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Despite a shifting market and a round of recent layoffs, real estate tech startup Side has expanded into six new states — including New York where the company teamed up with a top-producing duo that just left Douglas Elliman, Side announced this week.
The newly announced expansions specifically include partnerships with Arizona’s Collective Real Estate, Boston’s Signal Real Estate, Private Real Estate Collection in Ohio and Kentucky, Three Real Estate in South Carolina and OFFICIAL, a newly-launched New York-based company from brothers Tal and Oren Alexander.
The Alexander brothers previously led a top-producing Douglas Elliman team who worked with celebrities, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. According to a statement Thursday, they’ve also done more than $7 billion in sales over the course of their careers, with $1.8 billion coming in last year alone.
“It is incredibly exciting that Tal and Oren Alexander finally own the massively successful business they have been building over their decade-long careers,” founder and CEO of Side Guy Gal said in a statement.
“We are honored that they have chosen Side to support the ongoing growth of their new company, OFFICIAL,” he added. “I am looking forward to seeing OFFICIAL become a one-of-a-kind top national real estate company in the coming years.”
In addition to New York, Side’s new states include Arizona, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio and Kentucky. Altogether the expansions mean Side now operates in a total of 16 states including its three original markets of California, Texas and Florida. The expansions took place throughout June but were just announced Thursday.
Gal founded Side in 2017, which operates by providing branding, marketing and back-end support for independent brokerages and teams, allowing them to operate their own businesses without getting stuck in administrative and logistical quagmires. Brokers using side have their own brands and identities, while Side offers support behind the scenes.
The company has seen rapid growth and after a fundraising round last year achieved “unicorn” status, or in other words, was valued at more than $1 billion.
However, at the beginning of last month Side revealed that it was laying off about 10 percent of its workforce. The company said at the time that it had expanded faster than it was able to train new hires. Gal also noted in an email to employees that “while demand for what we do continues to grow and our 2022 growth forecast is strong,” Side had to prepare for the short-term impacts of a shifting and more volatile economy.
The layoffs have been part of a broader trend in real estate that has seen thousands of industry members lose their jobs. Thanks to rising mortgage rates, much of the carnage was initially focused in the lending space, though more recently brokerages and technology firms have also shed jobs.
Despite the layoffs, Side has continued to expand its reach and said in a statement that it plans to be in 18 markets by the end of the year.