The Real Deal New York

Corcoran ups referral game with Amazon shopping list

Brokerage to earn revenue from purchases
By E.B. Solomont | September 14, 2018 02:00PM

From left: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a screengrab of the Corcoran affiliate page on Amazon, and Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman (Credit: Getty Images and Amazon)

Q: What do a leather pouf, UGG slippers and crystal decanter have in common?

A: They were all hand-picked by the Corcoran Group to appear on the firm’s new Amazon page.

Thanks to a new partnership with the e-commerce colossus, the New York brokerage is earning a small commission on the purchase of goods it recommends to customers, the firm said.”It’s a curated collection of products,” said Christina Panos, Corcoran’s chief marketing officer, who said Amazon reached out a few months ago to float the idea.

For years, Amazon has worked with affiliates to drive traffic to its website in exchange for a small percentage of sales.

In Corcoran’s case, the firm’s digital team and a “braintrust” of experienced agents put together the wish-list of items, which include things like a Nespresso coffee maker ($139) and wool throw ($79.99) and drawer organizer ($13.87). They’re also grouped in several categories, including fall favorites, smart home, entertaining favorites, new home essentials and beach home picks.

“We’re testing it out to see what works, to be honest with you,” said Panos, who declined to say how much Corcoran will earn off the referrals. “It’s less of a money-making endeavor right now and more just trying to expand the services we offer our clients that go beyond the closing of the home.”

Given that brokerage is a relationship business, Corcoran is not alone in wanting to tap into the vast “referral economy” surrounding home buying.

Earlier this year, Compass CEO Robert Reffkin said he envisions a time when brokerage commissions make up a small part of an agent’s earnings. In addition to sales commissions, he said they would get paid for referring clients to lawyers, interior designers and others. “You’re answering them today,” he said, referring to clients’ questions. “You’re just not getting paid for it.”

Recently, some developers have dabbled in referrals by enlisting social media “influencers” to promote their properties. Brooklyn-based Two Trees Management, for example, hired Tavi Gevinson to live in and promote 300 Ashland, a 379-unit building near the Brooklyn Academy of Music.