The Importance of Targeting Your Construction Marketing

Effective marketing of your construction company’s services is the cornerstone of business growth. In some cases, successful marketing might be the difference between staying in business or closing up shop. To succeed in the construction industry, your marketing must be aimed at the right audience. Here are some ways you can use construction marketing techniques to build and sustain your business.

construction marketingNarrow Your Marketing

A shotgun approach to marketing your construction services is almost guaranteed to be a waste of time, effort and resources. It’s necessary to narrow your marketing to those who might reasonably be expected to need your services. A newspaper advertisement pointing out general services might be fine, but if you are looking for broader opportunities, you’ll have to specialize. For example, if you advertise in industry publications, you’ll not have much luck advertising in agricultural publications if all you do is retail or residential construction. If you have a specialty in building agricultural structures, however, that type of magazine is a good choice. Marketing to former customers can also narrow your marketing to a proven and interested group.

Use the Proper Techniques

Your marketing must use the proper techniques to reach the audience most likely to need your services. The type of media you use — radio, television, print, or online — will depend on the type of customer you’re looking for. Mailing lists can be effective, but they need to be targeted to potential customers who will need the type of construction services you offer. Techniques such as programmatic advertising — a method of buying advertising and marketing media based on very specific audience characteristics and criteria — can let you get your message in front of a very narrow but very receptive group of potential customers.

Construction Monitor is dedicated to the success of construction businesses, and provides the data, construction leads, and best practices information they need to survive and thrive in a competitive industry. Contact us today for more information on construction marketing and how you can shape your marketing program to best take advantage of your available resources and the market you wish to serve.

The Latest in Home Security Trends

Home security continues to be a significant topic among residential construction professionals and their clients. The following information on home security trends in 2016 will help you understand the current status of home security systems so that you can better advise your clients on the products and manufacturers that can best meet their requirements.

home security trendsInformation Resource

The following information is derived from information presented on the website ASecureLife.com, an evaluation, review, and reporting site covering security systems. Their assessment of home security products is based on detailed research, expert interpretation, and direct contact with the manufacturers.

Best Companies and Products

  1. Frontpoint: Frontpoint achieved ASecureLife.com’s highest rating for 2016, marking the ninth year as the site’s top pick. Frontpoint was cited for its excellent customer service, low-pressure sales, and 30-day money-back guarantee. It also received high marks for the ease of installation of its systems. The system’s “crash and smash protection” prevents intruders from disabling the entire system by simply destroying the control panel.
  2. Protect America: Protect America was also commended for its customer service, lifetime warranty on equipment, and the ease of installation of its systems. The site also noted that Protect America offers locked-in rates for the lifetime of the system and requires no activation or installation fees.
  3. LiveWatch Security: The site’s number three choice, LiveWatch Security, offers benefits such as monthly monitoring by cellular system and good levels of customer service. Their systems are available on one-year contracts and there are no cancellation fees.

Equipment Features

All three companies offer equipment features that provide high levels of security. They include:

  • Door and window sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Motion-sensing cameras
  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Glass-break sensors
  • Moisture sensors
  • Freeze sensors
  • Panic buttons or pendants

All three companies also offer equipment that is compatible with smart home devices and technology, including geo-fencing and Z-wave technology.

Construction Monitor provides the most up-to-date information on industry developments that can help you acquire more construction leads and customers. Contact us today for more information on home security trends and how new advances in home security technology can benefit you and your clients.

Tips for Getting More Construction Leads Offline

Although online marketing is growing in importance, offline marketing is still a highly effective approach to lead generation in the construction business. That said, some offline methods draw in construction leads better than others.

lead generation in the construction businessWord of Mouth

While many construction firms cite word of mouth as their richest source of leads, few do anything to encourage word to spread. Instead of relying on your clients’ memory, directly ask clients for referrals.

When the job is done, give the client a form in which they can list the name and contact information of anyone they know who might need your services. Consider offering a cash referral fee or other reward, such as a gift card, for each lead that turns into a sale.

