Using Construction Technology in the Age of COVID-19

Construction Technology

Without discounting the pain the 2020 pandemic has caused for so many, it’s pretty safe to say most of us are sick of coronavirus. Still, some good things are emerging from these hard times.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to find safer and smarter ways of building homes and offices,” said the World Economic Forum in August 2020.

  • Big data and AI (artificial intelligence) during architectural design and construction process are rapidly transforming construction technology.
  • Digital technology is driving prefab housing. This creates highly sustainable, high-quality housing faster.

9 Focal Points for Post-COVID Construction Technology

Global management authority McKinsey doesn’t mince words when it says the construction industry has performed unsatisfactorily for quite some time. We’ve ignored ecosystem development, even though it accounts for 13% of global GDP (gross domestic products). “Time and costs overruns are the norm,” says a recent report.

The pandemic has accelerated changes we’ve been slow to adopt. Post-COVID-19 construction technology will focus on:

  1. Digitalization
  2. Industrial approaches
  3. Lower costs
  4. New materials
  5. New profit sources
  6. Offsite manufacturing
  7. Skills scarcity
  8. Specialization
  9. Sustainability

Ways We’re Improving Construction Technology

Building Information Modeling (BIM) became more widely used during the pandemic lockdown. We worked on our projects virtually because we weren’t able to work on them in-person. This encouraged more communication and more collaboration.

We’re using AI designs for testing on virtual platforms. We can make smarter, more knowledgeable decisions about costs, requirements, and commitments. We can make those decisions early-on, which speeds up the entire construction process.

Offsite manufacturing is meeting the challenges of less labor onsite due to social distancing. Onsite construction – before COVID-19 – was at best an “uncontrolled environment.” Construction technology can support a safer work environment by analyzing activities and anticipating required worker movements. We can adjust workflows to separate people or create workgroups and shifts to reduce risks.

Construction Monitor: One of the Most Valued Construction Technology Sources in the United States

Every week we compile big data on thousands of U.S. residential, commercial, and solar construction projects nationwide. You can use our information to

  • Follow sales leads
  • Identify competitors, newcomers, and top contractors
  • Make better bids
  • Track construction statistics

Get a free sample edition for your area and contact Construction Monitor us to learn ways construction technology can increase your business.

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.

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.

How to Use Building Permits in Your Solar Business

building permits

Green energy was getting an even greater foothold on our country earlier this year. The economy was stable, and we were amid one of the longest-running bull markets as of March 11, 2020. Property owners felt they had the financial security they needed to invest in something all of us feel passionately about; preservation of our planet through the use of solar and wind energy.

Residential solar development was hit hard by COID-19.

“We laid off…carpenters…installers, service technicians, HVAC installers,” said one energy company representative. The company has since hired everyone back.

There are hopes for a COVID-19 economic stimulus package for green energy. Congress has been asked to offer tax credits for 2020-2021 solar and wind energy installations.

Construction Class: ‘Solar’

You can use building permit information for up-to-the-day business development leads and marketing strategy.

Solar installations usually require up to 3 permits:

  1. Building
  2. Electrical
  3. Solar photovoltaic (PV)

There are various ways to use permit data for sales leads:

  • Area of country
    1. State
    2. County
    3. City/municipality
    4. Zipcode
    5. Address
  • Date range
  • Permit type/class (solar)
  • Types of applicants
    • Architects
    • Builders
    • Contractors
    • Developers/tenants
    • Owners

(As an example, Construction Monitor’s Powersearch for solar permits reveals 1-25 of more than 25 solar installation permit applications in Anchorage, Alaska.)

Using the most effective building permit database in the country is relatively easy. The hard part is putting the data to work.

In a perfect world, you’d have a sales development and marketing department that would pull, sort, and present the information you need to win business. You might even have a direct sales professional that is almost as knowledgeable as you.

In a small business setting, you’ll likely be the research and development department, marketing, and direct sales. After you’ve pulled your weekly update for building permits in your area, you’ve got to pick up the phone.

Visit subdivisions.

Print some flyers. (Mailing label-generation tools are available on the database, too.)

If you’re curious about how it works (It does work!) request a free, area-specific edition for current sales leads. You can search for residential or commercial permit information. Or you can select solar alternative energy permits. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Using Permit Data to Uncover Swimming Pool Business Opportunities

swimming pool business

What’s fun, healthy, and makes at-home quarantining beyond bearable? A swimming pool! This summer, more than ever before, homeowners are considering residential swimming pool installation.

The swimming pool business goes far beyond digging a hole in someone’s backyard. It is pool supplies, pool maintenance, outdoor furniture, landscaping…and more.

Two months ago, we weren’t sure we’d be in business for our sixtieth year…we’re having a great business season! –Chris, Kennedy Country Gardens

Companies will sink or swim this year. Using permit data for business development can keep your business afloat.

Swimming Pool Businesses Will Make a Big Splash Using Permit Data

Pool businesses say they’re flooded with calls from people who want to put a swimming pool in their backyard this summer. CBSBoston

At this point, it doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S. Staying safe means staying home and a great way to keep your loved ones home is a swimming pool. Using permit data puts your company in a good position. Here’s how:

A builder/contractor must have a building permit to begin construction of a swimming pool. If you’re a swimming pool maintenance company or a landscaper, it’s easy. Pull last month’s building permit applications.

