If you are an multi-national business, and want to test out a new idea without spending too much money, then temporarily adding a new section to your webpage and watching reporter, blogger and industry reaction is as good a way as any. 

That's what Amazon has done this week; dropping a "Hire a Realtor" section onto their US website, before removing it later once the fervour and rumour mill  had kicked in.

The reaction from the market has been mixed. 

Zillow (think Rightmove but American), has seen its share price take a dip, which suggests some investors are taking the move seriously. But, others have questioned whether Amazon has the technical and commercial expertise to really make a big impact on the market; competing against more specialist online agents. 

With Amazon's recent expansions including the imminent purchase of Whole Foods for nearly $14Bn, it's clear the business is looking to diversify. 

The attractiveness of a PropTech business such as an online agency could be seen as a next step for Amazon. Integrating with Amazon's wider offers, particularly Alexa, could give the business an edge in an established market place.