Direct Mail

Done correctly, mailing out postcards, fliers and other advertising material has strong potential for lead generation in the construction business. Start with a targeted mailing list of potential clients, such as property developers, affluent homeowners or new building permit holders. You can buy these from mailing database providers.

Then, if you plan to write the material yourself, invest some time in learning the best direct mail practices for construction contractors. That includes learning to make a solid offer, such as a complimentary consultation or an upgrade with purchase.

Cold Calling

Cold calling means phoning someone you’ve had no prior contact with to discuss your services. While it takes some stamina, cold calling has the potential to bring in construction leads relatively quickly. For better results, use a targeted calling list of people and businesses in your market.

Magazine Ads

They may be old school, but well-designed ads in the right publications are still effective for pulling in leads. To choose where to advertise, look through the variety of construction trade journals out there to find those you feel your potential clients are most likely to read. If you provide home remodeling and other consumer services, ads in consumer magazines are also worth considering.

For more guidance on effective lead generation in the construction business, contact us at Construction Monitor today.

Decreasing Turnover: Onboarding Tips for Construction Firms

Employee turnover can be especially troublesome in construction and the skilled trades. With profit margins running thin, the loss of resources represented by an employee who quits abruptly can be significant. Losing talented, skilled employees can also put a construction firm in a difficult situation, both financially and in terms of the time it takes to find and hire a replacement. The following onboarding tips for construction firms can give you some ways to establish a solid relationship with new employees that will increase the likelihood of them staying with your company.

onboarding tips for construction firmsEstablish a Connection

Take the extra steps to create a connection between your company and new hires. Have the company owner spend some time explaining the goals that are expected of new employees. Provide an introduction to all managers in the new employee’s chain of command. Introduce new employees to coworkers and the people they’ll be interacting with every day. Schedule a lunch meeting to let the new employee interact with managers or other employees in an informal setting.

Provide All Necessary Information

Give new hires all the information and resources they need to succeed in your company. Produce and distribute an employee manual or handbook that contains policies and procedures, contact information, and other important data. Thoroughly explain the company’s mission and what is expected of new employees.

Create Useful Relationships

Assign one or more employees to serve as the new hires’ point of contact. Coming into a new company knowing nobody can be intimidating, but if new hires have a coworker they can rely on when they have questions, the onboarding process will be much smoother and efficient.

Stay Consistent

Apply onboarding processes consistently among new employees. Don’t leave any new hires feeling left out. A feeling of “nobody did that for me” can create feelings of confusion or resentment that undermine employee loyalty.

Construction Monitor gives construction industry professionals the data they need to plan hiring goals and obtain the most promising construction leads. Contact us today for more onboarding tips for construction firms that will help you retain the best employees and decrease turnover.

Tips for Generating more Construction Leads

If you’re used to bringing in your construction leads through traditional offline methods, it’s easy to overlook opportunities online. These days, online options for lead generation in the construction business are plentiful, and you don’t have to be a marketing expert to take advantage of them.

Create a Blog

Research has found construction firms that run blogs attract over 50 percent more visitors and nearly 70 percent more construction leads than those without blogs. A blog lets you display your expertise, building your visitors’ impression of you as a knowledgeable authority. Regularly adding fresh content also improves your rankings in the search engines, making it more likely your would-be clients will find you.

When you post, focus on topics that will help your target audience make informed decisions. You might compare different types of building materials, explain the advantages of one construction method over another, or discuss emerging trends and new technology.

Leverage Social Media

To help attract people to your website and blog, get involved in social media. Like blogging, activity on social media can also help boost your search engine rankings.

Start by setting up accounts on the four major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Each platform requires a different approach, so take some time to plan the type of content you want to post on each one. Keep in mind that social media is like a cocktail party, not a trade show. Join in the conversation, but don’t directly advertise.

Include Calls to Action

It may seem obvious, but if you want your would-be clients to do something, you have to ask them to do it. To help ensure your visitors move in the direction you want them to, include a call to action on every website or blog page: clear, specific instructions on what to do next. Directly ask your visitors to sign up for your mailing list, “like” you on Facebook, contact you to discuss their requirements, or request an estimate, depending on your priority

For more proven-effective ideas for lead generation in the construction business, contact Construction Monitor today.

