ZipRealty trims one-quarter of agents

Q4 revenue down 20% before downsizing

ZipRealty has shed about 900 agents this year as it closes down operations in some markets and moves agents in all remaining markets to independent contractor status, the company said in reporting a $4 million fourth quarter loss.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based brokerage said it had about 2,500 agents at the end of February, working in 23 markets in 18 states and Washington, D.C.

That’s down more than 26 percent from the 3,403 agents ZipRealty engaged at the end of December, the company said.

The company announced in January that it was closing offices in 11 markets that accounted for about 13 percent of the company’s revenue in 2010. The move will reduce annual operating costs by more than $20 million, the company said Tuesday.