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Real estate marketing software company Luxury Presence has laid off 44 employees, or 7 percent of its workforce, the company told Inman today.
Luxury Presence Founder and CEO Malte Kramer shared with Inman a letter he sent to the company and published on its blog. Those being let go were informed last week, a moment he called “his lowest point.”
“I take full responsibility for this outcome, and I am sincerely sorry to our impacted colleagues and each of you, as I fully appreciate how hard it is to suddenly lose colleagues and friends. We are committed to doing what we can to help those who were laid off, including providing severance,” the letter reads.
Kramer told the company it moved quickly to seize on the real estate market’s recent momentum by hiring quickly and capitalizing on available capital. Luxury Presence grew by six times since 2020.
“In Q2 and Q3 of 2022, while mortgage rates skyrocketed and revenues declined for most companies in our industry, we saw almost no signs of a slowdown in our business. August and September were record months for Luxury Presence. Despite the positive signals, we recalibrated our hiring and approved only critical roles,” he wrote. “The economic environment has progressively worsened over the last few months, and the real estate market has further slowed.”
The company has been a formidable player in the website development space, providing custom, high-end web marketing solutions for notable top-producing agents and boutique brokerages. Some of its clients include power agents Ryan Serhant and Jade Mills, coach Tom Ferry and a host of other high-end offices. Luxury Presence also helped Serhant build a course on website creation for his Sell it Like Serhant education platform.
Kramer has built upon his firm’s creativity and web engineering acumen to evolve into a full-fledged marketing technology firm, even raising two rounds of venture capital, $5.4 million in 2020 and a Series B of $25.9 million in late 2021.
In addition to single property websites, social media strategy, advanced lead capture and presentation capabilities, the company is building its own sales productivity components. In November, it announced the rollout of a three-tiered lead generation system consisting of a digital advertising module for Google and Facebook, a home valuation call-to-action for websites and a community information resource to position agents as local lifestyle amenity experts. It also offers agents a branded networking app.
A year ago, Luxury Presence acquired quality management startup WorkClout, an alumnus of Silicon Valley’s startup accelerator Y Combinator.
Luxury Presence’s announcement is only the latest in a slew of proptechs, brokerages and real estate service providers having to reduce staff in the wake of a post-pandemic market decline. The brands include the biggest brokerage names in the industry, such as Compass, CoStar, Keller Williams, Anywhere, Realtor.com, Redfin, RE/MAX and Opendoor.
Despite the growth of that list, many firms have started 2023 on rich footing, those especially in the RentTech and fintech sections of real estate.
HELOC innovator Splitero closed on a venture round of $11.7 million, and Doorstead, a property management services provider who acquired fintech Knox Financial, announced a $21 million Series B round on Jan. 9. Welcome Homes, a technology-forward new construction solution, landed a Series A round worth $29 million, announced on Jan. 13. The round closed in September.
Kramer predicts continued growth for his company into 2023, citing a stable financial footing and cash-on-hand.
“Our products and services are more critical than ever to the success of real estate professionals who need more ways to attract new business,“ he said. ”Last week’s changes ensure that we can continue investing in our customers. In addition, we’ve taken steps to ensure the level of service our customers receive from us will not be impacted.“