Tag Archives: Superintendent’s Automated Manager

Home-Buyers Don’t Want Fast, They Want Instant


Once upon a time, our definition of “fast” meant overnight FedEx deliveries. People were even willing to pay premium for that kind of service. But the thing is, customers no longer want “fast”.

In a word where Google offers answers to just about any question within the span of a few blinks, where you can easily download an app if the need arises, where high-speed networks are the norm… your business has to keep up!

The web and the latest advancements in technology have conditioned us into thinking that we can get what we want, whenever we want, wherever we may be (as long as there’s good signal).

On-Demand Builder

So of course, clients expect you to be an on-demand homebuilder, an on-demand project manager. They demand responsiveness. After all, building a home is probably one of their biggest investments ever. An immensely critical decision. Something that is circling their minds 24×7.


So how will you address it? Email takes forever. Voicemail takes too long. People are even developing aversion to phone calls. These days, people would much rather text, chat, Viber, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and so on. Digital conversations. Conversations that immediately go back and forth.

This becomes very tricky for builders because we all know that our clients don’t necessarily understand the meaning of  “business hours”. Out-of-office communication for us has long been the norm. Today, they just want it done much, much quicker.

Sharing Files

File-sharing apps and websites have become prevalent in recent years. Clients want quick access to files. And in addition, these files have to be within reach on different devices. If you’re talking about revisions or changes in the design, they want to be able to see it whether they’re on their phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.

Schedule Updates

When a client ask you about the progress of their home, you have to be able to answer confidently almost instantly (more so if you are face to face). Taking too long will hurt your credibility. Giving vague answers will plant doubts in your client’s mind. As a responsible homebuilder, you should incorporate effective project management tools in your business, so that answers are readily available to you in just a few clicks. Since your customers demand information fast, you have to prepare accodingly.

One of best tools for this is SAM – The Superintendent’s Automated Manager. SAM will veer you away from messy and complicated paper schedules, ensuring that everything is digitized, editable and quickly within reach. It will help you to keep key personnel updated on project milestones, as well as with schedule changes. You can input tasks, deliveries and meetings in SAM, and even get project reports at the push of a button.

Keep up and Stay Ahead

Technology is ever-changing and customers are getting more demanding. If you don’t evolve with them, your company will get left behind. So today put yourself in the shoes of your clients and imagine how they crave and ask for information. And always remember that these days, just “fast” is no longer acceptable.

3 Simple Steps to Improving Your Financials


In the past couple of years, we’ve seen that the number of new businesses have risen, but at the same time, failure rates are also on the rise. In fact, almost half of all startup businesses fail within the first 4 years of operation.

One of the most common reasons as to why startups are failing is because they can’t really make out the meaning of the numbers in their financial statements. Inability to understand your financial statements means that you don’t know your targets, you can’t see your milestones, and you’re probably not aware of holes in your business. Eventually, this will lead to more bad decisions which then lead to closing up shop.

Of course, our goal is better construction management. So in this post, we are outlining 3 basic steps on how you can improve your company’s profitability.

1. Make Sure You are Charging Enough

In highly competitive markets, it’s very tempting to lower your rates in order to attract more clients and close more deals. But you have to remember that the long-term sustainability of your company depends on profitability. Therefore when creating (or revising) your pricing model for your various services, you first have to determine who your target demographic is. What is their income capcity? How much are they willing (and able) to spend for a new home or renovation?

Investigate what your competitors are charging so you’ll have an idea of the current market prices. Don’t be too quick to lower your rates just to grab more customers though. You may outnumber your client’s projects, but with unrealistic prices, your profits may still be in the red. Consider all of the costs and investments that go into your construction business. Factor in all labor costs. What is your ideal profit margin?

Don’t be afraid to stand up for what your services are worth. Lowering prices might compromise the quality service that you should be offering.

2. Always Have a Positive Cash Flow

As builders, we know that cash-flow is a major issue during slow months. Since most of us get paid based on progress billing, not having enough cash-on-hand can spell big trouble when it’s time to pay your employees, contractors, suppliers, and utilities. Businesses that don’t have enough cash flow usually resort to borrowing, but make sure that all of your current and future debt are well-planned. Study your income and revenue for both your peak and lean seasons. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that it will always be Christmas. In any business, there will be peaks and valleys so you need to prepare your financials for any possible scenario.

