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Four months after the head of Better Real Estate called it quits, the battered online real estate company is changing the leader of its real estate division again.
In a statement to Inman, the company said it had parted ways with Chad Walker and announced his replacement as Nick Taylor, formerly of Modus and Zillow.
A shakeup of the conventional real estate arm of Better.com had been anticipated in recent months as the company continues to work through a market downturn, the abrupt disappearance of refinancing business due to a spike in mortgage rates and a continuous series of public relations blunders.
But the announcement also shows Better intends to continue its focus on Better Real Estate.
“Our Better Real Estate product has experienced significant demand. We’ve decided to invest in seasoned talent to take the firm to its next level of growth,” a Better spokeswoman said in a statement. “Nick Taylor joins us as our new Head of Real Estate with nearly 20 years of prop tech experience, including Zillow and Modus.”
“We parted ways with Chad Walker for performance that did not meet our standards,” the statement continues.
Taylor leaves the proptech company Modus after more than three years. His LinkedIn shows he worked at Zillow for nine years, finishing as its senior director of real estate sales and strategy.
Walker, who had served as director of real estate operations for Austin, Dallas and Seattle at Redfin before joining Better, didn’t respond to a request for comment on his departure.
Walker is open for work and ready to act as designated broker through his new company, Raven Agents & Real Estate Services, in Seattle, he confirmed in a LinkedIn post.
“Here’s to the first day of the next chapter and all good things that come back around when you put positive things out in the universe,” he wrote.
Walker had been at the company just over a year in total. He took over as head of Better Real Estate after Christian Wallace left in February.
Wallace was part of an earlier wave of team leaders that was clearing out in droves.
Employees cited the leadership style of CEO Vishal Garg as a primary reason for their quitting, and indeed the company acknowledged after a company review, Better had fostered a culture problem.
Walker’s departure follows three other executives to recently leave, according to TechCrunch.
“Those three executives are: Jillian White, general manager of Better’s affiliate businesses known as Better+, which consists of its title/settlement, insurance and home inspection departments; Megan Bellingham, who was senior vice president of sales and operations and John Moffatt, who served as vice president of sales,” the outlet reported.
Earlier this month, one of the departed vice presidents, Sarah Pierce, filed a whistleblower lawsuit accusing Garg and other company executives of lying to investors and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about Better’s performance.
She alleged Garg believed last year that President Joe Biden would become infected with COVID-19 and die, somehow sending mortgage rates retreating from an anticipated spike. The foretold death and rate retreat never came and mortgage and refinance applications have plummeted in 2022.
As it shed nearly 60 percent of its staff from its peak of around 10,000 employees late last year, one source said they expected the company to shake up Better Real Estate.
When it unveiled its brokerage last year, Better said it aspired to be a player in all 50 states by the end of 2022.
California, Texas, Florida and Washington make up nearly half of its funded loan volume for Better Real Estate, according to recent SEC filings.
The company maintains it is on track to go public, despite the shakeups within the company and the broader real estate market.
Update: This post was updated with comment from Better and announcing the new head of Better Real Estate.