Building Permit Data: Learning About Competitors

construction business competitors

Another company has outbid you and you’re wondering why. Let’s see…both businesses are located in the same state, county, and city. You’ve actually been in business longer and you know the ins and outs specific to the job you just lost.

The answer is available using building permit data analytics.

New and Improved

You aren’t a startup but your experience pales in comparison with several big kahuna companies. Have you heard the phrase, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer?” Building permit data can tell you which competitors might be in over their heads.

When you see a fish bleeding in the water, it’s sometimes a good idea to be a savior, not a shark. Offering to help can benefit your fledgling company in the long run.

You Can Know What They Don’t

On the other hand, swimming with sharks can make you a better swimmer. Using building permit data for a competitive edge is just plain smart. Your first task is identifying the competition.

Historical Data

Look at last month, last year, last decade. Which companies are getting more wins and which ones seem to have dropped off? Building permit data sorts by market share to show you competitors’ historical trends. With a short time investment, you can learn more about competitors’ businesses than they know themselves.

What You Need to Know About Your Competition

No one is without competition. Here are the key elements you should examine when undertaking a competitive analysis:

  • Advantages/disadvantages of their employment benefits
  • Advertising tools
  • Affiliations, organizations
  • Annual report
  • Are they flagship-innovative or one step behind the real leaders?
  • Brand and values
  • Community support efforts
  • Customer reviews/loyalty
  • Number of and types of employees they have
  • Owner/stockholder personality/reputation
  • Prices
  • Products/services
  • Technology – website, internet rank, email marketing
  • Their distribution and delivery

Real-Time Leads, Detailed Statistics: Construction Monitor

For over 30 years, Construction Monitor has been the industry source for U.S. building permit data. Our information helps many businesses to target new customers and identify competitors.

Call 800-925-6085 (international callers 435-586-1205) or contact Construction Monitor to discuss how timely, local information can improve your company.

9 Tips for Getting Your Contracting Business Through COVID-19

Contracting Business

The National Law Review offers this piece of advice for your contracting business: Get it in writing!¹ That’s especially true during the coronavirus pandemic that is threatening our nation’s population and economic health.

Coronavirus vs. Your Contracting Business

This situation is here and now. It changes every day, so if you had an optimistic 5-year plan for your organization, toss it away and get ready to move quickly. 

Here are 9 tips to get your contracting business through COVID-19:

  1. Be proactive – If you’re silent, clients and employees become extra-nervous. Communicate with emails and online how you’re managing this event. Share due diligence efforts and business recovery plans.
  2. Communicate early – By now you should have reached out to all project stakeholders to review terms of performance, timelines and costs. Strive to keep projects alive and get everything in writing.
  3. Consider mobility implementations – If administrative and back-office personnel can work from home, consider making the move to a mobile workforce.
  4. Contract modifications – Every project contract you have in the works needs to return to the table. Try to recover or offset rising costs.
  5. Coronavirus impact – The time to “wait and see” is past. Your contracts should have included “excusable delays” or “force majeure” clauses. Provide notice to all contract-holders how coronavirus has impacted contract deliverables, including supply chain issues. Cite all time/performance delays, real and predicted.
  6. Cybersecurity – If administrative people will be working from home, you may need to upgrade cybersecurity and educate them about not compromising confidential information.
  7. Prepare for new workplace safety requirements – Your employees will need masks and/or gloves to reduce virus cross-contamination.
  8. Put it in writing – Document every communication, every delay, every challenge… If you weren’t the kind of person to keep a “diary,” you need to start. Others are depending on you to show diligence in trying to salvage work.
  9. Update policies for paid days off/sick days – This is going to be a tricky area. Employees must not be “punished” for staying home when sick, but your guidelines must also be reasonable. Consult with HR and/or legal professionals to revise employment terms.

Construction Monitor is Here for You

What’s happening now is temporary, but it will change the way we do business forever. Your contracting business can prepare for growth, even while time seemingly stands still. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us to learn more about using construction data reports.

We wish continued good health for you and your company.

