Furnished apartment rental company Landing restructures and lays off 110 employees

Serviced apartment rental startup Landing today told employees it was restructuring and laying off 110 employees.

In a note to staff he shared with ForbesFounder and CEO Bill Smith said that as the company grew, it increasingly moved to a “field-based operating model” that required more people in the field and fewer at its headquarters. of Birmingham, Alabama.

In the past month, he wrote “nearly 70 of our existing team members have taken on new roles in field operations and have moved across the country to live and work in the communities we serve.” Meanwhile, as part of its restructuring, the company “reduced a number of positions at Landing, primarily within our core operations team,” he wrote. Smith said Forbes by email that 110 people have been laid off. On Landing’s career board, a number of jobs listed – for home quality specialists and customer service representatives – showed locations in Mexico City.

When Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced that Landing had moved its headquarters to Birmingham from San Francisco in June 2021, the company said it expected to create 816 new jobs.

Smith said Landing’s revenue forecast for this year — $200 million, up from $83 million last year — was unchanged.

A high school dropout from Birmingham, Alabama, Smith, 36, had made his fortune with his previous business, online grocery delivery service Shipt, which he sold to Target
TGT
for $550 million in 2018. He founded Landing to appeal to people who wanted the ability to live in different places and get around easily. It offered its members (who pay $199 a year) quick access to move-in ready apartments with the option to rent for as little as a month.

Landing, which we featured as part of this year’s Next Trillion-Dollar Startups list, raised $237 million in venture capital funding from Foundry Group, Greycroft and others at a recent valuation of $475. millions of dollars.

But as the rise and fall of WeWork has shown, new real estate models present both huge potential and huge risk. Which cities would have demand and potential profitability? How could it reduce installation costs? Adjust prices and marketing according to seasonality? Smith, who owns about a third of Landing, had worked to solve such complexities with data, and lots of it. “I get bored very easily,” he said Forbes in July. “I’m drawn to solving these complicated problems.”

In the memo to staff, Smith wrote that the company first built a centralized team and then moved to the field-based strategy after realizing it wouldn’t be scalable.

At the end of August, Casey Woo, who had been chief financial officer of Landing, left the company. In an email last month, Woo, who previously worked for WeWork, called his departure “mutual and very friendly.”

Competition in the short-term rental space has increased from companies such as Blueground in New York and Zeus Living in San Francisco, as well as Airbnb and hotels that have pushed further into extended-stay options .

Landing’s restructuring and layoffs come as numerous tech startups, including Bolt, Carvana and Klarna, have made layoffs this year.

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