Real estate’s siren call lures young brokers in NYC

Profession’s popularity among 20-somethings attributed to expectation of quick, easy money
August 05, 2014 03:05PM

The average age of a real estate broker in the U.S. is 56, but in Gotham the profession is skewed toward a younger crowd.

One Manhattan broker attributed the younger New York crowd to a widespread belief that the real estate business offers youngsters a quick and easy way to make fast money. Some insiders point to the popularity of programs like “Million Dollar Listing New York,” which stars Douglas Elliman brokers Fredrik Eklund and Luis Ortiz along with Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant, as cultural phenomenon promoting the idea that 20-somethings can be wildly successful.

“Real estate is very flashy right now,” David Schlamm, president of New York residential brokerage City Connections, told Real Estate Weekly. “You’ve got silly reality shows, it looks exciting and hip and stylish.”

The reality, however, isn’t so simple.

“If you’re good and work hard, you can make six figures,” Schlamm told the news site. “But most people do so-so in Manhattan. We read about all the successful brokers, but not the average agent … the average person is not killing it.”

Nationwide, a third of realtors are under 30 years of age, while 16 percent are between 30 and 44 and another quarter are 65 and older, according to National Association of Realtors data cited by REW. The NAR doesn’t have localized statistics on agents’ ages, but industry experts told REW that agents here tend to be noticeably younger. [REW] Julie Strickland