Digital house

Over the past few months, Amazon has hinted at expansion into real estate in various ways.

Last July, the online monolith quietly tested (and then removed) a feature that would connect a potential homebuyer or seller with a real estate agent.

And earlier this year, Amazon began exploring a move into mortgage lending. In fact, HousingWire’s Editor-in-Chief, Jacob Gaffney, reported in March that Amazon is looking to hire the head of a soon-to-be-announced mortgage division.

Well, consider Wednesday’s news another sign of Amazon’s encroachment into housing and real estate.

Amazon announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Lennar, the nation’s largest homebuilder, to launch what it calls “Amazon Experience Centers.”

The “Experience Centers” are basically showrooms for all of Amazon’s smart home products. But instead of Amazon opening up its own brick-and-mortar showrooms, it’s partnering with Lennar to trick out model homes with Amazon gadgets.

This is how Amazon explains it:

In these Alexa-enabled smart homes, customers can simply ask Alexa to control the television, lights, thermostat, shades, and more. The model homes showcase how customers can use Alexa in their everyday lives. Customers can experience just how easy it can be to reorder household essentials with a press of an Amazon Dash Button, listen or watch Prime content with Fire TV or schedule on-demand home services through Amazon Home Services.

Nish Lathia, the general manager of Amazon Services, explains that…