Door.com may be opening a new door in the brokerage world, starting with a fresh focus on Texas and a halt to national expansion. Founder Alex Doubet paid a visit to Russia. And he came home hitched.
Last week, as you recall, I had to drive to the company’s Dallas offices at 12570 Dallas Parkway to confirm a flurry of rumors that had erupted before the holidays, that Door was laying off employees. After our story was published and picked up by the Dallas Business Journal (among others), Door.com CEO Alex Doubet returned a phone call Thursday night to the DBJ’s Bill Hethcock, confirming the disruptor flat-fee real estate startup had laid off 34 employees, mainly agents, in its 34,000 square foot Dallas headquarters. He told Bill Hethcock no more layoffs are planned, but the firm’s plans for national expansion are on hold.
A big part of the reason for the layoffs was that a $20 million to $30 million round of funding that Door was targeting fell through last month, Doubet said.
“We did lay some people off, which is really unfortunate,” Doubet said. “We had been working on a national expansion that we just couldn’t figure out the cost structure for. So we had to right-size our employee cost structure and let good people go, which is always unfortunate.”
The plans to expand to all 50 states are on hold, he told Hethcock. On the funding, Doubet said, “We heard (in December) that it was a no instead of a yes, like we were hoping.”
Which is sad. In an interview as recent as October, Doubet told the Business Journal of his ambitious plans to be operating in all 50 states by mid-2020. But he hedged, at the time, Hethcock’s questions concerning new staff to facilitate the expansion, saying what has almost become a familiar refrain: Door “leverage(s) technology to make our agents significantly more efficient than the average agent. That’s why we’re able to charge so much less.”
“As efficiencies have gone up, our agents are able to do a lot more transactions,” he said at the time. “The best answer I can give you is, undoubtedly, we’ll add more people, but we’re also pushing really hard on the product side so that we can make our employees more efficient.”