New Homes Being Built: 3 Things You Can Learn

new homes being built

Single-family starter-home buyers are intimidated by price tags even though financing options and rates are at lows that haven’t been seen in a very long time. Is there a solution to the high costs of new home investment? Yes. You can learn more about new homes being built using construction data.

Starter Homes May Be Big Business

“Smaller homes, smaller lots, smaller price tags,” says a Northwest Minnesota Housing Cooperative in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. If you are involved in the construction industry, this is a trend you’ll want to watch. And what do smaller home developments need?

  • Apartment-sized furniture
  • Durable, easy-cleaning flooring for families
  • Handicap bars for seniors
  • Push lawnmowers
  • Stackable washer/dryer combos

…and everything from neighborhood drycleaning to community healthcare facilities.

We will always need commercial or residential housing. If you sell or service almost any product, your business can benefit from construction industry knowledge. You have a lot to learn, and building permits reports can deliver what you need to know.

3 New Home Factors That Can Impact Your Business

Some of the construction industry forecasts released March 18, 2020 went out the window March 19, 2020. Okay, it wasn’t really that bad, but all bets are off while we wait out the most virulent pandemic in global history.

If you reviewed statistical information quarterly or even monthly, now is the time to switch to weekly analysis because that’s how fast U.S. markets are changing right now. Here are 3 factors that may tilt the economic scales for 2020 new home construction:

  1. “Made in the USA” products and materials are going to be more in-demand than ever before. Many consumers feel recent shortages were a result of imported goods. 
  2. New home builds vs. renovationsFebruary forecasts were dynamic, but closing businesses to reduce crowds has led to conservative investing. An economically challenged population may favor remodeling over new-home purchases.
  3. Slow housing starts data – Expect home sales to fall as much as 35% this spring. That’s a sign you need to cultivate alliances with builders and architects now.
    Consider mass mailings because snail-mail is getting more attention than ever before. Use construction data to target your market.

There’s no such thing as TMI (too much information). Construction Monitor has information about new homes being built that can shape your marketing strategy for success. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

What Can I Learn from Building Permit Reports?

building permit reports

It’s difficult to think of any industry that isn’t impacted by housing starts and residential or commercial development. Business magazine Entrepreneur¹ says any organization that depends on a physical location needs to evaluate customer availability, accessibility, and proximity to other businesses/services. Building permit reports provide that information.

Location, Location, Location

Even internet-based companies target their audiences based on geographics. You can sell vacuum cleaners in dust storms if you target the right market. (Buy-online DIY swimming pool kits don’t sell well in Antarctica.)

Building permit reports give you information about which locales are developing, remodeling, or stagnant. You can drill down U.S. housing starts and building permits by region (East, Midwest, North, South), state, county, city, subdivision development… These analytics can lead to informed, up-to-date decision-making.

Do you want to grow your nail salon business? Look for up-and-coming commercial and residential development. Is it time to franchise your unique bakery? High-traffic communities might be the places to examine. Building permit reports are the foundation for business development.

Types of Building Permit Reports

January 2020 saw the strongest gain in building permits² since September 2012. This information offers insight into key economic indicators: jobs, income levels, and tax rates.  

Building permit reports give companies information to increase income and profits:

  • Develop sales leads
  • Discover potentials for partnering
  • Identify competitors
  • Plan marketing strategies/campaigns

Types of building permit reports you can use include:

  • Agricultural buildings/sheds
  • Arts/museums
  • Banks
  • Cabins (private)
  • Churches
  • Commercial
  • Entertainment venues
  • Footing/foundations (commercial, residential)
  • Garages/carports
  • Grading/dust (commercial/residential)
  • Hospitals/healthcare facilities
  • Industrial manufacturing sites
  • Mobile homes
  • Motels/hotels
  • Office complexes
  • Parks/recreation sites
  • Personal care (commercial)
  • Private/public schools
  • Professional buildings
  • Remodeling/additions (commercial/residential)
  • Reroofs (commercial/residential)
  • Residential (single-family, duplexes, apartments/condos)
  • RV parks
  • Solar/alternative energy provider sites (commercial/residential)
  • Storage buildings
  • Swimming pools/spas
  • Transportation-related structures
  • Utility provider sites
  • Vehicle (auto/truck) sites for sales/service
  • Warehouses
  • Wholesale facilities

Successful Businesses Use Building Permit Data

Spring 2020 will be filled with profitable opportunities. You can be the company others look to for ideas and inspiration. Information is your differential. 

