Posted on 26 May 2011
YourHomeStuff™, a community connecting website focused on the home and household, launched recently at www.yourhomestuff.com.
Designed specifically for homeowners, YourHomeStuff™ makes maintaining and protecting a home, and managing family and other community activities, quick and easy. It also helps homeowners save time and money on home maintenance and insurance. YourHomeStuff™ is free to join, secure and private and has no advertising. It was founded by Karen Clark, President and CEO of Karen Clark & Company, independent experts in catastrophe risk, catastrophe models and catastrophe risk management.
“YourHomeStuff™ is a new kind of community connecting website,” said Ms. Clark. “It essentially serves as your personal household assistant, keeping important household and community information in one place, and managing the connections that matter most to you and your family. From hiring qualified home repair and improvement professionals, to obtaining insurance quotes customized to your needs, to tracking family and community activities, YourHomeStuff™ helps simplify and streamline your life.”
YourHomeStuff™ also serves as a valuable distribution platform for insurers. Its yhs insurance agency partners with leading insurance companies, providing them with an enhanced online presence and better access to a valuable demographic of homeowners committed to the care and maintenance of their homes.
YourHomeStuff™ also serves as an online referral service for home improvement and repair professionals. Through the affiliated yourworkstuff™ (www.yourworkstuff.com), contractors receive free leads to YourHomeStuff™ members who are seeking services. Along with increased visibility, contractors get customized quotes and invoicing and mobile access via smart phones to capture all communication in their yourworkstuff™ account.
“There is a high-level of interest from insurers, both direct writers and agencies,” said Ms. Clark. “Given the growing trend in online purchasing, insurance companies are realizing they need to be agnostic with respect to product distribution, and reach out to consumers in multiple ways. The same is true for contractors, who now have the benefit of a fully automated online job referral and administration service.”
For most individuals, their home is their single largest investment. A primary focus of YourHomeStuff™ is aiding homeowners in properly insuring their home, and with protecting their investment through ongoing maintenance, repair and improvement.
Surprisingly, surveys indicate over 60% of homes in the United States are underinsured, without sufficient coverage to replace a home and its contents in the event of a total loss.
With the yhs insurance agency, a member can ensure their home is properly protected. They can receive homeowner’s insurance quotes from top-rated insurance companies, and easily compare the quotes side by side. They can customize a policy to fit their needs, and even purchase a policy and obtain an insurance binder, all on a single website.
In addition, members can document valuables, easily storing and retrieving copies of warranties, receipts, appraisals and other critical materials. Members are completely in control of the process, and can decide if and when to engage with a professional insurance agent.
“While they are rare, disasters do happen, so buying appropriate coverage is perhaps the most important household management task,” said Ms. Clark. “Most homeowners feel insurance is a mysterious product over which they have little control or choice. While it is complicated, homeowners do in fact have a lot of choice in terms of the types and amounts of coverage they purchase. Understanding choices and buying wisely is now becoming much easier with online tools such as YourHomeStuff™.”
YourHomeStuff™ members can easily initiate and track jobs on their home and property, including routine maintenance, repairs and improvements, and renovations and additions. They can even request emergency clean up and restoration services following a flood, fire or other unfortunate event.
Members can request competitive estimates from qualified contractors in their communities, receiving an email notification when a qualified professional responds to their request. All communications and job details are documented in the member’s account for easy reference during the job, or years later when a paint color or material type needs to be matched. Members can also set email reminders for common household maintenance tasks to ensure necessary work is performed as needed.
“Whether doing the work yourself or contracting with a professional, home maintenance, repair and improvement is essential to protecting the value of your investment,” said Ms. Clark. “Timely upkeep can help avoid more costly repairs in the future, and homeowners save money in the long run by keeping their home in top condition.”
Family and Community Connections
Another central feature of YourHomeStuff™ is aggregating household and community information, and fostering connections within and among communities, organizations and neighborhoods.
On the family section of the site, members can create a calendar that includes each member of the household so no important activities are missed.
They can message back and forth in a private and secure environment, and share access to important family documents and photos. The site’s community section lets members create robust, private and secure online communities with neighbors, friends, teammates, classmates, club members and others, providing a forum for sharing news, or reminders of upcoming events. Members can list events, post messages and upload documents of interest to the community.
“YourHomeStuff™ is designed to be your single source for the connections relevant to your family, your neighborhood and your community,” said Ms. Clark. “The site also seeks to nurture and enhance the bond among neighbors. Whether you want to promote an event, raise awareness of a cause, or simply see what’s going on in your community, you can post it, read about it and discuss it on YourHomeStuff™.”
Most networking sites, heavily supported by advertising dollars, share users’ personal information and online activities with advertisers to allow them to more effectively reach their target audiences. YourHomeStuff™ is different. Since there is absolutely no advertising on the site, members can network and exchange information without the annoyance of advertisements and without concerns over how and with whom their online information is shared.
“While social networking continues to grow, so too do privacy concerns,” said Ms. Clark. “The emergence of private, advertising-free sites such as YourHomeStuff™ offers an attractive, less intrusive and more secure way for staying connected with families and local communities.”
YourHomeStuff™ is a community connecting website focused on helping members maintain, manage and protect their homes. YourHomeStuff™ members easily find and hire qualified home improvement professionals, organize family calendars, conduct home inventories and secure competitive insurance quotes. YourHomeStuff™ is free to join, secure and private and has no advertising. For more information, please visit www.yourhomestuff.com.