15 Feb Never lose a plan again – Andrew Mackie-Smith
In September last year – a program called inndox was born and immediately started winning awards for its ability to help property owners and investors, builders and developers assemble and sort all the critical documents involved in developing and owning property. The co-founder of inndox is Andrew Mackie-Smith and he explains how Inndox works.
Kevin: In September 2017, a program called Inndox won a place in the CityConnect Smart Cities program, a six-month accelerator to support, design, and build a smart city solution, partnering with BlueChilli.
The co-founder of Inndox is Andrew Mackie-Smith. Andrew is an author. He’s highly regarded as a spokesperson on building issues. He’s a third-generation builder, a building certifier, principal and consultant managing director of the most awarded building consultancy for the past 15+ years; it’s a company called BuildingPro. And he joins me in the show.
Andrew, that’s a long-winded way of saying welcome to a very esteemed guest. How are you?
Andrew: Thank you, Kevin. I’m feeling good, and a wonderful introduction. Happy to be here.
Kevin: Good on you, mate. You and I have spoken on another show that I do about Inndox. I just want to ask you what it is and why you have started it. What’s it about?
Andrew: Inndox is an online platform. It’s a website, and it gives property owners an easy way to manage their records and builders and developers a better way to hand over those records of a new build to an owner.
Kevin: Let’s talk about an owner or an investor to start with. What sort of documents do you see them putting in this program?
Andrew: These are things like plans, warranties, manuals, specifications, certificates – all those documents associated with a house that are normally sitting in folders and filing cabinets or attached to e-mails.
We think it’s really inefficient to waste time looking for those, especially when you’re trying to sell a property or you’re managing a rental property. Sure, you have a property manager doing it, but when they send you e-mails with attachments of receipts and things, they’re all over the place. You have some paper records, you have some attached to e-mails. We think it’s time to put all those in one central place so that you can easily manage them and access then when you need to.
Kevin: Many of the listeners to this show, of course, are either developers or investors, and they’re regularly doing renovations and so on, putting new bits and pieces into a build. I guess that’s where it would be very beneficial to have all of these warranties in one place. A very good timestamp as to what you’re doing with your renovation, as well, Andrew.
Andrew: Definitely, Kevin. Imagine the current practice – which is hard to believe, actually – that builders still will print off… They’ll have electronic copies of things like plans and the specification, the schedule of finishes. Think about paint finishes and the color and type of brick used on a house, the tiles, and the carpet type. They provide all those schedules to the owner, which is very useful going forward when you need to replace and repair some of these things.
Now, currently, they print those off and give them in a box or a folder to the owner, who promptly files them away in a filing cabinet or cupboard, and they forget about them. And they certainly don’t transfer them to the new owner. Or if they do, it’s very rare that that would occur.
So, now if it’s put into the cloud, it gives a great way for that to be transferred. It’s just easier to manage and maintain your property if you can quickly attach a floorplan to an e-mail and shoot it off to your architect because you want to do an extension. The first thing they’re going to ask you is “Have you got those existing plans?” Or if you want to make a claim on your dishwasher breaking down, you can quickly look up the warranty details and make a claim.
The Internet now is allowing a lot of things, Kevin. Things like Internet of Things mean all these warranties and manuals can be automatically kept up to date. So, no more reaching for old, outdated warranty manuals and things; it’s all kept up-to-date on the Internet. It’s just a handier way to do things.
Kevin: Yes. For any property owner, the program is called Inndox, inndox.com. What’s the cost of getting onto the site and putting the records in there, Andrew?
Andrew: We’ve kept it at $49 to make it affordable. That will cover it for at least ten years for people. For a period of ten years, they can put up to 2GB of data on there, which is a lot of files. Yes, that’s the cost. It’s the same cost for a builder, $49.
We arrived at that figure because from our estimates, builders are spending well over $500 to put together a handover file. We thought if we made it ten times cheaper, that would be a good starting point.
Kevin: Okay. The website is Inndox.com. Andrew Mackie-Smith has been my guest.
Andrew, thanks for your time.
Andrew: Thanks, Kevin. A pleasure to talk to you as always, and all the best.