In the world of commercial construction and especially working as a general contractor, networking and building relationships are vital and necessary skills that spur leads and drive revenue. Whether in person at a trade show, online on a project database, or on the jobsite, maintaining positive relationships remains at the heart of running a successful general contracting business.
Relationships are the master key that brings prosperity to your construction company—whether it’s collaborating with the architect or designer, creating bids for builders and potential clients, or sourcing specialty trade and subcontractors to assist in finishing projects in a timely and accurate manner, Establishing a secure connection via building rapport and trust are the key components of creating business relationships that will not wither over time but remain firm even as issues arise.
Let’s break down the top benefits of networking and building strong relationships in the construction industry.
Expand Your Subcontractor Network
It is safe to say that every general contractor is constantly searching for reliable subcontractors with whom they can build good working relationships to use on projects with zero hesitation. Constructing a solid arsenal of dependable subcontractors you can rely on to complete jobs efficiently, timely, and professionally brings peace of mind that comes without a price tag.
And while construction has been slower than other industries to adapt to the rise in the digitalization of processes, it is becoming more challenging to find referrals for contractors simply by word-of-mouth or a random stroke of luck. Using services like ConstructConnect Bid Management which already has active subcontractors looking for ITBs in your area, can greatly increase your opportunity to find responsible professionals for your jobs.
Establish Lifelong Clients
Like a client-contractor relationship in any industry, establishing your network of return clients that choose you and your company as their default is what every business owner wants to see. That is why not only is expanding your network in the construction industry so important, but why turning your current clients into long-lasting customers is equally as vital.
Establishing a strong rapport, creating trust, and completing jobs with integrity are crucial to building customer satisfaction, bringing repeat business, and increasing client loyalty to your company. The formula for success is quite simple—you finish a project on time within budget that meets or exceeds the customer’s standards and then you get paid on time and hopefully make a decent profit. For a client-contractor partnership to withstand trials and tribulations, communication, collaboration, and having a clear and concise contract are nonnegotiable.
Generate More Revenue
This one speaks for itself. If you build, and nurture relationships within your construction network, ultimately, you will be driving more success to your business. When your clients are happy, you are happy. When the subcontractors you trust and hire complete projects correctly and on time, you are happy. When you get paid on time and things go smoothly, you want to continue working with the client. When your subcontractors get paid on time and things go smoothly, they want to work for you on future projects. More revenue can be generated with a solid foundation built on relationships and networking.
Referrals and Partnerships
When you are actively putting in the effort to grow your network and build better relationships, two natural effects that can occur are referrals and partnerships. Referrals are wonderful as they are personalized references from current or former clients that bring you direct business. When someone you have successfully worked with refers you to a potential client or vice versa, rapport and trust are already established via a genuine human connection.
Over time and through consistency, partnerships can also emerge for general contractors by way of certain trade companies, specific subcontractors, big-money builders, and other stakeholders that can help bring you more business and increase profit margins.
Being an active member of trade organizations and associations can also lead to more networking success. Joining your local chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is a great way to attend networking events and meet new subcontractors. This helps create relationships that hopefully last longer, bring less stress, and lead to more opportunities you may not have had otherwise.
Connect With More Engineers, Architects, and Designers
As crucial as it is to locate more subcontractors to add to your network of qualified subcontractors, it is just as important to connect with more designers, architects, and engineers. Gaining trusted contacts like builders who produce huge projects in your area can be incomparably beneficial to long-term success if you put in the diligence of relationship building and producing great work on time. That way, when new projects enter the pipeline, the designer, architect, or builder already has a reliable general contractor in mind—you.
Expand Knowledge Base and Remain Relevant
When you are always working on the progression and expansion of both established and newer relationships, the benefits create a spider web of effects (seen and unseen). With the constant evolution of the industry, ever-changing economics, and the assimilation of new technologies, it is vital to keep educating yourself and your employees to stay up-to-date and relevant. Forming a strong footing and firm home base in the industry is important.
Old ideas and fear of change can cause people to fall behind and become forgotten. Ensure you stay in the know of changes, trends, and programs that can improve processes, bring new information, and keep your business relevant in its niche in the industry. Attend workshops, events, and webinars, as well as continuing education resources, to show not only your team but your clients and prospects, that you truly care and always want to improve their experience and your workflow.
General Contractors, Keep Making Connections
We hope these different pillars show you the power and undeniable benefits of growing your network of construction professionals in the industry. Whether it’s sourcing more dependable subcontractors that will keep the jobsite on point, completing jobs on time, or attending trade shows to connect with like-minded industry professionals, the benefits of networking are endless in the role of a general contractor.
Locate subcontractors near you and grow your network with ConstructConnect Bid Management.
Find profitable project leads and grow your network with owners and architects with ConstructConnect Project Intelligence.