10 Million Permits!

On July 3rd, 1989, David Mineer Sr. collected a building permit from the Utah County building permit office, and Construction Monitor was born.  28 years later Construction Monitor has a data collection network spanning 1,899 jurisdictions throughout the United States and provides the most real time building permit information in the country.  Construction Monitor now has thousands of clients relying on that accurate and up-to-date weekly information to grow their revenue and help make crucial business decisions.  On May 9th, 2017, Construction Monitor entered the 10 millionth permit into its database.

The 10 millionth permit was collected from Richmond, Virginia.  It is a commercial remodel permit with a valuation of $1,095,000 that was issued on April 21st, 2017.  Subscribers to Construction Monitor; such as companies in the drywall, flooring, security, and solar industries, will be able to use that permit as a potential opportunity to generate bids and create more revenue.  Since 1989, Construction Monitor has created over 10 million of those types of opportunities for its clients.

Building permits are valuable as both sales leads and statistical information because they are required on every construction project from a small residential remodel up to a commercial high-rise.  With multiple ways to contact most individuals related to millions of construction projects, Construction Monitor clients have been able to identify and capture opportunities that they had only because they watched permits through Construction Monitor.

To learn more about Construction Monitor and how it has helped thousands of companies throughout the United States, visit us at ww.constructionmonitor.com

3 Must-Have Tools in Your Construction Lead Generation Arsenal

constructionEvery construction lead you bring in has the potential to add thousands to your bottom line, but getting those leads still takes an outlay of time, money and effort. Focusing on the most efficient lead generation tools helps ensure your investment pays off.

A High-Quality Portfolio

A carefully chosen selection of clear, well-composed photos of your best work will have more impact on a prospective client’s impression of you than any written description ever could. A quality portfolio shows exactly what your firm is capable of and provides visible proof of soft skills, such as flexibility and attention to detail.

Because relatively few construction firms bother to put together a portfolio like this, having one strengthens your image as an experienced, reliable professional. For photos that show off your work to its greatest advantage, consider hiring an architectural photographer.

Email Marketing Service

Taking the time to build relationships with your target audience is one of the most effective ways to ensure a steady flow of leads. By giving you a way to maintain regular contact with your prospects, an email newsletter helps you build stronger relationships with a wider audience and still spend less than you would using direct mail. A number of web-based services are available that make it easy to collect signups to your newsletter from your website and manage your mailings.

Content Management System

Every day, your potential clients are online searching for information related to the projects they’re planning. The more client-focused content you publish to your website, the greater the chances your site will show up in their searches. When it does, you’ll stand out as knowledgeable, willing to help, and an overall good choice to do business with. Including clear calls to action in your content further encourages your visitors to contact you.

A content management system (CMS) helps you easily publish and manage articles, photos, videos and other lead-generating content on your site even if you have minimal technical knowledge.

For more information on efficient construction lead generation, contact Construction Monitor today.

Using Social Media to Source New Construction Leads

Word of mouth has always been an important part of construction marketing, and the growth of social media gives you even more power to build buzz around your firm. To get a consistent flow of leads from your social media efforts, though, you need the right approach.

Provide Content Worth Sharing

Social media makes it easy for people in your target market to pass your name along in conversation. If you expect them to do that, though, you need to give them something worth talking about. That means the content you post to your social media accounts must be relevant to your potential clients’ interests, noteworthy, and well crafted.

When choosing what to publish, focus on what’s in it for the reader. Aim to add value. Post tips and advice, links to relevant articles, case studies, overviews of projects you’ve completed, updates on projects in progress, announcements of new services and partnerships, testimonials from happy clients, and special promotions.

Make Time to Mingle

To bring attention to your social media accounts, you’ll need to get out there and interact with your potential clients. Go in with the goal of truly connecting with others in your industry, rather than with a sales mentality. Think about why your potential clients are on social media in the first place and look for ways to help them reach their goals while also letting them know how your firm can help.

Join in the conversations you find and engage with influential members of your segment of the industry, as well as with associations and organizations. Leave insightful comments, answer questions with genuinely useful advice, and ask thought-provoking questions. This kind of construction marketing takes time, but can pay off with long-term, lead-generating relationships.

Consistency is key to building an engaged social media following, but you don’t have to log in every day to maintain your momentum. Web-based services are available to help you automate your posts by uploading them in batches to be posted at scheduled times.

