The Top 10 Markets To Build Your Real Estate Team

Since starting WizeHire four years ago, we have helped thousands of agents start their businesses and grow their teams. From these entrepreneurs, we’ve heard a question over and over again: “Where should I build my real estate team?”

[Skip to the Report]

This question is critical in today’s changing market. The phenomenon of Real Estate Teams has become more popular within the real estate industry—26% of Realtors in a 2018 NAR study reported being on a team. Top teams–ever hungry for growth–have started expansion teams, taking their expertise in sales, marketing, and team building to areas outside of their local market. With more teams and larger players entering the industry, many agents are wondering where they should go to build their own business.

We’ve undertaken a study that identifies the hottest markets where agents can quickly build a real estate team. We’ve determined the best markets to build a real estate team by analyzing our internal data on the supply and demand of talent in 300 markets, along with data from Zillow, Realtor.com and REAL Trends on the underlying real estate market.

Below, we’ve highlighted the top insights of this first report with

  • a breakdown of the top 10 markets in which to build a real estate team;
  • an explanation of the methods behind our analysis; and
  • what to do if you’re not in one of these top markets.

After reading, you’ll be able to determine which markets are the best areas for building your real estate team and why these areas are strong choices.


What’s a hot real estate market?

To understand which areas of the country have the best opportunity for new real estate teams, we started by analyzing the 300 largest markets in the United States. We identified top markets by evaluating each area’s 2019 real estate health projections, assessing whether there’s room for additional real estate teams in the market, and if there is available talent (sales agents) to hire onto a team.

[Skip to the Report]

Using this criteria, we constrained our analysis to areas where the overall real estate market is currently booming, and the number of transactions and average home sale prices are expected to increase in 2019. This narrowed the field to 119 markets from the 300 largest markets in the United States.

To identify the best markets for recruiting we created an index to rank each market based on the number of licensed real estate agents actively seeking new opportunities relative to the number of open real estate job opportunities within a market. We call this index the Opportunity Index and helps us compare the relative ease of hiring within in a market. Using the Opportunity Index, we narrowed our rankings to the top 10 markets to grow a real estate team in 2019.

In this post we use a reader-friendly version of the opportunity index, which uses a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the most difficult for hiring and 10 being the best for hiring. Our top 10 list is ordered from markets with the highest opportunity index to the lowest.

Along with the opportunity index, we included additional metrics for each market—average days on market and median home price—to help you assess how effective a real estate team could be in these markets.


The 10 Hottest Markets to Build Your Real Estate Team

1. Yuba City, CA

  • Average Days on Market: 54
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $319,900 (6%)
  • Agents Seeking New Positions: 56
  • Opportunity Index: 10.0

Yuba City, CA: WizeHire Opportunity Index 10.0

[Source]

As a small city in California, Yuba City has experienced massive economic growth in recent years. The Milken Institute recently ranked Yuba City the 7th best small city out of 201 cities based on how well it’s sustaining job and economic growth. The rise of health care companies in Yuba, such as Fremont-Rideout Health Group, has created a lot of jobs for the city, so residents are less dependent on the military and agriculture for employment.

This growth in Yuba has created a booming real estate market. The area has a high median home price of $319,000 (up 6% from last year) and homes sell quickly, typically within two months. With these ideal conditions, our labor supply data shows agents are eager for new opportunities in the Yuba area.


2. Visalia-Porterville, CA

  • Average Days on Market: 53
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $265,000 (8%)
  • Agents Seeking New Positions: 44
  • Opportunity Index: 10.0

Visalea-Porterville, CA: WizeHire Opportunity Index 10.0

[Source]

The Visalia-Porterville metropolitan area, in central California, has an ideal economy for real estate growth. Several industries are booming:

  • The laboratory supplier VWR International recently built a 500,000 square foot distribution center in 2012.
  • California Dairies, the largest powdered milk producer in North America, is based in Visalia and has a 260,000-square-foot distribution center.
  • Devon Jones, the economic director for Visalia, expects that another 100,000 square feet of industrial space will be built in the next year at Visalia’s Industrial Park.

Given this business growth, the real estate market is quite active in the Visalia-Porterville area. The median home price of $265,000 is fairly high, and the average-days-on-market metric is low, at 53 days. With these ideal conditions, agents in Visalia-Porterville are eager to join real estate teams and profit from this market.


3. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

  • Average Days on Market: 67
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $120,000 (12%)
  • Agents Seeking New Opportunities: 50
  • Opportunity Index: 10.0

Youngstown, OH: WizeHire Opportunity Index 10.0

[Source]

Over the past decade, the government of Youngstown laid out a plan to rebuild their city, knowing that it was shrinking. The goal was to offer initiatives and programs to hold on to the remaining 66,000 residents.

The efforts have led to many improvements in the area’s economy and new opportunities in real estate. The completely renovated downtown area is now a bustling center for residential development. Additionally, previously abandoned and vacant homes have been demolished for future development. As a result, there are quite a few agents seeking opportunities on real estate teams in Youngstown.


4. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

  • Average Days on Market: 60
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $226,990 (3%)
  • Agents Seeking New Opportunities: 261
  • Opportunity Index: 9.1

Lakeland, FL: WizeHire Opportunity Index 9.1

[Source]

Lakeland-Winter Haven was ranked the fastest growing metro area in the United States from 2016 to 2017, with a population growth of 2.9%. The influx of people to Lakeland makes sense—the area has plenty of sunshine, the tourist attraction of Legoland, and a low state income tax.