What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Construction Industry?

construction industry

By April 10, 2020, the Associated General Contractors of America revealed more than half of the construction firms in the United States had stopped work and 40 percent had laid-off employees, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 74 percent are seeking loans using the new Paycheck Protection Program.

In one week’s time, the number of canceled projects more than doubled. Shortages, including personal protection (masks) and construction materials, were reported; a small percentage of contractors reported equipment shortages.

“The construction industry is ready to rebuild our economy,” said AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr, “But that can’t happen without strong federal support and investments.”

EPC Contracts Will – or Won’t – Protect Construction Firms

Projects that aren’t being abandoned will need to return to the table for renegotiations, but not quite yet. No one is able to predict when our country will return to nearly normal.

All bets are off regarding future market shifts. No one can recall dealing with anything like this. Ever. Every industry in the world has felt the impact of COVID-19.

Most project developers feel as if we’ve gone far beyond standard “force majeure” language in construction contract terms. “Contractors will likely re-think whether traditional exclusions for relief are acceptable,” said law firm White & Case.

EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) projects have been scuttled due to government-imposed regulations. Cities, state, and federal shelter-in-place requirements may impact force majeure unless there are changes in law; specifically, changes in the language of some laws. Contracts between construction firms and developers and stakeholders/investors will come under close scrutiny.

Recovery is Guaranteed

We’re Americans. We always come together in times like this and we will come back better for it. Try to avoid hard-and-fast business decisions based on economic advisories. However…

After examining the numbers – coronavirus and economic trends – here are what equity analyst Preston Caldwell and CFA Karen Andersen suggest:

  • Restrictions will begin lifting in June 2020.
  • Social distancing measures will return as the virus resurfaces throughout the year.
  • The dire predictions regarding long-term economic disruption are incorrect.
  • Fiscal stimulus should prevent a collapse in demand.

“Overall, we still expect a modest long-run economic impact, with GDP down 0.9%,” said the researchers. “In our view, a COVID-19 recession doesn’t fit the mold of a 2008-style recession with longer-lasting economic impact.”

Refer a Friend and Read Construction Monitor on Your Kindle Fire

Use this time to prepare for a construction industry economic upswing. And stay connected with us. Construction Monitor is the construction industry source for applied building permit information. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

We’ll send a new Kindle Fire to you if your friend purchases an annual subscription. (This also applies to friends that were members before 2013.)

Using Building Permit Reports to Grow Your Contracting Business

building permit reports

The second quarter of 2020 will be difficult for most contracting businesses, but it’s temporary: Tough times won’t last. Tough companies will.

You can cultivate ways to grow your business while business is essentially on hold. Using building permit reports for construction data can generate a new-and-improved marketing strategy during difficult times.

3 Ways to Build Your Contracting Company: Preparing for Economic Upswing

Coach Bobby Knight seldom had a losing season. He would say it was simply “a building year.” That’s what 2020 is going to be for many of us. Use building permit reports to strengthen your business:

1. Direct Mail

An article from another construction industry challenging economic era said most contractors send mailings that are large and “unfocused.” Target one type of project – apartment renovations, for example. “You might only get 10 responses, but you have a better chance of keeping up with calls…and you can do a quality bid that way.”

2. Educate Yourself

If underbidding has been your strategy, it wouldn’t have worked much longer. Now’s the time to get beyond the low bid and bid more strategically. This is a good time to put construction data analytics to work. Review your demographics. Take a harder look at your competitors. Suggestion: The last economic crisis that had a devastating effect on our industry was 2007-2008. It’s time to review construction industry trends from that era. Use building permit reports from that timeframe through 2010 to be a bigger part of our economic recovery.

3. Revisit Previous Jobs

“It’s not my job,” you might say when looking at older building permit reports. Maybe it wasn’t your contract, but you can connect with developers and builders to see how things went. Ask how things are going now. What’s in the pipeline for summer? And as a gesture of goodwill, connect with previous clients. Reaching out to “old” clients can often generate leads.

