We’ve received emails from Realtor-members asking us if My Home Agent and Amazon Turnkey is the same program, and how to become a Turnkey Agent.
I tested how the system works and it’s very rudimentary at this point, which is to be expected. It just launched and a lot of kinks need to be ironed out. At this point, a potential buyer (or seller) would contact Amazon’s Turnkey program through Amazon.com.
From there, the prospect is routed to a third-party company that goes through scripted questions on behalf of Turnkey, Amazon and Realogy, and after a somewhat annoying exchange you’d be asked if the representative can connect you to a “Realtor that specializes in your area” and would you mind holding for about 5 minutes.
Here I tried two routes. The first was that I told the Turnkey rep that I needed to jump off the call quickly, and she tried to keep me on the call but I asked her to call me back, same time tomorrow. She was a little flustered, tried to convince to stay on and connect with a Turnkey Agent first, and then reschedule the conversation.
The next day, same time, a new representative called me and asked me all of the same questions from the day before. That was annoying. Then I was asked to stay on the call to connect with a Turnkey agent, and I agreed. After a few minutes, a Coldwell Banker agent in Los Angeles was on the line.
We talked for a few minutes and then scheduled a new call, between the two of us. During our next call, I answered some more questions about my real estate goals, then I turned the tables and asked about Turnkey and how a Realtor becomes a Turnkey agent.
He said that he was asked, a month earlier, to join the program by his sales manager at his office. He said he had 20+ years of real estate experience, and he’s got a great reputation in the office, so he made it seem like he was the obvious choice. I didn’t disagree or agree, because he seemed like a nice guy and was knowledge.
Couple issues already: The Turnkey program relies heavily on a third-party call center, that’s in India. That’s fine, but the repetitive questions and the feeling of being held hostage on the call, when all you want to do is speak to a Realtor is annoying and tedious.
Next issue: While Turnkey is a program between Amazon and Realogy, it was clear only a few agents were selected in the Los Angeles region, and those agents were only from Coldwell Banker. So if you were a homeowner expecting to have your pick of the best Realtors in LA, from across the Realogy brands, well then that’s not what you’re getting.
The Realtor you get: The representative told me she was connecting me with a Realtor that specialized in my area and needs, but I purposely told her I wanted to sell an apartment building in Echo Park 90026 and buy a home in Calabasas 91302.
Lack of knowledge… If you’re familiar with real estate, then you know these are totally different projects. And if you’re familiar with LA, then you know that these neighborhoods in LA County are nearly 1.5 hours away. One agent can’t service both of these requests, and so the Amazon Turnkey system doesn’t handle this nuance.
So… how do you become an Amazon Turnkey agent? You at this point need to be a hand-selected Realtor at one of the brokerages that Realogy has decided its piloting this program at. For example, one agent at Coldwell Banker for all of LA… obviously the program is just starting, so rather than trying to be a Turnkey Realtor on Amazon.com, it’s probably better to begin independently marketing on Amazon using their open systems or our service for Realtor Flash Briefings.