Realogy, Amazon Pause Partnership, Blaming COVID-19

May 8, 2020

Realogy announced Thursday that it was suspending its TurnKey program, a partnership venture with Amazon. During the company’s first-quarter earnings call, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing derailed the value of the program.

TurnKey matched Amazon visitors looking to purchase or sell a home with Realogy-affiliated real estate professionals. Real estate customers who entered the program and then closed on a transaction with that agent were then eligible for up to $5,000 in Amazon smart-home products or other in-home, Amazon-related services, like furniture assembly or other handyman services. But a value proposition built around “in-home services and in-home installation” did not seem to be in step with the current times, Schneider said during the call.

“We and Amazon had a decision point on the next phase in April,” Schneider told investors. “In a COVID world, bluntly, it didn’t make sense to continue that pilot.”

The TurnKey program had been available in 15 markets nationwide. But Schneider called this a “pause” to the program and not the end of the pilot. “We really like the TurnKey pilot program, but we ran into [the pandemic] that really just cut the core proposition kind of off at the pass,” he said.

Instead, Schneider announced on Thursday’s earning call a focus on other lead-generation opportunities for the real estate company, such as through AARP. Launching in the first quarter of 2020, the program allows AARP members to earn a cash-back reward or bonus when they buy or sell a home with a Realogy-affiliated agent. Schneider said transactions have been closing through the program in less than six weeks into it.