“Alexa, give me $5,000 in free smart home products and find me an agent.”
Alexa might not answer (yet), but Amazon will. Finding a real estate agent and settling into a new home has now been streamlined into one process with Amazon’s new TurnKey program, which partners with Realogy Holdings Corp.—the largest full-service residential real estate services company in the U.S.—and its affiliated brands, such as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, CENTURY 21, Sotheby’s International Realty and ERA Real Estate.
The initiative was announced earlier today and matches up potential homebuyers, using the Amazon portal, with a local Realogy agent, selected for their “exceptional customer service record and local market expertise.” If the consumer purchases a home with that agent, they receive up to $5,000 worth of Amazon Home Services (in gift card form) and smart home products (delivered directly to their new property).
How It Works
The Amazon rewards are categorized on a tiered system. For homes valued between $150,000 and $399,000, buyers receive a package valued at $1,000, with $450 in credits toward Amazon Home Services. Buyers for homes priced between $400,000 and $699,000 receive a larger package, valued at $2,500 with $1,000 toward services. The most impressive package, offered to homebuyers for properties over $700,000, is valued at $5,000, with $1,500 in credits toward services. All tiers provide buyers with a 10 percent coupon on up to $200 in eligible Amazon Move products.
Depending on the property’s sale price, buyers who purchase through the program are eligible to receive these products, along with installation services at no extra cost to them:
- Echo Dot
- Echo Show
- Ring Doorbell II
- Sonos Beam
- Eero WiFi
- Fire TV Cube Kasa Lightbulbs
- Smart Things Hub
- Wave Connect Camelot Deadbolt
- Doorbell Pro
Here’s an introductory video:
“Realogy and our brands are always looking for ways to give consumers an awesome home-buying experience with a terrific real estate agent, and today’s launch of TurnKey is a big part of that continued strategy,” said Ryan M. Schneider, Realogy’s chief executive officer and president, in a statement. “Realogy’s great affiliated agents serve their clients during one of the most important moments in their lives, and Amazon’s services and products can transform that moment to make it rewarding in a way no one ever has before.”
“Customers can be overwhelmed when moving, and we’re excited to be working with Realogy to offer homebuyers a simplified way to settle into a new home,” said Pat Bigatel, director of Amazon Home Services, in a statement. “The Amazon Move-In Benefit will enable homebuyers to adapt the offering to their needs—from help assembling furniture, to assisting with smart home device set up, to a deep clean, and more.”
Over the last several years, Amazon has been making moves that many predicted would inevitably land the mammoth online marketplace right in the center of real estate. An Alexa Skills capability for agents was one of the earliest appearances. In May 2018, Amazon further worked its way into homes, tying into the real estate process with experiential showrooms that capitalized on the smart home movement.
This recent partnership with Realogy is representative of an industry that has become ultra-competitive. Amid downcast shares since May, Realogy’s recent play to maintain an edge bumped stocks back up, increasing by over 25 percent in Tuesday’s premarket following the announcement.
Realogy is paying for the TurnKey benefits in return for leads generated through the program, accessible through www.amazon.com/turnkey. It is currently being offered in the following markets: San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Atlanta, Ga.; Tampa and Orlando, Fla.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; and Charlotte, N.C.
“When we designed TurnKey, we recognized that ‘closing’ on a home is really just the beginning of the home-buying journey,” said Eric Chesin, senior vice president and head of Strategy for Realogy, in a statement. “We are proud to team up with Amazon to extend the value we bring to buying a home beyond the moment you first unlock your new front door.”
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comment. So how much of their commission is the Realtor going to have to give up?
Looks like a big chunk if it has to cover the gifts and credits.
Is this even legal?
Realtors can’t offer inducements or gifts in exchange for business.
I am an affiliated agent in one of the starting cities and I’m very excited about this competitive format. I’m sure it will come through RELO since Cartus is also an affiliate. Interesting comments about the legality of the $5k “back” program. I know Compass was sued a few times for RESPA violations but knowing Bezos, he will probably find a “legal” way to make it work. Our Brokerage has gratefully found a way to circumvent iBuyers and I’m hoping this will eventually help me ween off of Zillow. I’d rather pay a machine I belong to than one that works against me.
Yea ! Yea ! and Hip Hip Hooray ! Call me – 770-662-2106
Comment: Is this even legal? Sure looks like affiliated companies are buying an unfair advantage.
Let me see if I am understanding this correctly. A reputable real estate agent buys in to Realogy to get leads paying a unfront expense and/or a portion of the commission of a Completed sale. Amazon sends a gift box of gadgets along with installation as an incentive. The actual house installation will probably turn into a nightmare or the gadgets will fail. The homebuyer will eventually turn the blame to the real estate agent even to the point of lawsuits or complaints to the state’s real estate commission. The agent bears the brunt of the issues but Amazon gets the praises.
Sounds like a win-win for the tech giant but only them.
Paired with an…’agent, selected for their “exceptional customer service record and local market expertise” — or who simply had to pay for opportunity to be included?
I am so glad that I am not in one of those major markets! I am a RE/MAX agent with 30 years of experience, many awards and terrific reviews. I am sure that these buyer’s agents are NOT handpicked. This is all about computer programming just like “Zestimates”, and we agents know how accurate they are! The problem is that using this system will not insure that the buyers get a great agent with years of experience like me. There is a price to pay by the consumers for this service, and for the real estate agents who “partner” with Amazon, who will be giving up a large percentage of their commissions in referral fees and the spiffs promised by Amazon. When the market is hot, everyone thinks they can jump into real estate and make a killing, and low-service, low-fee companies pop up like mushrooms, then disappear like mushrooms do when the sun dries out the land. Hopefully as Amazon tries to take over the world, this will happen to these companies as well.
Interesting times… This brings back memories when I was with CB (20 years). There was a time when CB was owned by Sears. We had Sears Discount Books for our customers.
Give us the North Florida area and South Georgia. People use technology here too!
With amazon becoming so powerful in the retail/consumer market there is only one way how this
entire development can go. Soon the remaining 2 other big players Keller Williams and Re/max will
team up with ether google and apple and then (at the very latest 2-3 years from now) it is “game over” for the rest of the real estate industry.