What if there was a way to get more project leads, in less time, so you can bid more jobs and land more contracts?
Most contractors are relying on “word-of-mouth” referrals to grow their business. They are literally leaving it up to chance whether someone recommends them or not.
A few months ago I wrote an article on 27 ways to grow a construction business where I list and describe in detail the best ways to get project opportunities.
But if you’re really looking to grow your business, you need to take a more active approach. And that means consistently having leads coming your way.
As a side note: We specialize in estimating for busy contractors, so once you implement some of the strategies I’m about to share with you below and you need help estimating, we can help. Learn more about our estimating service for Contractors and Subcontractors.
Here are 5 sites that can help you get construction leads:
1. Lead Generation Services – iambuilders.com
Part of the services I AM Builders offers our clients (and future clients) is researching and finding projects.
Our team has access to a national database where we can research the projects for you. At the moment we’re not charging for this, but that’s likely to change in the near future.
Primarily we are an estimating company, but since we talk to so many clients, the biggest issue we’ve noticed they always have is the lack of time to find projects and difficulty in finding time to estimate more jobs.
There are great lead platforms out there (and I’m going to discuss a few of them in the next few sections), but they often require expensive annual contracts and hours of time weekly to find the right projects. Contractors just don’t have the time.
2. Construct Connect – constructconnect.com
Construct Connect has been buying up many construction-related companies like iSqFt, CMD, Bid Clerk, and several others.
So they have this massive database of projects, probably the best one in the market.
It’s actually the main one we use to find our client’s hand-picked projects. You can get an account covering one or several regions nearby you. You can get email invitations to projects.
Here is an example from my account:
In my area and there are 2,744 results of projects including both Private and Government work. Construct Connect gets its data from researchers, General Contractors, Developers, Architects, and the Government.
Their rep told me they cover about 80% of the country’s projects. It’s pretty incredible the reach they have.
It’s a great platform, and I highly recommend it. But for busy contractors, you’re going to spend hours per week looking for jobs. And it could get pricey.
That’s why we offer construction consulting services for some of our clients where we find the projects right in front of you, get you the connections, and get you bidding jobs ASAP.
We literally try to give you everything on a silver platter! We personally coach your business, and we estimate the job for you. All you need to do is call the client and visit them a few times.
It’s really that simple.
3. Home Advisor – homeadvisor.com
For residential contractors, HomeAdvisor is a must. I actually used to use this platform when I was on the contractor side of things years ago. You’ll have access to hundreds of leads per month if you’re able to afford them.
HomeAdvisor uses online marketing and TV commercials to get homeowners who might be looking for home improvement projects to sign up or call in to get connected with a contractor in their area.
For example, if a homeowner wants to remodel their house, they might go to Google and type “contractors in Miami” and most likely HomeAdvisor will show up ready to collect a potential lead.
Look, I just did the search and I was actually surprised, they were the first ad to pop up:
Once they collect the lead and the homeowner enters all the information for their project, they immediately send it out to multiple contractors on their platform. You set a budget and they feed you home improvement projects.
In my time using it, there are a few tips I picked up on that I’ll share with you.
1. Call the homeowner immediately: They will be sending out the leads to multiple contractors so you need to be the first to book an appointment.
2. Pick specific zip codes: Not all areas are created equal. This isn’t really advertised, but if you call the customer service, you can select only the zip codes in “higher-end” areas. Go to Zillow.com and search for your area and find the specific zip codes where the houses are the most expensive.
These homeowners will be the best clients because they are not so motivated by price, but more on quality. If you leave the service area open to your entire city, you’re going to get calls from low-income areas where there will be a ton of competition and you’ll need to be super cheap to get the jobs.
If you have a budget, apply it strategically.
3. Pick the most profitable project types: HomeAdvisor will give you a list to check off the boxes of the types of projects to match you with. But just, because you can paint one room, it doesn’t mean you should check off the box for “Painting 1-2 Bedrooms”.
Pick the higher value options. For example, paint exteriors and interiors of houses 5 bedrooms +. Pick new construction of 3000 SF+, etc. You have a limited budget so pick the best projects for you only.
4. Dispute bad leads: Most contractors don’t know this, but you can dispute bad leads and get a credit. Some leads will come in that aren’t the homeowner, or they aren’t really looking they just wanted to ask some questions. You don’t need to pay for these leads. You can dispute it online or call it in.
4. The Blue Book – thebluebook.com
The Blue Book is another platform where contractors post their projects and you can get email invitations.
I’ve gotten feedback that this works great mostly for Subcontractors.
They put you on a database based on your category where they rank you based on your subscription. They have multiple tiers and range from $150/mo to about $800/mo. The higher your subscription, the higher in the list you’ll be.
For example, I just pulled this list from Los Angeles for Drywall contractors:
When General Contractors are looking for subcontractors, one way is by going through this list and calling each company, or checking off those boxes and mass-sending them a project.
The other way is creating a project and inviting all nearby Subcontractors to bid. As a Subcontractor, you’ll get an email invitation to bid on a project.
I highly recommend before bidding for a new company, that you call to introduce yourself and speak to the General Contractor’s estimator. It will help your closing rates tremendously if you can call and visit.
The other part of the platform is Bidscope where you can research the current projects, very similar to the other platforms.
Pro Tip: If you’re a General Contractor and you need Subs, the GC side of The Bluebook is called One Team. Go to Oneteam.build and call to create an account. From there you can post your project and invite Subcontractors.
5. Dodge – construction.com
Dodge has been around for over a hundred years and is trusted by the government for its data for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reporting which gives economists the ability to make predictions in the market.
They have a large database of projects including both Government and Private jobs. They have a variety of lead products, but I’ve used the Global Network and it’s the most complete out of all of them.
As a General Contractor, I recommend you pursue projects as the General Contractor and as a Subcontractor. We call it the Two-Tier Bid Strategy. Contact the owner and try to set up a meeting to bid the entire job, and contact all bidders to try to bid as a Subcontractor.
Like this, you multiply your chances of winning a project by 10x.
If you really want to grow your construction business and overload your company with contracts, you first have to develop a lead generation strategy.
Most contractors are way too busy to do it themselves which is why I AM Builders gives clients and future clients expert consulting on how as a bonus when working with us. If you have a team and you want to do it yourself, sign up for a lead platform, and start bidding.
And by the way, if you need estimating services, we can estimate your entire project for you. Just give us a call or send over your plans through email.