Grey Areas: New Home and Renovation Construction Services

There are grey areas in construction services. The United States Census Bureau says the construction industry (for purposes of definition) does not include:

  • Gas/oil drilling, including the construction of offshore drilling platforms, digging/mine shoring of mines
  • Land acquisition
  • Maintenance/repairs to existing structures or service facilities
  • Offsite fabrication
  • Production/machinery cost
  • Special-purpose equipment costs (e.g., pews in churches, lockers in gyms, medical equipment, display cases/shelving in stores)

That’s where we disagree – to a degree. Our construction services client-companies using Construction Monitor building permit datasorts often provide these services.

If you bid on a hospital construction project, the price of X-ray machines won’t be included. But if you quote on a church project, chances are you may be including pew and altar-price options based on design.

Grey Areas

There are no grey areas when it comes to quality and profit. No company compromises safety for greater profit. Choices like that can come back to bite you big-time.

New homes and renovations companies avoid grey areas by specifying and pricing bids as tightly as possible.

Confidence Returning to Home Renovation Market

Remodeling and design construction services are optimistic. Third-quarter 2020 is looking better than 1Q/2Q. Following the 2Q 2020 drop, business indicators are returning to – almost – pre-pandemic levels. We can pat ourselves on the back because we managed this by:

  • Applying remote collaboration tools
  • Dealing with supply-shortages
  • Implementing safety guidelines
  • Increased use of video consultations
  • Using more online product sourcing

New Home Construction Services

Single-family and multifamily housing starts rose 17+% in June 2020. This is a good indicator we’re trying to make up for double-digit declines. The bad news? Lumber costs are also increasing.

Our real estate friends say existing home sales rose 20.7% in June 2020; down from last year. Mortgage applications are rising, too.

Data Analytics for Construction Services Profit

At Construction Monitor, we believe numbers don’t lie. New single-family homes and renovation construction services are playing catch-up; the opportunities are there for you. Join our family of construction industry companies using big data analytics to grow and prosper in unusual times.

Using Big Data in Construction to Predict a Contractor’s Next Move

big data in construction

Without competitors, there would be no need for strategy. – Keniche Ohmae

There’s nothing wrong with watching “the big boys” of construction and learning from their successes. Mentorship can take you to a better place, business-wise, and faster than you imagined.

Your competitors are the same-size companies bidding on the same jobs as you. You need big data in construction for predicting their next moves. You can imitate other construction contractors (but never copy). Your honesty, integrity, and work ethics should make your business a standalone.

Big data in construction can give you the information edge to strategize business development.

Big Data in Construction

In 2014, you may not have known what “big data” meant. Big data is using statistics to gain business insight. Using big data in construction is one way to get ahead of the competition.

Many in the industry are just learning the ins and outs of big data in construction. Some immediately began using analytics and business intelligence (BI) to better manage project bids, finances, and opportunities. Cautious companies chose to “wait and see.”

Data analytics for real-time leads is now an affordable – and necessary – way for contracting companies of every size to thrive.

The construction industry’s big data advantage is “the ability…to compare (profitability, days outstanding of accounts receivable, cash flow, and other financial metrics) against similar-sized contractors,” says Constructor magazine.

Your competitors are usually local. But track the progress and moves made by other companies in similar demographics. What do they know you don’t? Find out. Then examine their strategies to see if they are workable for your reality.

Construction Monitor: So Much Big Data, So Little Time

Using historical data, you can predict costs. But convert dollars-then to dollars-now, as cash values rise and fall in predictable patterns. Meanwhile, if it seems as if the world is spinning at warp speed, it is. Don’t waste more time spinning your wheels.

Contact Construction Monitor to learn more about other contractors. Then use that big data for business development.

9 Questions to Ask When Seeking Construction Software

construction software

We believe the best business development tool for construction industry companies is ours. We have the best data, pre-sorted, and customized for your business and your locale. But to stay alive in today’s techno-business environment, you need additional construction software.

2020 Construction Software Ratings

After it’s said and done, business is business, whether it’s a hot dog stand or a Big 6 corporation. The construction industry is unlike any other. Construction software for operational management should target our needs.

Out of 474 software reviews, many received 4.5 stars and should not be discounted. Here are 50 (of 83) ratings, according to reviews for this year’s 5-star construction software:

Neo Intelligence
CrewTracks
Slenke
K-Ops
Power Tools
Spitfire
Job Dox
Cordell Estimator Platinum
Site2Site
PCS
Construction Inspector
CM Fusion
Bizns Tool Subcontractor Software
Infinitrac
SnapSuite
WenPlan
Site Specs
BOCS
Fresh Projects
onsite.solutions
Fieldly
Mobilengine
Expo-Net
iZak
Riskcast
Realtraker
ONETEAM
Glaass
Samson
TruckIT
Breez Workforce
Copronet
ProPlanner
zbuilder
Breinz
SiteSupervisor
BuilderConsole
eBUILD ERP
Vitruvi
Ed Controls
Goldenseal
Consysa
SmartUse
TradeSoft
CommittedCost
BuildMetric
ClickHome
Hit-Office
Sergeant Schedule
TopBuilder

Nine Questions: Construction Software

Do several comparisons before choosing your construction software. First, define what you most need: project cost estimator, accounts receivable/payable, employee, or equipment tracking? Identify where you need to save time and money. If you are out of control in one or more areas of business operations, make a “where-we’re-losing-it” list.

