Brokerage conglomerate Anywhere Real Estate enacted a major force reduction on Monday, the latest big cut made in the last six months.
In an 8K report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Anywhere said the layoff was “driven by worsening trends in the housing market.”
While the exact number of workers laid off wasn’t disclosed, Anywhere Real Estate said that company’s overall workforce has been reduced by 11% since June 30, 2022.
“These actions build on the multiple other cost reduction and spending reprioritization initiatives previously disclosed by the Company,” the firm said in the 8K.
Anywhere Real Estate also disclosed that it is winding down its cash offer iBuying program, RealSure, a joint venture with Home Partners of America.
In the 8K, Anywhere said the company will “continue to prioritize investments in efforts to support our independent sales agents, franchisees and consumers. This includes investments in technology and innovative products, lead generation and franchisee support.”
Anywhere did not file a labor law notice in New York or New Jersey, which suggests layoffs were under 50 people per state.
In a message to employees on Tuesday morning, CEO Ryan Schneider said Anywhere’s financial profile has improved in recent years.
The company “has a proven track record of succeeding through both good and tough times,” he said. “We have made substantial progress and are a stronger company today. But we cannot rest. We must continue to make proactive moves to ensure Anywhere can successfully navigate a more difficult current and upcoming housing environment.”
In the email, Schneider addressed the layoffs. “Yesterday we said goodbye to a number of our great people whose roles were eliminated. While these decisions are never easy, I want you to know our priority is to support our departing team members.” He said laid off employees will receive severance packages and outplacement career services. “I realize the difficulty these actions have on the affected individuals, and I do not take any decisions involving our people lightly. We are grateful for their contributions to Anywhere and the time we’ve had together as colleagues, and we are focused on helping their transition as best we can.”
Business was down significantly over the last year and executives forecast it to slow even further, the company’s SEC filing shows. In December 2022, Anywhere’s closed homesale sides overall dropped 41% compared to December 2021. The gap widened from October and November 2022, in which Anywhere’s closed homesale sides declined 26% and 35%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.
Most housing economists expect a depressed market in the winter and spring, with inventory levels expected to remain low and mortgage rates to remain elevated. Anywhere is among a group of larger brokerages that are battening down the hatches through cost reductions.
Charlotte Simonelli, the brokerage conglomerate’s CFO, said in October that Anywhere was on track to hit its yearly savings target of $140 million and will most likely surpass it, reaching $150 million. Of these cuts, Simonelli said $80 million will be permanent and others will be reevaluated in the coming year.
As part of its cost cutting efforts, Anywhere executives on the third quarter earnings call said the firm has been evaluating its agent commission split structure.
Anywhere has also been making changes to its C-Suite. Last month, Ryan Gorman was removed as CEO of Coldwell Banker. Sue Yannacone, Anywhere Brands president, will expand her role to oversee Coldwell Banker. Her purview already includes Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, CENTURY 21, Corcoran, ERA, and Sotheby’s International Realty.
Anywhere’s next earnings call is scheduled for February.