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In 2001, just 10% of REALTORS® were nonwhite. That grew to 24% by 2020, which better reflects the demographic makeup of the country. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at the National Association of REALTORS®, presented top-line findings from the 2021 NAR study Career Choice in Real Estate: Through the Lens of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation at Wednesday’s meeting of the Diversity Committee during the virtual 2021 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings.

The report, which included responses from some 18,000 NAR members, aimed to provide an understanding of the differences in why members entered the field, skills important in the real estate field, and areas in which members worked, along with their typical number of transactions, sales volume, and income differences.

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Lautz noted that the study, an expansion of member research from 2017, was an important step in furthering NAR’s goals to support diversity, equity, and inclusion within the membership, in addition to similar objectives in support of fair housing and expanded housing opportunities for all. Here are some of the study’s findings:

  • The most common reasons members cited for entering real estate were flexible work hours, an interest in helping families, working with people, and a love of homes and homeownership.
  • As far as median years of experience, white members reported the lengthiest tenure, with 10 years, compared to five years for Asians and four years for both Black and Hispanic respondents.
  • Whites had the highest median number of transactions, with seven, compared to two for Blacks and Asians, and three for Hispanics. LGBTQ+ respondents reported a median of five transactions.
  • The highest median annual sales volume was reported by white respondents at $1.988 million with Black members indicating the lowest at $474,500.
  • Gross personal income from real estate in 2020 was highest for white respondents at $49,400 and lowest for Blacks at $16,700.
  • As far as ownership interest in their firms, Asian members had the highest percentage of any group, with 36%, while LGBTQ+ had the lowest at 24%.

Read the full report.

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