You don’t have to be an IT (integrated technology) pro, but if you yourself don’t understand the questions, do your homework (or consult the nearest 14-year-old kid). Here are nine questions to ask software vendors:

  1. Can I contact some of your customers?
  2. Can you help us with training and technical support?
  3. Did you develop the solution in-house or did you piece it together from other sources?
  4. Does your software integrate with my old software?
  5. How often will I have to “upgrade?”
  6. Is your software open-source or unified?
  7. What’s the cost of ongoing service and technical support?
  8. Will my – and my clients’ – information be secure?
  9. Will the construction software quickly adapt to industry trends?

Construction Monitor offers BI (business intelligence) for any organization looking to grow. Contact us now with questions about our statistics for lead generation.
___
*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any Brand of business management software.

Construction Services: Property Plumbing

construction service

We think plumbing is more than “essential service.” Plumbing pros within construction services provide a critical service. 

Plumbing Industry Construction Services Outlook

For a while, new construction was so lucrative everyone that could got into the business. Whole subdivisions were developed using the “cheap and fast” model. Then, the fly-by-night building companies vanished.

That led to HVAC and plumbing professionals focusing on construction services damage control in some areas of the country. Repairs and emergency services will always be a significant source of revenue for our plumbing industry friends.

A new day is dawning because the internet brings knowledge to information-starved property owners. Focus is shifting toward quality construction and energy-saving options, like tankless water heating and shower/sink on-demand water usage.

When the coronavirus-related unemployment rates hit record highs, disposable income vanished for many homeowners. The demand for new plumbing installations and renovations nosedived as well. Before the pandemic, plumbing industry average rate of growth was 2.1%.

It’s difficult to find confident construction services growth predictions. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 10% increase in jobs for construction services-related plumbers and pipefitters. It’s also predicted by 2050 there will be a 50% increase in freshwater demands. 

Commercial Property Plumbing: A New COVID Problem

Plumber Magazine says the risk of Legionella bacteria may increase in buildings that have been sitting empty for months. Legionella bacteria grow in stagnant water.

You may want to contact commercial property owners and managers in your area about additional water testing before they reopen. Even if you don’t provide water-testing among your construction services, this goodwill effort will not go unnoticed. (It could be a subtle marketing promotion for your business.)

Here’s a not-so-subtle way to generate new jobs and relevant leads for your company:

Construction Monitor Can Expand Your Plumbing Industry Outlook

Construction Monitor has construction services building statistics for the U.S. Our team wants your plumbing business to thrive. That’s why we encourage you to utilize the data we provide and use it with intent.

If you need marketing strategies for your plumbing company, contact us today. We aren’t successful until you are.

Understanding Construction Trends in Your Market

Your market is unique as your company. One small company has a baritone. Their work is great; their prices are solid. But some residential renovation businesses say they hire this firm because the guy sings as he works.

The key to success is capitalizing on your uniqueness. Once you understand (and appreciate) who you are, it’s time to understand the construction trends in your market.

FYI: Local Construction Trends Analytics

Successful companies – the ones you want to be when you grow up – are examining construction trends every day. Here are characteristics of home building companies that use construction data:

  • Every employee analyzes information, every day – Construction trends data isn’t something reserved for the family geek. If you can think, you can contribute to company growth.
  • Share and share alike – You may not be in a particular construction segment, but if you run across construction trends in a datasort that will benefit another company, share the information. They’ll return the favor. Networking with as many construction-industry companies is a formula for success.
  • Throw deep, run wide – Data-driven companies acquire more than local construction trends. They use varied information sources to grow their businesses. The more construction trend patterns you can process, the better.

The Best Analytics for Real-Time Leads in Your Market

Where the game used to be won or lost based on instinct and speed, it’s now all about crunching the right numbers.Jonathan Smoke, Metrostudy

Your data analytics should refer to what’s happening in your world, not another company’s in another area. One way to tap into what’s relevant information for where you are is our mapping tool:

  • Automatically count permit activity in a shown area
  • Customize what is shown by search criteria:
    • Contractor
    • Project type
    • Valuation
  • Display which contractors have the most activity in any given area
  • Identify all potential opportunities near you
  • Make digital notes on each project
  • Show all permit activity in the areas you choose

Contact the data analytics professionals at Construction Monitor. We’ll share ways to identify construction trends where you work…or want to work.

