When considering a career in real estate, it’s natural to wonder about your earning potential. If you’re specifically interested in pursuing a real estate career in Louisiana, understanding the average income of agents in the state can help you set realistic income expectations.
This article covers the average real estate agent salary in Louisiana and explores the factors that can influence an agent’s income in this dynamic and evolving industry.
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Real Estate Agent Salary Louisiana
A real estate agent’s earnings can depend on a variety of factors. While these factors can vary somewhat by state, here are the most likely to influence an agent’s salary in Louisiana:
- Experience: The average salary of a real estate agent in Louisiana is $68,000 per year. More experienced agents often have larger networks and better negotiation skills, which can lead to more sales, higher-priced sales, and/or a higher commission rate
- Location: Even within the same state, real estate agents can experience significant differences in terms of property prices and the number of transactions they can close. A busy city like New Orleans might have higher property prices, for example, but also more competition among agents
- Sales Performance: The more properties an agent helps their clients sell or buy, the higher their total income. This can depend on their marketing skills, network, and reputation as well as current demand within the market
- Working Hours: Real estate can sometimes be a round-the-clock job — especially when dealing with clients who work standard business hours. Agents who put in more time often have higher earnings
- Specialization: Some agents may specialize in a certain type of real estate (e.g., commercial, residential, luxury), which can influence their earnings. Commercial real estate deals often involve higher-value properties, for example, but also may require more experience and expertise
Real estate can be a volatile business, and an agent’s income can vary greatly from year to year. It’s a business that requires a significant investment of time and effort — especially as you get started.
Interested in becoming a real estate agent? Check out our How to Get Your Louisiana Real Estate License guide.
Real estate salaries are commission-based, and the seller and the listing broker can negotiate the commission rate for a specific transaction. While there’s no standard rate, it’s common for the total commission to be around 5% to 6% of a property’s sale price.
For example, let’s say a property sells for $300,000 with a commission rate of 6% ($18,000). The listing agent and the buyer’s agent will usually split this commission evenly, although the exact split can vary. If it’s a 50-50 split, each agent would receive $9,000.
An agent then typically shares their portion of a transaction’s commission with the brokerage firm for whom they work. Depending on their agreement with their broker, a newer agent might only keep 50% of their commissions while a more experienced agent may keep 70% to 90%. If we assume a 70-30 split in the above example, the agent would keep $6,300 and their broker would get the remaining $2,700.
Note that agents incur expenses (e.g., marketing fees, insurance costs, association dues, and possibly desk fees to their brokerage firm) that they must cover with their e commission income.
Often considered independent contractors, real estate agents are responsible for their own business expenses. These expenses can vary from year to year and reduce an agent’s net income from their gross commissions. Here are some common expenses a real estate agent might incur:
- Licensing Fees: Agents need to maintain their real estate license, which includes taking continuing education (CE) courses and paying renewal fees. They also may choose to invest in additional training or certifications to enhance their skills
- Technology Costs: This includes everything from a smartphone and computer to real estate-specific software for managing contacts and creating marketing materials. An agent also might have to pay for website hosting, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and/or premium services on real estate websites
- Office Expenses: If agents don’t work from home, they might have expenses related to renting office space. Even if they do work from home, they still might have expenses for office supplies, furniture, etc
- Listing Service and Association Fees: Agents usually pay to be part of their local multiple listing service (MLS) as well as professional real estate associations. These fees give them access to listings and other resources, and the cost can vary based on the local area
- Marketing Costs: This includes expenses related to listing properties (e.g., professional photos, virtual tours, and staging), marketing (e.g., a business website, business cards, and promotional materials), and advertising (e.g., online ads, mailers, and signage)
These expenses can vary greatly based on the agent’s market, how much they sell, their business strategy, and more. Moreover, a real estate agent will incur many of these expenses whether or not they make a sale.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Louisiana
Becoming a real estate agent in Louisiana involves several steps, including completing the required educational courses, passing an exam, and finding a sponsoring broker. Here are the key steps you must take to get a real estate license:
- Complete pre-licensing education. The Louisiana Real Estate Commission (LREC) requires licensees to complete 90 hours of approved pre-licensing education. This coursework typically covers topics like property ownership, real estate law, property management, and real estate appraisal.
- Pass the licensing exam. After completing the required education, you must pass the Louisiana real estate salesperson exam. Administered by PSI, the exam includes a national section on general real estate principles and a state-specific section on Louisiana’s real estate laws.
- Undergo a background check. To ensure all licensed agents uphold the profession’s integrity and ethics, the state of Louisiana requires all applicants to submit to a criminal background check.
- Obtain errors and omissions (E&O) Insurance. All active real estate agents must carry E&O insurance in Louisiana so you’ll need to obtain a policy before you apply for your license.
- Find a sponsoring broker. Before you can become a licensed real estate agent, you’ll also need to find a broker willing to sponsor your application. The state requires that all new agents work under the supervision of a licensed broker for a certain amount of time.
- Apply for your license. Once you complete the previous five steps, you can submit your license application to the LREC. The application will ask for information about your background, education, and sponsoring broker.
- Complete post-licensing education. After obtaining a real estate license, new agents must complete 45 hours of post-licensing education within 180 days of their initial licensure. This education is designed to help new agents develop practical skills that’ll prove useful in their new career.
Note: The real estate industry can be challenging, and it may take time to build your business and start earning a steady income. However, it can be a rewarding career if you’re willing to put in the effort.
For Louisiana real estate pre-licensing education classes, StateRequirement recommends:
Real Estate Agent Salary Louisiana FAQ
How much money do real estate agents make in Louisiana?
Real estate agents in Louisiana earn varying salaries with an average annual income of around $68,000. However, an agent’s income can fluctuate widely based on factors like their experience and transaction volume as well as property prices and economic conditions. Learn more about how much a real estate agent can earn in our How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make guide.
What is the highest-paid type of real estate agent?
The highest-paid agents are those who work with luxury properties. Real estate agent jobs like luxury real estate agents or luxury brokers work in markets with very high property values. A commercial real estate agent is another type of agent that can earn a high income — especially if they work on large deals.
How much do part-time real estate agents make in Louisiana?
Part-time agents in Louisiana typically earn less than their full-time counterparts because they handle fewer transactions. Part-time real estate agent salaries can vary widely, but it’s not uncommon for them to earn around $50,863 per year. The exact amount will depend on the number and value of the properties they help their clients sell or purchase.
How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Louisiana?
The cost to obtain a real estate license in Louisiana can vary, but expect to pay around $100 to $150 for pre-licensing courses, $85 for the state licensing exam, and $90 for the license application. Additional costs may include fees for a background check, post-licensing education, and to access a local multiple listing service (MLS).
How do you get a real estate license in Louisiana?
To get a real estate license in Louisiana, you must be 18 years old, complete 90 hours of pre-licensing education, pass the state licensing exam, undergo a background check, find a sponsoring broker, apply for your license, and complete 45 hours of post-licensing education within 180 days of your initial licensure.
Is Louisiana good for real estate?
Louisiana can offer good opportunities for real estate agents given its diverse property markets, including urban, suburban, and rural areas. With cultural hotspots like New Orleans and growing cities like Baton Rouge, this state has potential for both residential and commercial real estate deals.