Real estate brokerage Realogy said last week it’s suspending its TurnKey program that was launched in partnership with Amazon.com and matches visitors looking to buy a home with a Realogy-affiliated agent.
In a conference call with analysts following its first quarter financial results, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider said the COVID-19 pandemic and new social distancing protocols mean that the value of the program has been diminished.
The program provided some big benefits for buyers, as those who closed on a transaction were eligible for up to $5,000 worth of Amazon smart home products and other, related services such as furniture assembly and handyman services.
But a value proposition that’s based on in-home services and installations is not in step with the current times, Schneider said.
“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 program had been available in 15 U.S. real estate markets, but is now being paused temporarily, Schneider said. But that doesn’t mean that TurnKey won’t start up again once conditions permit, the CEO said.
“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.
Now, Schneider said Realogy is focused on newer lead-generation opportunities such as its AARP program, which enables AARP members to earn cash-back rewards or bonuses when they buy or sell a home through a Realogy agent. According to Schneider, the company has already closed on multiple transactions through the program, despite it only being up and running for six weeks.