Utah startup Homie lays off staff as CEO steps down

The home financing startup had its second wave of layoffs this year.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) A billboard for the Utah-based home buying company Homie along Interstate 15 in Sandy, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022.

Homie, a startup that aims to disrupt the real estate industry with digital services and discounted commissions, laid off more of its employees last week ahead of CEO Johnny Hanna’s resignation.

Hanna announced during the Silicon Slopes Summit on Friday that he would be stepping down from his role because the real estate market “has been thrown into turmoil,” Axios Salt Lake City reported.

Mike Peregrina, Homie’s co-founder and president, is now also its CEO, the company said in a statement Monday, and Hanna will continue to serve as chairman of its board of directors. Hanna co-founded Homie as well as the property management software company Entrata.

“As the real estate market continues to shift, Homie was forced to evaluate the current business structure and let go 40 team members last week,” the statement said.

In February, the company announced it was then laying off more than a quarter of its staff.

Utah’s blazing real estate market has slowed, Homie pointed out in mid-July.

“This same time last year there were 3,185 active homes for sale in Utah,” wrote marketing manager Nikki Hernandez, who has since been laid off. “There are now 7,984 active homes for sale. More inventory means homes will sit on the market longer — a trend we are starting to see in Salt Lake City.”

Homie is continuing to serve clients in five markets, the company said Monday, listed as Utah, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Boise and Denver on its website.

It advertises its online real estate brokerage service as having a lower cost; sellers pay a flat listing fee of $3,500 instead of a percentage of the value of their house, which saves money for the average home.

Their website says buyers on Homie can “keep up to 50% of our commission.”

Courtney Hansen, a former employee who was part of the recent layoffs, said “Homie has been an amazing employer” for her.

“They’ve helped me consistently keep a healthy work life balance, provided me with training and have listened to my advice and opinions,” Hansen said. She was “a bit surprised and sad that I was one of the people involved in this layoff,” she said, but she added that she wished the company the best and would be happy to work for it again in the future.

Leto Sapunar is a Report for America corps member covering business accountability and sustainability for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.