Let’s be honest; we’ve all binge-watched a real estate reality show or two (or ten) and daydreamed about the glamorous life of a real estate agent, closing deals in picture-perfect homes with jaw-dropping price tags. While not all real estate careers involve multi-million-dollar mansions, they do offer plenty of excitement, flexibility, and the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. But, like a chef who requires a well-stocked kitchen or a surfer searching for the perfect wave, a realtor seeks the best cities for real estate agents.
Picking the right city for your real estate career is like finding the perfect home for your client; it must have the right balance of opportunity, affordability, and charm. Considering all these factors, it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But fear not! In this blog, we’ll outline the best cities for real estate agents, breaking down the criteria that make these metropolises the top choices for your next professional adventure. So, let’s embark on this journey to uncover the real estate promised land.
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Criteria for Evaluating the Best Cities for Real Estate Agents
In the rapidly evolving world of real estate, agents are constantly on the lookout for the best cities to build their careers and achieve success. Identifying the top cities for real estate agents involves evaluating various criteria, such as the current state of the real estate market, population growth, housing supply and demand, job opportunities, median salaries for agents and brokers, and the overall quality of life and amenities in the area.
Here are the factors tailoring the best cities for real estate agents:
Housing market growth and stability
The housing market plays a crucial role in determining the success of a real estate agent. A city with a robust and stable housing market offers a more secure environment for agents to thrive. Look for cities with strong demand for housing, low inventory levels, and a healthy balance of new construction and resale properties. These factors not only provide agents with a variety of opportunities but also help to ensure consistent transactions and a predictable income stream.
Employment opportunities and competition
Another critical factor to consider is the availability of employment opportunities and the level of competition in the area. Cities with more real estate agencies and brokers may offer more job openings, but this means increased competition among agents. Assessing the ratio of agents to property listings can give you an idea of market saturation. A lower ratio typically means less competition, allowing you to establish yourself and build a client base more efficiently.
Commission rates and earning potential
Real estate agents primarily earn through commissions, so the rates and making potential in a city can significantly impact your success. Higher-priced markets often yield higher commissions. Remember that with higher commission comes more demanding clients and potentially longer sales cycles. Research the average commission rates and median home prices in your target city to better understand your potential earnings. Also, consider the overall transaction volume, as cities with higher volumes can offer more opportunities even if the commission rates are comparatively lower.
Cost of living and affordability
High living expenses can cut into your earnings, making it harder to achieve financial stability and save for the future. Research factors like housing costs, transportation, utilities, and taxes to better understand the overall cost of living. Ideally, you should choose a city where you can comfortably afford the cost of living on an average real estate agent’s salary.
Professional development opportunities
Continuous learning and professional development are critical for success in the real estate industry. The best cities for real estate agents should offer ample opportunities for growth and improvement, such as access to training programs, mentorship, conferences, and networking events. A city with a solid real estate community can provide valuable support and resources, helping you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, technologies, and regulations.
Quality of life and work-life balance
While the financial aspects of your career are essential, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is equally important for long-term success and happiness. Evaluate climate, recreational facilities, cultural attractions, healthcare, and educational opportunities. Choose a city that aligns with your personal preferences and values, ensuring that you enjoy professional success and a fulfilling personal life. This factor can also be an indicator of the real estate market’s bloom.
The Top Cities for Real Estate Agents in 2023
The cities we have listed here show the most potential for growth in 2023. However, the best fit depends on many personal factors and economic indicators. To give you a clear picture of each city, we’ll overview each city’s population, the status of the housing market, possible job opportunities for realtors, and the general quality of life. Let’s dive in!
1. Austin, Texas
For real estate agents, Austin, Texas, is an exciting and thriving city with plenty of opportunities. Known for its vibrant arts and music scenes, it has developed a reputation as a cultural hub in the United States. In recent years, the city’s tech industry and startup culture have also grown rapidly, attracting talent from around the world.
- Population: As of July 2022, the population of Austin is estimated to be around 1.1 million people.
- Housing market: The housing market in Austin has remained competitive in 2022 and into 2023, with high demand and limited supply leading to rising home prices. According to Zillow, as of October 2022, the median home value in Austin is $562,191. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Austin is $1,533 per month, while the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,936.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: According to Glassdoor, as of October 2022, the average base pay for a real estate agent in Austin is $73,000 per year, with additional commission and bonuses based on performance.
