Boston Condos for Sale and Apartments for Rent


21,434 Americans to launch a new career in real estate in 2022.

Question: How many real estate agents are there in the U.S.?

The number of Realtors can fluctuate from year to year. After 2020, Realtor counts had their largest  increases in 2021 and 2022, while the market was red hot. Now in 2023, as the real estate market is cooling down and prices are dropping in certain parts of the country, it’s forecasted the trend of ever-increasing Realtors will stop. (But don’t worry – I’ll still be around.)

Number of Realtors in the U.S.YearNumber going up or down
1.35 Million2006 
1.33 Million2007down
1.19 Million2008down
1.11 Million2009down
1.06 Million2010down
1.00 Million2011down
.99 Million2012down
1.04 Million2013up
1.09 Million2014up
1.16 Million2015up
1.23 Million2016up
1.30 Million2017up
1.35 Million2018up
1.39 Million2019up
1.40 Million2020up
1.48 Million2021up (biggest ever increase)
1.56 Million2022up (biggest ever increase)
1.55 Million (forecast)2023down?

Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2023

Real Estate Agent vs. Broker vs. Realtor: What's the Difference?


Following an uptick in homebuyer demand which resulted in less inventory, the real estate industry has been booming and listing prices have reached record levels. Between the draw of being your own boss and the lure of earning sizable commissions, people from all walks of life are trying their hand at selling condos and houses

There are 1,547,699 licensed real estate agents in the country, according to The National Association of Realtors. In the last two years, there has been a high influx of new real estate licensees, with over 156,000 people becoming realtors, which is a 60% surge as compared to 2018 and 2019, The New York Times reports.

With the industry becoming more crowded, what is the actual earning potential for a realtor?

How much do real estate agents make?

As of April 2022, the average real estate agent in the United States makes $95,076 per year in the United States, according to employment website Indeed.

How many realtors stay in the industry?

The attrition rate in the real estate industry is notoriously high, and the median tenure at a brokerage is five years, according to the National Association of Realtors. But while some real estate agents leave their current positions to transition to other real estate firms, others say goodbye to the industry for good.

Most realtors leave the real estate industry before they even earn their first commission, according to The College Investor. In fact, at least 80% of realtors fail within their first year. One of the leading reasons for new real estate agents quitting within their first year is a fear of both failure and rejection, referencing California Realty Training. Also, in the United States, 20% to 30% of all real estate licensees exit the business before the three-year mark, citing Washington Realtors.

“Retention rates always fall during a market downturn, and pick up again in an up market,” Zhou told Fortune. “In general, there’s always one out of three that’s got their foot out of the door. It really is more of a transient industry that many people try their hands at.”

Source: Forbes Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2022

What’s the difference between a Boston real estate agent and broker?

We will have another record high number of real estate agents in the U.S.  Not all real estate agents are Realtors, but the vast majority are, as the vast majority of licensed Realty companies in the U.S. require all of their licensed real estate agents to also carry a National Association of Realtors membership, both a national and state (and sometimes additionally a Metro or County) Realtor membership. The National Association of Realtors requires its members to abide by a strict code of ethics to better serve and protect the public.

Realtor is a membership title while the term real estate agent is for a state-issued license. Different states have different license terms for their licensed real estate agents. In downtown Boston, for example, we have licensed real estate agents, Brokers or Principal Brokers.

Number of Realtors in the United States by Year

  • 2006 – 1.35 million

  • 2007 – 1.33 million ↓

  • 2008 – 1.19 million ↓

  • 2009 – 1.11 million ↓

  • 2010 – 1.06 million ↓

  • 2011 – 1.00 million ↓

  • 2012 – .99 million ↓

  • 2013 – 1.04 million ↑

  • 2014 – 1.09 million ↑

  • 2015 – 1.16 million ↑

  • 2016 – 1.23 million ↑

  • 2017 – 1.30 million ↑

  • 2018 – 1.35 million ↑ (passed previous record)

  • 2019 – 1.39 million ↑

  • 2020 – 1.4 million ↑

  • 2021 – 1.48 million ↑ (new record)

  • 2022 – Forecast – 1.55 million ↑


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According to the National Association of Realtors 2019

Monthly Membership report, membership hit a historic high in August of 2019 at 1,393,186 Realtors. Now Realtors are real estate agents who are members of NAR and adhere to the NAR code of ethics and pay their membership dues. I cannot find the number of real estate agents (licensed with their state) that are not actually Realtors, but I can tell you, l’ve met numerous Boston real estate agents that are not members of the NAR.  However, all most all of the large Boston real estate companies require its licensed agents to become a Realtor member as a requirement to work in their real estate firms.

Number of Real Estate Agents in the U.S. by year.

  • 2006 – 1.35 million
  • 2007 – 1.33 million
  • 2008 – 1.19 million
  • 2009 – 1.11 million
  • 2010 – 1.06 million
  • 2011 – 1.00 million
  • 2012 – .99 million
  • 2013 – 1.04 million
  • 2014 – 1.09 million
  • 2015 – 1.16 million
  • 2016 – 1.23 million
  • 2017 – 1.30 million
  • 2018 – 1.35 million
  • 2019 – 1.39 million – record high!

Last Thought

I’ve been in the real estate business for over 20 years and owned my own business for 19 years. With that said, here are my parting words:

For the 28,000,000 “Realtors” that entered this industry in 2009 or after, save your money and update your resume….. because we’re going into a Recession.

File Under: Let the party begin. 

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