As the housing market boomed in the early parts of the last decade, apartments in New York City seemed to be snapped up mere days (sometimes mere hours) after being put on the market. As the trend continued, thousands of people set out to get their real estate license and become professional brokers in hopes of cashing in on the frenzied market.
However, even with the market raging, the small number of available properties and the sudden increase in sellers made for some very unhappy brokers, as many of these new agents found they had no properties to represent. Now, the situation is even more tense, as many in the industry believe that the New York City market is leveling off.
“About 20 percent of brokers in Manhattan do most of the business—it’s always been that way,” says Phyllis Pezenik, vice president of sales and listings for DJK Residential. “Those are the brokers that make real estate a serious career and put in the time and effort. As a result of more brokers in the market, Manhattan brokerage firms have changed by seeking more exclusive listings and focusing on marketing to grow their brand.”
License To Sell
According to Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), there are about 65,000 licensed real estate agents in New York City, which breaks down to about 41,000 who are salespeople and 24,000 who are brokers.
“Obviously, the rules are you have to be a salesperson first and then get a little bit of experience and then take additional hours of education and pass a new test to become a broker,” Spinola says. “When you are a salesperson, your license is held by a broker.”