CCIM Feature

2004 Compensation Trends Survey Results

In April, a random sample of CCIM designees and candidates participated in an online trends survey about compensation. A total of 653 respondents completed the survey, which provided a 95 percent confidence level in the data with a +/- 4 percent response rate. The CCIM Institute's research department conducted the survey and compiled the results.

Results Highlights

About 53 percent of the survey participants are CCIM designees and 47 percent are candidates. They hold various job titles within their firms, but the most common title is owner/partner/principal (23 percent). Another 19 percent are agents and 14 percent are brokers. The majority of respondents reported that most of their business activities are transaction-based, and they conducted an average of 24 transactions in 2003.

Almost 70 percent of the participating designees and candidates said they are compensated with commissions. More than half earn only commissions, while 15 percent receive a base salary combined with commissions. The highest percentage of respondents who receive commissions reported that their companies have a set percentage in place for determining the commissions. These respondents were further asked about their broker/sales agent commission splits. The highest percentage said their broker commission split is between 26 percent and 50 percent, and their sales agent commission split also is between 26 percent and 50 percent. They were then asked about their company's buyer's representative/seller's representative commission splits. Again, the highest percentage of these respondents said both their buyer's representative and seller's representative commission splits are between 26 percent and 50 percent.

The 2003 mean income survey participants received is $160,727. (The mean, or average, is the sum of all income figures reported divided by the total number of respondents.) The median income the respondents received is $115,000. (The median is the figure at which half of the respondents reported an income above and half reported an income below.) The mode income the respondents received is $100,000. (The mode is the income figure mentioned most often by the respondents.)* When asked how their annual income changed as a result of earning the CCIM designation, 68 percent of the designees indicated their income increased.

The designees and candidates who reported the majority of their business activities are transaction-based also reported higher average income for 2003 than those who indicated the majority of their activities are consulting-based. The highest percentage of respondents (58 percent) said they devote the majority of their time to sales. These respondents had a median salary of $137,293 last year. Those who devote the majority of their time to investment and development had the highest median income ($150,000). More than half of the respondents said they devote the majority of their time to office properties. These CCIM designees and candidates had a median income of $110,000.

Survey results also demonstrate that median and mean salaries tend to increase with years of experience in commercial real estate. In addition, average income is highest for those who work in markets with population sizes of 500,000 people or more.

Those who indicated their job title is owner/partner/principal had the highest median and mean income in 2003, and those who are sole practitioners, or whose companies employ only them, had the highest median income.

* Typically, mean compensation figures are higher than the median figures because mean figures tend to place more weight on a small number of extremely high compensation figures.

Survey Results

Are you currently a CCIM designee or candidate?

Percent of total respondents

CCIM designee

52.9%

CCIM candidate

47.1%

What is your current job title?

Percent of total respondents

Percent of CCIM designees

Percent
of CCIM candidates

Owner/partner/principal

23.2%

30.6%

15.1%

Agent

19.3%

12.9%

26.6%

Broker

14.2%

14.4%

13.8%

Vice president

13.3%

15.0%

11.5%

Department manager/director

9.4%

9.7%

9.2%

President

3.6%

2.9%

4.3%

Consultant

1.7%

1.5%

2.0%

Other

15.2%

12.9%

17.4%

More than three-fourths of the total respondents said the majority of their business activities are transaction-based. The respondents said they completed an average of 24 transactions in 2003.

Are the majority of your business activities transaction-based, consulting-based, or other?

Percent of total respondents

Percent of CCIM designees

Percent
of CCIM candidates

Transaction-based

77.6%

76.7%

78.5%

Consulting-based

7.3%

6.2%

8.3%

Other

15.2%

17.1%

13.2%

How many transactions did you complete in 2003?

Percent of total respondents

Percent of CCIM designees

Percent
of CCIM candidates

5 or fewer

17.0%

12.2%

22.2%

6 - 10

20.1%

21.2%

19.1%

11 - 15

17.5%

16.1%

19.1%

16 - 20

10.3%

9.8%

10.9%

21 - 25

7.8%

9.4%

5.7%

26 - 30

7.0%

8.6%

5.2%

More than 30

20.3%

22.7%

17.8%

Mean

24

24

23

Median

15

16

12

The majority of CCIM designees and candidates said their race/ethnic origin is white.

What is your race/ethnic origin?

Percent of total respondents

Percent of CCIM designees

Percent of CCIM candidates

American Indian or Alaska Native

0.8%

0.3%

1.4%

Asian

1.7%

1.9%

1.4%

Black or African-American

2.0%

0.9%

3.2%

Hispanic or Latino

2.5%

1.9%

3.2%

Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

White

92.2%

94.6%

89.7%

Other

0.8%

0.3%

1.1%

Compensation

When asked about compensation, about 70 percent of respondents indicated they receive some sort of commission. More than half of all respondents receive 100 percent commission and another 19 percent receive a base salary combined with commission.