Let Construction Monitor explain more about construction data and analytics customized for your business. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

9 Things You Can Learn from Construction Spending

construction spending

Data – information – is available to everyone. Even if you feel confident you know your business, its goals, and your industry, it’s difficult to know which information sources can deliver usable facts and figures. Construction data, including building permits information, is pertinent to our companies as well as our industry. But there’s another source of information you should investigate: construction spending.

Construction Data; Construction Spending Statistics

“Construction spending” measures the amount of investment in new construction. U.S. public and private sector new-construction spending information is used for economic forecasts and financial decision-making. The Census Bureau studies the construction value-in-place (VIP) every month.

Construction spending estimates include costs of:

  • Architectural and engineering work
  • Contractors’ profits
  • Interest and taxes
  • Labor and materials
  • Overhead/miscellaneous

FYI: Construction Spending 2020-2026

Construction spending data has led to good construction forecasts for this year and beyond. However, doubts surrounding steel and other building material costs continue to be driven by tariff and supply uncertainties.

How You Can Use Construction Spending Information

If you think you’re a “small-time” company, then don’t bother evaluating U.S. construction data, including spending. And forget about following the global construction industry. That’s one way to guarantee your growth and profits remain small.

The only limitations you have are the business decisions you make. Here are two things you need to know:

  1. Timely, relevant construction industry information pertinent to where you work (your geography) is critical to your business.
  2. Global and national trends impact your local business.

Construction spending data can give you the information you need to:

  1. Assess monthly fixed costs (rent, salaries, utilities, etc.) vs. comparable businesses
  2. Improve your budget and money management, which:
    • Keeps costs in-line with projections
    • Leads to better decision-making for profit
    • Captures a more realistic idea of revenue potential
  3. Compare industry trends with local economic projections and building permit data
  4. Determine if your rates are competitive and reasonable
  5. Develop a concise business plan
  6. Evaluate direct cost expenses (project-related labor, materials, subcontractors)
  7. Evaluate industry trends
  8. Identify cash flow variances based on time of year and competition
  9. Reinforce planning/financial goals (and adjust when necessary)

Our Success Depends on Yours

Construction Monitor believes data-driven decisions are shaping the global market for every industry, including construction. Our mission is to provide construction analytics and information you need for success. Call 800-925-6085 (International callers 435-586-1205) or contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

4 Ways to Use Building Permits

Building Permits

Few can predict the future, but economists try. U.S. economists watch building permit application trends very carefully. They review monthly statistics. Based on the number and types of building permits applied for by homeowners, land developers, and businesses, economists can reveal “economic indicators.”

Let’s say you’re considering expanding your flooring business. There has been a marked increase in single-family home building permits in one region just outside your service area.

You’ll cultivate the contractors and builders winning the new construction bids. But it might be worth your time and money to add a satellite center in an area that will be frequented by the new homeowners.

That’s one way to use building permits data to grow your business. Here are four more:

1. Competitive Analysis

If your business is doing more than it can handle, work that success and expand. If your competitor is getting the work you need, figure out why. Use building permits information to determine the relationships your competitors have with customers, builders, architects, and plumbing contractors. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Develop your marketing strategy to build upon your strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses.

2. Demand Generation

When building permits reports indicate remodeling business permits are dwindling (and your business depends on renovations and conversions), take advantage of the downtime to create demand. This is the time to educate buyers about what your business can do for them.

Substitute your product or service word in place of the word “it.”

One customer said, “I didn’t know I needed it until you told me how great it was. Then I wanted it.”

That’s demand generation.

3. Demographic Data

Where are your industry’s products/services most utilized in your locale, state, and in the country? Those areas are great places to be but using building permits information can give you the information edge: Where are the demographic areas that will soon need your services?

