BAM Key Details:
- Vacasa, a vacation home management company, is dissolving its real estate division in Q2, according to its recent shareholder letter.
- This is following layoffs of 280 employees in October and 1,300 employees in January.
Vacasa, a vacation home management company, is off to a challenging start this year. With an increase in homeowners leaving the platform, Vacasa has laid off over 1,500 employees since October. And now, the company will be closing down its real estate brokerage division, which will go into effect on June 1st.
In October, Vacasa laid off 280 employees, shortly after Rob Greyber took the position of CEO.
On January 24, the company laid off another 1,300 employees—300 in sales and marketing and 1,000 local field positions from more than 500 locations.
Although Greyber made it known that the focus for Vacasa is “on becoming a profitable company” in 2023, investors pulled back, resulting in a 17.1% drop in shares (VCSA) in February.
Vacasa outlined the company’s priorities last November, which include “ruthlessly prioritizing our business needs to drive profitable growth” and “unlocking the potential of the individual sales approach.” In a shareholder letter as part of its 2022 earnings announcements in March, Vacasa stated:
While we are optimistic about Vacasa’s long-term potential, we face challenges which are fixable, but not yet fixed. We must improve our efficiency and further develop our processes to deliver an unmatched experience for our homeowners and elevated hospitality for our guests.
Vacasa’s Real Estate Brokerage Services to Shut Down June 1st
Along with mass layoffs, Vacasa’s real estate brokerage division will be shutting down. The shareholder letter stated Vacasa will be “winding down our real estate brokerage services in the second quarter of this year, which generated about $20 million of Revenue and negligible profit in 2022.”
As a vacation home management company with a real estate brokerage division, Vacasa was alluring to agents located in vacation rental markets. And since the brand is nationwide, it allowed agents and brokers to help investors get the ROI they wanted in any market.
A source informed BAM that the brokerage division will close on June 1, 2023, leaving agents and brokers who hang their licenses with Vacasa with the task of finding a new brokerage. Agents were initially told they would be sent to Compass—but since Compass isn’t nationwide, it’s not an option for all.
Others are faced with a different dilemma. Many sold property management contracts as employees of Vacasa and supplemented that income by selling real estate under its brokerage division. But to be able to sell property management contracts—and keep their W2 position—agents must keep their licenses with Vacasa. These agents are now grappling with the decision of staying with Vacasa and giving up real estate sales, or relinquishing their employee position to pursue real estate full-time.
The closure of Vacasa’s brokerage division highlights the challenges and uncertainties that can arise for real estate agents outside of market volatility. As the industry continues to evolve, agents who remain adaptable and open to new opportunities will be best positioned to thrive.