Estate Agent Slang

For those of you interested in Estate Agent definitions in the UK.

AIP: Agreement In Principal

FTB: First Time Buyer

MA: Marketing Appraisal

NOM: Not On Market

OIEO: Offers In Excess OF

OIRO: Offers In Region Of

OM: On the Market

POA: Price On Application

Sold: Property has exchanged and completed and the new owner has taken over the property.

SSTC: Sold Subject To Contract

UO: Under Offer

Vendor: Current Owner

Domain and host bought = start of!

Instead of just developing the site on MAMP, we have decided to buy a domain and host to see the demand on creating a market place for renters and landlords who are friends/connected to share information in regards to property. We are going to do a survey of what people want to see from the idea.

The domain is Hope to get a simple site up with a header image, information in regards to what we are going to create, a Survey created on Typeform and email subscription for people who are interested in the progress of the web app. We hope to have the site up and ready by end of Friday.

We bought the domain on due to the fact they offer 1 year free whois guard and the prices for buying a domain is really reasonable and its easy to map the DNS (Domain Name System) to the DNS servers on the host side.

We have gone with Kualo as the host due to reviews we have had of their customer service. We went for the host reselling option, and we have had some issues and their support team have been fantastic. The support team told us about a third party proxy service anonymouse as there is probably a propagation issue in after making nameserver changes.

The initial site will be in wordpress to get the information out to the world.

The way we decided on the name was to get a lot of friends around the table to tip in on the names which they think could work for the idea. In the end we agreed that we would go by one name and if we thought of a better one we would change it in the future.

Tomo (友) means friend in Japanese. So we decided we would go by Friend Living as a starter. There were ideas such as Frenters and Frenancy but was taken and Frenancy didn’t sound as appealing for now.

Creating a website?

For those of you who are creating a website for your startup business and want to get a MVP (minimum viable product) out asap to see the demand for your idea. The following tools are hassle free and don’t require coding skills:

1. Squarespace

2. Strikingly

3. Wix

At Escape the City, Squarespace is referenced as an easy website builder to use.

This blog is created on WordPress, on a host (if you use WordPress on WordPress, editors, database and file manager options are limited so we would advise on using a host such as Kualo). Personally we like this option because it lies between a template website builder and offers flexibility of coding in php with reference to mySQL database. There is an option for users to create a section for a website using HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP in their file manager in case they want to test the website out on mobiles or tablets, which is a real benefit for those who want to become website developers in the future.

Our current project on creating a website for property is being created on HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Apache and mySQL model.

Initially we tried to create it using the apps which were installed on the MAC. (Jason had a good and easy way to do the installation process on OS X Yosemite).

After playing around with the above option, we decided to go back onto MAMP. (We play around with our WordPress website on MAMP before it goes live). It requires a single fire up of Apache and mySQL database by the MAMP app it makes life easier compared to having separate Apache and mySQL frameworks.

FYI XAMPP is available for non MAC users

Conservatives have won the UK elections. What could this mean?

Conservatives won the UK elections on 8th May 2015. The UK Election 2015 results mapped with the regions being taken in each constituents can be seen on the Telegraph.

What does this mean?

UK Property are predicted to surge from International Investors according to the Evening Standard. For land owners and landlords this is welcoming news. For the first time buyers this is worrying news when the cost of a property isn’t affordable and people new to the property ladder will have to spend a multiple of over 5 times there wages, maybe even 10 times. For those renting to buy a property in the future, could this mean a roller-coaster ride or will the government help out and intervene?

There is one thing people need to be aware of in regards to the Conservatives re-election which is the Snoopers Charter. If the bill is passed it could increase the mass surveillance in the UK. As written by Play Top Secret could this be a start of George Orwell’s 1984?

The manifesto by the Conservatives had a pledge to increase the number of startups to 600,000 per year as written in the Guardian. The amount of startup loan could treble in the next few years and this will make the startup industry very exciting in the years to come.


UK Elections

Its going to be an interesting and exciting night, especially for those in the finance markets.

What are the likely hood of the Fixed Income, Equity and Forex markets going mad in the UK?

The YouGov and the Official Exit Polls are showing different results, which can cause confusion.

Labour is effective pro individuals, Conservatives is pro business.

Will Ed Miliband be able to run the UK or will David Cameron keep pursuing his economy reform?

Labour have kept Sunderland South. Will the result show a similar result as in YouGov of Labour catching up or will it be Conservative keeping hold of seats as shown in the Official Exit Polls.

Lets see if Lord Ashdown eats his hat or not 🙂

Nepal Lifeline: Shelter. Weddings go on.

Nepal Lifeline: Shelter

“Nepal urgently needs around one million tents to provide shelter to the affected people as more than 300,000 buildings have collapsed during the earthquake,” claims Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh as reported in Business Standard.

