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REX undergoes second round of layoffs

Announces plans to scale back business and join MLS

REX Homes, the discount brokerage behind an anti-trust lawsuit against Zillow and the National Association of Realtors, announced its second round of layoffs late last week. The latest round of cuts impacted 34 employees and came less than two months after the startup eliminated an estimated 60 positions in late August.

Employees impacted by the first round of layoffs did not receive any form of severance payment, but they were offered resume coaching and were allowed to retain access to all company technology, according to the American Genius, which first reported the story. Those laid off last week also retained access to company technology, but they were given severance payments.

REX co-founder, president, and COO Lynley Sides assured remaining employees in a company-wide call that they are “done with downsizing efforts,” according to the American Genius. Sides also stated that they would have preferred to only undergo one round of layoffs, but when it was clear that they would be unable to reduce overhead costs through other means, such as subleasing some of their spaces, a second round was deemed necessary, the publication reported.

Shortly after the August layoffs, Austin-based REX closed their Series D funding. The company is not publicly traded, but it has earned several rounds of private equity funding.

On the same company-wide call, Sides also stated that moving forward, the company would be focused on the customer experience and operating in profitable markets. In addition, it was announced that REX was shutting down operations in Chicago and all parts of New York. This, however, has created a lot of confusion, as it is currently unclear what markets they continue to operate in. The company’s website allows users to select New York, but not Chicago.

REX also publicized plans to begin testing out joining local MLSs. This is a rather interesting move, as the company filed a lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors and Zillow, alleging an antitrust conspiracy between the two, earlier this year. The lawsuit accused the NAR of having “non-negotiable” compensations structures embedded in the MLS and it accused Zillow of “hiding” non-MLS listings on an obscured tab.

In June, a judge ruled in favor of Zillow. However, REX still has monetary claims against Zillow and the NAR. A number of lawyers connected to former Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton are working the case for REX. The company is headed by Jack Ryan, who secured the Republican nomination for a vacant U.S. senate seat in 2004 but later dropped out of the race