It Starts

It's always disheartening to watch any company lay off people but when it involves real estate agents, it really hits close to home. Redfin announced today it's furloughing 41% of its real estate agents and 7% of its staff in an SEC filing. The article is placed below our company picture.

These incredibly difficult and scary times will test every company in every occupation in America and we're no different. Having said that, we've survived every scare and/or downturn in the market over the past 35 years. That includes Y-2K, 911, the financial collapse of 2008, and we'll survive this too.

Last year we sold $89 million worth of properties. I think it's a safe bet we'll see a fraction of that this year, but we'll survive. Our only concern right now is selling the homes our clients have trusted us with and doing it safely for everyone involved in the transaction.

As long as there are homes to sell and buyers looking for homes, we'll be there to help them. We have five highly experienced and hard working agents with a great support staff behind them. We'll weather this storm.

Please stay safe!

Here's the article copied from Inman, a real estate website ...

Redfin announced Tuesday in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it’s furloughing 41 percent of its agents — nearly 600 total agents, based on 2018 agent count — until Sept. 1, along with some support staff, due to the market slowdown in the wake of a global pandemic. A total of 7 percent of the company’s staff is being laid off, according to the filing.

“Forty-one percent of our wonderful agents are leaving Redfin this Friday, together with the wonderful coordinators, recruiters, renovators and others who support those agents,”  Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said, in the filing. “The great majority will go on furlough until September 1, with a transition bonus and health-care benefits through the summer,” Kelman added. “But we’re also asking some to leave for good, including new hires who hadn’t met a customer or completed their training before our offices closed a month ago.”

In total, the company is reducing its overall number of employees by seven percent. Redfin expects the workforce reduction to be completed by the end of April with the pre-tax charge for one-time termination benefits and severance to cost the company between $2.9 million and $3.3 million. Kelman cited the federal stimulus package as a reason to furlough and layoff employees at this time. “We’re relieved that the people who have to leave Redfin will also get more support,” Kelman said. “We decided on this large-scale furlough because fewer people are buying and selling homes, but another factor was the federal government’s $600 weekly contribution to each person’s unemployment insurance.”

Kelman estimated that approximately 75 percent of the furloughed agents live in states that will allow them to earn more in unemployment insurance than they would from Redfin. The estimation assumes that every state participates in the CARES Act, but doesn’t account for those who may not qualify for unemployment payments.

“No matter how much unemployment insurance the government pays, letting people go, even temporarily, is an unnatural act that we hate having to do,” Kelman said. Redfin is retaining most of the employees who build technology and programs with a temporary salary cut of 10 to 15 percent and cancellation of bonuses for the year. Most of the total layoffs are coming from agent support staff.