Now, Amazon (AMZN) is making its foray into residential real estate. Last week, the Alexa Fund, which invests in companies harnessing voice technology, participated in a $6.7 million round of funding to back Plant Prefab, a Southern California-based smart home builder.
Amazon has already dipped a toe into the real estate referral business. Last summer, a “Hire a Realtor” page appeared on the site, which rattled Zillow’s (Z) stock, as referrals is the site’s core product offering. While the placeholder page has since been taken down, it’s undeniable that Amazon is scheming multiple angles to target the potential homebuyer.
At Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit last month, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff noted how Amazon was likely to disrupt the real estate industry — and that it’s just a matter of time.
“Eventually, yes [I’ll worry about Amazon]. I will observe that it’s one of the largest parts of the economy. It’s 15% of GDP that they’re not participating in. Historically, it’s had a lot of complexity and hasn’t been something they’ve wanted to do,” he said.
“But I just read last week that they’re going to sell Christmas trees. If you are the Christmas tree lot operator, you probably thought you were safe and this was the last part of commerce that Amazon would never touch, but now all of a sudden you’re probably going to have a pretty tough season this year,” he added.