Update 3:14 pm: found out Door.com has 34,000 square feet in the Dallas Parkway building which they are subleasing from another tenant. Going rate for these offices about $38 psf plus electricity.
The Dallas-based real estate disruptor Door.com has laid off 37 employees in its Dallas headquarters.
I first received word before the holidays that Door.com, founded by Highland Park-born Alex Doubet, was laying off employees. (I called Alex several times before leaving town in December, but he did not return phone calls.) After the holidays, more rumors swelled. So I decided to actually be a reporter and head over to the offices of Door.com’s headquarters at 14675 Dallas Parkway, the 41,280-square-foot, four-star building where Door.com occupies the sixth floor.
When I got there at 4:15 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, I found beautiful but vacuous offices.
Sales Staff Mostly Gone, Title and Mortgage Still Operating
I asked a woman, an escrow officer from Door.com’s title business, what was going on and she told me that 37 agents had been laid off because a last round of funding did not come through, or at least that is what she had heard. She tried to find Doubet for me, but said he wasn’t in town. Peeking through the all-glass, very transparent doors of Door.com, I saw a few guys chatting over on the title/mortgage side, whose doors were locked. The escrow officer explained that the title and mortgage companies were still in business, and they had a few agents on hand to sell the company’s listed properties.
According to its website, Door.com has offices and is doing business in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Miami, Denver, and Los Angeles. According to the site, “selling and buying homes shouldn’t have to be so stressful, cumbersome, and expensive. Traditional real estate agents are still using outdated practices and charging high commissions, but we believe homeowners deserve a better option (enter Door.com).”
The company often irked traditional brokerages and agents because of the above statements, insinuating agents are not worth the commissions they charge, and because the firm sold homes for a flat fee of $5,000.
A Disruptor Getting Disrupted
Door.com told Inman News last year, when Doubet announced his company’s partnership with Curbio, “Door.com is focused on modernizing the outdated real estate industry and its commission model,” said Door.com founder Alex Doubet in a press release. “Our mission is to put money back into the homeowner’s pocket and make selling your home easier and faster.”
Doubet told Inman “Door.com charges a $5,000 flat fee to list, market, and sell a home with one of its licensed real estate professionals. To start the process, sellers are required to schedule a free consultation with one of Door.com’s real estate professionals. Before the consultation, sellers can also receive an instant home estimate based on property information gleaned from House Canary.”
But when a “traditional agent” is involved, such as on the buy side, Door.com requires sellers to pay a 3 percent commission to the buyer’s agent plus the $5,000 flat listing fee. (Conventional commission fees run about 5 to 6 percent, splitting between agents, but all listing fees are negotiable.) However, if a buyer purchases their home with Door.com, they receive a 1 percent rebate after closing.
And Doubet’s company was named by Inman News as an Innovator of the Year, a distinction. He rubbed shoulders with star start-ups like Knock, Curbio, Purple Bricks, and Trelora, another disruptor brokerage based in Denver that merely charges $3,000 to sell a home. Trelora’s young founder and former CEO Joshua Hunt once told Inman “agents are going to shit themselves.”
“They’re going to be pissed,” at how aggressively his company was urging consumers to ditch their traditional overcharging residential real estate agents, he added.
We’ll have more on this story and company that even nabbed mainstream media’s attention in 2016, when it ws started by Doubet, fresh out of Harvard and all of 28 years old. (Says he started Door.com because of the bad experience his mother had when she sold her Highland Park home.) And we are hoping for an interview with the founder himself, and a taste of what’s next behind the Door.