Thanks to the readers who sent in the news about Amazon and Realogy teaming up to provide a basket of goodies to customers who get their agent through their TurnKey system:

Real-estate brokerage giant Realogy Holdings Corp. launched a new partnership with Amazon.com Inc. on Tuesday, a fresh attempt at jump-starting the property firm’s flagging business and tumbling share price.

Under the new program, known as TurnKey, home buyers searching for an agent on Amazon.com will be directed to a Realogy agent in their market. These buyers get up to $5,000 of smart home devices and free home services from Amazon, from unpacking and cleaning to furniture assembly and smart home setup.

Realogy is hoping the power of the Amazon brand can energize its own amid a prolonged slide in its stock price. The company declined to comment on the agreement’s specific financial terms but said it is footing the bill for the home services from commissions earned from deals that the venture with Amazon is anticipated to generate.

There are many places that offer to provide a realtor for you:

Who pays for the service?

The agents do, and it can be a hefty referral fee – usually 25% to 40% of the commission.

However, you don’t get directed to the best agent in the area, oh no. You get directed to the best agent in the area who is willing to pay their fee.

We call this, “Buying The Business” and it’s what agents do who can’t earn the business otherwise.  Either agents can demonstrate their skill-level and abilities to consumers to earn their business, or for the agents who can’t, gimmicks or discounted commissions are used to ‘buy’ their business instead.

It’s just one more thing about the real-estate-selling business that isn’t disclosed to the public.

This gimmick is a way for Realogy to provide leads and keep more of their agent’s commission:

Will the public ever catch on to how the game is played?

The agents who are willing to pay for the leads either don’t have the skills, or can’t demonstrate them.

Going through Zillow isn’t much better. The big realtor teams get the best leads there, and pass them off to their new agents and then take a large chunk of their commission.

Bottom Line:  Agents all look the same, and the industry does nothing to help you differentiate.  You must do your own investigation to find out if your agent has the skills and ability to provide the help you need.

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Let’s say that the Amazon customers who prefer to just click a button for their every need in life plunges ahead without much care about the realtor they get – they just want their goodies.

What do they get?

The dedicated Amazon customer already owns a few of the goodies – most of the equipment listed above is into their 2nd or 3rd generation by now. Only the Ring Doorbell Pro and the Camelot Deadbolt are attached to the house. So if a buyer already owns the other gear, they can take it with them – and receiving duplicates of the Echo Spots, Shows, etc. isn’t much of a prize.

For the casual Amazon customers, do they even want/need the high-tech gear?

Because they aren’t handing you a check for $5,000 – instead, you get some household goodies that can all be bought separately for $100 to $400 each.

Or will click-a-button real estate be enough of a thrill/reward?

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Jim the Realtor

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