While they’re not yet directly involved in the mortgage industry, Amazon has now dipped its toes in the real estate pool via a new home buying program known as TurnKey.
What is TurnKey you ask? Well, it’s essentially a link-up between Realogy, a consortium of real estate brokerages, and Amazon, the largest retailer on the planet.
Together, they want to pair you with a top real estate in your area and then help furnish your house with all the latest gadgetry.
Read on to learn more about this new initiative, and more importantly, if it’s a good deal for the consumer.
What Is Amazon TurnKey?
- A new partnership between mega retailer Amazon and Realogy
- Amazon will refer home buyers to Realogy’s real estate agents
- And these home buyers will get free stuff from Amazon
- Realogy will pay for it in exchange for the new business earned
In short, TurnKey is a real estate referral program that seems to be targeting first-time home buyers, and more specifically Millennials.
Instead of asking your parents, colleagues, or friends who they used when they purchased a home, you turn to, well, TurnKey, to pair you up with an agent.
They claim their service “seamlessly connects homebuyers to one of the best real estate agents within their city or neighborhood,” who are part of the expansive Realogy family of brands.
That includes agents from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, ERA, and Sotheby’s International Realty, to name just a few.
So instead of turning to Zillow or Redfin for help, or enlisting the real estate agent who advertises on the park bench (or grocery store cart) near you, you use Amazon.
Makes sense, right? They’re involved when you buy just about everything else, so why not your real estate purchase as well?
Now you might be wondering what’s in it for you?
Why use Amazon TurnKey if you can use a real estate agent you know and trust, or a personal referral that comes highly recommended?
Well, Amazon is sweetening the deal by providing a bunch of free stuff if you use their new service.
What Is Amazon Giving Away?
- The value of TurnKey depends on the home’s purchase price
- You can receive up to $5,000 in free stuff from Amazon
- Including a credit to pay for Amazon Home Services
- And complimentary smart home appliances like Echo Dot and Ring Doorbell
Depending on the purchase price, you’ll be given a credit that can be used toward a variety of different services, along with a so-called “curated suite of smart home products,” which are installed directly by Amazon or via Amazon-vetted professionals.
For example, if you use Amazon TurnKey to get matched up with an agent, and eventually purchase a $500,000 home, you’ll get $2,500 in free swag.
That includes a $1,000 credit that can be used to pay for things like unpacking, deep cleaning, furniture assembly, and handyman services via Amazon Home Services.
Additionally, you’ll get a variety of Amazon Smart Home products, such as Echo Spots and Echo Show, along with a Ring Doorbell, Sonos Beam, and eero WiFi.
In other words, you’re going to be totally dialed into the future, and really impress your friends and new neighbors.
Lastly, you get an Amazon Move coupon for 10% off a maximum $200 purchase on eligible products shipped and sold by Amazon.
Basically $20 off, nothing too exciting and definitely not their best ever offer in that department.
These are all provided courtesy of Realogy, in exchange for the business Amazon is drumming up for them.
Is Amazon TurnKey a Good Deal?
- If you don’t already have a real estate agent
- Amazon TurnKey could save you some money
- Assuming you get paired with a good agent who negotiates well and provides a rebate
- Because you’ll get all that free stuff from Amazon on top of it
This new partnership, while newsworthy because it involves Amazon, is pretty basic.
Realogy is paying Amazon for its own products (like Echo Spot and Echo Show) and its Amazon Home Services.
It’s a great deal for Amazon because they’re getting paid, albeit probably a discounted price, for all the products they’d normally sell directly to consumers, without having to convince them to buy them.
And some of those products can generate even more money for Amazon over time.
In exchange, Realogy gets new business for its legion of real estate agents via a referral program, which means lots of nice commissions for all the transactions that close.
Home buyers also “win” because they get free stuff from Amazon that can help with a new move.
Of course, if you consider the value of the free stuff, it might pale in comparison to what home buyers could receive if they used a discount real estate broker.
Or, a real estate agent could just offer a rebate to cover some closing costs that could equal or surpass the value of the items offered by Amazon TurnKey.
I suppose someone could try to get the best of both worlds if they don’t already have a real estate agent in mind. One referred via TurnKey that also offered a credit for closing costs.
For the record, the fact that Amazon is merely partnering with a real estate company to sell more stuff at the retail level makes me doubt the idea of Amazon as a mortgage lender even more.
But that’s not to say they can’t or won’t partner with a mortgage company in the future.
They actually already have a mortgage deal in place for Amazon employees, which could be extended to consumers at some point if they decide it’s worthwhile to do so.