For more practical construction marketing tips, contact Construction Monitor.

How to See an ROI from Your Telematic System Faster

construction technologyA telematic system gives you the data you need to manage your equipment in more cost-effective ways, but there’s a learning curve to using one. By investing some time in planning how you’ll use yours, you’ll start enjoying the full benefits of a telematic system as soon as possible.

Set Clear Goals

Raw data won’t help you much if don’t know how you’re going to use it. Start defining your goals for using your telematic system by listing eight to 10 improvements you could make using the data.

Then focus in on the top three opportunities you want to take advantage of right now. Any more than that and you risk spreading your efforts too thin or getting tied up in unnecessary complexity. Once you’ve achieved your goals with those opportunities, move on to the next.

Choose an Experienced, Responsive Provider

When you’re choosing a telematic system provider, take your time to investigate each company. Find out how long they’ve been in business, who their clients are, and how many telematic boxes they’re managing.

Talk with them enough to get a feel for their level of expertise. A provider should be able to explain the benefits of a telematic system in plain English and help you understand how to use the data to improve cost savings, safety and efficiency. If they can only throw jargon and statistics at you, it’s a sign they don’t truly understand what they’re talking about.

Put Someone in Charge

It’s all too easy to collect data without actually using it to make improvements. To make sure valuable information is put to use, assign one or two people to the job of implementing your telematic project.

Your field workers are ideally positioned to make use of the data, but first they need to get it in a format they can understand. The job of analyzing data, creating reports, and getting information to the right people in the field should be the primary responsibility of at least one person.

For more guidance on realizing the full benefits of a telematic system, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Most Requested Sustainable Features in New Homes

smart appliancesAs homebuyers become more aware of how eco-friendly features can save them money and protect the environment, demand for these features is rising steadily. Including commonly requested sustainable features in new homes is one way to attract attention from informed homebuyers.

Low-E Windows

Low-E (low emissivity) windows are treated with a coating that improves their ability to reflect radiant energy. The coating holds energy in on the same side of the window it came from. In summer, the windows reflect the sun’s heat back to the outdoors. In winter, they reflect warmth back into the room.

Windows are one of the biggest sources of unwanted heat gain and loss in a house. These energy-efficient windows can reduce energy loss by 30 to 50 percent, yet only cost around 12 percent more than standard windows.

Smart Appliances

Modern technology can do a lot to make a home more comfortable and convenient, and today’s homebuyers know it. In their search for new homes, they’ve come to expect smart, WiFi-enabled appliances that can adjust to the homeowner’s needs and be accessed remotely.

One of the most cost-effective options to install is a smart programmable thermostat that offers precision control over indoor temperatures.

Smart refrigerators that allow for remote monitoring and control are another good choice. Washers and dryers with smart technology that can adjust their cycles based on the homeowner’s remote input are also among the popular sustainable features in new homes.

Alternative Energy Options

As solar, geothermal and wind energy become more accessible, homebuyers are coming to expect options like these. One way to meet this demand is by installing photovoltaic solar panels on the roof. The cost of solar technology is dropping steadily, making it an increasingly practical option.

Geothermal heat pumps paired with radiant floor heating are also sought after for the exceptional comfort and efficiency this combination provides. Because underfloor heating is so much less costly to install in a new construction than to retrofit, homebuyers benefit if it’s already installed.

For more tips on including sustainable features in new homes, contact us at Construction Monitor.

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.

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.

Telematics in Construction is On the Rise

Technology continues to increase in importance in the construction industry, helping companies maintain efficiency and profitability. Many constructions businesses are finding that the benefits of a telematic system have improved profits while boosting overall on-site performance.

benefits of a telematic systemConstruction telematics combines two areas of technology — telecommunications and informatics — to provide real-time data on the performance of construction vehicles and equipment. Once they are attached to vehicles and machinery, telematics devices use cellular and other telecommunications systems to transmit important information about the vehicle’s performance. Telematic data typically includes information such as:

  • GPS position of the vehicle
  • Fuel consumption
  • Downtime and idle times
  • Developing problems
  • Alerts and warnings

Telematic data can give managers, planners, and other on-site professionals important information about how the equipment is working. With this information, changes can be made that increase performance and efficiency and, in the long run, profits.

