As agent income declines, trade group says financial tools for member success in business and in life remains a priority.
The National Association of Realtors has launched a promised program dedicated to the financial health of its 1.3 million members.
The Center for Realtor Financial Wellness is a program designed to meet the specific financial planning needs of Realtors and includes educational materials and resources for wealth building, business planning and investing in real estate, the trade group said in a press release.
The release noted that nearly nine out of 10 Realtors are independent contractors and therefore face issues such as fluctuating incomes, tax complexities and lack of a salary cap.
“The Center for Realtor Financial Wellness has something to offer all NAR members no matter their level of professional expertise or stage of financial planning,” NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said in a statement. “Members can get started by taking an online assessment, which will generate a set of personalized financial planning goals based on where they are today,”
“It’s a priority for me and the association to ensure our members have the financial tools and resources they need to succeed in business and in life.”
The program will cost $777,000 in 2019, NAR told Inman. That cost will be paid for by a dues increase the trade group’s board of directors passed in May.
The trade group has previously said NAR subsidiary The Center For Specialized Realtor Education would invest $1.1 million to build the web-based assessment and accompanying content, but now says NAR itself paid to have the web-based assessment and accompanying content built out of the 2018 financial wellness program budget.
“While many of our members have very successful careers, too many are falling short with their retirement and savings goals. NAR aims to develop new education and resources for wealth building, business planning and investing in real estate so that Realtors can take charge of their financial lives,” NAR spokesperson Sara Wiskerchen told Inman earlier this year.
NAR’s 2018 Member Profile, released last month, found that the median gross income of Realtors was $39,800 in 2017, down from $42,500 in 2016 — a 6 percent drop.
Agents — who are the majority of Realtors — saw their incomes fall even further. Median gross income for sales agents was $29,440 in 2017, down from $33,750 in 2016 — a 12.8 percent plunge. After taxes and expenses, overall Realtor income in 2017 was a median $25,900; for sales agents, that figure was $18,680.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that the financial wellness program will cost $777,000 in 2019 and that NAR itself paid to have the web-based assessment and accompanying content built for the program.