3 Ways to Boost Construction Leads from Referrals

Attracting referrals is one of the most effective methods of lead generation in the construction business, but referrals don’t come by magic. If you expect to bring in a steady stream of construction leads, you have to take some action to get the ball rolling.

lead generation in the construction businessMake It Easy

Even if your clients think you did an outstanding job, it might never occur to them to refer business to you. To encourage them to take the extra step of making a referral, give them a simple, straightforward way to do it.

You can start just by asking your clients if they know any homeowners or developers who might need your services. In addition, provide a form that lets clients list the names and contact information of anyone who might want to work with you. Ask your client’s permission to distribute letters describing the work you did for them, along with a photo of the client beside your yard sign. To really kick your referral system up a notch, consider offering referral fees to reward your clients’ efforts.

Build Personal Relationships

Good work isn’t always enough to attract a referral. Ultimately, we refer our friends and acquaintances to service providers we like as people, not to faceless companies. That means a big part of lead generation in the construction business lies in personal connections.

To build the kind of personal rapport and affinity that pulls in construction leads, choose one person to work closely with the client throughout the job. This person becomes the human face of the company and is the one clients will refer work to.

Be Exceptional

Doing an adequate job probably won’t get you many complaints, but it won’t win you much praise, either. If you expect clients to remember you, much less send business your way, you’ll need to outperform your competition in some way. There are dozens of ways you could do this, including completing work faster, using higher-quality materials, or offering a wider selection of eco-friendly options.

For more pro tips on lead generation in the construction business, contact Construction Monitor today.

 

Best Practices for Contractor Websites

While word of mouth might be the biggest part of your current construction marketing plan, it shouldn’t be the only one. Your website has the potential to be a major source of construction leads, but only if you give it the power to do so.

construction marketingDesign That Draws Clients

Make a good first impression with a website design that’s up-to-date and consistent in appearance, and that loads quickly. A site with no cohesive color scheme, or one that’s cluttered or full of bland stock photos detracts from your professional image.

If your site is like most, some 35 percent of your visitors are viewing on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile so these visitors stick around.

From the design, text and images on your site, it should be immediately apparent who you are, what you do and who your target clients are. To pull in construction leads, the design should lead visitors on a clear path to a specific action, such as filling in a contact form.

Get familiar with the major factors affecting your ranking in Google so clients can find you more easily. This includes keyword placement, update frequency, image optimization, and outbound links to authority sites.

Content That Connects

In addition to providing information about your company, your website should act as a useful resource for your target market. Offering educational content encourages your clients to view you as knowledgeable, helpful and trustworthy.

Instead of hiding behind a corporate facade, let your visitors get to know the human side of your company. Include an in-depth “About” page, pictures of the company owners and employees, and photos of the office and equipment. Letting people see the real you builds trust and helps your visitors remember you — both critical factors in construction marketing online.

To further build trust, include testimonials from former clients and links to reviews of your company on other websites, such as the Better Business Bureau.

For more tips on effective construction marketing, contact Construction Monitor today.

Say Goodbye to Curtains and Blinds: The Latest in Window Trends

Windows are a critical architectural component of homes and commercial buildings, providing a source of natural lighting and offering the ability to take a look at the outdoor environment. Curtains and blinds have typically been used as both decorative elements and as ways to control the amount of light coming through the windows. However, a new technology is one of the current window trends that makes it possible that curtains and blinds will become obsolete.

window trendsAdjustable Glass

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a type of “tunable” glass that can be adjusted from clear to frosted to completely opaque. Since users can control the transparency of the glass itself, standard curtains and window blinds are not necessary to determining how much light gets through the glass.

The window developed by the team at Harvard can change its level of transparency in less than a second, controlled by a switch, noted technology reporter Chloe Olewitz, writing on the website Digital Trends. Unlike previous tunable windows, this one uses an electrical process rather than an electrochemical reaction.

