Altisource shutters real estate brokerage Owners.com

Mortgage & Real Estate

Earlier this year, Altisource Portfolio Solutions sold off its financial services business and the majority of its single-family real estate assets as the company continued an effort to “streamline” its operations that began in 2018.

And the streamlining is not done yet.

Altisource announced last week that it is shuttering the company’s real estate brokerage operation, Owners.com.

The service was initially an online outlet for homeowners who wanted to sell their home themselves without a real estate agent. Eventually, Owners.com shifted from from that “For Sale By Owner” model into a “technology-enabled real estate brokerage.”

According to the company, Owners.com offered “local real
estate agent services, loan brokerage, and closing and title services.”

But the business has not gained any traction in recent
years, leading Altisource to determine it was time to “wind down and close
Owners.com’s operations.”

Details provided by the company show that Owners.com was
burning through cash, losing twice as much money as it brought in so far this
year.

According to Altisource, Owners.com generated $3.8
million of revenue and $8.1 million of loss before income taxes
in the first six months of this year.

According to Altisource, closing down Owners.com “supports
its simplification strategy, eliminates the cash burn associated with this
earlier stage business, and increases focus on the core real estate and
mortgage businesses.”

As state above, Altisource has been working to restructure and simplify its business offerings since 2018. The effort, which the company calls “Project Catalyst,” has seen the company sell off its financial services business earlier this year and close down its home buying business nearly a year ago.

The company sold its financial services business, included Nationwide
Credit, to Transworld Systems,
a provider of accounts receivable management, healthcare revenue cycle and loan
servicing solutions, for $44 million.

Beyond that, Altisource sold the “majority of its remaining
short-term investments in real estate” to Lafayette Real Estate for
approximately $39 million.

And now, the company is shutting down Owners.com too. Visitors to the website are now greeted with the following message:

According to an Altisource spokesperson, the company is working with existing customers on pending transactions but is not accepting any new clients.

The closure will also lead to an unknown number of layoffs. According to the spokesperson, there will be employees let go by the company, but the company plans to allow those employees to apply for other open positions in the company.

“Owners.com has been making encouraging progress in
demonstrating that a better consumer real estate model based on technology and
service may be viable,” Altisource Chairman and CEO William Shepro said in a
statement.

“However, as we continue to work to simplify Altisource and
focus on our larger opportunities, we concluded that closing Owners.com is in
Altisource’s best interests given the time horizon and level of additional investments
needed in order for Owners.com to operate independently,” Shepro continued. “I
am proud of the very talented and dedicated Owners.com team and want to thank
them for their contributions.”