Real Estate Agents, These Are the Best (and the Worst) Cities for Your Career

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Location plays a big role in a real estate agent’s career. It determines who your customers are, what properties and communities you have access to and, most importantly, your potential for income and sales.

And every locale is different. In some markets, there’s a building boom and an influx of affordable inventory. In others, it’s a battle just to get a listing.

Want to know which locations are best for today’s agents and which ones to avoid? WalletHub recently rounded up the nation’s best and worst cities for agents. Here’s what they found:

The Best Spots to be a Real Estate Agent

According to WalletHub’s analysis, Seattle is the top city to be an agent in. It offers a healthy market, plenty of job opportunities, and a favorable amount of competition.

The remaining top 10 agent-friendly cities hail mostly from the West Coast:

  • Salem, Oregon
  • San Francisco,
  • Oakland,
  • San Jose,
  • Fremont, California;

The only non-Western cities to make the top 10 were:

  • Boston,
  • Washington D.C.,
  • Phoenix.

Salem also offers the nation’s highest sales per agent and highest home turnover rate, while Oakland boasts the fewest days on the market.

The Worst Cities to be a Real Estate Agent

On the other end of the spectrum is Brownsville, Texas, which WalletHub named the worst spot to be an agent in. The city ranked low in both market health and opportunity.

The South dominated the bottom 10 markets for agents, including cities like

  • Shreveport, Louisiana;
  • El Paso and Corpus Christi, Texas;
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina;
  • Gulfport and Jackson, Mississippi;
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas; 
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The only non-Southern city to rank in the bottom 10 was Detroit. The Michigan city also claims the lowest median home price in the country. Houston has the lowest sales per agent, while Fort Smith boasts the lowest agent wage.

The Times Are Always Changing

Keep in mind that housing markets are always in flux, so the hot markets of today might not hold the same potential tomorrow. Stay on top of your local economic data, keep in touch with housing trends, and don’t be afraid to find a niche you can really home in on.

Want more help staying on top of your marketplace and really delivering value for your clients? Then connect with an Embrace loan officer. We’ll take care of your customers’ financing needs every step of the way.

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Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.