when they get interviewed – many of them were hesitant to start businesses because the competition was too strong and friends and family warned them not to start.

I thought of this when I read this WSJ article the other day, with the subheading – In January, there were more agents than homes for sale in the U.S.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • There were 1.06 million homes for sale in January, down 26% from January of 2020.
  • This was the lowest inventory we have seen since 1982, when there were 100 million fewer people in the U.S. (230 million+ vs 330 million+)
  • There were 1.45 million agents in January, up 4.8% from the previous year.

The article makes the obvious point that the number of agents increases with the strength of the housing market.

There were 1.37 million agents in 2006, for example, but only 960,000 agents in 2012 – when the market bottomed.

But the increase in agent numbers was pushed up markedly by COVID layoffs too, as many of the unemployed moved to real estate sales from their previous fields.

Here are a few other interesting points about income: (1) agents with less than two years of experience earned an average of $8,900 in 2019; and (2) the average gross income for all agents was $49,700 in 2019.

FAVORITE PART OF THE ARTICLE: NEW AGENTS WHO ARE SUCCESSFUL

My favorite part of the article was the portion of it devoted to agents who are successful despite being new, despite the lack of inventory, despite how crowded the field is, and despite friends and family telling them that their timing was awful.

One new agent was particularly successful because she marketed heavily to her sphere and via social media, and she bought leads.

Not stated but implied is the fact she worked really hard too.

I suspect she also had a strong lender relationship, as lenders can play a huge role in an agent’s success when inventory is this tight.

Here is my main takeaway and the part that I love: no matter how crowded a field is and how bad someone’s timing might be, there is always room for success for innovative and hardworking people.

AGENTS NEED A STELLAR DIGITAL PRESENCE

And lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t throw in a JVM plug, as we sincerely believe our value props are more vital than ever right now. 😊

At JVM, we of course still offer our Digital Marketing Services to massively enhance an agent’s digital presence (because every potential client will google you); we offer airtight pre-approvals so sellers know we will close; we offer our $2,500 close-on-time-guarantee; we offer to call every listing agent; and we offer fast closes – among many other things to support our many agent-partners.

I encourage readers to visit our Agent Partner Benefits page to learn more about our Mortgage Lending and Digital Marketing Services.

Want to enhance your online presence?

Our Digital Marketing Services for Agents make it easy for you.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167