Here’s why there are more real estate agents now than ever before

There’s a whole lot of new agents in the building — more than 900 of them (Getty)
There’s a whole lot of new agents (Getty)

Thousands are seeking their license to sell.

More than 156,000 people became real estate agents in 2021 and 2020 combined — nearly 60 percent more than the two previous years — as Americans looking for work during a pandemic found a hot housing market as an answer to their prayers.

The New York Times is reporting there are more real estate agents now than ever before and even more could be on the way: the top job-related search on Google between January 2021 and January 2022 was “how to become a real estate agent.”

There’s a reason why real estate has drawn a host of workers while most other industries in the United States have struggled to find workers: flexible schedules and a booming market during the pandemic make selling homes an easy choice.

And some Realtors say that making the move paid dividends.

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“Even in the middle of the pandemic, you talk to almost any Realtor and they’ll tell you 2021 was their best year ever,” Maggie Gwin, a Los Angeles-based agent with Sotheby’s, told The Times.

The growth in the number of agents isn’t the largest in history. That came in the boom years of 2005-2006, when more than 250,000 people became agents. But that changed after the crash of 2007, and by 2008, about 10 percent of the population of real estate agents left the industry.

But that boom or bust mentality appears to be a thing of the past.

Today there are now more than 1.5 million members of the National Association of Realtors — a record number — and they are all vying to sell the relatively small amount of homes on the market. There were 910,000 homes on the market in December, according to the newspaper, down 14 percent from the previous year.

But that hasn’t stopped workers of different ages and from many industries from jumping in.

[New York Times] — Vince DiMiceli