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Tech Cocktail Charleston

HomeTrackR: Like CarFax for Homes

Hometrackr

If you’ve ever bought a home, particularly as a first-time buyer, you know how scary the process can be. It has always been hard to know just what you’re getting, even when you have a great home inspector. HomeTrackR fills this void.

HomeTrackR provides information about a home’s history, helping homebuyers to make a more informed decision about what may be the biggest purchase of their lives. Their Home History Reports provide detailed data in major categories, spanning from permits pulled and contractors who did the work, to inspection histories and calamity damage.

We spoke with Rich Estes, Founder of HomeTrackR, who told us about his “aha” moment when he knew that there must be a better way. While helping a couple prepare their home to sell, Estes found that the homeowners became annoyed by all of the questions about the major systems and their warranties, finally saying “You realize we are selling this house, not staying in it!”

Inspired, Estes recalls, “It was at that moment when I realized there is a huge disconnect between what homeowners are trying to sell and what homebuyers are hoping to buy.”

Estes and team established HomeTrackR in 2013 to bridge that gap. While working on his MBA, Estes invested his savings into the fledgling company, before finally accepting Angel capital in May of 2014. He fondly remembers that time, saying, “…life was kind of crazy, but fun!”

The HomeTrackR team’s hard work has resulted in product offerings that go hand in hand with their flagship Home History Reports. These include a marketplace to connect homeowners with trusted contractors, and a business lead system for Agents, Home Inspectors, and Lenders. Their goal is “to reach homebuyers and home sellers through the professional markets.” Real Estate agents and home inspectors, who offer HomeTrackR’s reports to their clients, improve the experience for the homebuyer drastically.

Although HomeTrackR took root in our nation’s capital, the HomeTrackR team is in the process of moving. Their new home, Charleston, South Carolina, passed a High Growth Small Business Act last year, providing tax incentives for local angel investors. This encourages angel investors to invest and entrepreneurs to relocate. For Estes, a South Carolina native, it was a no-brainer.

“Tech is taking off in Charleston and it seemed like perfect timing to relocate HomeTrackR and my family back home,” and home is what HomeTrackR is all about.

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About the Author

Biffrey is a real estate investor, development activist and founder of RE-Think!: The Real Estate Think Tank (formerly Real Cocktail) based in Baltimore. RE-Think! focuses on innovation around real estate and urban planning, bridging the cavernous disconnect between the practices of real estate developers and the theories of urban planners. Join Biffrey at the upcoming RE-Think!: The Real Estate Think Tank event, in September 2014. Follow him on twitter @xbraxton

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