You can order groceries, arrange for a house cleaning or handyman, do all your school supply shopping, and try on clothes before you buy them on Amazon. And now the nearly ubiquitous company has dipped its toe into the real estate world with a new collaboration with Realogy Holdings.
And if that doesn’t sound familiar, the companies under the Realogy umbrella probably do — thanks to brands like Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, and Sotheby’s International Realty, Amazon’s TurnKey can hit the ground running in 15 U.S. cities, including Dallas-Fort Worth.
The collaboration between the two companies combines Realogy’s Realtors and their expertise with Amazon’s tech-driven convenience.
It’s news that excited Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in North Texas.
“Since 1960 and counting, no brokerage has taken better care of its clients than Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. I’m so proud of that,” he said Wednesday. “And I’m proud we’re affiliated with the only global brokerage that could achieve such an innovative collaboration with Amazon. There is nothing like it.”
“For our participating colleagues, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience for their clients, especially their sellers, who may benefit from more leads to great buyers — many of whom will be in North Texas,” he added.
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, as well as local Century 21, Better Homes and Gardens, and Coldwell Banker brokerages will benefit from TurnKey.
“When we designed TurnKey, we recognized that ‘closing’ on a home is really just the beginning of the homebuying journey,” said Eric Chesin, senior vice president and head of strategy for Realogy. “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.”
But what is TurnKey?
In industry-speak, it’s a lead-generation tool, since it’s designed to be a sort of one-stop shop for prospective homebuyers who can use TurnKey to connect with Realtors at Realogy subsidiary brokerages nearby by matching the buyer (using their profile) to a TurnKey agent — the local Realtor.
“TurnKey is an important example of how Realogy’s [parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty] scale and influence enables all of us to create more opportunity for our agents and consumers than any other company in real estate,” Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, said Tuesday. “Together with Realogy, this collaboration with Amazon — the ultimate online retail mogul and household name — proves that our business serves more aspects of the real estate transaction than any competitor.”
The draw for the consumer, in addition to being virtually introduced to a Realtor in their area, is likely going to be the free Amazon Move-In benefit.
“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 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.”
The benefit connects buyers with services and experts they might need for their move, including anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in complimentary products and Amazon Home Services. Buyers can choose from a range of services, including deep cleaning, a handyman to help assemble furniture or perform other make-ready tasks, and more. They also will get a suite of smart home products that will be installed by Amazon or an Amazon-approved installer.
The company has been developing Alexa-enabled home products and continues to add new products to that line, and acquired the home security company Ring last year.
“With these benefits, TurnKey is truly a beginning-to-end homebuying program that seeks to raise consumers’ expectations of what it means to buy a house and make it a home,” Ryan M. Schneider, Realogy CEO and president said Tuesday. “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.”
TurnKey, however, is not exactly Amazon’s first foray into the world of homebuying. The company invested in Plant Prefab last year. The Rialto, California-based company builds prefabricated single and multi-family homes.
The news seemed to at least temporarily buoy Realogy’s stock prices Tuesday — as news was announced that morning shares rose 31 percent in premarket trading, and opened at $6.44 per share, closing at $6.18, an increase of 19 percent from the previous day.
To see more about TurnKey, click here.