The housing market isn’t the only thing in decline. The number of local individuals handling residential and commercial sales, as well as other real-estate-related jobs, has also gone down—by 36 percent over the last four years. “A lot of people have decided to move on to where the fish are biting,” says Mabel Guzman, the president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and an executive with Envision Real Estate. She notes that in 2007, the association’s peak year, membership stood at about 17,500 (up from 7,500 in 1999); today the organization has about 11,200 members. “I think it’s a good correction,” Guzman says. “Now you have the people who are more passionate and dedicated to the gig still here.”