3 Uses for New Company Reports

If you’re not worried about fledgling startups, you should be. When a competitor enters your neck of the woods, you want to know about it yesterday.

What you should regularly study is building permit data for new company reports. It may include familiar names that are new to your area. But there’s nothing “new” about those established companies and they have a reputation for making lower bids because they can.

1. Use New Company Reports for Relationship-Building

We encourage startups to partner with older, more established companies because alliances are powerful in the construction industry. When you review new company reports from building permit data and you see a “new” company – that just happens to be a powerhouse in the construction industry – do the same thing.

Offer your local knowledge and experience. The more you know about your competitors, the better.

2. New Company Reports Have Detailed Information

When you review your city’s weekly new company reports, XL0 Construction Company appears. This is a company doing business throughout your area of the U.S., but its corporate headquarters is in Hong Kong.

Information you will receive includes:

  • Addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Fax numbers
  • Licenses held/permit numbers
  • Names
  • Phone numbers
  • Projects list
    • Map of project site location
  • Websites

If you need hardcopy information for a meeting, you can download it into a spreadsheet format and print. You can copy/paste your spreadsheet into a PowerPoint presentation, too.

3. New Company Information Can Generate Marketing Strategies

When you glance at Construction Monitor’s top company reports and see your name, that feels good. When you generate new company reports and see your competition, you don’t have time to feel.

It’s time to act.

Competitive analysis is critical to long-term growth because it can structure your advertising campaigns. What’s your new marketing campaign foundation? Without being obvious, it’s going to target your strengths and your competitor’s weaknesses.

Construction Monitor: The Best Source for New Company Reports

Technology has revolutionized the construction industry and building permits yield a wealth of information.

Contactemail, or call Construction Monitor today at 800-925-6085 (international callers: 435-586-1205) to learn more about geo-targeted, up-to-date analytics for our industry.

5 Reasons to Use Commercial Building Statistics

commercial building statistics

Commercial buildings include warehouses and retail properties, museums and restaurants, and more. Commercial building statistics are important because the design and construction of commercial buildings impact cities and communities as well as environmental quality and jobs.

How to Find Commercial Building Statistics

If you have a subscription to Construction Monitor for building permit data, you can access older, archived commercial building statistics. For example, when you click on “Weekly Editions,” and then “View Archive,” your building permit choices are:

  • All
  • Commercial
  • Solar
  • Swimming pool

You can then download commercial building statistics in a printable format. Commercial property building permit data is available in all our data sorts (Powersearch, Weekly Editions, New Company Reports, and Real-Time Leads).

Refine Commercial Building Statistics

Within Construction Types are subcategories. Many think the most valuable subcategory is the “Contact Information” tab. Click on the construction company’s name. The contact information is from previous jobs, so you’ll not only have contact information, but you’ll see this company’s usual type of jobs.

Construction Monitor commercial building statistics subcategories include:

  • Alternative energy
  • Auto/truck sales/service
  • Banks/offices/R&D/professional
  • Churches
  • Demolition
  • Footing/foundation
  • Hospitals
  • Industrial/manufacturing/wholesale/transportation
  • Motels/hotels/RV parks
  • Other non-residential
  • Parking
  • Parks/recreation/entertainment/arts
  • Private schools/daycare
  • Public buildings/projects
  • Public transportation
  • Remodeling/additions
  • Reroof
  • Structures other than buildings
  • Utilities

5 Business-Building Reasons to Use Building Permit Information

Your goal – every year – is to remain or become more competitive in the construction industry. Some compare 2020 to a goat-roping; they say it’s out of control. When you subscribe to Construction Monitor, you’re taking control of your business marketing and putting timely, local information to work.

Building permit information is valuable only if you use it. What you’ll learn from our database is:

  1. Who – Key players’ contact information
  2. What – Project specifics
  3. When – Project date
  4. Where – Your community/city/state area
  5. How much – Value

Contactemail, or call Construction Monitor today at 800-925-6085 (international callers: 435-586-1205).

Using Big Data for Construction Business Development

Construction Business Development

You hear terms like “actionable insights,” “business intelligence,” and “tools” but they’re not talking about screwdrivers, IQ, or 5-year plans. Big data is a reality impacting every segment of the construction industry.

When it comes to construction business development and management, what you don’t know can hurt you.

Construction Business Development: Managing Information

Let’s talk about one large construction project.

  • The project involves approximately:
    • 130 million emails
    • 55 million documents
    • 12 million workflows
  • 13% of construction teams’ working hours are spent looking for project data/information
  • 95.5% of all data captured goes unused
  • 30% of engineering/construction companies use software apps that don’t integrate with one another

Building a Better Toolbox

The “right tools” are what you need to manage big data, and more importantly, increase business opportunities. For many years, some construction industry-related organizations simply avoided the issue. (They may be out of business by now.)

