By Joseph Autilio
Executive Director, Board of Registration
Below, the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons answers queries by agents in the field regarding real estate licensing in Massachusetts.
Business Entities with No License
Q. Do problems arise with unlicensed business entities?
A. The Board has a problem with licensed individual brokers who hold themselves out as business entities corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and partnerships) while having no license to operate as such. Sometimes these business entities are chartered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State and other times there is no charter—nevertheless, the licensed broker holds themselves out as a business broker. The law specifically requires a broker, individual, or business entity to obtain a license to do brokering.
The Board recognizes that in most cases there is no evil motive on the part of the broker who does business as a business broker without a license, but does seek to bring them into compliance with the law. The Board advises brokers who operate as a business entity to make sure they are properly charted with the Massachusetts Secretary of State and obtain the appropriate business broker entity license from the Board.
Moving to a Paperless Process
Q. Has the Real Estate Board explored a paperless office?
A. The Real Estate Board has been exploring paperless options for several years now. Paperless transactions achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and storage capabilities. In fact, the Real Estate Board’s licensure process is pretty close to paperless already, and has been for some time. The Board was among the first in the nation to move to a one-stop licensure process, which was clearly beneficial to candidates for licensure, but it brought the Board very close to a paperless transaction.
The development of one-stop licensure taught the Board some things about streamlining and greater efficiencies. Indeed, once the pre-licensing education is complete, the candidate receives a booklet from the educational provider that lists a tollfree number to make an appointment to take the agent examination. During this appointment, the Board’s testing vendor obtains the information that becomes the licensure application. While the Board receives a streamlined paper application from the testing vendor, the process has moved close to paperless. Once licensed, the Board’s testing vendor electronically transmits the licensure information through a secure process to our agency’s database. The new licensee has already left the test center with their license in hand.
Another area of streamlining occurred in the registration of out-of-state land developments marketed for sale by rokers in Massachusetts. The Board accepts the application in an electronic format.
The Board continues to look at ways to streamline, realizing that moving closer to paperless transactions allows it to achieve greater efficiency and productivity.
The Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons office in Boston can be reached at 617-727-2373.