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Latest Better exit? It’s the head of real estate – HousingWire

Back in August, Christian Wallace spoke effusively about her future at Better.com. The digital lender generated so much money through mortgage refinancing that it bankrolled a formidable real estate division. And Wallace, a former Sotheby’s agent and Opendoor manager, was charged with ensuring the division blossomed.

But on Thursday, Wallace said that she gave Better her three-weeks notice of resignation. Wallace worked at Better for less than two years, and served as head of real estate services since March. In a phone interview, Wallace faulted company culture, while declining to go into details.

Wallace’s imminent departure follows reports last week that Sarah Pierce, the executive vice president of customer experience, and Emanuel Santa-Danato, senior vice president of capital markets and growth, are no longer with the New York City-based outfit.

And those reported departures come after three top communications executives departed in December.

The exodus would appear to center around the leadership of Vishal Garg, Better.com’s founder and CEO. Garg took a leave of absence in December after he laid off 900 people, or about 15% of the workforce, in a dystopian Zoom call. However, the company’s board of directors has since reinstated Garg.

Messages left with Better on Thursday were not returned. The company still plans to go public through a special purpose acquisition company, Aurora Acquisition Corp.

Wallace was put in charge of a fairly novel business model, a real estate arm in which agents are paid almost entirely on salary and monthly bonuses, instead of sales commissions. Among major real estate brokerages today, only Redfin classifies its agents as employees, and even Redfin agents mostly make money from sales bonuses.

Better has recruited hundreds of agents and expanded into 30 states, Wallace said. But the outgoing real estate head also acknowledged the company has dealt with significant agent attrition.

Wallace has split time the past year between New York and her home city of Dallas, she said, and is not certain of her next professional move.

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