For example, telematics can reveal when construction equipment is idling and not working, prompting potential reallocation of resources. Data from brake systems, engines, and other components can indicate overheating or other malfunctions that can often be corrected early enough to prevent a costly major repair. GPS tracking can provide full awareness of the location of a piece of equipment, deterring theft or helping track and recover stolen vehicles.

Better Accuracy

By using the data from a telematics system, construction planners and estimators can offer more accurate bids and cost estimates. Variable costs, such as fuel, can be tracked and managed more easily. The cost of ownership of a specific vehicle can be determined, helping business owners determine if repair or replacement is the more cost-effective option when the vehicle needs maintenance or breaks down.

Earlier, telematics systems were more common on larger pieces of construction equipment, but many companies have come to realize that telematic data can be just as important for smaller vehicles.

Construction Monitor provides owners, managers, and other construction company stakeholders with the latest information on industry developments, technological advances, and best practices. Contact us today for more information on the benefits of a telematic system to better track vehicles and equipment in your company.

4 Best Construction Apps for iPad

The abundance of construction apps out there means there’s almost certainly one that will benefit you, but it can take time to find the one that works best for you. To make the search easier, start with the apps that already have a solid fan base.

construction appsFieldwire

Fieldwire is designed to let everyone involved in your project share floor plans, photos, and other files straight from the job site. The task management feature lets you organize tasks around plans and trades to optimize efficiency. Inspections are made easier with the issue tracking and inspection checklists. With the universal project search feature, you can find any information you need almost instantly.

Construction Manager

Enabling consistent and accurate data sharing is what this app does best. It lets you track all critical processes throughout the day and provides you with a complete record of what was accomplished. The Work Estimate Form helps you accurately estimate job completion dates. The Daily Log Construction Form lets all users report their activities so your logs are always up-to-date. If any problems arise, the Maintenance Log makes it easy to report them.

Mobile Field Manager (Viewpoint for Mobile)

One of the newest construction apps from Viewpoint Construction Software, Mobile Field Manager connects to your Viewpoint Construction Software allowing your office staff to communicate with field workers. The app was designed as a convenient, efficient way to replace your paper documentation. With the new Grid Time Entry, you can track time and productivity on a spreadsheet-like grid that shows both workers and equipment.

PlanGrid

PlanGrid gives everyone on your team a way to communicate effortlessly in real time. This helps you resolve issues faster and prevents errors and delays. The app is designed to be simple and intuitive so you can focus more on your work. For greater efficiency, PlanGrid automatically inserts hyperlinks into your plans so you never have to hunt for further details. The sheet compare feature lets you layer one sheet over another to spot differences.

For more information how to get the most out of popular construction apps, contact Construction Monitor today.

Choosing the Right Construction Project Management Software

The right construction project management software can reduce errors and delays, cut costs, and improve safety. Not all software packages suit all companies, though. Understanding your needs makes choosing project management software for your construction company a lot easier.

choosing project management software for your construction companyConsider Your Size

First, consider the type of projects your company usually undertakes. Project management software programs that work just fine for small jobs such as renovating homes aren’t necessarily well suited for larger projects such as constructing an office building and hospitals.

Also, consider how many people will use the software at once. Some programs allow a limited number of user profiles. In addition, look for software that’s scalable so that it can accommodate your company’s growth.

Get the Essentials Covered

Most companies will want a cloud-based solution with strong mobile performance that allows workers on the job site to communicate seamlessly in real time with project managers in the office.

For optimal efficiency, look for software that allows integration, which links your project management software with your other systems, such as your BMI, accounting, and email software. Not all solutions offer true integration, but rather rely on data bridges, which only make more work for your IT team. If you can’t use all the software’s features without more help from your IT staff, look for another option.

Know Which Features You Need

The final step in choosing project management software for your construction company is prioritizing the features that are important to you. The primary reason to choose software designed specifically for the construction industry is that it offers features most project management software doesn’t. Among the features to look for are:

  • Communication
  • Document management
  • Scheduling
  • Cost estimation
  • Proposal and bid management
  • Team management
  • Materials and equipment tracking
  • Incident reporting

Beyond these, look for capabilities you and your team would find especially useful. You might want software that can automatically create your schedule based on your estimate or that can track your employee’s training compliance.

For more guidance on choosing project management software for your construction company, contact Construction Monitor today.