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Better.com lays off its real estate team and closes its business unit

Digital mortgage lender Better.com is exiting the real estate business.

The struggling fintech startup laid off its real estate team on June 7, multiple sources confirmed to TechCrunch. The company is said to be moving from an internal agent model to a partnership agent model.

One person who was impacted by the move told TechCrunch that agents received “little to no severance pay…after getting a pay cut of more than 50% in November to “secure” our future jobs.

TechCrunch contacted Better.com, which declined to comment on the filing.

The news is not shocking given that rumors of Better.com’s plans to exit the real estate industry have been circulating for some time as the housing market has seen a major downturn due to rising mortgage interest rates. . As early as April 2022, TechCrunch reported that it was suspected that all of Better Real Estate could be scrapped. The unit was at one time the “baby” of the company, sources say, and where much of the investment dollars would go to in 2022.

Better had expressed a desire to expand its buying experience and go beyond digital loans to help people find and buy homes – changing its name from Better Mortgage to just Better. It was also working to expand value-added offerings such as title and home insurance as part of its product line.

“They wanted to touch on all aspects of home ownership,” a source close to the company, who preferred to remain anonymous, told TechCrunch at the time. “The company has invested resources in building customer experiences and agent tools for the Better Real Estate business, including its first native mobile app, not all of which have been successful given the trajectory of the business.”

Better Real Estate aimed to be competitive with Zillow and Redfin and the company would have followed the same salaried agent model.

Better.com has been in the headlines for its layoffs since He first gained notoriety in dismiss around 900 employees on Zoom on Dec. 1, 2021. Since then, he’s been very consistently firing smaller groups, sources say. Last August, TechCrunch also reported that Better.com had made its fourth round of layoffs since the previous December.

The company is not exactly known for his touchy approach to letting employees go. In less than nine months, he laid off thousands of workers, many senior executives resign and delayed a SPAC he still claims to work for.

In March, TechCrunch reported Better.com’s PSPC Agreement with Aurora Acquisition Corp. obtained a new breath of lifeextending its deadline to close the transaction until the end of the third quarter of 2023.

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