How the Process Works

In the Harvard window, a sheet of glass or plastic is sandwiched between layers of elastomers on each side. Nanowires in the elastomers normally maintain an even distance between themselves, which allows the window to remain transparent. When an electrical current is applied to the wires, Olewitz reported, they move toward each other, scattering the light coming through the window. This process creates the different levels of opacity in the window.

Removing the electrical charge allows the nanowires to return to their original position, restoring the transparency of the glass.

The Harvard researchers believe that the electrical process will result in less expensive and more widely available applications of tunable windows, Olewitz stated. This could make tunable glass a more common component in smart homes and other technologically advanced structures.

Construction Monitor helps designers, builders, decorators and other professionals stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the construction industry. Contact us today for more information on window trends that have the potential to replace standard curtains and blinds.

Is 3D-Printed Construction Equipment What’s Next?

Of all the new technologies making their way into the construction industry, 3D printing appears to have the greatest potential for making profound changes in the way buildings and other structures are designed and built. Large-scale 3D printing equipment has already been shown to be effective at creating walls, bridges, modules, and even entire buildings. Now the next step for 3D printing in the construction industry appears to be using the technology to create vehicles and construction equipment.

3d printing in the construction industryFully-Functional Equipment

A fully functional excavator, created entirely through 3D printing with steel, is set to be displayed at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada in March, 2017.

The CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show will also feature a demonstration of 3D printing technology during which a second excavator will be created on the showroom floor, noted reporter Scott J, Grunewald, writing on the website 3Dprint.com.

3D printing provides a quick, relatively inexpensive technique for designing and prototyping small-scale objects. The technology has been used successfully in medical and veterinary applications for creating prosthetic limbs or new hip and knee joints. However, this is the first time a working piece of large-scale construction equipment has been created using the process.

The Best Has Yet to Come

“There have been all sorts of wonderful predictions for 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, but for the construction industry the best has yet to come,” stated industry observer and commentator Korky Koroluk in a May 27, 2016 article in the Daily Commercial News.

The printing and demonstrating of the excavator is a joint effort featuring a collaboration between the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), noted a writer on the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 website.

Looking for the latest information on construction technology and innovations? Construction Monitor helps industry professionals stay on top of the latest developments in construction tools, equipment and techniques. Contact us today for more information on 3D printing in the construction industry and what it could mean to your company in both the short and long term.

NYC Construction Apprenticeship is Bursting with Diversity

The construction apprenticeship programs in New York City are richly diverse, providing consistent opportunities for women and minorities to enter the relatively well-paid construction trades. This is the word from Gary LaBarbera, the president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, writing in a June 10, 2016 letter to the editor in Crain’s New York Business.

apprenticeshipLaBarbera’s letter comes in response to a May 29, 2016 Crain’s opinion-editorial piece from Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, whose observations prompted an assertion that minorities were not well represented in Brooklyn unions and other labor organizations.

Minorities in Construction

Among the 8,000 union apprentices who work in New York City, 65 percent of them are minorities, LaBarbera reported. With more than 5,200 apprentices consistently working in the city, the interests of women and minorities are well represented, according to LaBarbera.

The current state of opportunity for women and minorities in the New York construction is a significant improvement over conditions in the past. A December, 1993 study by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (Building Barriers: Discrimination in New York’s Construction Trades) concluded that women and minorities were severely underrepresented in the skilled construction trades, with minorities making up 19 percent and women only 1 percent of employees.

The report further noted that in apprenticeship programs, some 28 percent of apprentices were minorities and 3.4 percent were women.

Rising Minority Apprenticeship

The current statistics reported by LaBarbera indicate a significant improvement in numbers for apprenticeships.

Other programs, such as the Edward J. Mallow Initiative for Construction Skills, offer training and apprenticeship opportunities to minorities and women. The organization reports that 87 percent of the referrals it places in apprenticeship programs are African American, Hispanic, and Asian. About 83 percent of those referrals placed in apprenticeships remain in the construction industry and advance through the ranks to attain better positions and improved skills.

Construction Monitor publishes the most up-to-date information on housing starts, construction best practices, and important industry trends. Contact us today for more information on diversity in apprenticeship programs in New York and in other major metropolitan areas around the country.