If there was a quick count of how many tents have already been deployed and how many are on the tarmac of the airport, it would provide a good estimate for how many more tents, other Countries or International Aid agencies need to send. We believe this audit could cause delays whilst the monsoon season is approaching, so a better approach would be to getting the tents out to those in need as fast as possible and then worrying about the numbers/audit later on.

With community spirit, innovation and quick thinking, locals are assembling tents with the material they currently have before the monsoon season as written in the New York Times.

As the news of the Earthquake in Nepal starts to fade from the focus of the media (especially in Britain, due to the Elections and the news of the birth of the princess), we shall remember that tents are only for the short term and medium to long term reconstruction will be required for the 300,000 + buildings which have either been destroyed or damaged.

Higher standard, Earthquake resistant building, which are quick to build should be a topic the Nepalese government and the construction industry should focus on. Architects from Nepal and the World will hopefully put forward their designs to help the reconstruction of a country which has seen heavily destructed.

For buildings which have minor damage or have been weakened, they should be strengthened/retrofitted to improve the Earthquake resistance in case of future earthquakes. An article in the Indian Express in regards to retrofitting can be found.

Reconstruction and strengthening of old buildings will take time, it wont be a few months but more likely a few years, so we hope the media focusses on the reconstruction of Nepal every few weeks/ once a month to keep the public awareness on the progress and provide revised cost on the regeneration as that can help on how much more donations are necessary.

Weddings go on

5 days after the Earthquake on 25th April, on 30th April a Nepalese couple were wed.
For Nepalese weddings, an Astrologer chooses a good date to get married and people plan weddings around that date. One of the couples grandfather was not doing well so the wedding went ahead. This is due to the fact there is a custom when a family member dies, weddings are postponed for a year to mourn that family member.
To some it may seem strange to have a wedding after a major natural disaster but we think it shows the strength of the Nepalese to get on even during the worst of times.


Wedding taking place in Nepal after the Earthquake

Nepal Lifeline: Health, Airport Customs Holding up Aid Relief?

Lifeline: Health

Nepal’s Rural Poor, Hardest Hit By Earthquake, Now Face Massive Health Threat reported the Huffington Post on 29th April. The reports of a Health issues are not found to be in focus today which either shows the issues are being dealt with or a full assessment of the situation is yet to be made to the public or media.

On the other hand WHO (World Health Organisation) have reported 17 of the 21 Hospitals in the 21 District were in operation and sufficient health personnel were available to treat patients. The draw back is the current shortage in supplies.

Nepal has not been renowned for providing the best health care system, and were in 2010 ranked 139th in terms of life expectancy, so with the extra help from International Aid and volunteers, the medical teams seem to be working diligently and doing a good job.

Airport Customs Holding up Aid Relief?

The BBC have reported US aid planes are arriving in Kathmandu to help deliver aid to remote areas. In the same article the United Nations have said the problem of customs controls holding up aid deliveries from the airport was “diminishing”, which could be a great sign and can reflect the governments desire to change and improve with input from the aid agencies, which will be a key in the next months and few years to come when Nepal are redeveloping their country.

What is the PM’s Disaster Relief Fund and What it is Not?

There have been questions about Nepal Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund, we believe this is explained in a blog by Siromani Dhungana. There are questions about how the government could abuse the donations and the transparency of it but hopefully with the focus from the International Media this will not be the case. From PM Relief website we can see the contributions and the allocated funds but there isn’t a breakdown in the figures therefore at the moment there is not yet a clear transparency on what the funds have been allocated, we hope this will change in the near future.

For extra reading there is an inspirational reading by the Asia Director for IsraAID from 30th April titled “In Nepal: Hero of the day“.

Certainly things are not perfect but we believe things will slowly improve after people learn from their mistakes and help each other.
For those of you who are worried about where your donations are going to go, it maybe a good idea to wait for things to calm down in 3 months time and donate. Nepal will need people to donate but if your put off by all the media news then waiting and keeping the money in an account with some interest rates, then offering it at a later date is a good idea (certainly better than not donating at all because you are worried about the corruption 🙂 ).

Banks consider Startups as Opportunity rather than Threat?

In the American Banker there was an article with the subject Banks lean on startups to bolster their digital futures. Citigroup and other banks are increasingly looking to startups to help them compete in a world where tech firms such as Google, Apple are becoming potential threats. This is an interesting article where Banks have realised the importance of the disruption scene. We hope more focus is put onto this subject and banks realise the importance of technology. Banks have been cutting their budget on internal Technology teams as they consider it to be a cost center rather than teams to bolster/improve their success in the future.
Lloyds’ Strategy Director has said “Competition from tech firms and startups is ‘opportunity’ rather than threat”. Lloyds have recently been outperforming the other UK banks and seem to be on the right paths. The Director said “there is a lot we can learn from each other” in regards to new competitors. The big four UK banks are going through restructuring. Adopting, improving efficiency and being more innovative are going to be key topics for them.