- Quality of life and amenities: Austin offers a high quality of life for residents, with a vibrant arts and cultural scene, excellent outdoor activities, and a range of dining and entertainment options. The city is also known for its excellent schools, with highly-regarded public and private options. However, Austin’s population growth and demand can lead to traffic and affordability issues, and Austin’s hot and humid climate can be challenging for some residents.
2. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is a bustling city with a growing real estate market that presents many opportunities for real estate agents. Located in the southwestern United States, the city has a diverse and vibrant culture and warm climate and is known for its excellent amenities.
- Population: As of 2022/2023, the population of Phoenix is estimated to be around 1.8 million people.
- Housing market: The growing population has contributed to a competitive housing market. The median home value in Phoenix as of October 2022 is $388,700, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,228 per month.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: Based on the data from Glassdoor, as of October 2022, the average base pay for a real estate agent in Phoenix is $75,000 per year, with additional commission and bonuses based on performance.
- Quality of life and amenities: Phoenix’s quality of life is generally considered reasonable due to its pleasant climate, diverse amenities, and affordable cost of living. With an average temperature of 75 degrees and more than 300 days of sunshine annually, Phoenix offers excellent opportunities for enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking and golfing year-round. The city has experienced rapid growth in recent years and is praised for its warm winter weather, diverse food scene, beautiful sunsets, and vibrant nightlife. Phoenix is also home to several major sports teams, including the Arizona Cardinals (NFL), the Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), and the Phoenix Suns (NBA).
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
In 2023, the Las Vegas real estate market is stabilizing after the pandemic, with a 15-20% decrease from the 2022 high of $485,000 in single-family median resale prices. The market is still strong, with high demand and favorable conditions for buyers and sellers.
- Population: As of 2022/2023, the population of Las Vegas is estimated to be around 670,000 people. The metropolitan area, which includes nearby cities like Henderson and North Las Vegas, has a population of over 2.2 million. The city’s population growth rate is above the national average thanks to its booming economy and superb amenities.
- Housing market: The market remains attractive and less expensive than other major cities in the country. The median home value in Las Vegas as of October 2022 is $348,000, an increase of 13.6% from the previous year. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,093 monthly, a 14.33% increase from the prior year.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: With the city’s flourishing economy and high appreciation rates, real estate agents have the potential to earn high commissions on property sales. According to ZipRecruiter, the median annual salary for a real estate agent in Las Vegas is around $57,000 as of October 2022.
- Quality of life and amenities: Las Vegas is within driving distance of several national parks, including the Grand Canyon. There are several excellent schools, including public and private K-12 and higher education institutions. Residents can enjoy active and diverse communities with outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking, biking, and golfing. The warm climate makes it easy to enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year.
4. Tampa, Florida
In 2023, the Tampa real estate market remains strong, with home values continuing to rise, as the typical home value in the area increased by nearly 18% year over year, outperforming the national growth rate of 11%.
- Population: The estimated population of Tampa as of 2022 is around 400,000 residents. Tampa Bay has over 3 million residents, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in Florida after Miami.
- Housing market: The Tampa housing market has been heating up in recent years, with homes receiving an average of 2 offers and selling in around 33 days. As of October 2022, the median home value in Tampa is $328,000, which is a 14.6% increase from the previous year. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,250 per month, a 16.9% increase from the prior year.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: With the city’s growing economy and appreciation rates, real estate agents have the potential to earn high commissions on property sales. According to ZipRecruiter, the median annual salary for a real estate agent in Tampa is around $60,000 as of October 2022.
- Quality of life and amenities: The city has many great neighborhoods, ranging from active multi-family communities on the downtown waterfront to more relaxed single-family detached neighborhoods nestled under grand oaks. Whether homebuyers prefer a bungalow or a condominium, they’ll likely find one of Tampa’s 146 parks nearby.
5. Denver, Colorado
In 2023, the Denver housing market is characterized by tightness and challenges for buyers, with record-breaking average close prices and low new listing numbers. Local real estate experts predict a more balanced market as the year progresses, with slower demand, fewer new listings, and lower inventory in the first quarter.
