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Realtors® Report Increase in Commercial Transactions, Income

WASHINGTON, DC WASHINGTON, D.C. Realtors® specializing in commercial real estate reported an increase in transactions in 2011, as well as a rise in their median gross annual income, according to the 2012 National Association of Realtors® Commercial Member Profile.

The study’s results represent Realtors® who practice commercial real estate; these NAR members conduct all or part of their activity in commercial sales, leasing, brokerage and development for land, office and industrial space, multifamily and retail buildings, as well as property management. The survey shows that despite a challenging market, commercial members completed a median of seven transactions in 2011, up from 2009 and 2010 when the typical agent had five transactions. In addition, the median gross annual income of commercial members has increased for the past two years. The survey showed that the median gross annual income for 2011 was $86,000, up almost $10,000 from the previous year.

“The commercial real estate market still has a long way to go before full recovery, yet Realtors® are reporting positive trends that give us hope that the market is on its way to becoming healthy again,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “Realtors® who practice commercial real estate help build communities by facilitating investment and promoting the sale and lease of commercial space, which supports millions of jobs nationwide. They are hopeful that the market will strengthen and their business will help spur the nation’s economic recovery.”

According to the survey, the median sales transaction volume in 2011 including those members without transactions was $1,058,300. When those members who had no transactions were excluded, the median transaction volume was $2,010,500. Brokers typically had higher sales transaction volumes than agents, and 22 percent of commercial members had no transactions with sales volume. The median dollar value of sales transactions was $414,300 and the median square footage was 9,600. In both instances, brokers typically had higher median dollar value of sales transactions, as well as sold larger spaces when compared to sales agents.

The median lease transaction volume when including those with no transactions was $93,100; when excluding those members with no transactions it was $402,100. Thirty-four percent of commercial members reported having no lease transactions. The median leasing dollar value was $144,800 and a leasing transaction was typically 4,100 square feet.

The typical commercial member has been involved in real estate for 24 years, and has been engaged in commercial real estate and been a member of NAR for 15 years. In addition to NAR’s membership, many are also affiliated with one of several commercial organizations including the CCIM Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®, the Realtors® Land Institute and the Counselors of Real Estate. Fifty-eight percent of commercial members reported having a broker license. An additional 28 percent reported having a sales agent license. Investment sales is the most-cited primary specialty of commercial members and is also the top-ranked secondary specialty area.

A large majority of commercial members work at least 40 hours a week. More than half reported they spend 75 – 100 percent of their time on commercial real estate activity. Sixty-four percent derived 50 percent or more of their income from commercial real estate activity in 2011. When comparing sales activity versus lease activity, the differences in income become more apparent. Thirty-three percent of commercial members did not derive any income from commercial real estate leasing in 2011.

The typical commercial member is married, has a college education, is 57 years old and is male. While a strong majority of commercial members are male (76 percent), more female practitioners are entering the field. This year, 24 percent of respondents identify themselves as female. Thirty-six percent of those with two years or less experience are women, compared with 18 percent of those with 26 years or more experience. Sales agents also have the largest representation of female practitioners, at 31 percent. Racial and ethnic minorities comprise a small but significant portion of commercial members. Eighty-nine percent of members identify themselves at White/Caucasian. Asian/Pacific Islanders and Latino/Hispanics each account for four percent of commercial members. Black/African Americans account for two percent of commercial members. Thirty-six percent of commercial members have a bachelor’s degree, while 18 percent have earned a graduate degree.

The NAR 2012 Commercial Member Profile was based on a survey of 2,499 commercial practitioners. Income and transaction data are for 2011, while other data represent member characteristics in 2012.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Media Contact:

Leanne Jernigan