But what are the right tools?

Your first task is to admit your current data is all over the place. Gather the information you have from various employees’ hard drives, blueprints, log sheets, PDFs, cloud storage, and even Rolodexes (Yes, some still use them.) and “integrate” the data into one location.

‘We’re Looking for It…’

If you could harness the time spent by various teams “looking for” information, you’d be able to corral the next decade. Follow the leaders in the construction industry and switch to:

  • BIM (building information modeling)
    • Collaboration
    • Automated workflows between employees and stakeholders
    • Supplier collaboration for transactions
  • Connected jobsites
  • Equipment locators/tracking
  • Geolocators
  • Materials movements
  • Prefabrication methods
  • Tracking sensors
  • Virtual reality
  • Wearables

The Best Business-Building Tool for Construction Business Development

Analytics software for your business depends on the size of your organization and growth trends. But knowledgeable business development for the construction industry depends on Construction Monitor. We analyze between 8,000-12,000 new building permits every week.

“I hear people say there aren’t many jobs,” said one Construction Monitor representative, “And I then retrieve real-time, local construction business development information in minutes.”

The jobs are there. 

We’re not “just selling” construction business development information. We’re selling the support and business-building tools that go with it. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more about construction business development for your company.

Using Construction Data as a Home Builder

home builder

Today, construction data drives residential development.

That data is shared with creditors, backers, shareholders, and pretty much everyone inside and outside our industry. “There are powerful analytical tools now available to guide a residential construction company’s course,” said Jonathan Smoke, national research professional. “There’s opportunity at every level.”

How to Use Construction Data Tools

There are thousands of home builders with fewer than 50 employees. They use building permit information in several ways:

  • Begin with real-time leads – This tool presents building permits as they are entered even before they are published. Real-time. The construction data is raw, and small companies act quickly to align themselves with housing developers.
  • Learn from statisticsBasic statistics provide an overview of all construction. This is how you get an overview of what’s new in your corner of the world. Or the entire country, if you wish. You must specify:
    • Company type
    • Construction type
    • Area
    • County
    • Jurisdiction
    • Date range
  • Detailed statistics are more comprehensive – You can compare time periods to see detailed construction data indicators for growth. Click “update” to see building permits sorted into class and type. If there’s a hyperlinked word in this report, click it for even more detail.
  • Manage your website’s current photos and content – Once you follow-up on leads, your potential customers will want to know who you are. They want to see examples of your work. They should see your website, read its content, look at your examples and feel. They should feel as if your work will make their project better.

Understand Construction Data Tools: User Manual

Our user manual is full of details and how-tos that explain ways to use building permits tools’ construction data. But we don’t give you the manual, wish you good luck, then disappear.

Let our sales and support professionals answer any and all questions. Now or later. We have plenty of success stories and would like your company to be one of them.

Contact Construction Monitor today.

Showcase Your Completed Construction Projects

construction projects

A project that was built 40 years ago is a part of the history
of your company, but it is not necessarily interesting to
present-day clients.
Is Your Online Project Showcase Up to Par?

You likely have a large, 3-ring binder with construction projects statistics and photos. You used to carry it with you – stored in your truck – and it showcased construction projects from start to finish. Now you carry your laptop or another electronic device.

Construction Projects: Website Presentations

Today’s consumers want more information faster than ever before. Your website needs to display your completed construction projects with details in words and pictures. You need a dedicated tab for testimonials and project examples. Construction-industry professionals and property owners will often check your website (especially testimonials) before they contact you directly.

A Picture is Worth…

Photos are critical to your story of successful construction projects. If you can schedule overhead photo shoots at the end of each phase, they will present a different perspective.

Here are 5 tips for marketing your completed construction projects using photography:

  1. Candid camera – Photography of construction projects tends to be…boring. Candid shots of workers are great.
  2. Crop – Even if the photo is from a distance, if it’s clean and clear, you can crop out all the distractions to tighten the shot.
  3. Lighting – Excavations are tricky, so try flash photography, no-flash, and supplemental lighting to get the shot you want. When using sunlight, timing is everything. You want the sun at your back.
  4. Motion – You may see a photo of an idle bulldozer as a work of art, but it plays better if the bulldozer is doing something. Try to capture the activity; the flow of a construction project. 

Tell Your Story

The portfolio should not have PDF and MS Office document attachments. Opening separate files make the use of the site cumbersome.aec-business.com

In addition to a construction projects tab on your website, your blog is another way to cite previous work. Use SEO (search engine optimization) in your content to garner as many internet search hits as possible.

Construction industry companies are putting technology to work for more leads…more profit. Construction Monitor takes big data and makes it relevant and manageable for your business. Contact Construction Monitor to learn how to use building permit data for marketing development.