There are 13,439 active Louisiana real estate agents, but the city with the most and the company with the most will surprise you. The location of real estate agents does not match up identically with the location of the home buying public. For example, New Orleans has the most licensed agents but does not have the highest population count unless you add in Metairie. Shreveport is the 3rd largest agent count in the state but only has the 5th highest population.
The table below ranks the top 15 areas, comparing the number of agents with the population.
|1||New Orleans||BATON ROUGE|
|2||Baton Rouge||NEW ORLEANS|
|8||Bossier City||LAKE CHARLES|
Ranking Louisiana cities by the ratio of real estate agent count to population shows that Baton Rouge and Lafayette have the lowest agent count ratios while Denham Springs, Kenner and Monroe have the highest ratios.
Agents must have their license held by a broker, as required by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. The broker is held to a higher standard and requires 150 hours of classroom education in order to become licensed. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are 19% of the market, and the top broker in the state is Latter and Blum with 1,163 agents, but they only have 8.6% of the market.
Who Is The Number One Broker In Louisiana?
The broker market is not only fragmented but localized, with differences in agent count within areas just a few miles apart, as shown in the two tables below which compare the agent count by broker for New Orleans and Metairie.
In the Metairie and New Orleans combined area, the top broker is actually GBS Properties, known as Gardner Realtors with 318 agents, compared to Latter and Blum with 277 agents.
For more information on the real estate industry, choose from over 150 articles at our blog page at LouisianaCommercialRealty.com/blog
The recent census found 1.2 million people live in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area, down only 7% from the 1.3 million in 2000, but the makeup of who lives here and the driving forces of the economy will shock you.
Government, hotels / restaurants and hospitals are where the jobs are in Orleans Parish, and in that order. The most jobs per industry are shown in the chart below. The latest technology divides each industry by NAICS code, the North American Industry Classification System, designed by the Office of Management and Budget in 1997 to replace the outdated SIC codes. The chart shows the tourism industry now is the driving force of the economy, with the New Orleans Convention Center bringing in tourists, who spend their money in hotels and restaurants that employ most of the residents who spend their disposable income that further drives the economy. Economists call it a Multiplier Effect. The New Orleans' tourism industry saw 9.28 million visitors in 2013, an increase from 9.01 million in 2012, but visitors spent $6.47 billion, an increase of 4.5% from 2012, and a 45% increase compared to pre-Katrina peak of $4.5 billion spent in 2003.
We have almost as many people living here as in 2000, but the culture has changed. Since 2000, the Census shows that New Orleans has 30% fewer African Americans, 4% fewer Whites, and the major growth demographic has been a 40% rise in the Hispanic population-and that is just in Orleans Parish.
The increase in the Hispanic population is highest in Jefferson Parish with almost 70% growth. Hondurans are 29% of the Hispanic market, which is 7 times the norm for the United States.
New Orleans is almost 300 years old, so there has been lots of time for generations to pass down their wealth in the form of real estate. Inherited wealth is managed vastly different from created wealth, since there is a hesitancy to take risks such as improve property and adapt to changing uses, which is why there are thousands of properties in New Orleans that have not been put to "the highest and best use". The impact is that opportunities exist to create value where non existed before. The proof of inherited property can be seen in the chart below showing Orleans Parish leads the pack with 45% of the properties having no mortgage, compared to an average of 36% in the United States.
The changing population means businesses must adapt to the needs of their customers, creating both opportunities for those who have vision, but extinction for the status quo. Here are a few of the opportunities created by the new driving forces:
For more information on New Orleans' driving forces, read our article called Economic Drivers in New Orleans-The Petrochemical Industry, and select from over 150 articles on commercial real estate at Louisiana Commercial Realty website blog.
Sources: The Data Center, NAICS, City of New Orleans
Things are changing in Kenner, Louisiana. One of the major trends is how commercial real estate in the area is changing to adapt to the new demographics. According to Robert Hand, president of Louisiana Commercial Realty, "Gone are the high end wine stores and expensive restaurants, and in their place are small, mom and pop, retail stores and ethnic restaurants, driven by a major population shift". The big shift is the Hispanic population which now averages 22.4% of the total population in Kenner, compared to 4.2% in Louisiana. The 2010 Census states the Kenner area had a 55% increase in the Hispanic population since the 2000 Census.
Hand says, "No other group has enjoyed a growth rate that high, and the impact on Kenner businesses is important. It means business owners need to pay attention to the changing needs of the population and adapt to offer goods and services to meet those needs". Two years ago, Hand's firm, Louisiana Commercial Realty, was brought in to find a buyer for a 10,000 square foot retail center at 4224 Williams Boulevard that was vacant. The property was previously a fine dining restaurant, a café and a wine store. All 3 stores had closed. Hand says, "The change in population surrounding the property meant we had to change our marketing strategy. In designing a marketing plan, we researched the demographics and decided the best new use of the retail center was a business that catered to the growing Hispanic population. We had to think out-of-the-box and look at retail use as well as office use. We reached out to grocery store chains, such as Rouses, and encouraged them to open a grocery store catering the unmet needs with ethnic foods. We reached out to doctors and attorneys that solved immigration problems and had a growing business that required more space."
The property had several interested parties and a few offers, but none were near the original list price of $1,400,000. Over the last 3 months, the average time on the market for retail property in Jefferson Parish is 719 days, according the LACDB database. Hand spent 2 years marketing the property and negotiated the sale of the property for $870,000 to an attorney with a nearby office and an expanding practice. "By researching the demographics and putting thought into the best use of the property, we were able to focus marketing efforts and deliver results. The buyer got a great deal and the seller got a large lump sum which he can redeploy into an income earning investment."