Big Shakeup at HouseValues

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Inman Connect New York | January 29 - February 1, 2019

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From today’s Seattle PI, HouseValues Inc. eliminates 60 jobs

HouseValues also announced Wednesday that President and Chief Operating Officer Clayton Lewis will be leaving the company, joining a parade of executives — including Mark Jancola and Jun Choo — who have left in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Barry Allen, a former top executive at Cendant Corp.’s Move.com, has been named chief financial officer and executive vice president. He fills a position that was vacated last fall when John Zdanowski left for Linden Lab, the San Francisco creator of Second Life.

The layoffs were somewhat buried in their press release, not even mentioned until the sixth paragraph.

Nobody should be surprised by this move. Nor are they, as it seems – there’s some very interesting discussion from former HouseValuers in the comment section of John Cook’s blog; see Layoffs at HouseValues.

Investors (Nasdaq: SOLD) however seem to be responding somewhat favorably, as their share price ticked up slightly. But not enough to stem a prolonged, drawn out slump.

Ultimately, I’m not sure it’s the slumping real estate market that’s really to blame for HV’s troubles; rather, I think business models like theirs are increasingly irrelevant in the face of a new wave of competitors like Zillow, eppraisal.com and even Cyberhomes.

Nobody likes to see layoffs, I’ve been through them myself and it’s not a pleasant experience. But, hopefully this is the wakeup call they need to pull themselves out of their nosedive.

Anyone want to start a real estate deadpool?