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Younger is better for realty firms



  • Survey released at NAR convention in San Francisco.
  • Recruiting young people seen as key.
  • Imprev also reported on lead generators.
Renwick Congdon

Renwick Congdon

Top residential real estate executives across the country are more focused than ever on recruiting young real estate agents, according to a study released at the National Association of Realtor’s annual convention, which winds down today in San Francisco.

The 2013 Imprev Thought Leader Survey, of the nation’s major brokerages, found “recruiting younger agents” was their top business challenge, according to 70 percent of the respondents.

“Recruiting top talent” is the second-most crucial business challenge, specified by 65 percent, according to the study from the Bellevue, Wash.-based firm.

“The real estate business is aging out,” said Renwick Congdon, chief executive officer of Imprev, the real estate marketing software firm that works with 150,000 agents and brokers nationwide.

“Broker-owners and other top real estate executives are under pressure to find new talent,” Congdon said.

National Association of Realtors data show that a mere 6 percent of its membership is under the age of 34 – and that in the past 15 years, the percentage of members in their 40s has dropped by one-third.

Additionally, more than 40 percent of all Realtors are older than 60 and one in four is 65 or older.

Other key findings:

  •  More than one in three say “recruiting younger managers” is a top business concern (38 percent), surpassing such business challenges as agent compensation, better use of social media, listing-syndication issues and the value of multiple listing service membership.
  • When asked the open-ended question, “What is your firm’s single biggest challenge today?” nearly 40 percent of the written answers cite recruiting. Profitability garners the second spot, cited by 14 percent of the executives, with 13 percent mentioning technology.
  • “Staying ahead of competitors” ranks as the third biggest business challenge with 45 percent of those surveyed. The number is consistent with the responses in last year’s Thought Leader survey: Forty-four percent in 2012 also selected “staying ahead of the competition” as a top business concern.
  • “Quality of leads for agents” emerged as a new crucial business challenge, selected by 41 percent of executives.  “Agent satisfaction” rounded out the top five business challenges.

Imprev kicked off he Thought Leader Survey in 2012 to provide insight on key business challenges top executives face, encouraging an exchange of ideas and solutions.

Respondents included more than 260 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms that were responsible for nearly half of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year.

The survey was conducted in late October, after the announcement of the re-opening of the U.S. government. InsideRealEstateNews.com reported on another aspect of the survey last week, which dealt with the best and most cost-effect lead generators.

Nearly one-third of the 260-plus respondents are 61 years old or older; 38 percent are 51 to 60; 19 are 41-50; and 13 percent are 31 to 40. None of the respondents are under 30.

Approximately 70 percent of the respondents run brokerages with more than 100 agents; 26 percent have more than 500 agents; 12 percent have more than 1,000 agents.

Imprev Inc. provides real estate companies with custom Marketing Centers and web applications built on the industry’s most advanced platform. The fully integrated marketing tools allow agents to self-publish print, multimedia, video, web, and email advertising and communications in one place. Established in 2000, Imprev more information can be found at www.imprev.com.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.