According to Nevada Real Estate Division Chief Compliance/Audit Investigator Jan Holle, “As long as payment is not contingent on the referral closing a transaction, then it would be okay. Agents pay for leads all the time… Zillow, etc.”
Note: Paying an unlicensed person a referral fee or commission [my bold] would be in violation of Nevada law.
NRS 645.280 Association with or compensation of unlicensed broker, broker-salesperson or salesperson unlawful; payment of commission other than through broker or owner-developer unlawful.
1. It is unlawful for any licensed real estate broker, or broker-salesperson or salesperson to offer, promise, allow, give or pay, directly or indirectly, any part or share of his or her commission, compensation or finder’s fee arising or accruing from any real estate transaction to any person who is not a licensed real estate broker, broker-salesperson or salesperson, in consideration of services performed or to be performed by the unlicensed person. A licensed real estate broker may pay a commission to a licensed broker of another state.
2. A real estate broker-salesperson or salesperson shall not be associated with or accept compensation from any person other than the broker or owner-developer under whom he or she is licensed at the time of the real estate transaction.
3. It is unlawful for any licensed real estate broker-salesperson or salesperson to pay a commission to any person except through the broker or owner-developer under whom he or she is licensed at the time of the real estate transaction.