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Even as its business model is under attack by regulators and lawmakers afraid that its ubiquity and ecosystem-driven business model has created a company that quashes legitimate competition, Amazon said yesterday that it is moving into the business of selling people’s homes.

Sort of.

The arrangement has Amazon creating a partnership with Realogy, described as “the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company and owner of Century 21, Coldwell Banker and other realtor brands.”

Together, the two businesses are creating TurnKey, an Amazon-associated site that will pose questions to users and then provide that information to the appropriate real estate agent, who will call the buyers to follow up.

Amazon is providing an incentive to potential homeowners: when they close on a house identified by TurnKey, they will get $5,000 in home services and smart-home technology.

Here’s the Times analysis:

“Amazon is now as much a search engine as it is a store, and the deal fits into the company’s effort to capitalize on its status as an online destination by making money on advertising and other services. It’s also a way to encourage people to adopt products like Alexa speakers and Ring doorbells and to promote its list of handymen, furniture assemblers and other home services … More than half of all product searches in the United States start directly on Amazon, according to the marketing analytics firm Jumpshot, and Amazon has increasingly been using customers’ searches to stimulate the sale of services that the company does not directly offer now.”

As for Realogy, which will “pay for those benefits, the partnership is a way of using Amazon to find home buyers and help its brokers separate the closers from the lookie-loos by rebating a portion of its commission, in the form of free Amazon stuff, to anyone who actually buys a house.”
KC's View:
Let me get this straight. Amazon is going to have a direct pipeline for its home security technologies - which, among other things, allow Amazon to make deliveries in a more secure fashion and more efficiently replenish items that they sell to people who are buying homes - to people who are buying homes, and it doesn’t even have to pony up the five grand worth of product?

You just have to admire the ways in which Amazon continues to build out its ecosystem. Unless, of course, you happen to be a government regulator and/or lawyer.