Amazon and Realogy join forces to win over home buyers in metro Denver

Retail giant Amazon and the nation’s largest real estate brokerage group, Realogy, are partnering to win over homebuyers in metro Denver and 14 other large cities by providing them with up to $5,000 in products and services.

Under a new program called Turnkey, Amazon connects consumers filling out a form on its website with vetted agents working under one of the Realogy brands. Those include Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby’s International Realty, and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, among others.

After buyers close a sale, they receive an Amazon credit ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the purchase price of the home. The rebate includes smart-home products from Amazon, like the Ring Doorbell II, along with $450 to $1,000 to use with Amazon Home Services.

Amazon Turnkey screenshot

Turnkey is designed to help buyers with the steps that come next after a sale closes, said Eric Chesin, a senior vice president with Realogy.

“The closing is just the beginning of a way longer journey of making your house a home,” he said. “That isn’t where the endpoint should be.”

Consumers who contact Turnkey are called within minutes and screened to understand where they are in their search for a home. If they are serious buyers, they are quickly connected to an agent in their market on the same call and a face-to-face meeting is scheduled.

“From the time you type in the answers to those four questions, it’s a matter of minutes to connect you with an agent,” Chesin said.

The way people buy and sell homes is undergoing some dramatic shifts. More firms are discounting commissions, which can run between 5 percent and 6 percent. And the whole iBuyer trend where firms make instant offers to sellers has taken off.

Last October, Opendoor and Zillow Offers, entered the Denver market, buying homes directly from sellers and handling the grunt work of repairs, showings and haggling with buyers.

Turnkey works in the other direction, giving buyers a portion of the commission to help them move into a home and equip it with smart home technology. The typical buy-side commission in metro Denver is 2.8 percent, which on a $700,000 home works out to $19,600.

“That’s a smart move for both Amazon and Realogy,” said Jim Smith, a Golden real estate agent who provides free moving services within metro Denver to buyers and sellers. “Amazon probably will get more awareness of their offer than we do of ours.”

For Amazon, the program offers a way to move more of its smart-home technology and to introduce more consumers to its home services business. For Realogy, Turnkey taps Amazon’s deep market reach to provide leads on serious buyers.

Denver-based ANGI Homeservices, the largest provider of home contractor services in the country, is one of the firms watching Turnkey closely.

“The most interesting question here is can Amazon sell real estate,” said CEO Brandon Ridenour. “Whether it is a success or not, we don’t see it as having an impact on our business.”

But if Turnkey is successful, others will likely follow, similar to what happened with iBuyers on the home-seller side. Expect ANGI Homeservices, which has 250,000 contractors operating in 400 U.S. markets, to be a player in any next wave.

“We do have some partnership in that space. We are open to continuing to explore more partnerships,” Ridenour said.

Previous Hyatt bringing upscale hotel brand to Colorado for first time on Denver’s 16th Street Mall
Next TriZetto headquarters sells to New York group for $61.25M