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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

Homie CEO departs as startup lays off more employees

Flat-fee brokerage struggling with market turmoil

By: TRD Staff

A photo illustration of Homie co-founder Johnny Hanna (Getty Images, Homie)

For the second time this year, flat-fee start-up brokerage Homie is laying off a swath of employees. This time, its chief executive is also departing from the role.

Homie co-founder Johnny Hanna announced his departure during a tech conference near Salt Lake City last week, Inman confirmed. The departure was first reported by Axios.

The former chief executive cited the “turmoil” that’s upended the market in recent years, including sky-high interest rates that, along with early signs of a recession, spell “an uphill battle” for the industry.

While Hanna will no longer serve as CEO, he will remain with the company as chairman of the board. Fellow co-founder Mike Peregrina has been elevated to CEO at the Utah-based company.

The change at the top comes as the company makes other changes to its workforce. Last week, the company let go of 40 employees. That’s roughly 13 percent of the team that remained after a round of layoffs in February, which resulted in 28 percent of the staff being axed.

Homie is one of many flat-fee brokerages attempting to disrupt the real estate market by eschewing traditional agent commissions and charging homeowners a flat fee — $1,500 — to list and sell homes. The company, founded in 2015, bet on low rates and high efficiency to create an easy and scalable experience.

Outside of Utah, the company also operates in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and Nevada.

During February’s round of layoffs, Homie cited inventory shortages as rationale behind the cuts. That was a month before the Federal Reserve began hiking interest rates, which has led to the soaring of mortgage rates, something Hanna reportedly pointed towards when speaking at the Silicon Slopes conference.

Homie employees impacted by the layoffs have plenty of people to commiserate with. The market’s shift from its pandemic frenzy has set off bloodbaths across the industry, with proptech startups, residential brokerages and mortgage firms enacting heavy cuts.

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