Are “paper brokerages” — companies that join multiple listing services in order to access and display MLS listing data online, but don’t provide brokerage services to consumers — the next big thing in real estate?

It’s hard to say, because even if traditional brokers don’t like them, every MLS and state has different rules and regulations that define whether members or licensees are “actively participating in real estate brokerage services,” says Kathie Connelly, executive director of the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

It’s increasingly common for brokers to get licensed in states outside of their home turf — a quarter of Connelly’s licensees are out-of-state brokers — “So I think you’re going to continue to see the issue be around for a while,” she says.

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