RISMedia had an interesting item in its (www.rismedia.com/wp/2007-03-20/where-are-you-on-technology/) newsletter today. It talks about how a few years ago, the average age of an NAR member was 55. Then, as the real estate boom heated up and younger people came into the marketplace, the average age of a NAR member fell to 52.

And now? RISMedia says the average age of a NAR member is 57 years old! What’s going on?

Is it possible that younger people entering the real estate market thought they’d gain entree to a huge career with loads of big-money potential? And then, after a few short years, realized that the average real estate agent earns less than $50,000 per year? Real estate is a 7/24/365 business that’s only sexy if you’re earning the big bucks.

My mother, Susanne Glink, has been a top real estate agent in Chicago for nearly 25 years, enough to have seen the ups and downs of quite a few markets. She works in Baird & Warner’s Michigan Avenue office, but she’s never forgotten who she really works for: her clients.

Technology is a fabulous way to stay connected, but it doesn’t replace hard work, a whole lot of networking, and that je ne sais quoi that makes some folks the best sales people on the planet.

My mother would be the first to tell you that her biggest feat of technology is being able to play Solitaire on her computer. She has email and a cell phone. But she must be doing something right — or she wouldn’t have lasted at the top this long in a business that sees a lot of turnover.

Oh, and she turns 70 in August.

March 20, 2007.