It is no news today that technology is spreading like wildfire taking every immediate sector under its heat. Innovative technologies are not only making our lives easier but bringing in a revolution that is difficult to averse to.
The unprecedented rise of the construction industry in India is hugely supported by automated technology that saves time and money. Gone are the days when you could land up at your construction site loaded with tools in your van. Today all you need is some experience and the knowledge of technology trends to be the next construction wizard.
Now as we have seen these major technology shifts in the construction industry in the last few decades. Let us now look at what future swaps in technology that Contractors, Interior Designers, and Real Estate Builders must look out for.
5 Major technology possibilities that will make the industry much more efficient and boost productivity to the next level.
1. AR and VR
Augmented reality and Virtual reality have already started to be visible in the construction sector spreading their wings rapidly. While augmented reality is dependent upon the movements and senses of people, Virtual reality is much easier focussed on the visual representation of the user’s ideas.
AR and VR have been anticipated to be able to solve a variety of inefficacies in the construction field giving it a massive push towards ground-breaking construction possibilities.
More effective use of augmented reality in the construction field will benefit Contractors and Real Estate Builders to deploy an effective workforce on the site that will auto solve its problems ensuring safety and maximum output.
Interior designers can now represent the future of their projects using VR depicting the size, dimension and portraying a picture that the client can make changes to and finalize for it to become a reality.
Robots are going to take over major jobs in the construction industry, well at least the ones that are majorly redundant actions that can be performed by programmed robots. Accuracy, speed, and precision are the important driving forces that will help robots dominate construction sites.
Autonomous vehicles that don’t need an operator will help contractors getting the supply to the site. Automated bulldozers and excavators are in the building stages which will rule very soon.
Drones have started to appear as well and will be used more commonly to analyze the worksite and to track the progress every day. It can also help with surveillance issues.
From moulding Aluminium into furniture to the usage of algorithms for the organization of rooms will be the future of Interior design. Robots yet stay limited just to fabricated models sparing designer’s jobs for now.
3. Prefabricated Construction
Prefabricated construction has become suddenly popular all over the world including India. The idea of making and assembly of the construction pieces in a factory way before it is incorporated on construction sites to make structures (such as a wall) is offbeat amazing. Also known as pre-cast building technology.
With this kind of construction implemented the contractors, real estate builders, architects, and interior designers will forget project delays.
At these unusual times when we are facing a shortage of labor, this type of construction is much valuable and absolutely useful for everyone associated with a construction site.
Modular construction and Panelization categories in fabricated construction are functional for plumbing, flooring, and much more.
4. Green construction
Today more than ever clients are getting supremely aware of even the smallest of a change in the market and trying to adopt a more Green, and practical way of life. Now it gets in the hands of construction companies to adopt new technologies producing buildings that are undeniable eco-friendly.
What exactly do we understand by the term Green Construction? A responsible way of construction making use of recyclable products, reducing waste, and making buildings that preserve the environment.
Designers and architects must look for eco-friendly alternatives to keep their clients happy and returning to them.
For example, The smart deployment of cool roofs that decrease the temperature of your roof to help in energy consumption of an air conditioner hence helping the environment in return.
Another great example is the rammed earth method which uses natural material from the earth mixed with some concrete to create sturdy walls that are strongly durable.
5. Cloud-based software for construction management
Cloud software is already popular in the market. If you know Google Dropbox then you know what a ‘Cloud’ is. Only here we are talking about a cloud-based software that not only stores construction data but helps in project management from anywhere around the world. This kind of software is taking over because of its flexibility and seamless project communication. A key to hassle-free construction, is an up-to-date construction management software that manages your team, saves time, and helps you finish the project on budget.
Whether you are a designer, an architect, or a real estate builder, if you haven’t joined a cloud-based software yet then you’re missing out on the huge profits you are capable of bringing in every month. Sure manual work is something you do for years and seems daunting taking up new software and let it manage things for you, but with a little effort, you could turn your hard work into real money. There are many efficient and productive software and applications available in the market for you to choose from.
We have our own Construction Management Software RealTraker which is an “all in one” platform for you. This means you could have your contractors, designers, architects working along with you on the same dashboard across different projects. Imagine being able to handle your construction sites, people, equipment, bids, purchase orders, and profits from a single dashboard.
Not only that, Realtraker has innovative modules like Profit Genie’ which ensures you are making most of every penny invested in each project, and Customer Interface’ that allows customers to be aware of the progress.