A good three point guide to Startups can be found in the Entrepreneur in the article with subject “Startups: Don’t Make These 3 Financial Mistakes”

For a good read, LinkedIn has an article with subject 5 Lessons From 30 Days @ LinkedIn. It has 5 key points which we wish everyone in the World would consider whilst working.

Losing a co-founder.. Its better to say No

This weekend started off with Bad News. Losing a Co-founder for the Startup, I was starting. The Co-Founder was unable to commit on the Property Project for this present moment in time. I am going to learn more into the Technical side of our project as previously before I was spending my time on research, design and potential marketing. In regards to the Co-founder, I will give him space, support and time to see if he would be interested in coming back onto the project when the time suits him better. He is a great Asset to have in the team. He is driven and provides ample technical knowledge.
Second Bad News: I was meant to move properties today, but I have been unable to this because a friend, who was meant to help me move cancelled in the last minute. I was not impressed in the manner of how my friend had cancelled and sent a message about prioritising, organising and committing to help out, whilst expressing my disappointment. Hopefully he will think about why I was disappointed and how he can improve the next time he decides to help. Its certainly better to say No or not offer to help, than offer to help and then cancel in the last minute.
Overall a disappointing weekend in terms of the business and personal life but things keep going and Im actually feeling quite calm considering the 2 set backs.

Corruption in Nepal?

Could Donations to Nepal go into the hands of the wrong people?

Nepal Aid Donors may halt fundraising amid fears Government will seize donations reports the Telegraph. Natalia from Iam Adventures Blog had contacted this issue this morning from an article in Direction Kathmandu. What the Government wants is for all the donations to go through the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund. This causes fear of a slow down in the process of helping the public most in need of the aid and if there is corruption, it could cause a black hole in the donations.

If the government do go ahead with this plan and are caught in a corruption scandal, could it quicken the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC) and if circumstances have it could the Government of Nepal be the first to go on trial?

An article by Judge Mark Wolf on creating an International Anti-Corruption Court can be found in the Washington Post. If there is an International Criminal Court, what are the bottle necks of an Anti-Corruption Court to be formed?

If the process of Aid and Donations are delayed it affects the recovery of Nepal, especially before the dreaded monsoon season. We know from the World Bank the strength of development in Nepal has come from at the community level. The question is why have the government decided to create more work for themselves, a big headache for the International Aid Agencies and a slow down to aid the people who are in most in need?
Its a little weird after Nepal’s elderly Prime Minister, Sushil Koirala, had apparently admitted his government is overwhelmed and needs international aid as written in The Australian, is there someone else in the background advising on the policies?

The next International Anti-Corruption Convention is in Malaysia* from 2nd to 4th September. If the Nepalese Government does not help to improve the process by then, could the Countries providing aid and Aid Agencies raise the issue in the convention? What could the outcome be?

Could the International Media attention on the political instability issues with the current Government in Nepal, help to improve the Government to become more fair and help to push a New Constitution for the Nepalese public? This isn’t to say some people in the Government are not doing a good job, but the current news seems to simply imply they have made bad decisions.

We will see how things start to change with the disaster recovery, as people can learn from their mistakes. One thing, we are worried about is a black market which could be formed due to the government push on the donations going through the government accounts.

On the other hand the Associate Press has reported Nepal’s government is giving out 100,000 rupees ($1,000) to families of each of those killed in Saturday’s earthquake, and another 40,000 rupees ($400) for funeral costs, according to the state-run Radio Nepal. We wonder what the process is of obtaining the fund and when it will be available.

*No comments in regards to 1MDB and Najib Razak*
*ICC (International Criminal Court) is different to ICJ (International Court of Justice) the judicial branch of the UN*
*IACC would most likely be Intergovernmental and complement the national judicial system. The bottle neck could be the poor law and order of Nepal as reported in the World Bank. It could be difficult to complement a poor national judicial system*

Tesla Battery in Homes? Property sector backs Tories.

Tesla Battery in homes?

As reported in the BBC, Tesla are going for the battery industry in homes. Moixa Technology in the UK have been researching and developing on something similar but with less marketing and smaller team their specifications do not seem to be able to compete against Tesla.
The BBC has reported “lithium ion battery could be superseded within a few years by other technology, like hydrogen fuel cells”. Ceres Power an offspring of Imperial College is a player in the Fuel Cell Market. If fuel cells become more in demand will Tesla start researching and developing into the industry or will they be acquiring?
From a engineering point of view Tesla have helped put focus on the Battery and Renewable industry for homes and I am hoping to see more competition and innovation in this industry.

Property sector backs Tories

Property Week revealed property companies donated £1.28m to the Tories – six times the amount given to Labour. Each sector has their values but its interesting to see the figures, even though its easy to see from history why property companies like the Tories.

Moving homes, Borough Market, Cafe East

Today was a day of packing, followed by a meeting with a friend at Monmouth Coffee in Borough Market, then dinner with a school friend since 13yrs old at Cafe East in Canada Water.