Stuff Chicago Real Estate Agents Don’t Talk About

September 11, 2011

How much did you make as a Chicago real estate agent last year? Think it stacks up to other real estate agents? Want to find out?

Chicago Agent Magazine has released its second annual “The Truth about Agents” issue, which answers questions rarely discussed by agents, like incomes, commissions and office satisfaction.

The survey, which kept its participants anonymous, received an overwhelming response.

Despite the rough state of the housing market, the survey found that agents’ average incomes actually increased last year.

real estate agent holding a house in one hand and money in the other.According to the data, the average real estate agent’s income in 2010 was $70,000. That is an increase from $64,000 in 2009.

But it’s nothing like the good ole days: Before the recession, a real estate agent’s average income was $111,000.

Other income numbers:

*In 2008, 72 percent of agents made more than $50,000; in 2009 it was 44 percent, and in 2010 it was 46 percent.

*In 2008, 58 percent made more than $75,000; in 2009 it was 28.5 percent, and in 2010 it was 30 percent.

*In 2008, 38 percent made more than $100,000; in 2009 it was just 12.75 percent, and in 2010 it was 16.5 percent.

When it comes to commissions, the average split was 78-22 percent in 2010. In 2009, it was 74-26 percent.

In 2009, 11 percent of agents had 100 percent commissions; in 2010 it grew to 23 percent. Also in 2009, 15 percent of agents had a 50-50 percent commission, which fell to 7 percent in 2010.

Finally, when it comes to office satisfaction, 27 percent reported being dissatisfied with their split last year, compared to 19 percent in 2009. And, while 20 percent of agents planned to change offices in 2009, only 10 percent planned to in 2010.

So? How do you stack up? To see more information on all these topics and to compare the numbers, visit

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I find this post interesting. I’m a Chicago agent and I do agree that incomes are up slightly. Most agents have more business than they did this time last year, but there is a feeling of uncertainty over the industry this years as most transactions are short sales. I do find that most of them eventually close successfully but there are no guarantees. How did brokers do this year?

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