Amazon, the eCommerce giant, is gearing up to add the option to hire real estate agents via its professional services marketplace.
According to a report, Amazon has announced news that a placeholder website shows the option to hire a realtor, in effect becoming a direct competitor with Zillow. The report noted the page is in Amazon’s Home and Business Services section and speculated the company will likely offer the service in exchange for real estate referral fees from agents or firms similar to how it works with other professionals.
Amazon declined to comment on the report, but an unnamed source said a person looking for help to integrate local real estate agents with the professional service marketplace approached the company. The source said agents would have to pay an upfront fee to get leads in addition to real estate referral fees.
Given the Home and Business Services section also includes the ability for consumers to leave reviews, there’s expectations that Amazon could become a place to read reviews on local real estate agents as well.
“This could be an interesting ad angle,” said Sam DeBord, a broker at Seattle-area brokerage Coldwell Banker Danforth in the report. “So many review platforms, so little time.” DeBord said he filled out an application on the Home and Business Services section and received a response that stated: “… your selected profession is a new profession and there are no services on Amazon to list your estimates against. We’re considering your services and we will notify you if these become available.”
Amazon has been pushing into the housing market in a bigger way recently. Just this week, Recode reported news that the eCommerce giant is taking on Best Buy in the home installation and service market, where Geek Squad has dominated by quietly rolling out its own service unit. Recode, citing multiple sources and job postings, reported that during the last few months, Amazon has been hiring a gaggle of gadget experts who will offer free consultations for Alexa, its voice-activated virtual assistant, and will also install products for a fee inside consumers’ homes.
The services, which Recode reports are currently available in seven markets, are aimed at helping customers put together a smart home in which everything from the heating to the lighting is controlled via a mobile app or, increasingly, a voice command.
The price for the installation of an Alexa-enabled smart thermostat is $99, and multi-device installations that take longer than an hour could cost more, reported Recode. Customers in the cities that offer the homeownership service can arrange the installation during checkout, making it easier to book the services.