Real estate franchise giant Keller Williams has implemented another round of layoffs at its lending arm, Keller Mortgage, which scaled up rapidly last year before laying off 150 recent recruits in October.
The scale of the latest round of layoffs is unclear, but more than a dozen Keller Mortgage employees posted notices on LinkedIn Tuesday that they’d been laid off, with some describing the latest round of job cuts as “big,” “massive” and “huge.”
A spokesman for Austin, Texas-based Keller Williams confirmed that, “In light of current market conditions, we have restructured the operations and support groups within our Keller Mortgage business,” but declined to provide details about exactly how many people were let go.
“We remain committed to assisting our impacted employees and to growing our mortgage offerings over the long term,” Darryl Frost, Keller Williams’ director of public relations and media relations, said in an email to Inman.
Even as it lays workers off, Keller Mortgage is advertising a number of openings for loan officers to work remotely from anywhere in the U.S.
“We’re committed to our long-term growth and so we’re currently expanding our sales team nationally,” Frost said of those openings.
A number of mortgage lenders have downsized in recent months to adjust to lower refinancing volume, including Better, Pennymac, Guaranteed Rate, Keller Mortgage, Mr. Cooper and Wells Fargo. The nation’s largest mortgage lender, Rocket, expects buyout offers it has made to 2,000 employees will save $180 million a year, while LoanDepot said it does not expect to turn a profit this year and will lay off workers and suspend its quarterly dividend.
But purchase mortgages make up most of Keller Mortgage’s business, and the company nearly doubled its payroll to 1,000 employees last year, anticipating growth in purchase mortgage lending that may not have materialized.
In reporting first quarter results, KW said its agents closed $108.4 billion in sales, up 10.5 percent from a year ago, but that transactions were down 5.2 percent, to 258,400.
Although KW did not provide any details about Keller Mortgage in its earnings report, a key metric would be the “attach rate” for mortgages — how often Keller Mortgage provides financing when KW agents represent buyers.