Skip to main content

Technology and Realtor® Income


The ever-expanding use of the Internet and various other information technologies may directly impact the income levels of the real estate brokerage community. With a database of more than 6,000 usable observations from the 1999 National Association of Realtors® member profile, we examine the impact of technology usage on the incomes of Realtors®. In a two-step procedure, we first develop factor loadings, using factor analysis, for multifaceted technology usage by Realtors®. Then we perform a regression analysis of Realtors® income incorporating a variety of independent variables representing licensee (brokers and salespersons) demographics and brokerage firm characteristics as well as the factor score for technology usage. Our results show that the use of the Internet and other information technologies is positively related to the earnings of Realtors®. In a second regression analysis, we use our technology factor score to determine which of a variety of individual Realtor® demographic and brokerage firm characteristics are more related to technology usage than other characteristics. We find that technology usage increases with schooling, number of firms for which the agent has worked, marriage, franchise affiliation, firm size, ownership interest, and hours worked. By contrast, technology usage falls with age, and usage is lower for females and nonwhites. The results of this paper expand our knowledge concerning familiarity with and use of real estate technology and related income.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Barta, P. (2000). “Realtors® Invest in Job Security on the Internet,” Wall Street Journal, November 6, B1.

  • Benjamin, J. D., G. D. Jud, and G. S. Sirmans. (2000). “What Do We Know About Real Estate Brokerage?” Journal of Real Estate Research 20(1–2), 5-30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crellin, G., J. R. Frew, and G. D. Jud. (1988). “The Earnings of Realtors: Some Empirical Evidence,” Journal of Real Estate Research 3(2), 69-78.

    Google Scholar 

  • Follain, J. R., T. Lutes, and D. S. Meier. (1987). “Why Do Some Real Estate Salespeople Earn More Than Others?” Journal of Real Estate Research 2(3), 73-81.

    Google Scholar 

  • Guidera, J. (2000). “Antitrust Investigation of Homestore is Focusing on Exclusive Listing Pacts,” Wall Street Journal, September 20, C22.

  • Jud, G. D., D. T. Winkler. (1988). “The Earnings of Real Estate Salesperson and Others in the Financial Services Industry,” Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 17(3), 279-291.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jud, G. D., D. T. Winkler, and G. S. Sirmans. (2000). The Impact of Information Technology on Real Estate Licensee Income. Greensboro, NC: UNCG, Bryan School of Business & Economics.

    Google Scholar 

  • MacGregor, R. C., and D. J. Bunker. (1999). “A Comparison of Real Estate Brokers Computer Training Needs with other Small Business Sectors: An Australian Perspective,” Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education 2(1), 1-12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mincer, J. (1970). “The Distribution of Labor Incomes: A Survey with Special Reference to the Human Capital Approach,” Journal of Economic Literature 8(1), 1-26.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Association of Realtors®. (1999). “Real Estate and Technology: Realtors® and the New Business Environment” Kevin A. Roth, Principal Investigator.

  • National Association of Realtors®. (2000). “The 2000 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers” Kevin A. Roth, Principal Author.

  • Rich, M. (2000). “For Brokers, the Interact Looms Ever Larger,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, B12.

  • Sirmans, G. S., and P. G. Swicegood. (2000). “Determining Real Estate Licensee Income,” Journal of Real Estate Research 20(1–2), 189-204.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tessler, J. (1999). “More People Turn to Web to Buy, Sell Homes,” The Wall Street Journal, July 8, B9.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Benjamin, J.D., Donald Jud, G., Roth, K.A. et al. Technology and Realtor® Income. The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 25, 51–65 (2002).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

  • Internet
  • earnings
  • realtors
  • technology
  • income
  • e-mail
  • web
  • broker
  • brokerage