Owners Tracking the History of their Homes with Housestry
Odds are your house had a life before you. Or maybe you wonder who now inhabits your childhood home? Instead of an awkward knock on the front door, Housestry is building a digital yearbook of sorts for properties across Columbus and the world.
While there are a number of sites out there to keep tabs on an address, Housestry Founder Wayne Henry says the social component has been missing – the ability for a homeowner to share their personal stories, post pictures and connect with previous owners.
“I kind of envision it to be the ancesty.com version of the history of homes,” Henry says.
Users register for a free account then get to searching. Housestry integrates with Zillow’s API meaning info is available on nearly any home in the world, as well as photos from the most recent listing if still available. Users can then upload their own personal photos and stories from time spent at an address.
Housestry is appealing to a curiosity that Henry says many people have.
“I think everybody sees it for what it is and thinks that it’s a great idea,” he says. People drive by. They sit out front. They want to knock on the door. The digital archive provides a less-invasive way to do that.
The website builds on a long-time interest in housing and looming entrepreneurial bug for Henry.
Henry spent time in marketing and communications, serving for-and non-profit entities in Columbus, while selling real estate on the side during the economic downturn. When the economy started to turn around, Henry took his book of business and pursued real estate full-time. Just over two years ago he launched his own brokerage, 43 Homes.
The idea for Housestry had been in the back of Henry’s mind for some time when just over a year ago he decided it was either time to stop thinking about it or put the wheels in motion. He started working with a developer before launching a beta version to friends and family.
Now, Henry is working to get a critical mass of users on the site. More users means more stories for more addresses. As a long-term goal Housestry will also look to integrate more sources of data into listings.
For more information, visit housestry.com.