If you’re a contractor or subcontractor, you need to know about new developments and residential communities in-the-works. Research the top contractors in your area and seek alignment with them. You can do that using permit data.

To get started using permit data from building permit reports:

  1. Select an area (state)
  2. Let’s go to Kansas. Select an in-state area.
  3. We selected Leavenworth.
    • Jurisdictions include Douglas County, Gardner, Kansas City, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Shawnee, Shawnee County, Topeka, Wichita
  4. To explore building permit data for that area, sign-up for a free trial. You’ll have one week to explore:
    • Mailing Labels – Direct mail continues to be a valuable advertising strategy.
    • PowerSearch – Create/run in-depth, customized searches.
    • Real-Time Leads – Using building permit data by-the-week, you’ll know project start dates before they break ground.
    • Statistics – Other project details may influence your developments.
    • Top/New Company Reports – What are the large companies working on? Who’s a newcomer with innovative ideas?

Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor today. Using permit data is just good business.

Using Permit Data to Uncover Home Services Opportunities

using permit data

Many business owners and operators think building permit data is valuable information for builders. (It is.) It’s also helpful to construction companies, real estate professionals, and economic forecasters. What they don’t realize is many home services organizations regularly utilize building permit data sorts from Construction Monitor.

“Yes, the mailing labels feature is nice, but…”

There are no “buts” about it. Home services opportunities can be found using local, targeted building permit data. While your competition is struggling to stay afloat, your home services company will sail toward profits, thanks to lead-generating building permit data.

What Are Home Services?

When was the last time you changed your car’s oil? As an industry, home services is the new Jiffy Lube®. U.S. home services cover installation, assembly, repair, maintenance and sales of:

  • Carpet/flooring
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • General “handyman” projects
  • Housecleaning
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
  • Interior décor
  • Landscaping
  • Lawn/garden
  • Lighting
  • Moving/storage
  • Plumbing
  • Property management
  • SmartHome devices
  • Swimming pools/hot tubs
  • Walls/treatments/repairs
  • Windows/cleaning/treatments

As if any additional assurance was needed, Amazon is now getting into the home services market. If you’re a home services organization, that’s a big affirmation you’re in the right place at the right time.

Lead-Generating Tools: Construction Monitor Packs a Punch

You can pull permits based on contractors, developers, owners, builders, architects, tenants, and most important, area. You can take the data down to zip codes and even addresses.

The building permit data is updated weekly, and that’s become the bare minimum timeframe for new and reconfigured marketing development. As you know from experience, the world can change direction in under 30 days.

When homeowners apply for building permits, you can learn what they plan to do – and let them know how you can help – while they’re still considering contractors. (Or at the time contractors are considering subcontractors). You can organize the information in a way that works for you. Do you want to reinforce relationships? You can review every job you’ve investigated by the year, and it includes contact information.

As always, the go-getters get the jobs; they get the clients. One company may have all the bells and whistles available and still get squashed by a smaller company with fewer tools – but more aggression and desire.

If you must limit your tools for business development, choose the best and maximize their capabilities. We can point you in the right direction. If you want to generate leads for your home services company using building permit data, contact Construction Monitor.

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.

Businesses That Benefit From Construction Data

construction data

Construction Monitor increases the efficiency for thousands of companies across dozens of vertical markets nationwide. Yes, we generate information. But, wait…there’s more.

The information is sorted for you into information-specific data analytics you need right now. The newer information targets locations you’re interested in developing. Historical construction data can shape your strategy for future business development.

If you think the benefits gained from construction data is limited to land developers, builders, architects, and construction contractors, you’d be half right. The building industry actually encompasses many types of businesses and organizations that reap benefits from construction data.

Here’s a success-story example:

A new home construction company needs…

1. Swimming pool architect and/or subcontractor for pool construction

To construct swimming pool, the needs are…

 2. Concrete and quarry stone
 3. Fence/patio materials

The swimming pool homeowner needs…

   4. Landscaper/lawn professionals

   5. Lawn and garden supplies

   6. Patio furniture

   7. Pool supplies/chemicals

…A guy that studies building permit reports and construction data has a small pool maintenance company. He studies local building permit reports. He has two vans and six employees.

He knows exactly how many new homes in a particular housing division in a cross-town suburban area are going to need pool maintenance. He develops his marketing plan accordingly.

Two years later, this small pool-maintenance business is a household name. It has a fleet of vans and can now offer employees healthcare and retirement options. The pool-maintenance business owner continues to regularly study building permit construction data.

How 3 ‘Non-Construction’ Businesses Use Local Construction Data for a Very-Real Competitive Edge

  1. A carpet cleaner studies business permit reports and solicits homes under renovation. She emphasizes her onsite carpet and furniture cleaning service to “give your furniture a look as new as your home!”
  2. An insurance professional reads current building permit construction data reports and sends a “Welcome Home!” gift to the new homeowners.
  3. An online business developer is looking for a location where there will be a large, youthful employee base. Homes built in 2004 have…teenagers. (Teens are often tech-savvy and work cheap.) Historical construction data quickly narrows the location search.

Construction Monitor Has Marketing Tools to Build Local Business

This year has been unusual, to say the least. Unusual times call for creativity. If you’d like to learn more about why Construction Monitor is the local marketing resource you need, call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

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.