4. Opportunities and Risks

You may understand how building permits can reveal opportunities. With targeted analysis, you will also be able to pinpoint marked economic downturn and potential risks.

Call 800-925-6085 (international callers 435-586-1205) or contact Construction Monitor to discuss how up-to-date information can benefit your organization.

Can Building Permits Help You Sell More Windows and Doors?

can building permits help you sell more windows and doors

Projected sales of windows and doors are trending positive through the end of 2021 and likely beyond. According to industry forecasts, the market will see increases of at least 4.5% this year and next. The increase will include products ranging from lower-priced, hollow-core doors and vinyl windows up through to the more expensive high-end solid doors and dual-pane, energy-efficient windows. The only question seems to be: how can you effectively identify opportunities to take advantage of this growth in a targeted area?

Setting Your Sights on Building Permits

The marketing edge you need is found in the permits. Building permits can be a gold mine of information about home construction and renovations, which also include installation of new windows and doors. Instead of a scattershot approach to vaguely-defined prospects, vital data harvested from building permits drives a more sharply-focused marketing strategy to reach out to the right customers at the right time.

A simple one-to-one replacement of an existing window or door without any alterations typically doesn’t require a building permit. However, resizing an existing opening—common when upgrading windows—or cutting an all-new opening to accommodate a new window or exterior door triggers the building permit requirement in most municipalities. Additional facts appearing in the floor plan accompanying the permit application typically include the number, type and size of windows and doors. The estimated valuation included in permit applications also gives you a snapshot of typical prevailing budgets in a given area.

Connecting The Dots

Armed with relevant information from permits, you’re also able to discern specific product demand, such as particular materials or desired features, empowering you to adjust your marketing focus to emphasize these products.  Permit data helps extrapolate from particular products or services to related options that might be in demand, too. For example, permit data indicating a trend in installation of high-efficiency HVAC systems or upgrading home insulation might indicate an up-and-coming opportunity for marketing energy-saving windows or doors as well.  

Fine-tune your efforts to identify expanding markets and product trends with specialized data from building permits. Contact Construction Monitor for more details now.

Building Permit Reports for Construction Data Analytics

Building permit reports

Don’t think because your target market is Small Town, Oklahoma you don’t need to follow global and national construction trends. You do.

Many countries follow our lead in global construction solutions and advances. But several European countries are more advanced in setting construction-industry trends. What they’re building today is likely your project focus tomorrow.

Nothing is more important to your business right now than accessing local construction information. To make solid decisions, your data analytics must include building permit reports for your state, county, city, and nearby communities.

Track Trends

Don’t look for A-frame houses to make a comeback, but if they do, you need to be one of the first to capitalize on that knowledge. Construction trends in your market are critical to your marketing plan.

Which contractors are solid alignments for your business? Where are your competitors heading and why? The data is provided. Some of the analytics are also provided but it’s up to you to use what you’ve learned.

Access Tools Your Competitors Don’t Have

Your software program for estimating costs and expenses is an integral part of your business. It likely forms the foundation for your company’s in-house toolbox.

You have online tools as well. You have exclusive, powerful data tools available to you for analyzing construction industry information. Your online toolbox is one of your greatest assets. It can help you determine more competitive, profitable pricing. With it, you can stay up-to-date on data for a specific area you need to be knowledgeable about.

Construction Monitor is the U.S. leader in timely and accurate building permit information. Call 800-925-6085 (international callers 435-586-1205) or contact Construction Monitor with questions or concerns.

Construction Marketing: 4 Things to Learn From the Competition

Because no two construction businesses are quite the same, your competitors are bound to have insight you don’t. Data on the top companies in your area gives you a better understanding of how your successful competitors do business so you can learn from their experience.