Affordable, Smart, and Easy construction management is now a possibility with Realtraker.
You can get a free trial here and decide for yourself
You don’t need a degree in economics to figure out when commercial tenants can’t open their doors for business; they can’t pay their landlord.
Without rent, landlords can’t pay their mortgage.
According to MarketWatch, a recent article showed over 10% of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) are categorized as “special servicing” accounts. What that means is the mortgages aren’t getting paid.
The article also points out that a prominent West 43rd St Times Square property which used to house the New York Times is estimated to have dropped in value from 1.1 billion to 92 million.
You don’t have to go far to see the effects everywhere – malls, hotels, retail, and restaurants are all struggling.
Unless you live in Florida or Texas, most states are still on full or partial lockdown and not allowing restaurants, malls, and smaller retailers to open their doors, especially not at maximum capacity.
But it gets worse.
There’s a dark side of commercial real estate that’s not making headlines.
There are many executives of fortune 1,000 companies sitting on a Zoom conference discussing how they are surprisingly profitable with everyone working from home.
Their surprise has more to do with their belief that people need micromanaging to make money. Covid has changed everything. Employees work from home with no supervision, and many companies are thriving without paying to heat or cool large spaces. And they’re not just saving money and HVAC. They’re saving money on electricity, water, sewer, phone lines, IT, janitorial services, coffee, creamer, printing, maintenance, plumbing, pens, papers, staples, paperclips…
You get the point.
Sure, they may be paying for a big empty building, but once they unload that space, it’s back to making money. And perhaps a lot more money than they made with the huge spaces.
So, it’s not all doom, and gloom like some would like you to think.
Entrepreneurs are like chameleons; we adapt to our surroundings. When we figure out how to adapt to our surroundings and make money… and the economy always follows.
Many will argue a significant collapse in commercial property value is coming, and they could be correct. However, there may be an upside.
Investors to the rescue…
Investors use their money (and OPM) to create earnings, and you can bet they aren’t going to invest money and leave all of that space empty.
They will have to change the way space gets leased because leaving the space empty is not an option.
If there’s one thing we can count on, construction in commercial space will be different in the future.
Commercial property owners who succeed will need options to build out space and change the way they utilize space. – Some will convert to smaller spaces accommodating Zoomers (people who do Zoom calls daily) who are tired of the distractions of home.
Working from home might have been a fun adventure initially, but trying to close that big deal with a dog barking in the background, a cat on your lap, and a hungry 4-year-old that wants a Pop-Tart, is not an ideal situation for growing a small business.
That’s why Zoomers will rush to small commercial space as it becomes available, and they’ll seek spaces from 100 to 250 SF.
Build-outs will continue but on a much smaller scale. What does this mean for those of us in construction? Efficient management is more critical than ever because when the industry moves to smaller spaces to accommodate Zoomers, the work volume will go up. Still, the project size will go down massively.
The days of quoting low to get a big project and banking on the change orders might not work in the future. When a project is complete in weeks instead of years, it might be hard to squeeze the extra money you need to be profitable.
Now more than ever, you have to know where your profit stands before, during, and after completing every project.
That’s why so many contractors use Realtraker to manage their projects, people, paperwork, processes, and profit, all in a single easy-to-use platform.
Realtraker is easy to use regardless of the project’s size and is the only platform with a patent-pending AI that adapts to the way you run your projects.
Besides, managing projects on a spreadsheet doesn’t work. Frankly, it never has. To be competitive today, you need live, up to the minute detail on who’s on the project, what’s causing a delay, and where you stand from a profit standpoint – at all times.
And almost as important, everyone on the job has access to the necessary paperwork, so they spend their time doing their job, not hunting for the latest set of project updates.
So how can you capitalize on the coming trend in the commercial real estate market?
Here are 4 ways for you to capitalize on the coming trend in the commercial real estate market.
- Embrace The Change. Many contractors have a philosophy that they won’t bid on anything under 1,000 SF. As the market changes, this could be suicide for their business when millions of Zoomers seek 100-250 SF private offices away from home. Be ready, willing, and able to take on smaller projects, and you could have more work than ever.
- Seek Opportunities. Struggling commercial investors with low occupancy might be willing to pay more for a quick turnaround on smaller spaces. This allows them to offer smaller spaces with immediate occupancy without paying to remodel an entire building or an entire floor. Additionally, this can keep your cash flow strong because smaller spaces offer a higher profit margin and have less competition.
