Using Building Permit Data in a Meaningful Way

using building permit

It’s no secret: Building permit information is available free to the public. Construction industry company marketers sometimes say, “Why should I pay for something I can get for free?”

A few months later, that same construction-industry marketer has utilized – you guessed it – none of that free building permit data.

“It’s too hard to find exactly what I want.”

“I thought I was reading about Alexandria, Virginia and discovered I was reading about Alexandria, Indiana.”

“I couldn’t figure out how to put it together.”

Here’s how you can use building permit data in a meaningful way.

Building Permit Data Must Be Customized

Your piece of the planet is not similar to Palm Springs (California or Florida). Building permit data for those areas has nothing to do with your state, county, city, or community. Construction business may be booming in your market while much of the country is in an economic slump.

Data Sorts are Necessary

Business permit data includes 3 categories (commercial, residential, solar) and at least 37 project types. If you need private schools and daycare facilities information, you don’t want to wade through swimming pool construction data.

Property Claims Companies Study Building Permits, Too

The best part about getting building permit information as a follow-up to a prior claim is that it isn’t just interesting information.
It’s usable insight.
Joe Emison

Insurance adjusters need to know if a claim (roofing, for example) comes from current damage or previous improper repair. If Fly-By-Night Roofing did sub-par work, the building permit data – or lack of it – is a viable resource.

You Get What You Pay For

Every week we pull and sort Big Data for tens of thousands of construction projects throughout the United States. We do this so you don’t have to. We provide you with information you can use to promote services and products specific to your company and demographics.

We believe your time is better spent acting on information rather than researching it. Request a free sample. Call or contact Construction Monitor today. We have affordable, time-savings options to strengthen your business.

Anatomy of a Building Permit Report

building permit report

Building permit reports are used by economists, marketing professionals, real estate specialists and practically every business in the construction industry. Organizations analyze building permit reports to make informed decisions.

You hear a lot about “informed decisions” these days. The phrase is a logical result of our unlimited search for information. Even gamblers don’t make decisions without analyzing data.

You may feel like the construction industry is gambling with its life right now, but you can make business plans and “informed decisions” using building permit reports.

Breaking Down Building Permit Reports

Economists and investors use building permit reports to evaluate financial stability. These reports are financing, employment, and economic indicators. They can be geographic-specific and because it’s a small world, building permit reports can reflect our global economy. Here’s how:

Types of Building Permits

There are 2 types of building permits: commercial and residential.

Projects that need commercial building permits can include:

1. Commercial new-site construction – Excavation/demolition, reinforcement, and new building construction.

2. Change of use – Permit required to convert a building for another purpose. Requires:

  • 2 sets of floor plans
  • Notice of Commencement
  • Owner affidavit
  • Site plans

3. Interior remodel – Remodeling permit is required plus:

  • 2 sets of building plans
  • Owner affidavit
  • Notice of Commencement

4. Roof covering – Re-roofing, repair, recovering an existing roof. Installation of a new roof requires:

  • 2 sets of site/building plans
  • Application for permit
  • Notice of Commencement
  • Owner’s affidavit
  • Product approval

Residential building permits are needed for most remodeling and/or construction projects.

What Building Permits ‘Tell’ Us

An increase in commercial building permit applications indicates a need for more commercial properties or housing subdivisions. A rise in residential building permits can indicate an older neighborhood is about to renovate/transition into a hot real estate market for investors and young professionals.

If you’re in a holding pattern, you’re not taking advantage of this unique time in our history. Start laying the groundwork for your company comeback in 2020. Construction Monitor is the U.S. building permits generation source. Ask us about ways to develop 3Q2020 marketing projects using comprehensive, up-to-date information customized for your industry.

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.

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.

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

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.

FAQs About Building Permits

FAQs About Building Permits

We as a society have become crazy-thirsty for knowledge. Meanwhile, information has become a bottomless pool. We have so much data to gather and we must sort that data to filter irrelevant information out. 

Then what?

Then you use that information to bid, price, evaluate materials, inventory… You do what you need to put that data to good use. The goal is to turn a profit and/or grow your business. If you’re involved with any aspect of local commerce, building permits contain information you can use.

Building Permits Analytics

If you apply the necessary analytics to local information, your business can do more than survive; you can become a flagship in your industry.
Using Data

Construction Monitor provides the most up-to-date statistics taken from building permit applications in your region. You can access historical data that can tell you which trends were successful and which competitors to watch. You can put that information to work.

If you’re new to evaluating building permits, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Q: Do I have to use a computer to access my information? Can I use my phone?
A: To help prevent misuse of the data, each device used to login will need to be verified the first time it is used.

Q: How do I receive weekly information?
A: You can choose a .pdf or a .csv format. The CSV can be imported into spreadsheets and other business management applications. There are 3 non-published weeks: July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas weeks.

Q: How can I organize my searches after I’ve found them?
A: You can print your information, make notes, and save to your hard drive. You can save each building permit data as its own page (single-page layout), which is great for meetings. You can generate labels for target marketing using fields like “builder,” “designer,” or “owner.”

Q: I’m only interested in multifamily complexes. Can I sort the information for that?
A: There’s a Permit Description field. Think of all the words you can use to search and enter them in the Permit Description field separated by commas:

Apartment, high-rise, tower, condo, townhouse, co-op, tenement

Construction Monitor: Your Information Resource

Start with a free sample. Or request one of our free whitepapers which include information about direct mail, multichannel marketing, and the popular 7 Common Marketing Mistakes.

We want to answer your questions by offering relevant information. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

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.