One of the best things about a career as a real estate agent, aside from the satisfaction of helping buyers and sellers start new chapters in their lives, is the unlimited income potential. Because real estate agents earn commissions on closings (meaning you receive a percentage of the sales price of each property) instead of hourly wages or annual salaries, you’re in control over how much money you make as a real estate agent.
Because of this personal control, there’s a wide range of earnings for Texas real estate agents. One agent could just use her Texas real estate license for a side hustle, closing only one or two deals each year while another agent could build a team that allows her to close hundreds of deals every year.
Having said that, it’s helpful to know how much the average real estate agent makes in Texas. This figure can give you some guidance to help you decide on a realistic income goal for your real estate business.
A quick note before we dive in: there is a difference between Realtors® and real estate agents, but the job descriptions are the same, so for this article, we’re using the terms interchangeably.
Factors that Affect Your Real Estate Income
When you’re paid on commission, there are several factors that contribute to your income. Before we look at the average incomes for real estate agents in Texas, let’s consider some of these factors and how they could potentially skew the averages.
Part-Time vs Full-Time
Real estate is a wonderfully flexible career path with many agents choosing to work part-time. This is a great option for parents who want to be available to kids before and after school, retirees who want to supplement their retirement benefits, and even full-time workers who enjoy the thrill of a real estate side hustle.
With so many part-timers in the industry, average incomes can skew lower than what an agent could expect to make on a full-time basis.
Ability to Generate Leads and Close Deals
Your ability to earn money in real estate is directly tied to your ability to generate leads and close deals. Realtors who work efficiently can earn a lot more money in a lot less time. But those who ignore their lead-generation tasks will naturally earn less because they close fewer deals.
Since your commission is based on a home’s sales price, your income is tied to the value of real estate in your market. A three percent commission on a $200,000 home would be $6,000, while a three percent commission on a $600,000 home would be $18,000. So real estate agents in higher-value markets generally make more money than agents in lower-value markets.
Number of Years in the Industry
Being a real estate agent is like building your own business. It takes a little time to establish yourself as a professional in your market. So agents generally earn less in their first two years than in subsequent years. And these new agents with lower-than-average incomes bring down the average reported earnings for the state.
How Much do Texas Real Estate Agents Make on Average?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of real estate agents in Texas is a respectable $72,830 (as of May 2019).
Not bad considering that these figures factor in part-timers and new agents! And how many other career paths offer this kind of income without a college degree?
How Does Texas Compare to Other States?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that Texas is a better-than-average place to get your real estate license. As you can see in the chart below, Texas falls in the category of states with a mean wage between $666,880 and $111,800.
What is the Income Potential for Texas Realtors?
Keep in mind that the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is conservative. This data is based on the most recent reports from May of 2019, and home values in Texas have increased since then, driving income even higher for Texas Realtors.
For a better idea of income potential, let’s look at real-time crowd-sourced data from Indeed.com. As of December 4, 2020, Indeed.com reports an average base salary of $83,969 with multiple incomes of over $120,000 per year in Texas.
How Much Texas Realtors Make by City
Now that we know how much Realtors make in Texas on average, let’s take a look at a few specific cities in Texas to see how different regional earnings compare. This city comparison uses confirmed annual mean wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as self-reported income averages from Indeed.com as of December 4, 2020).
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Austin?
The mean wage of real estate agents in Austin is a respectable $71,810 per year according to the BLS, and Indeed.com reports an average base salary of $88,459. Austin has seen extreme growth over the last couple of decades due to the booming tech scene. And with a growing population, Austin agents have their hands busy with single-family homes as well as downtown condos.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Dallas?
If you want to get your real estate license in a big city with plenty of different areas and selling opportunities available, consider Dallas. Real estate agents in Dallas make around $79,490 per year according to the BLS, and an average base salary of $89,994 according to Indeed.com.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Houston?
With a population of 2.3 million, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in the U.S. The entire Houston area extends far and wide to include many suburbs, and it stretches to the coast in Galveston. In this bustling city, Houston real estate agents make around $78,560 per year according to the BLS, and $81,621 according to Indeed.com.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in San Antonio?
San Antonio ranked number three in the entire country for population growth between 2010 and 2019. Those with a real estate agent license in San Antonio are enjoying a mean wage of $64,050 per year according to the BLS and $86,104 according to Indeed. This big discrepancy between income figures is due to the exceptional growth and corresponding income potential for real estate agents between the most recent BLS data and today’s information.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Lubbock?
Due to Lubbock’s location in the Texas panhandle, and its success in the agriculture industry, this city may be a good place to have your real estate license if you’re considering specializing in land or farm real estate. The BLS reports that real estate agents in Lubbock make a mean wage of $46,920. Indeed.com shows an average base salary of $113,221, but take this figure with a grain of salt; with the smaller population in Lubbock, there are fewer reported incomes on Indeed.com, and the average is likely skewing high because only the high-earning agents have reported their figures.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Waco?
With a population of just 144,015 as of 2020, Waco is a much smaller Texas town than the others on this list. But that doesn't mean it isn’t a lucrative market for real estate. Waco real estate agents make around $53,490 according to the BLS, and an average base salary of $72,642 according to Indeed.com. Waco is home to Baylor University and the popular Magnolia Market featured in HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper,’ so the town is sure to see an influx of visitors each year who may want to call Waco home in the near future.
How Do I Maximize My Realtor Income?
There are ways you can maximize your real estate agent income to make sure you’re raking in higher-than-average figures. Here are a few ways:
Invest early in a website and blog. Today’s buyers and sellers look for agents online. A professional website will add credibility. And a blog will boost your search engine ranking.
Use social media to reach future buyers and sellers.
Negotiate with your broker for a higher split of your total commission.
Work the luxury markets. You’ll be able to make more money by closing fewer transactions.
Stick with it! The longer you’re active in real estate, the more you’ll benefit from repeat clients and referral business.
The real estate industry can be a goldmine for those willing to invest the time and effort in building their businesses for the long-term. And it all starts with your Texas real estate license. Your career is waiting; find your pre-license course today!
*This article was updated on 12/14/2020.