How are you currently compensated?

Percent of total respondents

Percent of CCIM designees

Percent
of CCIM candidates

100% commission

54.7%

57.5%

52.0%

Base salary combined with commission

14.8%

12.0%

17.8%

100% salary

14.8%

12.6%

17.4%

Fee for service

3.7%

3.5%

3.6%

Other

11.9%

14.4%

9.2%

Those who receive either 100 percent commission or a base salary combined with commission were asked how their companies determine commissions. Sixty-eight percent said it is determined with a set percentage while 38 percent said it is based on the transaction's value.

How does your company determine commissions?

Percent of respondents who are compensated with 100% commission or base salary combined with commission*

Set percentage

68.4%

Based on transaction's value

37.6%

Based on length of the project

4.0%

Other

10.4%

* Total does not equal 100 percent because respondents were asked to check all responses that apply.

The 68 percent of total respondents whose companies determine commissions with a set percentage were further asked about their company's broker/sales agent commission split and their buyer's representative/seller's representative commission split percentages.

About 4.9 percent of the respondents who indicated their companies use a set percentage said they receive 100 percent of the broker/sales agent commission (most likely because they are sole practitioners). The two tables that follow display the commission splits the other respondents indicated for brokers and sales agents.

What is your company's broker commission split percentage?

Percent of respondents whose companies determine commissions with a set percentage

1% - 25%

14.7%

26% - 50%

67.9%

51% - 75%

16.3%

75% - 99%

1.2%

What is your company's sales agent commission split percentage?

Percent of respondents whose companies determine commissions with a set percentage

1% - 25%

3.2%

26% - 50%

53.6%

51% - 75%

32.5%

75% - 99%

10.7%

About 4.2 percent of the respondents who said their companies determine commissions with a set percentage indicated they receive 100 percent of the buyer's representative/seller's representative commission (most likely because they are sole practitioners). The two tables that follow display the commission splits the other respondents indicated for buyer's representatives and seller's representatives.

What is your company's buyer's representative commission split percentage?

Percent of respondents whose companies determine commissions with a set percentage

1% - 25%

5.3%

26% - 50%

82.1%

51% - 75%

12.1%

75% - 99%

0.5%

What is your company's seller's representative commission split percentage?

Percent of respondents whose companies determine commissions with a set percentage

1% - 25%

2.4%

26% - 50%

79.7%

51% - 75%

14.0%

75% - 99%

3.9%

The 4 percent of total respondents who receive a set fee for service were then asked how their companies determine that the fee service. About 67 percent said the fee is negotiated with clients.

How does your company determine fee for service?

Percent of respondents who are compensated with fee for service*

Negotiate fee with client

66.7%

Hourly fee

33.3%

Fee based on transaction's value

12.5%

Set fee for particular service

0.0%

Other

0.0%

* Total does not equal 100 percent because respondents were asked to check all that apply.

All survey respondents were further asked to report their 2003 personal gross real estate-related income, including bonuses, after business expenses, but before personal expenses and income taxes. The respondents gave varied replies to this question. For example, 25 percent of them said their income in 2003 was $75,000 or less, while 18 percent said it was more than $225,000. CCIM candidates were more likely than designees to report that their income was $75,000 or less, and designees were more likely to indicate it was more than $225,000.

Survey participants reported a 2003 mean income of $160,727. The median income reported is $115,000. (A small percentage of respondents reported a much higher income amount, driving the mean to be higher than the median.) The mode income is $100,000. As the chart that follows demonstrates, CCIM designees are more likely to have a higher mean, median, and mode income.

What was your 2003 personal gross real estate-related income including bonuses (after business expenses but before personal expenses and income taxes)?

Percent of total respondents

Percent of CCIM designees

Percent of CCIM candidates

Less than $50,000

10.5%

5.8%

15.9%

$50,001 - $75,000

14.3%

11.4%

17.8%

$75,001 - $100,000

18.4%

19.2%

17.4%

$100,001 - $125,000

11.5%

12.0%

11.0%

$125,001 - $150,000

8.4%

7.1%

9.8%

$150,001 - $175,000

7.7%

9.4%

5.7%

$175,001 - $200,000

8.0%

8.4%

7.6%

$200,001 - $225,000

3.3%

4.2%

2.3%

More than $225,000

17.8%

22.4%

12.5%

Mean Income

$160,727

$183,790

$133,820

Median Income

$115,000

$132,000

$100,000

Mode Income

$100,000

$100,000

$75,000

The respondents who indicated the majority of their business activities are transaction-based had a higher average income in 2003 than those who reported the majority of their activities are consulting-based or other.

