Amazon has recently partnered with the nation’s largest real estate broker, Realogy, to launch TurnKey, a new home buying program. The e-commerce giant is no stranger to disruptive technology and is now finally breaking into real estate. The strategic partnership has the potential to boost Amazon’s earnings in Home Services while helping Realogy to recover from a drop in stocks last year. While TurnKey is unlikely to completely disrupt housing, it does bring some tough competition to the Millennial market, and here’s how.
Millennials love convenience. It’s the reason that Amazon has grown from being a meager bookseller to a one-stop-shop, the driving factor behind the success of mixed-use developments, the reason why delivery companies like GrubHub and DoorDash have become so successful. Many consumers are already familiar with Amazon, and now TurnKey brings the home buying process to them. Answer a few questions and provide the platform with your information and within minutes a TurnKey representative will contact you and hand you over to a hand-selected agent from Realogy. If the buyer closes on a home through their TurnKey agent, they will receive two coupons, of varying value depending on the price of the home, for Amazon goods and services.
Millennials are a notoriously tech-savvy generation (followed closely by Gen Z), and housing trends have picked up on this. About 58% of Millennials found their homes on mobile devices, which has been changing the housing market as we know it. Real estate professionals realize how important it is to advertise and post listings online. Further, Millennial housing preferences include technology upgrades like smart home devices, which is a niche that Amazon has been steadily growing in recent years. By adding high-paying customers to Home Services, the partnership gives Amazon a competitive edge over Google Home and other services like Thumbtack. Realogy benefits from this partnership, as their exclusive leads with Amazon’s massive audience allows it to recuperate from losing leads and commissions from sites like Zillow.
TurnKey officially launched at the end of July 2019, and while it’s too early to see its impacts on real estate, Amazon and Realogy seem to be heading in the right direction in pursuit of the Millennial market. Will other tech giants like Facebook follow suit and try to enter the real estate industry? At this point, only time will tell.