- Be Prepared. Now is the time to get your house in order. Efficient project management is more critical now than ever. Hammers work well, but nail guns accomplish more in less time. Realtraker is an all-in-one tool you can use to manage all of your projects profitably. You never pay per-user fees, so your entire team can participate at no additional cost.
- Get Profitable Now. If there is one statement I’ve heard from contractors over the years, it’s this; “the project had a lot more profit when we started, but by the end, it was mostly gone.” Profit is not something that just happens. It has to be the primary focus of every project. But why do most projects end with less than 2% profit? Because most contractors don’t manage profit; instead, they count the crumbs after completion. Profit Genie is included with every project with RealTraker. Whether there’s a change in materials, pricing, equipment, labor, or subs, Profit Genie gives you a real-time snapshot to see the impact on the entire project’s overall profit. Allowing you to make adjustments in real-time to make up for losses instead of waiting until the end of the project when it’s too late.
Whether you are a general, electrical, plumbing, or specialty contractor, Realtraker is the solution to help you weather the storm.
If you’ve been in construction for any length of time, you know the more complex the project, the more likely it is that you complete it late and over budget.
Most contractors just accept that they will get to the end of the project with two percent profit or less and, in many cases, end a project in the red…
Even worse, with an unhappy client because the project was completed months after the deadline.
I know the frustration of working 12, 18, or even 24 months to complete a project late and over budget. I’ve been in construction management for the past 30 years, and it was out of that frustration that I created a unique formula to finish on time and on budget – every single time.
When you get hired for your reputation of on-time completion vs. having to be the low bid, profitability becomes easy.
In this post, I’ll give you a six-step formula for profitable contracting.
How well you implement this formula will determine how much cash you pocket and how many happy customers you create in the coming years.
These six steps are not unique to me, but everyone who understands them and implements them stays in the game for the long term.
Construction is about the long term. It’s not prudent to focus solely on the project you are working on now, although this project helps set up more down the road.
When multiple projects come to you without bidding, you have the opportunity to be excessively profitable because of the systems you put in place to perform at the highest level in our field.
Whether you are just getting started or you’ve been at this for 20 years…
Implement this formula, and you’ll put the days of pain, anguish, and stress behind you.
The reason I’m giving you the formula is that there’s a startling fact about contracting.
The vast majority of contractors file bankruptcy two times before figuring out what to do to survive in this business.
I want to allow you to change that statistic forever.
But let’s be real. Don’t you want to do a lot better than just survive?
If you are like me, you want to thrive, and that’s what you’ll be able to do if you learn to implement the tools necessary to run profitable projects.
Estimating Without Spreadsheets
Whether you are bidding or estimating, the process usually involves a set of plans and doing your best to accurately determine the quantities and cost of all materials, equipment, and labor for the work. The estimate usually begins with generating a takeoff list created from information found in the bid package.
One of the reasons many in the construction trade struggle with profitability is because they don’t see the difference between bidding and estimating.
Both require tremendous accuracy to be profitable, yet bidding seems to fall into the category similar to begging.
Bidding puts you in a position to put the lowest possible number in the box in the hope of getting awarded the project.
Let’s be frank. The client is looking for the lowest possible price to perform the work.
The old expression, you get what you pay for comes into play, but I think it’s better said, you won’t get what you don’t pay for.
Namely, the client wants the most value for their dollar, and the value you provide should be in your ability to finish on time and budget because you know how to estimate a project correctly.
Accurate estimating allows you to calculate what it’s going to cost to perform that step of a project and then add your profit margin and a little extra “just in case” money.
The problem with profitability is not whether you are bidding or estimating; instead, most manage their proposals on spreadsheets.
A spreadsheet works fine with one proposal but gets out of hand once you start managing multiple proposals because there’s no efficient way to automate different proposals prepared over time.
The way to overcome the limitations of spreadsheets is with what I refer to as live estimating.
Live estimating allows you to use an online platform to estimate on the fly and track, monitor, and change any estimate or bid with a click of a button.
When that prospect calls in 8 months after you submitted the bid, you can quickly review and update the entire project in a few clicks.
Time is money, and to quickly and accurately update a project while keeping track of all of your other bids in a single location is the key to profitability.
Realtraker gives you the ability to estimate projects quickly and accurately directly through their platform without clunky spreadsheets.
