Amazon.com, ever heard of it? You know, the former online book merchant that’s taking over the world?
CEO (and corporate overlord) Jeff Bezos has been on a quest for glory these last few years, sticking a “finger in every pie” as they come his way.
Streaming entertainment, cloud based services, and even the healthcare sector aren’t immune to the Amazon sphere of influence.
In fact, pick any industry off the top of your head. Odds are, Bezos and his team are planning some way to dominate it.
And after announcing a partnership this morning with Realogy, America’s largest residential real estate brokerage, it appears as though Amazon wants to be the country’s top relator.
Through their new partnership, Amazon and Realogy will offer TurnKey, a program that links house hunters on Amazon to Realogy agents.
After they’ve purchased a home, they then get $5,000 worth of Amazon Home Services products.
What a deal!
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When was the last time your realtor gave you a fully kitted smart house?
So long as new homebuyers don’t mind the watchful eye of Amazon being hardwired into their residence, this could be a very attractive “carrot” at the end of the real estate stick.
One that might even revive Realogy, a company that’s been run ragged by the digital age.
Realogy, which owns realty brands Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby’s International, and Corcoran (among others), hasn’t performed very well in the face of high-tech, online competition.
Since 2017, new internet realtors Redfin and Compass have stolen ample market share from Realogy, whose stock is down almost 80% over the last two years.
As the “dinosaur” on the block that refused to get with the times, Realogy share prices looked beyond saving.
At least, until they partnered with one of the most powerful corporations in the world.
“We’re the market leaders in this industry and we like that position, but you always have to be innovating to stay ahead, you’ve got to be willing to cannibalize yourself, you’ve got to do all the things that a big successful company needs to do to stay on the forefront,” said Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider in a statement following the blockbuster announcement.
“In a world that is awash with low quality lead generation out there, where you can get real estate leads from millions of online websites, giving an agent and franchisees high-quality leads from a source like Amazon and Realogy together is a real differentiator that’s going to be very powerful for the group.”
And in the end, the partnership could be equally as rewarding to consumers, as the $5,000 Amazon Home Services credit goes beyond their offering of smart devices.
“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,” explained Pat Bigatel, director of Amazon Home Services.
“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.”
Set to launch in 15 major metropolitan housing markets, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Washington, TurnKey could potentially have a profound effect on the real estate industry.
Because as usual, whenever Amazon enters a new space, Bezos makes sure to throw his company’s weight around right from the get-go. He’s doing what he was born to do – offer consumers unparalleled value.
With TurnKey, new home buyers would be foolish to shop for a home with anyone else. Why turn down $5,000 in moving services when it’s not only readily available, but highly convenient?
With the Realogy partnership this morning, Amazon just put every other major realtor on notice. If they want to hang with Bezos & Co., they need to up their game.
And they need to do it quickly.
If they don’t, Amazon will be given a clear path to real estate domination – something the FTC won’t step in the way of as long as consumers continue to reap the rewards of competition.
Unfair as Amazon’s business practices may be.