Imagine finding out that you’re being laid off via Zoom. Sadly, this is the reality for one group of employees.
The company, Better.com, offers customers a one-click solution to the entire home-buying process including scouting an agency, securing a mortgage and even helping them to shop for insurance. Despite making the lives of its customers easier, some of its former employees might note that their experience has been the complete opposite.
Why are they laying off employees?
The decision to lay off the first group of employees came as Better realized that the initial low-interest rates during the peak of the pandemic have shifted now that the residential real estate market has seen a decrease in the number of people purchasing homes due to steadily rising interest rates.
Per, the company’s interim CEO Kevin Ryan, who stepped up after founder Vishal Garg made headlines as the boss who laid off nearly one thousand people virtually, the move to lay off an additional 3,000 people is a result of a necessity for the company to “take the difficult step of streamlining [its] operations further and reducing [its] workforce in both the U.S. and India in a substantial way.”
While the second string of layoffs was not conducted via Zoom, the move was detailed in a letter (except some employees saw their severance pay appear in their accounts prior to any notification that they had been laid off).
After experiencing the effects of a housing market with record low-interest rates, Better went back to the drawing board and decided to quadruple its staff. However, with an economy that is steadily changing, those interest rates would not stay low forever. Now, nearly a third of the Better staff is now without jobs.
“We have huge opportunities ahead to grow and to serve, but we must adjust to volatility in the interest rate environment and refinancing market to get there successfully” read Ryan’s letter. “The decision is driven heavily by the headwinds affecting the residential real estate market; it is in no way a reflection on the personal performance of any departing team members, all of whom have contributed to Better’s success. While it does not make this any easier other companies across the mortgage industry (both old and new) have had to make similar decisions over the last 2 months.”
Employees will be eligible for a payout of a minimum of 60 working days (with 80 days being the max) in severance pay.