Side Carries Out New Round Of Layoffs Amid Slowing Market

The latest round of cuts comes after the company laid off 10 percent of its workforce in June. Side’s layoffs are among dozens of others in the housing industry this year.

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Amid a rapidly slowing housing market, real estate technology company Side has carried out a new round of layoffs.

The layoffs took place last week, though the company has not said how many people were impacted or from which departments the cuts were made. In a statement provided to Inman, the company said the layoffs were the “result of planned technology advancements that have increased our efficiency, as well as consideration of the broader macroeconomic climate.”

News of the job cuts was first reported by the Real Deal.

Despite the job cuts, Side’s statement said there was “virtually no impact to our product, engineering or agent growth teams.”

The latest round of layoffs follows earlier cuts in June when the company reduced its workforce by 10 percent. At the time, founder and CEO Guy Gal said demand for Side’s products was strong but that “the accelerated pace of our expansion and hiring brought complexities and challenges that slowed us down.”

Guy Gal

“We expanded the team faster than we could train, support and develop everyone to meet the demands of changing roles and processes,” Gal explained to employees in an email that Inman subsequently reviewed.

That June round of layoffs took place just over a year after Side’s then-recent funding round elevated it to unicorn status or in other words a valuation of $1 billion or more.

Side provides technology and back-office services for real estate brokers. The concept allows brokers to run companies with their own branding and identities, without the costs or logistical challenges of tackling those parts of the business on their own.

Gal founded the company in 2017, and it has since expanded rapidly. Most recently, in July, it pushed into six new states.

However, recent months have seen the housing market take a sharp left turn from the boom times of the last two years. Thanks to rising mortgage rates, home sales have slowed down significantly and experts are now predicting a dip in home prices next year.

The impact of this shift has been profound. Beginning months ago, layoffs started sweeping the industry first among mortgage companies hit by falling demand for loans and then spreading to brokerages. Companies that have dismissed employees include Better, Rocket Companies, Compass, Redfin, Realtor.com, Keller Williams and many others. In total, thousands of real estate professionals have lost their jobs this year.

In Side’s case, the company provided few details about how exactly the latest round of layoffs took place, or specifically, how much the slowing market weighed on the company’s decision. The company also didn’t say what benefits severed employees might receive.

However, during the June layoffs, the company provided severance and created flexibilities for laid off workers to take advantage of the company’s equity program. At the time, Gal described such moves as “highly unusual, but the right thing to do.”

Update: This post was updated after publication with context around Side’s previous layoff. 

Email Jim Dalrymple II



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