amazonYou 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. 

Robbie Briggs

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?

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…and you still happily shop here.

One of life’s joys is the “I told you so,” because it is so often precluded by a period of scorn and disbelief. Last week I had a bumper crop, but let’s talk about Amazon’s HQ2.

You remember that? The corporate welfare pageant where municipalities fell over themselves, checkbooks flailing in the breeze, trying to lure Amazon to places its corporate relocation team had already picked? Yeah, that.

The Metroplex was one of those entries, and we even made it past the first culling before being sent home roseless, our taxpayer checkbook tucked firmly between our legs. New York may have kicked them out, but Amazon continues to hire there, albeit fewer than the 25,000 expected from their half of HQ2. Amazon wanted a presence in New York regardless of the freebies.

On the other hand, Virginia, happy to accept the Amazon bouquet, has seen home prices surge by 17 percent while property owners hoping for more, have caused new listings to crater – one zip code near HQ2 saw an 85.3 percent decrease in new listings. This has essentially frozen the market and caused property tax bills to swell.  Everyone’s expecting that once hiring picks up with HQ2, the lid will be blown off valuations. The same thing is playing out in the rental market especially in areas with the lowest rents as REITs and investors move in.

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Photo courtesy Amazon

Amazon Prime Day began at midnight PST (actually, there have been deals all weekend, but the big ones are supposed to be over the next two days), and if you were thinking you might check out some of the deals and find some items to upgrade or spruce up the house, we’ve taken a gander for you.

We’re nice like that. It has nothing to do with the fact that we were also looking for the same thing. At all.

At any rate, if you’re not the type to sit and refresh for the deals that continually update all day (and let’s face it, none of us actually have the time, we just get sucked in and make the time), the first thing you can look at is the handy list that Amazon provided of all of their deals to be had. (more…)

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Photo courtesy Flickr

From staff reports

There was a time where shoppers may not have cared if Amazon was slightly more expensive than big-box retailers — the convenience outweighed any slight differences.

But now that the two biggest of the big boxes have upped their game when it comes to online shopping, LendEDU looked to see where the bigger savings really were: Amazon, Walmart, or Target?

“While Amazon has long been considered the most convenient option for buying practically anything online, Walmart and Target are getting competitive,” writes Ted McCarthy. “The latter two both offer free two-day shipping on orders of $35 and over without any membership required.”

Amazon offers free shipping (and several other amenities) with its Amazon Prime, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year.

LendEDU compared 50 nearly identical items from Amazon, Walmart, and Target to see what the pricing difference was. To qualify for the comparison, the items had to be available for shopping on all three sites. The comparison looked at home goods, food and beverage, kitchen/appliances, technology and entertainment, and miscellaneous items. (more…)

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(Photos courtesy Flickr)

As word got out that Amazon may pull out of its’ planned halfquarters in New York, every single city that had a shot is discussing the potential that the virtual big box store will eventually turn its sights to one of the jilted — Dallas included.

Let’s review: In November, after nearly a year of being courted by nearly every city in the country, Amazon flipped the script and decided to divide its second headquarters site between two cities – Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia.

But nearly immediately, many New Yorkers began voicing their resistance to the idea, saying they worried that Amazon would push up prices and rents in the neighborhood, and force existing residents out. They also criticized the incentives offered to the retail giant.

As resistance grew, The Washington Post reported Friday that Amazon was potentially thinking of walking back its plans for the New York site. (more…)

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (photo courtesy Flickr)

It started with 238 cities vying for one second headquarters for online retail giant Amazon, but if reports Monday night are correct, it’s now down to two cities that will split the headquarters — and neither city is Dallas.

Instead, the headquarters will be divided between Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia, the Wall Street Journal reported late Monday.

The $5 billion HQ2 will reportedly divide the projected 50,000 employees needed between two sites. Prognosticators with inside sources have reported for more than a week that Amazon would likely split the headquarters between the two cities. Crystal City is a suburb of Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City is in Queens, New York.

We’ll have more tomorrow, when the company is expected to officially announce its decision, including reaction from local leaders.

This morning, Bloomberg News is reporting that anonymous insiders are saying Amazon is close to finalizing its selection for its second headquarters (which are set to be officially announced by the end of the year). The winners of the pay-for-play beauty contest are reportedly Crystal City, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., and in the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island. Obviously, Amazon remains mum on the deal.

This latest news comes via three separate reports.  The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was splitting its “gift” in two. The New York Times who outed Long Island City as one of the “winners” while the Washington Post identified Crystal City. The splitting of this baby is seen as Amazon’s attempt to mitigate backlash from what many see as the problems Amazon will bring for a city’s existing residents – “a problem shared is a problem halved” and all that.

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Which cities are still in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters? Which cities were atop a list of most affordable places to relocate? Is Texas a job-creating, relocation friendly state?

We answer all this and more in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

DALLAS IN LATE STAGE TALKS WITH AMAZON

Dallas is among three cities still in the running for Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters, according to a Wall Street Journal story.

Dallas is one of 20 cities of more than 200 that made pitches to the retail giant and then made it through to another round. The WSJ story said that Amazon was talking to New York; Crystal City, Virginia; and Dallas.

The story also revealed that insiders are saying that Crystal City is the odds-on favorite. However, speculation regarding Dallas has increased since the sale of the former Dallas Morning News headquarters. (more…)