Timely Info for Difficult Times

Don’t wait. Savvy construction contractors can get ahead of what’s going on in the construction industry. Construction Monitor is your source. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

Dave is growing his contracting business
using building permit reports.

Be like Dave.

Building Permit Reports Can Help You Make Better Business Decisions

building permit reports

Building permit reports are necessary for all construction and some home remodeling projects. To obtain a building permit, companies apply to the local (city/county) government and include a construction site plan and architectural blueprints. Getting building plan approval can sometimes take weeks or even months.

While the project stakeholders are waiting for the go-ahead, what are you doing? You should be using the information – building permit reports – to quickly begin cultivating marketing potential.

Big Business Strategies Also Work for Small Businesses 

If you think the largest chain stores in the U.S. use building permit reports, you’re right. Everything imaginable that is sold or serviced has a demographic or the potential to create a need in a region.

Up-to-date information is critical but historical data is necessary as well. Here are 4 ways to use building permit reports:

  1. Direct sales – Connect with contractors, subcontractors, architects, developers…key players involved in all building projects. Arrange a face-to-face to explain what you can do for them and why they need your product and/or service. And remember, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.
  2. Door-to-door marketing – New homeowners pay close attention to snail-mail advertisements. Never lose a chance to introduce your company to prospective customers.
  3. Expand – Subdivisions and new developments in a specific geographic area are your cues to consider another location for your business.
  4. Sit tight – Housing starts are the primary indicator for the economic situation in every locale. If you look at recent building permit reports and see a downhill trend, it’s time to assess your company position.

Business Decisions and Priorities

Making payroll, earning a profit, quality workmanship, customer satisfaction; these are priorities. Your business decisions consider those and many more factors. 

We are facing economic uncertainty and you may be making business decisions you’d rather avoid. But it’s a good time for building permits research and development. Take one or more tutorials and get a free report.

Subscribing to regular building permit reports from Construction Monitor is a good business decision. Contact us now to begin building your business for a new economy.

Using Construction Data to Compare Market Share

market share construction data

“Market share” is the percentage or portion of the market controlled by a company or its products/services. If you’re the largest distributor of construction widgets in Maricopa County, AZ, you have the majority market share.

You should use construction data analytics to keep an eye on other companies. (They may try to cut into your market share.)

Perhaps you would like to target another market; a different location. You need to evaluate your competitors. What market share does each company have and what are their vulnerabilities? Construction data using last year’s building permit information and historical trends will give you the numbers you need.

How to Calculate Your Market Share

There’s an easy, logical formula to calculate your construction-industry widget sales market share. First, pick the timeframe, such as 2Q 2019.

Take your total revenue, 2Q 2019 and – this is where it gets tricky – find the total sales revenue for all construction widgets in your market.

Divide your revenue by the total revenue and you now have your market share percentage. Or you could simply request a construction data detailed statistics report.

Markets Vary by Location

For every 1,000 average single-family homes built,
2,975 jobs are created.
Builder magazine

New home building trends show an overall drop in new housing between the mid-2000s and 2020. The world is so much smaller today! You should closely follow national and global industry trends. But you can’t lose sight of the fact that data for Mississippi may have no bearing on your company in Washington.

Coronavirus 2020 and You

Put your market share information to work, and do it now, while you’ve got some “down” time. This is no time to spend working jigsaw puzzles at home (Although many of us in the construction industry enjoy that particular hobby).

Pull the reports you need from Construction Monitor, then contact us and ask one of our construction data professionals for suggestions on how to implement a market-share action plan using construction data. Call 800-925-6085 to learn more.

Meanwhile, we wish continued good health for you and your loved ones.

Can Construction Data Help Your Appliance Business?

construction data

The small home appliance market forecast¹ for 2020-2026 was released in February. The small home appliance market includes:

  • Food Preparation Appliances
  • Heating Appliances
  • Irons
  • Personal Care Appliances
  • Small Kitchen Appliances
  • Vacuum Cleaners

The large home appliance market² includes:

  • Air Conditioners
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Refrigerators
  • Television
  • Washing Machines
  • Others

If you sell appliances – small or large – you’re part of the construction industry, which means construction data can help you develop marketing strategies for tough times. Like today.