  1. Spot new opportunities – Learning what your competitors are working on and where they’re working helps you find new buyer sources. If you sell cabinets and notice a lot of renovations going on in a neighborhood full of historical homes, you’ll know a strong market for traditional cabinetry exists in the area. On the other hand, studying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can lead you to potential gaps in the market you can take advantage of in the future.
  2. Find fresh marketing angles – By evaluating the marketing messages, methods, and channels your competitors use, you’ll get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Your competitors’ marketing can also spark new ideas. If your floor covering competitors’ marketing emphasizes their durable office flooring, you might take the idea a step further by creating content that demonstrates exactly how much wear your office flooring can handle.
  3. Optimize your pricing – Checking out your competitors’ prices can tell you if you’re underpricing and leaving money on the table or if your prices are unusually high and possibly driving buyers away. If you find your prices are higher than average, but for good reason, you’ll know to highlight those reasons in your marketing.
  4. Stay on top of trends – If you’re a general contractor, the fact that two or three of your main competitors have cut back on their home addition services is valuable information. If building permit data also shows a decline in home additions, it’s safe to assume you shouldn’t rely on that market in the near future. That information can save you from inaccurate predictions that could sink your business. If you see a new product appear in a competitor’s ads, this can alert you to a trend before everyone else jumps on it.

For more on using what you learn from competitive analysis, contact Construction Monitor.

Getting the Inside Scoop on Which Construction Projects to Bid On

If you want to bid less, but earn more, finding the right construction projects to bid on is half the battle. By searching building permits and other local construction data, you can uncover more ideal projects while avoiding potential problem clients.

Play to Your Strengths

Instead of considering any project that comes your way, take the initiative to seek out projects where your unique skill set will be valued. A would-be client is far more likely to pay attention to a bid from a company offering expertise in the exact services they need. If you’re a general contractor specializing in light commercial construction, searching local commercial building permits can lead you toward potential clients. From here, you can narrow your search to specific building types, such as retail stores or medical offices, to find the right construction projects to bid on. If you’re a high-end building materials supplier, remodeling permits are a good source of potential clients looking for products to upgrade their interiors.

Check for Signs of Trouble

Using building permits to find potential clients can help you weed out the troublesome ones before you waste any time on them. If the same residential property developer has already let one or more building permits expire for their current project, it could mean they’re having trouble finding the right contractor. A little further investigation can tell you why that is and whether or not the project is worth pursuing. If the project requires specialist skills or materials you’re an expert in, you could be a shoo-in for the job. On the other hand, it could mean the developer is having financing problems or they have a bad reputation and you’re better off avoiding the project.

Building permits also help you find out if the project will require methods or materials you’re unfamiliar with, if regulations might make it difficult to actually complete the project or if the work will require more effort than it’s worth.

For help finding valuable construction projects to bid on, contact us at Construction Monitor.

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

Economists Forecast Another Good Year for Housing

When the housing market improves, construction employment picks up along with it. In terms of both new homes built and new hires, 2016 is shaping up to be even better than last year.

construction employmentSingle Family Homes Driving the Market

In February, housing starts rose 5.2 percent to their highest point in five months. For the year as a whole, housing starts are expected to increase by 12 percent. Spending on residential construction has also seen steady growth from 2011 and is expected to grow throughout 2016.

Despite the slump the single-family home market has been in recently, the outlook for this market is especially promising this year. The market grew by 7.2 percent in February and experts suggest the growth rate of the single-family home market will begin catching up with the multifamily market. Improvements in the job market are a major factor in this recovery.

The multi-family home market is still expanding, but at a slower pace. For 2016, a 5 percent increase is expected. Falling apartment vacancy rates show demand for rental units is still growing. Even so, experts predict this market’s recovery is nearly complete and the rate of growth will slow in the near future.

On the down side, applications for building permits fell by 3.1 percent in February. This is following a slight dip in December and no change in January. Because fewer applications for building permits signals less construction work in the future, this could mean a slowdown is ahead.

More Jobs for Skilled Workers

The outlook for the construction employment job market also bright. 71 percent of construction firms plan to take on new workers this year, according to a survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America. Of those, 8 percent plan to increase their headcount by 26 percent or more.

The majority of firms reported difficulty finding skilled tradespeople, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and drywall workers. This leads to delays that can stretch on for weeks if not months, slowing the industry as a whole.

For more in-depth information on construction employment, and the latest on construction leads, contact us at Construction Monitor.