American property giant Zillow Group has confirmed that it has made as many as 80 employees of its iBuyer division redundant. The job losses are mainly among field staff with fewer losses among operational staff. In an email to Geekwire which broke the news stateside late yesterday, a Zillow spokesperson said that the redundancies while never easy would “put us in a strong position to continue investing in Zillow Offers for the long term by realigning our resources and staffing levels to best meet the evolving needs of our customers,”
Zillow’s iBuying service, known as Zillow Offers, has joined rivals Opendoor and Redfin in upping house buying activity again after a considerable slowdown in activity during Q2 and last month expanded operations to its 25th market. The segment, along with all other iBuying rivals, is currently loss-making but making gains towards the promised land of break-even with Q3’s earnings report expected to show improved numbers when released next week.
At a time when Opendoor is about to go public via a much-heralded SPAC deal, Zillow has been pushing the boundaries with regards to getting closer to housing transactions. Last month the company controversially announced that its iBuyer division would be hiring its own agents to deal with the sale of homes owned by Zillow. While this move was chalked up by the firm as merely having been guided by its ‘north star’ of improved user experience, realtors stateside have reacted with a mixture of resigned acceptance and outright anger.
It is unclear whether any of the newly announced Zillow iBuying agents are among the field staff being let go this week.