Nov 3, 2022

HouseNovel Looks to Crowdsource Home History

According to an article in the TCB web site written by Dan Niepow:

The idea came to fruition in the form of, a website that Zielike describes as one part Zillow and one part It essentially operates as a social media platform where users upload historical photos, personal anecdotes, construction dates, and other details about residential properties. It’s designed to show how properties have changed over the years. The site is free to use, but the two aim to generate revenue through a subscription-based advertising model. Advertisers pay a monthly fee starting at $349.

“We’re going after real estate professionals who care about home history, whether that’s real estate agents, architects, general contractors, or any other people in the real estate trade that focus on older homes,” Decker says. “We feel there’s a huge market for that and for those sorts of services.”

The couple worked with Square 1 Group, a California-based web developer focused on real estate websites. In addition to crowdsourced material, HouseNovel is sharing its platform with any interested local historical groups to supplement property information and partner on special projects; the company has already landed a partnership with Edina’s Heritage Preservation Commission and St. Paul-based historic preservation nonprofit Rethos.

As of August, Zielike says there have been more than 18,000 home profile records uploaded to the site, about 10,000 of those in Minnesota. For now, HouseNovel is focusing on residential properties, but eventually it aims to open it up more broadly to commercial real estate.

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