Are the majority of your business activities transaction-based, consulting-based, or other?

2003
mean income

2003 median income

Transaction-based

$169,345

$125,000

Consulting-based

$134,626

$96,875

Other

$131,387

$102,000

When asked how their annual income changed as a result of earning the CCIM designation, 68 percent of designees said their income increased. About 20 percent said it increased significantly.

How did your annual income change as a result of earning the CCIM designation?

Percent of CCIM designees

Significantly increased

20.4%

Somewhat increased

33.1%

Slightly increased

14.5%

No change

32.0%

The highest percentage of respondents (58 percent) devotes the majority of their time to sales. About 42 percent devotes the majority of their time to leasing and 27 percent devote it to investment. Those who devote the majority of their time to investment and development had the highest median income in 2003 ($150,000).

To what business activities do you devote the majority of your time?

Percent of total respondents*

2003
mean income

2003 median income

Sales

58.2%

$175,340

$137,293

Leasing

41.7%

$142,680

$108,287

Investment

26.8%

$173,645

$150,000

Development

22.2%

$180,626

$150,000

Property management

20.2%

$138,834

$102,500

Financing

8.4%

$195,507

$103,000

Other

9.0%

$143,464

$100,000

* Total does not equal 100 percent because respondents were asked to check all that apply.

More than half of the respondents said they devote the majority of their time to office properties and about 45 percent said they devote it to retail properties. Respondents who devote the majority of their time to land had the highest mean and median income in 2003.

To what property types do you devote the majority of your time?

Percent of total respondents*

2003
mean income

2003 median income

Office

56.2%

$149,471

$110,000

Retail

45.2%

$145,644

$108,000

Industrial

36.0%

$147,371

$106,574

Land

32.8%

$189,597

$140,000

Multifamily

26.6%

$167,321

$125,500

Hospitality

5.7%

-----**

-----**

Other

11.0%

$172,482

$112,500

* Total does not equal 100 percent because respondents were asked to check all that apply.

** Not enough respondents in this category for the figure to be statistically valid .

The survey respondents have been in the commercial real estate business an average of 14 years. As the chart below demonstrates, mean and median salary increases along with years of experience in the commercial real estate business.

How many years have you been involved in commercial real estate?

Percent of total respondents

2003
mean income

2003 median income

5 and Under

24.5%

$114,514

$80,000

6 - 10

16.7%

$119,320

$100,000

11 - 15

14.2%

$183,010

$130,000

16 - 20

20.8%

$188,244

$147,500

21 - 25

12.0%

$189,592

$150,000

More than 25

11.7%

$210,418

$155,500

Mean years in commercial real estate

14.3

Median years in commercial real estate

14.0

The majority of designees and candidates work in markets with populations of more than 100,000 people. About 66 percent work in markets with population sizes of more than 500,000 people. The mean and median income is highest for those who work in markets with population sizes of 500,000 or more.

What is the size of your market (based on population)?

Percent of total respondents

2003 mean income

2003 median income

More than 500,000

65.4%

$168,694

$125,000

200,001 - 500,000

17.4%

$140,777

$102,000

100,001 - 200,000

8.1%

$153,066

$108,000

50,001 - 100,000

5.1%

-----*

-----*

25,001 - 50,000

1.6%

-----*

-----*

25,000 or less

2.3%

-----*

-----*

* Not enough respondents in this category for the figure to be statistically valid .

Those who indicated their job title is owner/partner/principal had the highest mean and median income in 2003.

What is your current job title?

Percent of total respondents

2003 mean income

2003 median income

Owner/partner/principal

23.2%

$217,795

$175,000

Agent

19.3%

$131,206

$95,000

Broker

14.2%

$144,890

$120,000

Vice president

13.3%

$169,905

$138,875

Department manager/director

9.4%

$111,877

$100,000

President

3.6%

-----*

-----*

Consultant

1.7%

-----*

-----*

Other

15.2%

$160,895

$115,000

* Not enough respondents in this category for the figure to be statistically valid .

More than half of all respondents said their company employs 25 or less employees. The median number of employees for all respondents is 25. Respondents who are sole practitioners, or whose companies employ only them, had the highest reported median income in 2003.

How many employees does your company employ?

Percent of total respondents

2003 mean income

2003 median income

1

10.6%

$154,767

$147,500

2 - 10

26.3%

$182,878

$130,000

11 - 25

14.3%

$183,582

$110,000

26 - 50

10.1%

$150,687

$110,000

51 - 100

8.3%

$151,605

$125,000

101 - 500

14.1%

$137,282

$101,000

More than 500

16.2%

$148,933

$102,000

Mean number of employees

1,529*

Median number of employees

25

*The mean number of employees is much higher than the median because a small percentage of respondents indicated they worked for companies with a very high number of employees.

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