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Opendoor lays off 50, asks hundreds to relocate to Phoenix

Makes plans to beef up Arizona headquarters

It’s been a banner year for Opendoor, as the digital real estate disrupter continued to rake in serious investor cash, earning it a valuation of $3.8 billion.

But, apparently, with all that cash comes growth, and that often leads to change.

Sources close to the company told Bloomberg that Opendoor laid off 50 of its 1,300 employees last month, and that it has asked as many as 300 working in offices around the country to relocate to its Phoenix headquarters. According to Bloomberg, those employees have six to nine months to decide whether the want to make the move or leave the company.

An Opendoor spokesperson told HousingWire the move is part of an effort to restructure its Phoenix operations.

“Over the next year, Opendoor will relocate a number of operational positions from our offices across the country to Phoenix,” the Opendoor spokesperson said. “By streamlining operations in our Phoenix office, we will be able to provide an even better experience for our customers.”

Last month, The Wall Street Journal published a story on the iBuyer market, calling Phoenix a “petri dish” for companies using computer models to buy and sell homes at a profit.

According to the article, Phoenix is an “ideal proving ground” because it’s one of the country’s fastest-growing metro areas, plus the houses are relatively inexpensive and homogenous, which helps the algorithmic appraisals that help the high-tech flippers to spot opportunities for profit.

Opendoor, which launched in 2014, is one of a number of these so-called iBuyers that have set out to change the way Americans buy and sell homes by whittling the process down to a few simple online transactions.

In essence, home sellers can sell their house to Opendoor through an online exchange, and the company in turn will assess the home, decipher an appropriate offer and sell the home to a buyer.

The concept is to eliminate the pain points associated with the home-selling process, and the idea appears to be resonating.

Key to Opendoor’s business strategy is its data modeling, which enables it to locate gaps and opportunities in certain markets and create optimal pricing for the homes it’s selling.

The company spokesperson said that has plans for continued growth in both Phoenix and in the other markets in which it operates.

“We are excited about our continued growth, especially as we double the team in Phoenix to be more than 500 team members next year,” he said. “Moving forward, we will continue to hire in all of our markets, with a focus on roles that are critical for growth in each market.”

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