JLL Headquarters in Chicago
Trading brokerage giant JLL instituted a series of layoffs on Tuesday, bisnow has learned.
Several sources said bisnow that employees in New York and Chicago were told they were losing their jobs throughout the day Tuesday. A JLL spokesperson confirmed the undetermined number of layoffs in a statement emailed to bisnow Tuesday evening.
“JLL is continuing the steps that were already underway to align our operating structure with our global transformation and strengthen our focus on cost management,” the spokesperson wrote. “These actions may include the difficult but necessary decision to make specific roles redundant within our operations. We are confident that the strength and resilience of our diverse business will allow us to continue to support our people during this uncertain time and create long-term value to our customers and shareholders.”
JLL had already spent $9.3 million on severance in the third quarter, it disclosed in its earnings report, an eightfold increase from a year earlier. A company spokesperson at the time denied that this meant the company was downsizing.
The company said it expected to miss its previous profit projections this year, but posted third-quarter net profit of $140.2 million, down 41% from a year ago. .
“Our clients are now asking us for advice more than ever,” JLL Chief Financial Officer Karen Brennan said on the Nov. 2 earnings call. “And so we are certainly being rigorous in terms of cutting discretionary spending and really focusing on our costs. But we are also careful to balance the fact that we have the talent and the people who meet our clients who are asking for advice at this time.
JLL is the latest company to lay off as the global economy slows.
Its biggest rival, CBRE, said in an investor presentation last month that it planned to cut costs by $400 million, of which $300 million would be permanent cuts, mostly in the form of personal. The bulk of these layoffs were expected to take place by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
None of the other publicly traded brokerages, such as Newmark, Colliers and Cushman & Wakefield, specifically referenced the layoffs in their earnings reports, although all said they experienced a slowdown in sales activity and ready and would consider – or already had – to reduce costs as a result.
In other industry segments, residential brokerages Compass and Redfin laid off hundreds of employees this year, as did real estate technology companies like Zillow, Opendoor and Better.com.
This month has already been defined by huge rounds of layoffs at tech companies, with Meta Platforms announcing it is laying off 11,000 workers; Twitter by cutting 3,700, or half of its workforce; and Amazon reportedly cut 10,000 employees.