House Safari
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Rank your neighbors (on their homes) with House Safari

Catalog styles, photograph striking features and tag designs that catch your eye
House Safari
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  • For lovers of real estate, iOS app House Safari provides a great tool for recording likes and dislikes of neighboring homes.
  • The app is billed as "Yelp for houses."
  • While available everywhere, House Safari has active users in Seattle, Palo Alto, Boston, Austin and Chicago.

Some may say standing outside your neighbor’s house to review their landscaping, house color and comment on their dog’s bathroom habits is a bit nosey. But let’s not kid ourselves — we’ve been doing it for years. Why do you think Nextdoor is so popular?

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

I briefly shared an app with readers in May called House Safari. The gist is this: Yelp for houses.

I managed to see the fully developed version of the iOS app last week, and it’s no doubt a fun, data-driven tool for collecting information about neighborhoods.

Some may say standing outside your neighbor’s house to rank their landscaping, house color and comment on their dog’s bathroom habits is a bit nosey.

But let’s not kid ourselves — we’ve been doing it for years. Why do you think Nextdoor is so popular?

housesafari-rankings

This is the data age, a time when personal privacy is sacrificed willingly or taken from us via social media.

Instead of capturing data about people, House Safari collects data on what’s cool about their houses.

The app is designed ultimately for lovers of real estate — those who enjoy the architectural variety and character of unique places. Users walk a street and make notes on garage door design, fescue types and everything between.

According to the app description, “House Safari lets you captures what’s important to you about the houses you see, and the crowdsourced dataset from all our contributors is yours to search and browse, whether you are doing home improvement or buying something new.”

housesafari_rankings

Defying the age of cookie-cutter

Granted, it’s getting harder these days for homes to have an ounce of uniqueness, a byproduct of developers wanting to streamline construction while disguising it as a “greater good” for the sake of preserving home value.

This is the data age, a time when personal privacy is sacrificed willingly or taken from us via social media.

Nevertheless, in communities where history and character trump resale value, House Safari comes loaded with a range of home design styles, features to rank, tags to assign and custom voice notes to help users define what they like about house.

The software works in unison with Google Maps and Street View, so every tour is tracked and recorded for ongoing reference and sharing.

Specific features can be ranked as “favorites,” and a slider tool adjusts a smiley face emoji to represent a user’s level of preference for the features of a home.

Every home tour is recorded and a total history of homes judged can be reviewed at any time.

Business and pleasure

Again, House Safari is meant to be fun. But it has its business-use cases, too.

housesafari-tags

For example, it’s a great tool for appraisers to assemble a record of homes they’ve been assigned.

Real estate agents can use their account to capture a street’s appeal for an aspiring buyer. They can also use it as a learning tool for home design styles and trend monitoring.

I loathe myself for writing this, but neighborhood associations can use it to track how members adhere to decor standards, or as an ongoing visual tracker of member homes.

(I need to go shower now.)

While available everywhere, House Safari has active users in Seattle, Palo Alto, Boston, Austin and Chicago.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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