Landing is a furnished-apartment rental startup that has seen immense growth since it was founded in 2019. But recently, Landing made cuts to its staff that affected around 110 employees. While layoffs are not uncommon in the current market, the company did not just lay off its workers. Instead, it cut around a third of its Alabama employees only after having the laid-off workers train their replacements.
When speaking about the layoffs, CEO Bill Smith said that it was to “best position the company for success and long-term growth.” But at the time of his statement, the cut workers had already been replaced by cheaper remote workers in Mexico City.
Smith reportedly said in an email that “Restructuring to a decentralized operating model was not an easy decision.” He went on to say that some decisions made during the company’s early growth phases simply did not make sense now that Landing had grown.
The layoffs came shortly after Landing received $125 million in funding to grow its network of apartments in nearly 400 cities. Despite that, former employees reported that Landing made the Mexico switch a priority to cut costs due to the proptech market cooling down.
However, just last year, Landing received incentives to bring jobs to Birmingham, Alabama. That is part of what made the company’s decision to cut around a third of its Alabama staff so surprising.
Some of the laid-off employees felt completely blindsided for another reason, with two of them describing the situation to Insider. They said that they helped train the Mexico City employees over Zoom and other remote tools, thinking they were training new teammates and not replacements.
Landing has not openly commented on whether the decision was made purely for financial purposes. However, Bill Smith has said that most of the roles of those who were cut from the company were part of teams that were no longer necessary. In fact, there were a few teams that were cut entirely, including management, and moved to Mexico.
Landing is not looking for replacements in Birmingham, either, with non-technical job openings concentrated in Mexico City. It shows the company’s intention to build up the Mexico operation, which began in 2020 and has reportedly grown to include more than 100 employees.
On the surface, it does not seem like Landing making cuts to its staff will hurt the company financially, despite losing the incentives offered by Birmingham. However, some employees have spoken out about the move, commenting on the company’s previous commitment to the local economy of Birmingham.
“They’re sacrificing the prior commitments they made to the city of Birmingham and to the folks that worked so hard to build the company,” said a former executive.
Landing is not the only company moving work to cheaper areas, though. Remote work has become a much larger part of life since the pandemic, and it has completely changed the way many companies and individuals work. If anything, it has made outsourcing easier than ever, with more and more tools popping up to make efficient remote work possible.