WAUKESHA - With the abundance of “accepted offer”
and “sold” plaques topping local real estate signs, it’s no
wonder that more people are entering the real estate industry.
In July, Shorewest Realtors hired 32 agents,
including three at its Elmbrook/Wauwatosa office, four at both
its Lake Country office in Oconomowoc and New Berlin office and
five at its Northshore office in Shorewood.
Casey Clickner, vice president, director of
growth and development for Shorewest, said interest in becoming
a real estate agent has definitely picked up along with the
market since 2012.
Annually there has been a 21-percent increase in
new agents at Shorewest since 2012, he said. The hires come from
Shorewest’s school, as well as agents who already have their
Bob Larson, manager of the First Weber Waukesha
office, said he has observed a similar trend. He said he
anticipates the trend to continue as long as interest rates stay
low. Also, he said the increased hiring of agents goes in spurts
and depends on the area.
“The membership numbers do generally follow the
ebb and flow of the marketplace,” said Mike Theo, president and
CEO of the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
There are between 12,000 and 14,000 realtors in
Wisconsin, compared to the total of about 11,000 during the
Recession. Theo said the number was at an all-time high during
the housing bubble when there were about 19,000 realtors in
Wisconsin. The average number historically, Theo said, is around
the 13,000 mark.
There are just under 20,000 people holding a real
estate license in Wisconsin, Theo said. To obtain such a
license, a person must take 72 hours of pre-license education
and then pass an exam offered by the state of Wisconsin.
Theo said he is observing more young and
career-oriented people entering real estate. During the
Recession many of the older agents who were closer to retirement
left the field, which Theo said may have been related to
technology changes. On average, the age of WRA’s members has
stayed in the low- to mid-50s.
“We are glad to see more and more people choosing
real estate as a preferred field,” Clickner said.
Both new and veteran agents are recruited by
Shorewest, he said. Some of the company’s agents who have joined
recently may have gotten out during the Recession.
Clickner said there really isn’t a limit to the
number of agents the market can support.
“We are not close to meeting that saturation
point,” he said. “The market takes care of that.”