December 19, 2022

A Letter to Homebotters

On Wednesday, December 14th, Homebot's CEO Charlie Pratt sent the following note to Homebot employees.

Today, we reduced the size of our team by 13% (18 people). It’s the hardest decision I’ve had to make personally, and it’s the hardest decision our leadership team has made. Those who were impacted were communicated with this morning. We’ll gather as a whole company on Zoom at 11am MT to discuss the context around this decision and our path forward.

Why we’re making this decision:

Our current reality is framed by the fastest increase in mortgage rates in decades, a 50%+ decline in year over year lending volumes, a large decline in profitability in mortgage lending, and a large departure of loan officers from our industry. While year-over-year revenue growth has been healthy (50%+), the second half of 2022 has been challenging, especially these last couple of months. Recently, we’ve had to adapt some contracts to fit our enterprise customers’ downsized operations.

Put simply, we over-hired relative to this new environment, and we need to match our level of expenses with the realities around us. We will grow next year, just not at the rate necessary to support our company’s size prior to this morning’s departures. I own and take personal responsibility for this decision.

People affected

We did our absolute best to ensure the impacted people were treated with the respect, dignity, and humanity they deserve. We also provided them with the following benefit packages and off-ramp resources:

1. Minimum of 6 weeks severance (adjusting higher based on tenure)
2. Payout of 2022 company bonus / commissions
3. Healthcare / benefits through the end of February
4. Any unused PTO paid out
5. Career support

Path forward:

The next few days and weeks will not be easy as we adjust to the departure of our friends and colleagues. The group of people who left includes people who made major, lasting contributions to Homebot’s performance and culture over the years. We have put an enormous amount of time and intention into today’s decision. We have no plans to do any further reductions, proposed reductions, or role eliminations. This is the team that we are backing - you are the team for the future.

It’s now more important than ever to support one another and to reignite our “why.” First, we will get through this TOGETHER. In this environment, we need to be even more focused on living this value by caring deeply for one another, speaking candidly, and being accountable to one another. Second, we cannot lose sight of our mission: “we connect people to make informed homeownership decisions together.” We have a massive opportunity to educate tens of millions more people to make smarter decisions with the largest asset they’ll ever own. What’s personally motivating is the fact that I know we can do a lot more for our consumers and customers. And, I know we can create a much larger business while doing more ‘good.’   

I have never had greater energy or commitment to the opportunity ahead. We will continue to make important investments in our product and we will continue to build a company that invests in and nurtures exceptional people. In the near term, our focus will be on building more efficiently and laying the foundation for growth to accelerate. I’m excited to re-align on long-term strategy during our upcoming January all-hands onsite.

Thank you for your continued support of one another and dedication to our mission. There has never been a more important time for both. This will be a tough week and we ask that you take time to process and take care of yourselves.

- Charlie Pratt

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