Craig King | Property Manager, Programmer, Tinkerer

2 December 2020   |   by Michael Abbott

Craig is something of an exception in property management. It’s not that he’s worked as a property manager on both sides of the world, starting in England before moving to Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island. What sets Craig apart is that in order to improve the businesses he’s worked in, he has taught himself some impressive technical skills. Put simply, he has taught himself how to program. Watch Video.

Craig saw early on that software is a tool that can be moulded in different ways to suit the business environments he works in. But knowing this, and knowing how to do it, are two different things. That didn’t stop Craig however, and he endeavoured to gain the skills needed to create what he’d envisioned. The bulk of this learning came from where else, YouTube. Craig taught himself to use Django and Python which are tools that help people rapidly develop web applications.

Craig graduated from using information pulled from spreadsheets to using APIs to access and visualise the information he wanted. APIs are computing interfaces that allow people to access data from a database. One example he gives is of the company using a whiteboard and marker to display advertised properties. Craig says “it was obviously very labour intensive so I thought it could definitely be improved by linking into the Palace API and connecting to the data so we could display it on the big screen”. He soon added other graphs and tables to the office’s big-screen-dashboard to help improve his team’s workflow.

Other companies have taken note of what Craig is doing. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a couple of property management companies in Auckland and showed them what we’ve created using the Palace API”, says Craig. “They’ve provided feedback on what’s useful to them and I’ve taken that into consideration to account for how other businesses operate.”

As always, when one gets a taste for creating data visualisations, a whole world opens up.