A real estate broker whose company operates in 23 states has complained to federal officials about a North Carolina multiple listing service that requires participants to physically attend a training session to learn about a new MLS technology platform. Participants who do not complete the training will not be allowed to access the system. Ryan Gehris, who is a broker of record for flat-fee real estate company Housepad.com in 10 of those states, said in a Tuesday letter to U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission officials that he believes the in-person training requirement constitutes a restraint of trade violation. While Gehris said it's common for MLSs to require an in-person visit when joining, he said it's unusual for MLSs to require in-person trainings -- typically such training is also offered online. About one-quarter of the roughly 80 multiple listing services that Gehris' company has joined required "some sort of attendance to become a member,"...
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