Amazon is no stranger to disruptive technology, and now the e-commerce giant is extending its reach into real estate via a new home buying program called TurnKey. Turnkey doesn’t completely revolutionize the industry, but it does aim to make a few changes to the process. The program marks a new partnership with Realogy, a holding company for brands including Coldwell Banker and Century 21. What is TurnKey doing to housing, and what does it mean for millennials?
Eric Chesin, senior vice president and head of strategy at Realogy, mentions that TurnKey delivers more value to homebuyers beyond the closing process. To participate in the program, prospective buyers enter in some contact information through Amazon.com/TurnKey, and within minutes a representative will reach out to them. After the briefing, the representative connects the buyer with a hand-picked agent in their area, and from there the agent takes over. If the buyer ends up purchasing home through their TurnKey agent, Amazon will provide an assortment of benefits, depending on the home price. These perks can include smart home devices like the Echo Dot and Ring Doorbell and credits towards Amazon’s home services.
As Millennials begin to take over the housing market, TurnKey demonstrates a clever strategic move on Amazon’s part. The first reason for this is convenience. Amazon grew out of a bookselling platform into one where consumers can purchase anything imaginable and have it delivered right to their door. Since the customers are already familiar with Amazon, it helps to take some guesswork out of the process. The move-in benefits add to the convenience since customers can reap the rewards of the included home services like cleaning and furniture assembly without having to leave the company. The smart home devices are a plus and cater to the Millennial market, who tend to prefer tech upgrades in their homes.
Millennials are a tech-savvy generation, with as much as 58% of them finding their homes through their mobile devices. Real estate professionals are starting to see the importance of smartphones and mobile-friendly interfaces when it comes to marketing their listings, but TurnKey has a competitive edge for its convenience. Only four pieces of information are needed to register for TurnKey – name, phone number, email address, and city – and then the representatives and agents come to you.
Amazon and Realogy’s TurnKey launched in late July 2019 in fifteen cities, and while it’s still too early to see its impacts on real estate, so far it seems fitting for the growing Millennial market. At the very least, the concept seems promising.