Citing ‘changing real estate market,’ Utah-based Homie lays off one-third of its staff

Utah-based proptech Homie has laid off one-third of its staff, according to reports.

Hunter Richardson, former director of talent advisory and acquisition at Homie, posted on LinkedIn that he was among the one-third affected but declined to comment on his being let go.

Homie was founded in 2015, and according to its CEO and co-founder Johnny Hanna’s LinkedIn page, it most recently employed “over 270 people.” The company’s page on LinkedIn shows 311 employees. PitchBook indicates 315 employees as of 2021. Doing the math – if one-third of the staff was let go, that could be anywhere from 90 to 105 affected people.

Homie was one of the many proptechs that started out as an online brokerage aimed at helping home buyers and sellers navigate the purchase and selling process. It became known for cutting out traditional closing costs, 6% real estate commissions and the arduous paperwork associated with traditional home sales. Over time, in an effort to be a one-stop shop, Homie expanded into providing home loan, insurance and title services.

On its LinkedIn page, the company said:

Today, we made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our company based on the impacts of the changing real estate market. It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make. Each and every one of these talented individuals are not just our co-workers; they are our friends. Those affected are some of the most skilled, committed, and incredible professionals and people. Their contributions have shaped Homie’s culture and products and made it possible for us to help thousands of customers across multiple markets. We are doing all we can to support each and every homie while they transition to the next chapter of their careers.

This reduction will not impact our ability to serve our clients in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho. Limited housing inventory has also created a challenging real estate market for home buyers; driving up prices and making home ownership less and less accessible. We are now refocusing on helping solve this problem by making buying a home possible for more people. Those leaving today have helped to build the products to make this a reality. They will be greatly missed.

In March 2021, Deseret News reported that Homie was looking to hire 1,000 “new buy-side real estate agents across all of its markets” by year’s end. At that time, it operated in five states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah.

According to Crunchbase, Homie has raised a total of $35.1 million in venture capital since its inception. In February of 2020, TechCrunch reported that it had raised $23 million in a Series B round of funding after seeing 150% growth the year before. Its press release on the subject included no mention of participating investors.

The company is another example of how hard the real estate tech startup community has been hit by the recent changes in the industry landscape. When interest rates were at historic lows, business was booming and there was hiring left and right. But now that interest rates are higher and refinancings have slowed down and inventory shortages abound, companies in the space are clearly taking a hit

At the time of writing, Homie had not responded to our requests for comment. This is a developing story.

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