The number of Western Australian sales agents has declined dramatically over five years, according to figures from the Department of Commerce.
The statistics show that 1,516 agents have left the industry since its peak in 2008 when there were 11,013. However, much of the fall occurred during the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2009, when 1,189 sales representatives left the industry.
“Since the GFC, these figures have been pretty stable,” a spokesperson for the Department of Commerce said. “They’ve gone down marginally but not a huge amount.”
President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) David Airey said sales agents had been disappearing from the industry.
“Over the last three years, over 3,000 sales representatives have left the industry and not been replaced,” he said.
“Turnover between agencies is relatively low. In fact, it’s what we call normal transitions. It’s probably because agents are keeping good agents where they can and they’re not replacing the poorer performers.”
RE/MAX Western Australia managing director Geoff Baldwin told Real Estate Business the past 12 months had been a good time for his agency.
“Last year and this year we’ve been recruiting and we’ve increased our sales staff by 28 to 30 per cent,” he said.
He attributed this to the fact RE/MAX WA had been expanding and that there had been a higher level of enquiry from agents.
“There is a little bit of movement in the market," he said. "There are agents moving from office to office, more so in the last three months than they have in the last couple of years."
Despite this decline in sales agents, the figures show that in the last five years, the number of principal agents has grown.
The Department of Commerce spokesperson said this could be due to the fact that sales agents were obtaining their own licences and forming their own agencies.