Amazon is famously tempting for consumers. You can tap on your phone to order apples from Whole Foods or a novel for your Kindle, or you can ask Alexa to ship you a new blanket. Now Amazon has teamed with Realogy, the parent company of real estate brokerages such as Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s International Realty, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21 and ERA, to make it easier for consumers to find a real estate agent.
Home buyers who want to use the new TurnKey program can visit Amazon and answer three or four questions to be connected to a local real estate agent from one of Realogy’s companies. If the consumers complete the transaction with that agent, they get a credit with Amazon to use for smart home products for their new home or for home services such as professional cleaning or help putting together new furniture or setting up electronics. (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
“Home buyers have always approached buying a home in two separate parts,” says Eric Chesin, a senior vice president with Realogy. “They work with an agent to find, buy and close on their house. Then as soon as they move in, they need to start settling into the house and turning it into their home. This service combines those two services.”
The agents, says Chesin, are vetted for providing good customer service.
There’s no cost to a consumer for going though Amazon. The reward depends on the price of the home they purchase and ranges from $1,000 for a home priced between $150,000 and $400,000; $2,500 for a home priced between $400,000 and $700,000; to $5,000 for a home priced at $700,000 or above.
For now, the TurnKey program is available in 15 markets, which Chesin says represent about 20 percent of all homes sold in the United States. The markets are Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and the District of Columbia.