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Pandemic Hasn’t Slowed Real Estate License Applications

In 32 states surveyed by Inman, the number of new applications for a real estate license held steady or improved – but it’s too soon to see if NAR membership rose.

SAN FRANCISCO – How is the pandemic affecting the ranks of real estate licensees across the nation? Inman requested licensing data from 32 states to find out. While overall numbers held steady, the data suggests that some of those states saw an increase in new applications in late spring and early summer.

Experts say there’s little reason for agents to formally give up their licenses, even if they see a decline in business during the pandemic, and real estate tech strategist Mike DelPrete told Inman that “the real numbers would be [National Association of Realtors® (NAR)] membership.” However, he believes it will take several months for any trends in that data to become apparent.

At least for now, though, NAR says its membership numbers are holding steady.

The application increase may be related to the number of people in other industries who lost a job and now, unemployed, want to give real estate a shot. If so, experts note that many people who rushed into real estate during earlier times of economic uncertainty may not stick with the job.

“Fact of the matter is, with less deal volume this year, there will be less agents,” DelPrete says. “The pie is smaller.”

According to data from Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, there were 198,375 current sales licensees in July 2019, and that number grew to 206,687 by June 2020.

The number of brokers in Florida also saw modest growth over the last year, rising from 41,159 in July 2019 to 41,655 in June 2020.

In June 2019, there were 3,952 requests for a sales associate exam; by June 2020, that number rose to 4,906.

Source: Inman (07/27/20) Dalrymple II, Jim

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