Blog

The easiest way to attach keys to key rings

Here’s a life-saving (or at least nail-saving!) tip for anyone who has to regularly attach keys or key fobs to key rings.

When building demonstration kits for our Key Management Software, we couldn’t believe there was no fast, simple method for attaching key rings to key fobs.  The best we had come up with was using a small flat, screwdriver to lever the ring open and then insert the key or fob.  Then we found this YouTube video, which shows that the humble staple remover has the answer! Continue reading “The easiest way to attach keys to key rings”

Samuel_Johnson_by_Joshua_Reynolds

Stay on top of the little things: My one & only New Year’s resolution

Samuel Johnson wrote that “It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible”.

If you are anything like me, you and your staff may well have just spent a considerable amount of time catching-up on a whole number of little things that you never got round to during the year. Like me, you might also be vowing to do more of it as you go along next year. Continue reading “Stay on top of the little things: My one & only New Year’s resolution”

2016 – Customer-led Lettings Success

A few weeks before Christmas, the Keyzapp team attended The Negotiator Conference in London, one of the largest annual forums for those working in the sales and lettings industry.

While the debate about the strengths of traditional versus online agencies burnt on, the clear success message was about customer service.

We were not only there to demonstrate the benefits of our Key Management System; we were there to listen and learn from those who have and continue to innovate and lead the sales and lettings industry. Continue reading “2016 – Customer-led Lettings Success”

7 great insights from Innocent Drinks CEO (with thoughts for the property industry)

For me, the stand-out speaker at yesterday’s Future Decoded event in London was the first- Richard Reed, CEO of Innocent Drinks. Richard focussed on creating high-performing teams through staff and customer engagement. Given his company’s massive 94% engagement score (which compares to a UK average of just 17%), this is something he clearly knows a lot about. As Richard spoke, I couldn’t help relating some of what he was saying to our own property industry, where staff turnover is often high, competition is fierce and having the right people, all of them engaged and motivated, is a major competitive advantage.
Here’s what I took away: Continue reading “7 great insights from Innocent Drinks CEO (with thoughts for the property industry)”

Are we suggesting that our customers move ‘Half a World Away’ or is this just John Lewis?!

Deck your halls folks. The John Lewis Christmas TV ad is out! The soundtrack is beautiful. The art direction stunning. The message? Is it clear?

Are they telling me that they can sell us telescopes powerful enough to see and interact with the man on the moon? That I’ll never be happy in this old town of mine? That the world we have is not enough? Continue reading “Are we suggesting that our customers move ‘Half a World Away’ or is this just John Lewis?!”

Key-management-stand-GLM-conference

Minimising Risk and Maximising Potential – 5 highlights from the GLM conference 2015

Professional agencies stand ready to meet the challenges of industry change.

The theme of this year’s conference was Minimising Risk and Maximising Potential.  As many would have expected, discussions homed in on the imminent changes to lettings legislation taking hold in October.  Particular hot topics were Section 21, Immigration and the Right to Rent, Smoke Alarms and Legionnaires Disease.  Whilst the industry as a whole is struggling to get to grips with the change, the members of the professional bodies seem confident of achieving compliance from day one, and ready to advise landlords of their new responsibilities. Continue reading “Minimising Risk and Maximising Potential – 5 highlights from the GLM conference 2015”

The tap and go revolution is beginning!

The technology that powers Keyzapp’s patent-pending “Tap and Scan” key tracker is about to take off big time according to global business advisory firm, Deloitte.

The biggest mainstream use of the technology, (known as Near Field Communication, or NFC for short) will be to make payments quickly and simply via your mobile phone.  This research coincides with Apple’s “Apple Pay” for iPhones in the UK this week. Chances are, if you live in an economically developed country, you’re already starting to use the same tech every day, with “contactless, “tap and go” or “payWave” credit cards.

With millions of phones now using the technology in the UK, Deloitte expect that we’ll see an explosion in the different ways you can tap objects to interact with them.  Keyzapp is one of the best examples of how this technology can go beyond payment systems into all sorts of everyday processes in industry.

Going from a paper log book to Keyzapp is like replacing your chequebook with contactless credit cards.