Use Construction Data to Strategize

The coronavirus pandemic may not have caught us completely by surprise. But few could have predicted the global shut-down for many industries, including the appliance market.

Contractors and homeowners are concerned about income, but when the economy bounces back – and it will – construction data tools will have you poised to take control of your geographic market share.

Timing is Everything

The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. -Harry Golden

It’s slow right now; that can be a good thing. Developing real-time leads using building permits information is going to give you a competitive edge. Now is the time for you to lay the foundation to better your business. Building reports generate construction data that can be sorted by project information such as: 

  • Address
  • Scheduled start date
  • Types/job specifics
  • Value

How to Boost Your Appliance-Industry Business

Your first task is to decide what type of construction data will best provide the information you require. Building permit tools are available. Plugging them in is your job.

Basic construction data information may give you exactly what you need. It will also tell you the top 15 general contractors you should cultivate in any area of the U.S. (It’s free.)

Sometimes, more really is more:

Powersearch – Choose from:

  • Architects
  • Contractors
  • Developer/tenants
  • Owner/builders
  • Owners

…Then select residential and/or commercial construction. Whether it’s in-the-works new builds or temporarily paused renovations, connect with decision-makers. Let them know when they’re ready for appliances, you’ll be ready.

Construction Monitor: 30 Years of Construction Data Development

Startups must work hard to overcome experienced competitors. Established companies work even harder to reinforce their brand.

We understand what your business needs to succeed, and we want to help. Construction Monitor is the flagship building permits reports information source, and we work hard to be the best.

Let us partner with you today for a better tomorrow.

¹https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/small-home-appliance-market-2020-global-industry-analysis-size-share-growth-trends-key-players-and-forecast-to-2026-2020-02-06
²https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/home-appliance-market-overview-2020–impact-of-industry-peers-driving-factors-distributors-wholesalers-end-use-sector-by-region-by-country-forecast-to-2026-2020-01-27

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.

Using Construction Data for Your Cabinet Business

construction data for your cabinet business

Basic building permit reports are public information. Anyone can access them. It takes time – a great deal of time – to fine-tune the construction data your organization needs and can use.

By the time you have sorted trends, projections, new housing starts, renovation requests, historical data… You may be too tired to structure a marketing plan. And that’s the primary purpose of identifying construction data found in building permit reports: to give companies a competitive edge in any kind of economic environment.

Trends in the Cabinet Industry

The U.S. market for kitchen cabinets is estimated at $9.5 billion and estimated to reach $17.1 billion globally by 2021. The growth is being driven by “showpiece” kitchens for new housing starts. Age-in-place renovations for single-story homes should include easy-access cabinets with pull-out shelving and racks.

Building Permits Give You Acess to What, When, and Where

If your business is focused on selling cabinets for kitchens and baths, you should know your customer base. Also know this: Your customer base changes and in this fast-paced economy, 5-year plans are ridiculous. Savvy organizations access construction data monthly and weekly.

Large companies use local retailers to market their brand. If your cabinetry demographics are national, building permit reports can tell you which areas of the country need nurturing. Which areas of our country are building-boomers? Your retailers need up-to-date, local construction industry data to develop marketing campaigns.

Strong Foundations for Future Success

If you pride yourself on creation and artistry – you are a cabinet-maker – your customer base can be national as well. “I’ve got more business than I can handle,” may work for you today, but your granddaughter crafting alongside you may feel differently someday. Provide the local, state, and national building permit information she can evaluate and use when the time comes.

Local Contracts, Cabinetry Jobs

Even though most cabinet remodeling does not require building permits, knowing which areas are aging and prime for renovation is important to your business. Also, keep in mind as more homeowners need wifi ports and charging stations in kitchens, the need for business permits may change as the need for cabinetry/countertop electrical installations increases.

The construction industry depends on special trades and subcontractors, including your cabinet business. If you want the jobs, use construction data customized for your area and your company. Contact Construction Monitor.

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.