Andrew Kitchnell and Joe Fraiman [Photo Credit: Lyric]

Lyric to lay off 20 per cent of staff

US: The Airbnb-backed short-term rental brand Lyric has laid off around 20 per cent of its staff.

The company, which partners with multifamily landlords to offer apartments to business travellers, is laying off a least 25 people as part of a restructuring plan.

Lyric currently operates nearly 600 units in around 14 cities worldwide. It had previously raised almost $160 million in funding from such partners as Airbnb, RXR Realty and Tishman Speyer.

The group plans to close almost 200 units nationwide as part of the restructuring. The first indication of the move was a full company meeting CEO Andrew Kitchell held on 5 February.

A staffer told The Real Deal New York: “All Andrew said was, ‘I’m not going to sugar coat this. Today will be your last day’. You could see people crying.”

According to a different staffer, the company deactivated the emails and Slack accounts of redundant employees by the time they had returned to their desks.

Lyric is aiming to create a more sustainable business model, centring around larger projects with greater density. It will be focusing around cities it already knows is performing well.

It said in a statement: “That means not only restructuring our operations but the teams that support each function, all with aim of creating a sustainable growth model and even better guest experience.”

According to sources, the company missed its 2019 revenue targets, with Lyric’s New York location, 70 Pine Street, one of the well performing properties. The company will be closing units in Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

It is keeping units in New York City, San Diego, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami, Charlotte, Austin and D.C.

This news comes only a matter of days after it was revealed Expedia was planning to cut 3,000 jobs and property management company Hostmaker entered administration and made its London staff redundant.

For more information, visit the Lyric website here.

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