Amazon is stepping further into the real estate world. The Seattle tech giant announced a deal Tuesday with Realogy, the largest brokerage conglomerate in the U.S., that provides Amazon products and services to those who buy homes via the new partnership.
The collaboration, called TurnKey, gives customers up to $5,000 in Amazon home improvement-related products and services if they find a real estate agent through www.amazon.com/turnkey.
Realogy’s brokerages include Better Homes; Coldwell Banker; Century 21; Sotheby’s; and many others. Its stock, which has fallen from $48/share to $6/share in the past four years, was up 20 percent Tuesday after the deal was announced. TurnKey is available in 15 cities, including Seattle.
“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,” Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider said in a statement.
Realogy is facing competition from real estate companies such as Zillow, Redfin, Opendoor, Compass and others who are investing heavily in the burgeoning “iBuyer” market that lets people quickly buy and sell homes online. Realogy, which also has its own iBuyer program, this month filed a lawsuit against Compass.
For Amazon, the partnership is a way to drive more people to its Amazon Home Services arm and to use its smart home products. It’s also another example of Amazon’s clout as a search engine and advertising platform.
“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,” Pat Bigatel, director of Amazon Home Services, said 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.”
Amazon inked a similar deal with home builder Lennar in 2018 to host “experience showrooms.” Amazon also previously teased a real estate referral feature in 2017, which sent Zillow shares down.
Asked if he was worried about Amazon, former Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff told Yahoo this past September: “eventually.”
“I will observe that it’s one of the largest parts of the economy. It’s 15 percent of GDP that they are not participating in,” said Rascoff, who stepped down in February.
Last year Amazon invested in Plant Prefab, a Rialto, Calif.-based startup that builds prefabricated single and multi-family homes. The company also continues developing Alexa-enabled products for the home, including its Echo speakers, and acquired home security company Ring last year. It competes with Google and Apple in the growing smart home market.