Realtor.com has laid off a sales team that had been working in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will now consolidate its sales efforts in an existing California office.
In response to Inman’s inquiries about layoffs, realtor.com parent company Move Inc. said in a statement that it “announced some important organizational moves to strengthen our competitive position by more tightly integrating our world-class search experience with the high-touch, tech-enabled referral program we acquired last year.”
A source with knowledge of the situation later confirmed that the “organizational moves” include laying off the entire sales team that was based in Scottsdale. The source did not say how many people were affected by the layoffs, but described the Scottsdale team as “small.”
The team in Scottsdale had been working on realtor.com’s lead generation and marketing products, which are geared toward real estate agents. Now, all those sales efforts at realtor.com will be consolidated into an office in Westlake Village, California, about 37 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Rumors of the layoffs began circulating Wednesday morning and included some speculation that they might have something to do with Move’s acquisition last year of Opcity. Move paid $210 million for the lead generation company.
More recently, realtor.com has run tests in which it replaces its own lead generation services with those of Opcity — a move that angered some existing customers. An expansion or wider rollout of that test program, then, could theoretically have led to staffing changes among realtor.com’s own lead generation sales teams.
However, the source told Inman that Wednesday’s layoffs were not directly connected to realtor.com’s efforts with Opcity. Rather, realtor.com was ultimately unable to replicate the level of success in Scottsdale that it has seen at its Westlake Village office.
However, Wednesday layoffs at aside, Opcity is clearly poised to continue playing an important and growing role at realtor.com; during an earnings call earlier this month Robert Thomson, CEO of Move parent company News Corp., said that he was “confident” in the importance of Opcity, which also “provides a new outlet to sustain revenue growth.” Thomson also said that Move will continue to roll out the new Opcity-based lead program to new markets.
In its statement to Inman Wednesday regarding the layoffs, Move also ultimately played up its recent growth, saying that it is “important to keep in mind that Move/realtor.com has more than doubled both audience and revenue over the past four-plus years.”
“Digital real estate is a strong and growing industry,” the statement concluded, “in which we can play an increasingly larger role by connecting people in real time with the information and guidance they need to search, find and buy a home.”