The beauty of Realtraker is it comes with Profit Genie built-in. With Profit Genie, in a single click, you can account for any change in materials, labor, equipment, or time and project the impact to profit through to the end of the job.
Why does this matter? Because when you know now the impact a change has on the bottom line, you can adjust going forward to make up for the loss. Most contractors have no ability to predict the effect of a change on their profitability, and this knowledge allows you to negotiate with vendors, suppliers, and subs.
Profit Genie alone makes completing on time and budget a reality.
Try it. You’ll love it. Go Here For A Free 21-Day Trial.
Managing Revenue and Cash Flow
One of the biggest challenges we face in construction is managing revenue vs. cash flow.
Revenue and cash flow are not weighed equally. Cash flow might look great, but if your revenue is low, you don’t get to keep much of the cash flow.
Look at it like this. Revenue is your money to spend as needed to operate and grow your business.
Cash flow is the overall money coming into your checking account, but other vendors and suppliers have their hands in the till.
If you spend more of your cash flow than revenue, you will take on debt, and you are for disaster.
When you get a draw, some is for materials, labor, equipment, payroll, and operations, but for most, this is where the guesswork begins.
You might have a pretty good idea of how much of the draw can be used for overhead, but for most; it’s merely an educated guess.
This is why so many contractors get into the endless cycle of robbing Peter to pay Paul. When they get to the end of a project, all they have left to show for it is a couple of percentage points of profit “on paper” and a higher credit line than when you started the project.
Having an online platform that allows you to analyze cash flow and revenue accurately so you don’t overspend is the saving grace you’ve been seeking.
Realtraker takes the guesswork out of revenue projections. You can operate by knowing from the estimate to draw how much revenue you need to run your business allowing you to isolate the cash you need to pay vendors and suppliers, so you don’t get behind as the project progresses.
Try it for yourself. It’s a lifesaver. Get a free 21-day trial by going here.
Projecting Long Term Profit
Change is inevitable.
No matter what stage of a project you are in, something always causes a change in scope or a delay.
How you manage changes and delays will determine how much you pocket at the end of the project and how your reputation looks to the client.
Finishing on time doesn’t just happen. It’s something that takes meticulous planning.
But profit planning seems to be an afterthought. Something that’s done at the end of the project when it’s too late.
I’ve managed projects ranging from $150,000 to $270 million; profit planning needs to be at the forefront of everything you do as a contractor, or else you’ll end up as a statistic.
It’s not an accident that most contractors file bankruptcy twice before they finally make it in this business.
The real question is not why; the real question should be…
Why isn’t profit the number one focus of your business?
You don’t go into business to create a job for yourself and others. Although that might be a nice byproduct, you go into business to make money.
The only way to be profitable is to accurately predict today what the impact of any change has on the long term profit of the project.
Let me clarify.
If you are clearing land and run into a substantial delay, but you cannot bill for the delay based on the scope of the work, how does this delay affect your profit?
If you have to guess – it’s not scalable.
Scalability requires predictability.
But what if you could accurately predict – in real-time – the impact to long term profit of any change in materials, equipment, labor, or scope?
Imagine, in the click of a button, seeing how a change now will impact the job’s profit and your ability to complete it on time.
Would that allow you to adjust as needed to make up for the profit in other areas?
Would that allow you to adjust the working hours so that you can assure an on-time completion?
Of course it does. That is why we created Realtraker.
Realtraker is the only online platform that allows you to efficiently manage construction projects, personnel, processes, performance, paperwork, and PROFIT – from the cloud.
With Profit Genie, in the click of a button, you have all of the information you need to make adjustments whether you are on your smartphone, tablet, or sitting at your desk.
Projecting long-term profit has never been easier and puts you in the position to control every project’s outcome.
To give Realtraker a try today. Go Here
Managing Project Contacts, Personnel, Subs, Vendors, Documents, and Equipment
There’s a lot to manage on any project.
It’s essential to have all of the critical stakeholders on the same page regarding real-time events, changes, and updates that occur day-to-day.
And although many services allow you to manage different aspects of a project, it seems that nothing seems to do all without gaping holes and tremendous expense.
Most platforms charge per-user fees, which works great for them but leaves you exposed because for you to keep all parties in the loop, you either pay their user fees or require your subs and vendors to foot the bill.
But here’s where the problems begin. Many subs and vendors are hesitant to take on a new platform’s expense, so they will opt-out.
