“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 — could be the next big thing in online real estate. But only if the traditional brokers who control the nation’s MLSs continue to tolerate them.
Companies that join multiple listing services to gain access to MLS listings data but don’t provide brokerage services to buyers and sellers pose a dilemma for MLSs — if they’re aware of the practice at all, an Inman News investigation has found.
So-called “paper brokerages” have cropped up to take advantage of MLSs’ efforts to help their members compete with national listing portals.
“Paper brokerages” that publish shared listing data from multiple listing services in order to generate leads for other brokers have largely flown under the industry’s radar, an Inman News investigation has found.
But history shows that if the paper brokerage business model takes off, it could pose a threat to its own source of listings — the MLS.