New website keeps home records
Online tool will make homeowners’ lives easier, says Wanaka entrepreneur
Wanaka entrepreneur Lauren McKay has put her own building plans on hold to launch her business, Insiteful Ltd.
Her company’s free online tool, HomeOversite, was launched on April 30 and is designed to make it easier for homeowners to keep track of work done on their properties.
McKay said people could store information online about anything from paint colours in the bathroom to the chimney sweep’s phone number or building compliance records.
The tool dispenses with screeds of paper work and the online file can be passed on if the property is sold.
McKay keenly appreciates the value of having information available.
She recalled moving into a house where the previous occupants had left tins of paint behind, but not all the colours could be identified. When it came to one particular wall, there seemed to be 465 colours of white to choose from, she said.
‘‘With warranties etcetera people just seem to stuff them in a drawer and forget about them, and then you can never find them when you need them . . . It is like a service record that you could do for your car, but you do it for your house,’’ she said.
While daunting, going into business on her own seemed a natural thing for the architectural school graduate to do.
‘‘It is a bit of a plunge. But I don’t regret it at all . . . I was ready. I have always wanted to do my own thing. I have always had that drive.’’
The former Cromwell College pupil ‘‘never was a computer geek’’ and has taught herself about website development. She graduated with a PhD in sustainable housing from Victoria University, where she also took papers in psychology. She has held consulting roles with government agencies and travelled to the United States on a Stanford University entrepreneurship/business incubator course.
While working as a project manager in post-earthquake Christchurch she noticed gaps in property information systems and decided to try and plug them by creating a series of linking software tools. Insiteful was born and ultimately McKay would like to expand her business’ possibilities internationally.
After a busy three to four four years in Christchurch, she and her husband Cam McKay decided to rent out their Lyttelton home last year and move to Wanaka so her husband could take up work in the ski industry.
McKay continues to work on projects in Wanaka and Queenstown but her main role is as managing director of Insiteful. Her husband helps with the company and the couple recently sold their Albert Town section to concentrate on the business.
Now the free HomeOversite tool has been launched, more software tools are in the pipeline, for which McKay is seeking investment partners. These will be available on a subscription basis, with builders, merchants and insurance companies among those identified as potential users.
Wanaka businesswoman Lauren McKay has launched awebsite that helps home owners and builders track property information.
Photo: Marjorie Cook/ Fairfax NZ