Update for Tomoliving.com and start of Tribe Lab

For Tomoliving.com we have written two blogs.

One is a brief market research on the London Property Market and Employee Statistics, the other is on where to find market research by Property Consultants.

We’ve used resources from the Business & IP Centre London at the British Library and this has been useful for our research. For Tomoliving.com the Construction & Property Industry Guide was a good start.

In the background we have have been doing value propositions and looking at customer profiles. By looking at the customer profiles, we will be able to put the customers into segments and look at their gains, pains and goals to find what kind of product and services each segment are looking for which will help in making our website more flexible to shifts in customer profiles.

As a side project we have started Tribe-lab.com. We have started this Social Network project for people in our network to share knowledge. Knowledge between friends is a big asset and we believe a platform to share knowledge without the information being lost in history would be useful for our friends around us. As a MVP we are going to use bbPress and BuddyPress. If we get enough traction we will look into coding the site.


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 TomoLiving.com!

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 tomoliving.com. 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 tomoliving.com on Namecheap.com 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 Frenters.com 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 🙂 ).