- Population: As of 2023, the population of Denver is approximately 699,288, which makes it the largest city in Colorado. The city’s population has decreased by -2.56% since the most recent census in 2020.
- Housing market: The housing market in Denver has been growing significantly in recent years. The 12-month average median sale price for a home in Denver from March 2022 to February 2023 was $584,548, up 46.2% over the last five years. As of March 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Denver is $1,750.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: Real estate agents have the potential to earn high commissions in Denver’s growing real estate market. As of October 2022, the median annual salary for a real estate agent in Denver is around $63,000.
- Quality of life and amenities: In terms of quality of life and amenities, Denver is known for its parks, trails, golf courses, and playgrounds. The city offers more than 5,000 acres of these outdoor spaces, and many of Denver’s most prominent neighborhoods are built around and named after beloved green areas such as Washington Park, City Park, Cheesman Park, and Sloan’s Lake. Denver is also known for its 300 days of sunshine each year, making it an attractive place to live for those who enjoy outdoor activities
6. Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh’s real estate market is expected to hold steady in 2023, with prices unlikely to crash due to pent-up demand from previous years and a low supply of homes for sale. The city is projected to shift to a neutral market, neither favoring buyers nor sellers, by September 2023.
- Population: Raleigh has a population of 472,540, making it the 2nd largest city in North Carolina. That represents a steady population growth rate of around 2% per year, with many newcomers attracted to the city’s booming job market, affordable housing, and high-quality amenities.
- Housing market: The housing market in Raleigh has been appreciating rapidly over the past few years. Over the last 5 years, home values in the city have increased by nearly 86%. The median list price of homes in Raleigh is $389K, which has increased by 18.2% year-over-year, and the median listing price per square foot is $210.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: As of 2022, the median salary for real estate agents in Raleigh is around $55,000 annually. This figure represents a moderate increase over previous years, partly due to the strong demand for housing and real estate services.
- Quality of life and amenities: Access to high-quality health care is one of the significant contributors to the overall quality of life in the city, with world-class options like WakeMed Health & Hospitals, an 884-bed not-for-profit system with more than 7,600 employees. The City of Raleigh also conducts a Community Survey to gather input from the community on a wide range of issues impacting the overall quality of life, focusing on organizational excellence, arts and cultural resources, and strategic planning for the future.
7. Dallas, Texas
The real estate market in Dallas is currently hot, with high demand and low inventory levels. Homes are selling quickly and often for over the asking price, presenting challenges for buyers but opportunities for real estate agents. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has experienced substantial economic development, diversifying its economy to resemble the broader U.S. market.
- Population: As of 2023, the estimated population of Dallas is around 1.4 million people. The city’s population has been steadily growing over the past few years and is projected to continue in the coming years.
- Housing market: The median home value in the city is around $343,000, which represents an increase from previous years. The Dallas housing market is diverse, with options ranging from affordable starter homes to luxury properties.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: The median salary for real estate agents and brokers in Dallas is around $58,000 annually, representing a moderate increase over previous years.
- Quality of life and amenities: There are numerous family-friendly attractions and places to explore, including the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Dallas Zoo, and many parks and recreational areas. The city is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, offering its residents a diverse range of experiences. The cost of living in Dallas is 2% lower than the national average but 7% above the Texas state average.
8. Seattle, Washington
the real estate market in Seattle is competitive but has shown signs of normalization after experiencing significant growth in previous years. While the housing market is still strong, with high demand and limited inventory, sales have slowed down compared to prior years. Seattle remains popular for real estate investments due to its thriving economy, good schools, and attractive amenities.
- Population: The estimated population of Seattle is currently around 780,000 people. The city’s population has been growing steadily over the past few years. While growth has slowed somewhat compared to previous years, the city is still expected to continue to attract new residents in the coming years.
- Housing market: Homes in Seattle tend to receive around 3 offers on average and sell within 14 days. The housing market has seen fluctuations in various areas. For example, Central Seattle saw an 11.57% year-over-year growth in the median sale price, reaching $820,000 in January 2023. The median home value in the city is around $780,000, which represents a slight increase compared to previous years. Inventory levels are still relatively low, so demand remains high in the city.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: The city’s thriving economy, fueled by the presence of major companies like Amazon, creates job opportunities for real estate agents. The median salary for real estate agents and brokers in Seattle is around $72,000 per year.
