Property data and analytics firm Remine laid off dozens of staff members Friday as part of a “strategic decision to double down” on its MLS business.
Remine CEO Leo Pareja announced the layoffs in a LinkedIn post, saying that the company was terminating the employment of 42 members of the sales team. Pareja described the layoffs as “the most painful day at Remine since the idea first popped into our heads.”
“These positions were focused on the ‘up sell’ of our agent product, and that is no longer reflective of our company’s overall strategy to serve as a partner of the MLS,” Pareja added of the terminated jobs. “Even though they no longer have a home at Remine, the people who worked in these sales roles did everything right.”
The company also announced that it was restructuring its leadership, with Pareja transitioning from CEO to president and chief financial officer Mark Schacknies taking over as chief executive.
In a conversation with Inman Friday, Schacknies said that the layoffs stemmed from Remine’s decision to focus on selling services to entire multiple listing services (MLSs), rather than trying to “up sell” individual agents.
“The internal decision was to kind of go deeper into the MLS world,” Schacknies said.
Though the agent-focused model won’t go away entirely, it is being deemphasized.
“It’s not completely done,” Schacknies added. “But I would say that we’ve taken the gas pedal off.”
According to Schacknies, Remine employed about 180 people prior to Friday, including roughly 60 on the sales team. The layoffs affected about two thirds of that team.
The layoffs come about a month after the company announced that it had raised $30 million in a series A funding round. Remine said at the time that it would use the funding to roll out an “MLS 2.0” platform later this year. The product will put the company more directly in competition with industry heavyweights CoreLogic and Black Knight.
On Friday, Schacknies pointed to the recent funding and said that the layoffs were not due to financial struggles but rather the result of the company’s shifting business model. He also said Remine is still hiring engineers and staffers in other departments.
Under the new strategy, entire MLSs will be able to subscribe to a “premium tier” that gives all their agents access to Remine’s entire suite of services. Those services include property searches, chat and collaboration tools and a scoring system that predicts the likelihood that someone will sell, among other things.
“You pretty much have complete and total access to the platform and that extends all the way to your mobile application,” Schacknies said of Remine’s top tier subscription offering.
According to Schacknies, the decision to pivot away from selling those services individually to agents came after MLS representatives asked Remine about broader, more comprehensive options.
“They started to ask the question, ‘could we upgrade on behalf of all agents?” he added.
Schacknies said that Remine currently has more than 40 contracts with MLSs, meaning that it serves more than 800,000 agents. And the number of individual agents paying for Remine services was in the “mid 10,000 range,” he added.
All of the laid off employees worked in Remine’s Virginia offices and will get severance based on their tenure at the company.
Schacknies said that overall, Remine’s change in strategy was a good business decision that nevertheless required a “very tough day” as “friends” and “rock stars” left the company.
Pareja echoed that sentiment in his statement Friday.
“I truly wish that no CEO must go through this,” he said, “it is the worst feeling to know that your decisions affect other people’s lives and families.”
This post was updated after publication with additional information and context.