An example of contactless payment for bus travel in London How contactless technology improves key management

References:

24% of UK households will be in the Private Rental Sector by 2020 – Vital information from – The Rent Check

Allsop and BDRC’s The Rent Check report is essential reading for anyone wanting to get a handle on the current and future state of the Private Rented Sector (PRS). It provides a wealth of useful facts and figures as on the state of the current market as well as some sound analysis about where we are heading, combining landlord and tenant surveys with the policital and economic analysis.

The “barometer” Infographic gives you a quick view of the latest trends.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the report:

  • Rents in England are up everywhere except for the North East, East and East Midlands, with greatest growth in the South East (few surprises there!)
  • 29% landlords of landlords  (that’s almost 1 in 3!) intend to increase their property portfolio size in the next 12 months
  • House prices have risen much faster than rents
  • 24% of Households are set to be privately renting by 2020
  • In London, more people will soon rent rather than own their homes, which has big consequences for society and the economy
  • There’s a huge case for investment in rented housing – with over £178bn needed to satisfy the underlying need
  • Government is focusing primarily on Home Ownership, and risks ignoring a large part of society that will never be homeowners

To me, all this points to an increase in the number of properties that will need professional management and servicing over the next few years.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

“Find One Find All” Key tracker review

I have to admit, I lead a pretty chaotic personal life, and keeping track of my personal belongings has never been a strong point. When I spent a record 45 minutes hunting all over my house for my keys last month, I decided enough was enough and bought a solution.

The one I went for was the “Find One, Find All” (or FOFA) system, since it was the most interesting options for finding personal keys at short range. Unlike the many gimmicky “whistle for your keys” fobs that have been around for ages and have a reputation for going off at random, FOFA uses short range radio, which makes it much more reliable.

How does FOFA work?

You need at least 2 devices, which can take the form of either a fob that attaches to your key ring, or a credit card-sized unit that fits in your wallet. As the name suggests, if you have one of these, you can use it to find the other. You do this by pressing the numbered button on the device that corresponds to the other device you are looking for. The system claims to be extensible up to 36 devices.

Here’s my verdict, after using FOFA for over a month now:

Reliability – 4/5

It’s pretty good. It has a decent range, though not quite enough to cover my whole house. This means that I sometimes have to try separately in different rooms to find my keys or wallet. Probably not helped by the fact that the modern wallet is stuffed full of contactless cards, metal objects (coins) and cardboard (loyalty cards)! The has never taken me more than 30 seconds, though!

The buttons of the device are very hard to accidentally press, and so far I’ve never set it off accidentally.

Looks & Practicality – 3/5

The designers have definitely put function over form. It isn’t beautiful, but then neither is anything else on my key ring (apart from my Keyzapp fob of course!). In order to fit the electronics, battery and buttons in, the fob is quite chunky, making my keys quite bulky. The “Credit Card” transmitter is probably about the thickness of 3 normal cards, so takes up quite a lot of space in my wallet.

The main flaw with the FOFA idea is that you need to have at least one device to find the other. So if you leave your wallet and your keys in the same place, and forget where it was, then you are back to hunting around. That said, in my case, I can normally lay my hands on at least one, so haven’t found it a major problem. Of course you could always buy another device and chain it to the front door or kitchen counter if you do want to prevent losing both devices.

Value for money – 4/5

The units aren’t exactly cheap, retailing at about £29.99 for 2 (I’ve seen them for less) but they’re not that dear either. If you constantly waste minutes hunting for your stuff, then FOFA is probably a good investment. I reckon I use mine 2-3 times a week, and it probably typically saves me 5-10 minutes a week. In my book, if it prevents one epic 45-minute key hunt, it will have paid for itself!

Overall verdict – 4/5

I definitely find my FOFA devices useful, and can put up with the chunky fobs. I would heartily recommend them as a gift for a friend or relative just as an efficiency saving for you.

Is there a commercial use for FOFA? There may be one out there, but I can’t see it working for Keyzapp customers, who typically manage more than 36 key rings.  The cost and the need to be fiddling around with batteries make it impractical for large volumes of keys.

 

Have you found an innovative way to manage your personal keys?  Do let me know and leave a comment below.

Keyzapp is now a “Patent Pending” product. Here’s a new video to celebrate!

[fusion_text]We’re pleased to announce that our patent application has been received and Keyzapp’s innovative tap-or-scan key management product now has patent-pending status.

We’re all very excited about this milestone!  Check out this short video to see more about how fast and simple it is to manage your keys with Keyzapp![/fusion_text][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ enable_mobile=”no” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]