- Quality of life and amenities: The city lies between the salt waters of Puget Sound and the fresh waters of Lake Washington, with the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges providing a stunning backdrop. Known for its diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, Seattle has a rich cultural scene, making it an attractive place for real estate agents to work and live.
9. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is experiencing strong growth, making it attractive for real estate investments. The market is competitive, and inventory is low, meaning homes often sell quickly and above the listing price. The housing market in Nashville is shifting towards a more buyer-friendly direction, with inventory growth expected in 2023. With a growing population and an increasingly competitive real estate market, Nashville presents a dynamic and exciting environment for agents and brokers.
- Population: The estimated population of Nashville is around 710,000 people in 2023, making it the largest city in Tennessee. The city’s population has been growing steadily over the past few years, with many new residents attracted to the area’s thriving economy and quality of life.
- Housing market: Home values are increasing at a moderate pace, and inventory is limited – the median home value rising by around 26% over the past year alone, bringing the price up to approximately $405,000. However, the market is still relatively affordable compared to other major metropolitan areas in the United States. As of 2023, Nashville is still experiencing a seller’s market.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: Nashville is currently strong, with many options available due to the city’s steady population growth and robust housing market. Real estate agents can expect to find work in various settings, from residential to commercial and everything in between. The median salary for real estate agents and brokers in Nashville is around $54,000 annually.
- Quality of life and amenities: The climate is mild, offering beautiful colors in spring and fall, warm summers, and cool winters. Nashville, also known as Music City, is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The city offers a range of activities and attractions, including historical sites, cultural venues, and entertainment options.
10. Atlanta, Georgia
The real estate market in Atlanta is experiencing strong growth, making it an attractive city for real estate agents. Home prices in the area vary, depending on the location and type of property, but overall are considered moderate to high.
- Population: As of 2023, the estimated population of Atlanta is around 498,715 people. The city’s population has been steadily increasing over the past few years. The population of Atlanta has increased by 1.55% since 2022, and the city has seen about a 50% increase in population from 20 years ago.
- Housing market: Atlanta’s housing market is performing well, with home values experiencing a 13% year-over-year increase in 2022. Furthermore, Zillow predicts that Atlanta MSA home values may grow by 1.5% between February 2023 and February 2024, indicating a positive outlook for the market. The housing supply in Atlanta has improved, with a year-over-year increase of 1.97% in inventory as of January 2023.
- Job opportunities for real estate agents: The job market for real estate agents in Atlanta is currently strong, and real estate agents can find work in different settings – from residential to commercial and everything in between. The median salary for real estate agents and brokers in Atlanta is around $60,000 per year.
- Quality of life and amenities: The quality of life and amenities in Atlanta is thriving, with the city being home to various art galleries, museums, and historical venues like the Fox Theatre, which hosts over 250 shows annually. Atlanta offers diverse recreational activities and cultural experiences, making it an attractive destination for residents and visitors.
We’ve traversed the landscape of the best cities for real estate agents, delving into the nitty-gritty of housing markets, median salaries, quality of living, and everything in between. As with any life-altering decision, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not be the perfect fit for another. So, take the time to explore these urban oases while considering what makes a city feel like home to you – And don’t forget the three most important things about real estate!
Becoming a successful real estate agent takes time and a series of steps, including:
- Research – That entails both the market and yourself
- Planning – Having a comprehensive business plan along with clear and realistic goals and a reasonable timeline
- Setting marketing strategy
- Picking a mentor to transition from theory to practice
- Expanding expertise – Becoming an expert in your field
- Networking – Entailing building, expanding and keeping
- Keeping up to date
- Doing regular assessments
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a powerful tool to help real estate professionals optimize their business operations and build better client relationships. CRM manages and organizes client data and interactions in real estate, from initial contact to closing and beyond. You can streamline your real estate business with CRM – track communications, schedule appointments, automate routine tasks, and more.
After the catastrophe of 2008, the loaning regulation got more strict, and homeowners have reliable equity today. The upcoming changes are more leaning towards settling down and stabilizing the market to bring back what is missing: affordability.