Survey says: San Francisco is tops for real-estate pros

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San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose are the best places in the nation to be a real-estate agent, according to a survey of data from Wallethub.com.

Analysts compared more than 170 U.S. cities across 18 key indicators of a healthy housing market, ranging from sales per agent to annual median wage for real-estate agents to housing-market health, in coming up with the ranking.

Finishing up the top five markets were two California communities, Fremont and Oakland. The rest of the top 10 was New York City, Santa Rosa (Calif.), Denver, Nashville and Vancouver.

Among highlights from the report:

• Salem, Ore., has the most homes sold in the past year per real-estate agent, 148.20, which is 21.6 times more than in Houston, the city with the fewest at 6.86.

• San Francisco has the highest median house price, $858,800, which is 20.9 times higher than in Detroit, the city with the lowest at $41,000.

• Honolulu and Pearl City, Hawaii, have the highest annual median wage for real-estate agents, $87,070, which is 3.6 times higher than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the lowest at $23,970.

• San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle listings have the fewest days on the market, 38, which is 4.3 times fewer than listings in Miami, the city with the most at 165.

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Kurt Reymers, a professor at Morrisville State College, said all agents need to accept that they are in an up-and-down business.

“Boom and bust is an inevitability of market capitalism,” he said. “As with any business that experiences high times and low times, being prepared for slowdowns by having reserve resources is essential for success.”

Tom Payton, coordinator of career and counseling services at Southern State Community College, had advice for those entering the business.

“Get more education beyond simply a real-estate license – business, marketing and communication classes are essential,” he said. “Plus, the focus on soft skills has been lacking in too many people. I have encountered Realtors who, though wonderful people, lacked the energy and sense of urgency.”

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