Inevitably the one sub you have who won’t pay for the platform fees is the same sub who forgot to tell you last Thursday that you need more materials on the job on Monday.
When they call you Monday morning, it’s too late.
Now you have to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to get them working again, provided they don’t head off to another job.
This is one reason why Realtraker is the only platform that does not charge per-user fees. You pay for the project, never for users.
We understand the critical importance of having ALL of the stakeholders on the same page in real-time.
Communication is the key to successfully managing profitable contraction projects.
If anyone is not in the loop, profit creep and delays are assured.
When there’s a quick and easy way for all stakeholders to participate at no cost to them, your project will run profitably and on time.
Realtraker allows you to manage projects, personnel, processes, performance, paperwork, and PROFIT from the cloud without per-user fees.
Unlimited users on every project.
Try Realtraker free for 21 days – Go here.
Preparing reports is tedious and time-consuming, which is why so few take the time to create them.
Because reports take so much time and effort, you either:
- Skip them because you don’t have the time or energy to get them done yourself
- You pay someone to create them, but they still lack total buy-in from all stakeholders, so the reports are incomplete.
- Your reports get done weekly or monthly, so they offer little value in assuring on time completion or long-term profitability because, by the time you see the report, you are already substantially delayed.
- Daily reports are a need, not a want, but it’s more cost effective for personnel to perform other duties than preparing daily reports.
Once again, Realtraker comes to the rescue with “click of a button” reports. All stakeholders can access reports at the end of the day or first thing in the morning – whatever your preference.
Realtraker makes creating daily reports easy and will keep you in the black so that you can finish on time and under budget.
For a free 21 day trial of Realtraker, go here and get started today.
Realtraker allows you to complete complex projects on time and under budget.
Construction project management is no longer about a small team managed by a supervisor and a project manager, all working at the same location. Modern-day construction projects involve multiple projects being undertaken at different locations. Managers and owners are not only focusing on the delivery side of things. They simultaneously need to collaborate with cross-functional teams within the company as well as deal with outsourcing service providers and suppliers. And the fact of the matter remains that the project managers and owners can not be present at all the locations all of the time. Having real-time information about simultaneous projects is the need of the hour. And efficiency is definitely the name of the game.
While project management has several challenges, we try to discuss a few of them in this article.
Estimation is the key to a successful project. It will not only avoid cost and time overruns, it also ensures efficiency in the overall project. Accurate estimates for time forecasting and resource utilization for the project’s guarantee to achieve profitable ROI. Realtraker is a construction management software provided by V-Plan Inc, a leading provider of IT-enabled estimation services and SaaS for construction. It features project management modules that definitely save complex projects from breaking their budget and miss delivery deadlines.
Realtime project updates are the biggest communication challenge for competent construction management. Any miscommunication can cause unexpected cost and time overruns, leading to improper project co-ordination. With Realtraker, project managers can readily have accurate cloud-based real-time updates. The in-app team chat feature comes handy for follow-ups. It also features an in-app email and quote request functionality. Accurate and timely communication is essential to the success of the project
Documentation is a key component of handling projects. Documents are like blood flowing in veins of the body. Documents like forms for submittals, RFIs, change orders, material submittals, etc flow smoothly across project channels for the proper functioning of the project. Document management can be done digitally with the RealTraker app.
Planning and organization of construction projects can face roadblocks while working with remote workers and outsourcing service providers. Processes of preparing tasks, delegation, and schedule planning ensure that project runs smoothly. Capacity planning, resource planning, coordination, collaboration, workflow planning are the components that owners and managers have to take care of. RealTraker readily handles resource and contact management by creating contacts, subcontractors, vendors as well as equipment and machinery databases. These entities and components can be easily assigned to projects.
Schedule management involves identifying the time period each project component consumes to contribute to project completion. It also helps in identifying the key processes that are critical to successful project completion. Project managers need to lay extra focus on these critical processes to ensure quality delivery. Gantt charts and schedule interruptions are recorded and tracked individually on the Realtraker app. Inaccurate billing for inactive projects (projects on hold) may entail tax implications. Realtraker makes it easy to manage such situations. Moreover, cashflow management including revenue and expenses forecasting for the project can be performed within the app. Generate cash flow charts and manage projects with well informed, analysis-backed decisions. You can view the charts as line, histogram, and a curved line. The best feature of the app is that you can perform risk mitigation for each of your projects, hence avoid delays and cost overruns.
All this can be done at a minimal cost, check out the website