Prop Tech – Common Ground’s favourite four

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By Alan Draper | Sep 2022

Alan Draper, Managing Director of Common Ground Estate and Property has previously talked about his love of Tech and how it influenced his thinking when setting up Common Ground Estate & Property Management Limited and later EV Solutions Group Limited.

This article is pure indulgence on his part and covers four of his favourite Prop Tech’s

1. Xero Accounts Software


Xero is an online accounts system which allows Common Ground clients (Freeholders, Resident Management Company directors) tracking of all income and expenditure in real time right down to the last penny.  The system enables full reporting of everything you would expect to find on a set of service charge accounts and so much more but in real time.

Common Ground clients have full transparency and the system fulfils all the requirements of a section 22 notice (Landlord and tenants act 1985) without them having to leave the comfort of their own homes. Items that can be viewed includes bank account balances, bank statements, original invoices, profit & loss reports, aged debtors, aged receivables, balance sheet………….but all in real time. No need to wait until 6 months beyond the end of the service charge year as (a la the hopelessly inadequate section 21 of the landlord and tenants act 1985)

2. Dwellant Block Management Software


Following on from the transparency of Xero, Dwellant allows the same level of transparency on the operational and maintenance side. All parties associated with a leasehold property (Leaseholders, tenants of leaseholders, RMC directors, freeholders) all have access to the system and can follow progress of items that they have raised on the system in real time. A key feature for Common Ground is the customer feedback it provides when a task is completed. The party for whom we have completed a task is able to rate us on a scale of 1 (very happy) to 5 (very unhappy) and this is an important Key performance Indicator for Common Ground and one of the ways we measure the performance of our property managers.

3. What 3 Words


This is a fantastic free app that breaks the entire world up into 3 metre by 3 metre grids and identifies each one through three word strings. This is a great resource for ensuring tradespeople get to the exact part of the development that they have been requested to attend, especially useful on large sites. By way of example, Common Ground’s postal address is RG9 1AT but shares this postcode with other businesses in the building. Now if you wanted to be directed to Common Ground’s office inside the building (Chiltern House) our what3words address is ///perfected.finds.example.

4. Flir 1 thermal imaging camera


The Flir1 thermal imaging camera is a piece of hardware that turns a mobile phone into a highly sensitive thermal imaging camera. Great for detecting water leaks in a non-invasive way and also useful for determining if damp patches in flats are due to cold spots (and condensation forming on these cold spots) or water leaks.

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