Real Estate Agent> Real Estate License

Worst States to Be a Real Estate Agent

Have you ever had a choir of crickets follow you like a shadow? You are doing everything possible, but your real estate business is still stagnant. The truth is: some states don’t have a favorable environment for agent success. These states are the worst for real estate agents.

The worst states to be a real estate agent include Hawaii, North Carolina, and New York. These states don’t encourage agent growth due to their high standard of living and low average salary.

In this revealing guide, we analyze the weakest markets based on high costs of living and limited incomes. You’ll discover the bottom ten states whose environment hampers agent prosperity and growth. Now, let’s uncover the data illuminating why some states leave agents struggling to stay afloat.

Overall Worst States for Real Estate Agents

This may sound biased, but real estate is one of the most rewarding and lucrative careers to explore. This is even more true in the best states to be real estate agents.

But, some states are not favorable for agent growth:

1. Hawaii

The Aloha State is one of the country’s tourism hubs. Its sandy beaches, luscious palm trees, picturesque mountains, and pristine blue water drew 871,870 tourists in 2022 alone. But even with this strong tourist market, the reality is that Hawaii is the least favorable state for real estate agents.

At $53,112, the state has the lowest annual average salary for real estate agents on our list. Pair that with Hawaii’s ranking as the most expensive state in the country, and you see why this state earned the top spot.

2. California

Perched on the West Coast and recognized among the leading entertainment centers in the world, the Golden State is a dream to call home. However, beneath the glitter and the lights is the second most expensive state to plant your roots. This upper manner of living is met with a decent average salary of $99,733.

3. New York

Home to the country’s financial capital, New York provides the second-highest agent salary. This number sits at a satisfying $111,641.

But it earned a place on our list due to its immoderate standard of living. The Empire State is the country’s third most expensive place to live.

4. Maryland

America in Miniature offers the world blue crabs, is home to the Naval Academy, and legend has it, the National Anthem can be traced back to one of its taverns. But even with its diverse offerings, the state hasn’t built a conducive ecosystem for real estate agents.  

Maryland is the country’s ninth most expensive state. The high cost of living is worsened by its moderate annual income of $78,360.

5. Florida

Moving to Florida can sound like a second chance at your childhood, especially if you grew up watching Snow White and the Dalmations. But before you start packing, it’s important to note that Florida’s tourism industry far outweighs its real estate market.

Florida has a high standard of living, ranking at 36th place among the most affordable states. Couple that with a low income of $71,492, and you have a state hampering agent growth.

6. Illinois

With a moderate income and moderate standard of living, Illinois is a moderate state for your real estate career.

The Land of Presidents has an annual real estate agent salary of $73,479, placing it in the top ten of the states with the lowest annual income. This low income is not helped by the state’s standard of living. Coming in 35th place, Illinois has a low affordability index. These factors combined are what put Illinois on this list.

7. Minnesota

If you love hockey and wild rice, then you may feel at home in this northern state. But before applying for licensing in Minnesota, you should know something.

Hovering around $72,392, Minnesota has the sixth lowest annual agent income. That number, partnered with a moderate cost of living, makes the North Star state unfavorable for agents.

8. Oregon

Known for the Lewis and Clark expedition, Oregon inspires discovery. But when it comes to a career in real estate, it doesn’t tell the same story of growth. Oregon is the ninth most expensive state in the country. That high lifestyle demand is paired with a decent annual agent salary of $84,553.  

9. Delaware

On the ninth spot is Delaware. Delaware earned a place on this list due to its low annual average income of $78,993.  According to the U.S. News, the First State has a moderate cost of living, sitting in 31st place.

10. Texas

In tenth place, we have the Lone Star state. Texas is home to a moderate annual income. The land of the Rangers boasts an annual income of $82,847. It also has a moderate standard of living, placed in 33rd place.  

Overcoming Challenges

Succeeding in less favorable conditions can be a challenge. But it’s entirely possible with the right strategies and tools. Success isn’t always about having ideal circumstances. It’s about how well we adapt when those circumstances aren’t perfect:

Host Open-Houses

Hosting open houses is an effective strategy for succeeding as a real estate agent in the worst states to hold the title. These events offer an opportunity to showcase your property directly to potential clients.

During open-house events, you have time with them without interference or pressure from their agents. It gives clients space and time to appreciate the value of what you’re offering firsthand.

Establish Authority

By leveraging blog posts and social media posts, you can establish yourself as an authority within your field.  This positions you as an industry expert and builds trust with potential clients who will see you as knowledgeable and reliable.

Partnering with news outlets further enhances this perception of authority. Be their go-to person for trends in real estate. Every time they run your name, you receive free advertising.

Use Video Marketing

Video marketing has also proven successful in boosting visibility for listings amongst clients. Through videos that capture your properties’ unique features and appeal, prospective buyers can get a virtual tour that may pique their interest even more.

Send Newsletters

Sending newsletters consistently is another way to keep both current and prospective clients engaged. To do this, take advantage of every encounter with clients. Collect email addresses and use the data to build a list, keeping your clients updated on new opportunities.

Qualify Clients

Qualifying clients before meetings can improve efficiency during client interactions. Understanding whether a client is shopping around or actively looking to buy can help you tailor conversations. If they are active buyers ready to make decisions based on budget, being prepared with appropriate options could nudge them to a purchase.

The No-Go Zones

The real estate industry can be a gold mine. But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Some states present more hurdles than others due to high living standards, low average salaries, strict licensing barriers, or depressed home values. The worst states to be a real estate agent include Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

But these challenges don’t have to spell doom for your career as an agent. With the right strategies, you can still succeed even in less favorable markets.

Next Steps:

Try implementing these strategies:

  • Host open houses
  • Establish authority within your field
  • Send newsletters consistently
  • Qualify clients before meetings  

Do you have any other tips that have worked wonders for you in challenging markets? Share them in the comments below! We’d love to learn from you.

Leave a Comment