Strengthened real estate market attracts more agents
Shorewest: 21% annual increase in new agents since 2012

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Aug. 28, 2015

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 licenses.

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.”