When faced with threats to two of his business interests due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Josh Kindred fast-tracked a project he’d already been working on. The result? He protected his team’s jobs and now has a service making a mark globally.
For more than two years, he had been working with a company based in California to develop technology which would generate a virtual tour of a property, primarily for application in the real estate industry.
When COVID-19 hit, he made the technology available to others in the industry in a bid to help it weather the storm.
Josh says since then, uses have evolved and the business Little Hinges is now the largest virtual scanning company in Southern Hemisphere.
“We realised that scanning any type of space, whether it's a house or business, made that space incredibly usable for so many uses … to digitise something is like moving from handwriting to (Microsoft) Word. It's transformed our ability to use the space,” Josh explains.
In September, he opened an office in Brisbane CBD to bring the team together and attract best tech developers in Queensland. Little Hinges now has more than 50 staff across Australia.
When COVID-19 hit, Josh knew his four Grind Coffee Bars – were about to be significantly affected.
“To keep the jobs of our baristas, we trained them to become scanning technicians because they’re people great with process and customer service,” Josh explains.
“An early milestone for the business was to create Australia's first full training package for our employees to become scanning technicians and we've virtually trained over 40 staff all across the country.”
“The demand has been incredible, even just renovators and homeowners have been getting scans to help tradespeople. We've now got teams in every capital city from Perth to Cairns,” Josh explains.
“We see every Australian will get a virtual scan of their home, whether they are a tenant or owner - it's like having a digital clone of your property in your pocket.
“There's always a period of time for something new to become the norm. Like Word digitised writing, we see Little Hinges will digitise all of Australia.”
Josh says the virtual tours are like having an open home 24/7 on any property.
“It has given customers a far greater experience and in many cases enabled buyers to purchase without physically walking through (often interstate buyers),” he explains.
“(But) we've worked closely with tourism, building industry, schools and many other industries, even boats and caravans, insurance companies for claims processing - any space they need digitised.”
“We are so thankful for the year of 2020, the hardships have pushed us to find our greatest qualities as individuals and as a team,” he says.
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