With the increasing population, Lakeland has plenty of real estate opportunities—and many residents are eager to start working in real estate. On average, there are 261 licensed agents seeking new opportunities each month in the Lakeland area, thus it would be relatively easier to start a real estate team in this area.


5. Johnson City, TN

  • Average Days on Market: 69
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $209,900 (6%)
  • Agents Open to New Opportunities: 39
  • Opportunity Index: 8.8

Johnson City, TN: WizeHire Oppotrunity Index 8.8

[Source]

Johnson City is an ideal area to build a real estate team because it’s one of the best cities for job growth in the South. According to an employment report from 24/7 Wall St., Johnson City was the 10th best city for employment growth in the South during 2017. Johnson City added 3,147 jobs in 2017.

With more jobs, Johnson City is ripe for growing real estate teams. The city has an opportunity index of 8.8 and there are an average of 39 agents seeking jobs each month, so it’s relatively easy to hire agents in the area.


6. Lansing-East Lansing, MI

  • Average Days on Market: 48
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $169,900 (10%)
  • Agents Open to New Opportunities: 55
  • Opportunity Index: 7.8

Lansing, MI: WizeHire Opportunity Index 7.8

[Source]

While Lansing doesn’t have the highest median home price, there are a lot of positive indicators for building a real estate team in the metro area. The area seems to get a lot of real estate business: The average days on market in Lansing is the second lowest on this list—just 48 days—and the median home price has increased by 10% since last year.

As a result, there are quite a few agents in Lansing who are eager to join a real estate team. The city has a high opportunity index of 7.8, and there is an average of 55 agents seeking new jobs every month.


7. Salinas, CA

  • Average Days on Market: 61
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $850,000 (-6%)
  • Agents Seeking New Jobs: 63
  • Opportunity Index: 7.5

Salinas, CA: WizeHire Opportunity Index 7.5

[Source]

Salinas is a booming real estate market, with a median home price of $850,000—the highest on this list! Though the area’s home prices appear to be topping out with a slight 6% decrease from last year, Salinas still remains an incredibly profitable area for selling homes.

Along with being lucrative for real estate, Salinas is an easier market for recruiting and building a real estate team. The city has a high opportunity index of 7.5, and there are an average of 63 licensed agents seeking new jobs each month.


8. Monroe, MI

  • Average Days on Market: 48
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $195,000 (6%)
  • Agents Open to New Opportunities: 69
  • Opportunity Index: 7.2

Monroe, MI: WizeHire Opportunity Index 7.2

[Source]

For a city that was hit hard by the Great Recession, Monroe shows a lot of potential for building a real estate team. Homes sell quickly in Monroe, with an average-days-on-market rate of 48 days—the second-lowest rate on this list. Monroe also has an average of 69 agents who are seeking new jobs each month, which is a large number relative to the city’s small population of 20,000. With an active real estate market and plenty of job-seeking agents, Monroe is an ideal city for building a real estate team.


9. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

  • Average Days on Market: 61
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $269,247 (4%)
  • Agents Seeking New Jobs: 127
  • Opportunity Index: 7.1

Palm Bay, FL: WizeHire Opportunity Index 7.1

[Source]

The Palm Bay metro area is a booming tech area with plenty of real estate business for teams. Palm Bay was ranked as the city with the highest average tech salary in the United States—$159,390 in 2017. According to Andy Anderson, Palm Bay’s economic development and external affairs director, the area has high demand for skilled tech professionals in the aerospace and defense industries.

With the wealth generated by tech, Palm Bay metro is a great real estate market with plenty of agents eager to join new teams. The median home price is relatively high at $269.247 (an increase of 4% from last year), and there are an average of 127 agents seeking new jobs each month.


10. Olympia-Tumwater, WA

  • Average Days on Market: 42.5
  • Median Home Price (YoY change): $374,995 (16%)
  • Agents Open to New Opportunities: 107
  • Opportunity Index: 7.1

Olympia, WA: WizeHire Opportunity Index 7.1

[Source]

As one of the nation’s top 25 fastest-growing areas, Olympia has an incredibly active real estate market that’s perfect for building a team. The metro area has the lowest average-days-on-market rate on this list—just 42.5 days—and the median home price has increased 16% since last year, to $374,995.

It’s no surprise, then, that agents in Olympia are eager to join real estate teams and profit from the area’s market. The area has a high opportunity index of 7.1 and an average of 107 agents open to new opportunities every month.


What if I’m not in a top market?

In early 2019, WizeHire will publish an update to this list and share our rankings of the top 100 markets in which to build a real estate team. Your market may very well be somewhere on this list. Email us, and we can share some early numbers 😀

Regardless of whether your city is on the list, you should always take a pro-active approach to hiring. Your hiring timeline for building a real estate team may be longer than what you expected. If you desperately need to grow your real estate team, you can speed up hiring by looking for talent outside the real estate industry.

  • Hiring a transaction coordinator? Consider candidates who have administrative experience in other industries, such as an executive assistant or a paralegal. With an administrative background, candidates will have the organizational skills and attention to detail that you need to be a great TC.
  • Hiring a buyer’s agent? Consider candidates who have sales experience but aren’t licensed agents yet. For example, you might consider an inside sales agent to prospect leads and qualify new leads. If they turn out to be a good fit for your team, they can start getting their license while working for you.

Whether or not you’re in a top market, WizeHire can help you grow your team.

Ready to grow?