Three-quarters of real estate agencies now more profitable than in 2020

More than two-thirds of Australian and New Zealand residential real estate agency office principals are personally taking home higher earnings in 2021 than in 2020, according to a new survey by Juwai IQI.

An even higher share of offices – three-quarters – are more profitable today than in 2020, the survey found after interviewing the principals of the 29 offices in Juwai IQI’s AU-NZ affiliate network in May.

The offices surveyed contain approximately 120 sales staff. The respondents were located in the North and South Islands of New Zealand, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia, and Juwai IQI noted they provide an excellent snapshot of the current state of the residential real estate industry.

The survey found 67 per cent of principals are taking home higher earnings this year and only 11 per cent say they are taking home less than in 2020. The remaining 22 per cent, are taking home about the same in 2021 as in 2020.

Juwai IQI Co-Founder and Group Executive Chairman Georg Chmiel said while three-quarters of offices are more profitable than a year ago, some principals are investing a share of their profits in their businesses rather than taking it as personal income.

“This explains why the share of offices where profits are up is larger than the share of principals taking home higher earnings,” he noted.

The GM of the Australasia – Oceania Affiliate Programme, John Stewart, added the survey also asked about the biggest challenges facing real estate agencies today.

“Fifty-six per cent of principals who responded to the survey said that the biggest challenge facing their real estate agency today is securing listings,” Mr Stewart said.

“Attracting and keeping good team members was named by 22 per cent as the most significant challenge. Some principals told us that their biggest challenge was simply too much business or that they didn’t face any significant challenges at all, because the market is just that good.”

Expansion Plans

The survey results indicate real estate principals are in expansion mode.

“Forty-four per cent of principals intend to expand into additional markets within the next five years. Sixty-seven per cent of principals said they are currently recruiting agents, property managers or other staff,” Mr Stewart added.

“One reason it may be difficult to attract and retain team members is that many young people are not interested in the profession.

“One-third of principals believe that real estate is a less desirable career for young people than it was a year ago, although many joining a year ago had recently lost their professional jobs through Covid-19.

“Only about 22 per cent believe real estate is a more desirable career for young people today. The largest share of principals at 44 per cent believe that it is about the same.

“Not every principal intends to still be in business in 2026. Approximately one-third intend to transition the agency to the control of a family member or an existing team member.”

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