3. Monitor Your Expenses

An educated forecast of your income will definitely come in handy, but at the same time, it’s also a must to map out your expenses. Stay up-to-date on your bookkeeping in order to have a clear view of your cost structure. Know your recurring expenses and prepare for variable expenses. Do you have any inventory or long-term investments? These should be taken into account as well.

Remember, getting a good view of your company’s spending habits (and schedule) can give you a lot of information about your big-ticket expenses. In addition, it will give you insight on areas that can be cut-off or limited. Knowledge and planning are the keys to better construction management.

While having an accountant for your construction business is a definite must, it is also your responsibility to know the basics of finance. The better your grasp for numbers, the higher your chances for profitability.

10 Most Common Complaints that Builders Get


Unhappy clients can spell big trouble for your business. Just one sour project can snowball into a bad reputation. And of course, we all know that word of mouth spreads like wildfire, especially if the source is extra passionate due to extreme anger.

Prevention is better than cure. So before you run into a big mess, we’re listing down the 10 most common problems that construction clients complain about. Take down notes because these are the issues that you need to avoid.

1. Poor Work Quality

This is the most basic of problems when it comes to construction. The outcome of any project is the main determining factor of whether or not your client is happy with your work. This is where your construction managers come in. There has to be a good system of checks and balances throughout the construction process. It’s also important to ensure that you are getting professionals for your team. Newbies are welcome too, provided that they are well supervised by pros.

2. Failure to Turn Up or Arrive on Time

Business is all about building relationships and that’s why it’s so important to start off on the right foot. The most crucial is on day one of the project. Your crew should be on-site early. Punctuality is a sign of professionalism so it’s a must to reinforce this with your on-site crew.

3. Messiness, Failure to Clean Up

Okay, so with #2 it’s all about first impressions last. What we need to remember is that lasting impressions are important too! Never leave the site in a state of mess. Whether it’s a small home renovation or a brand-new build, a clean-up crew should make the place presentable. It’s also important to clean up at the end of every work day as this is helps motivate the crew for tomorrow’s fresh start. It’s also vital for avoiding work area accidents.

4. Asking for More Money than Agreed

Clients are always on a budget. Period. So unexpected jumps in project cost will surely be met with angst and hesitation. This can be solved by proper planning and adding a bit of a buffer for emergencies.

5. Proposed More Work than Necessary

In simple terms this is called cheating. Please, if you want to stay in business for a long time, always make it a point to provide true value for your customers. These days, it’s so easy to communicate with other people, plus there’s so much research that can be done on the internet. It’s quite hard to outsmart well-researched clients.

6. Failure to Do All the Work Required

There is nothing more infuriating than a contract that’s been fully paid and yet, not fully accomplished. This could be deliberate, or this could be an honest mistake from your end. Again, the key is a good monitoring and reporting system to ensure that all tasks are performed well.

7. Causing Damage to Property

Save yourself from the headaches of a lawsuit, and avoid damaging the property of your clients. It’s as simple as that.

8. Disputes Over When to Pay

Most of us charge based on progress billing or milestones. Make sure that you and your client are always on the same page over these things. Clarify the details of the contract prior to the actual build process and give them constant updates as to the progress.

9. Miscommunication Between You and Client

Are you always hard to come by? How quickly do you respond to their inquiries? Who is their point-person for any issues that may arise? How often do the clients get updates regarding accomplishments and milestones? What is your agreed method of communication? Minor miscommunication can lead to big problems if you don’t have the proper systems in place.

10. Delays Over Completion

Imagine yourself getting all excited (for months) to live inside your dream home. You’ve spent money renting a smaller place for the meantime, or you’ve been living with a friend or some relatives during the construction. You may have also spent money for temporary storage of your belongings… And then right when you’re ready to move in, BOOM! There’s a 2-week delay. Actually, even a week or a few days of delay is enough to infuriate any client. Again, this will end the project on a bad note which is a big no-no!

And there you have it. The 10 most common complaints that builders get from their clients. Make sure to avoid them before it’s too late.

If you think about it, most of these problems can be solved by proper communication, sufficient planning and effective project management– the keys to the success of any construction business. Now it’s up to you to create happy customers!


The Goal is Not to Compete, It’s to Dominate


Economists always say that perfect competition is the ideal setup of a healthy marketplace. However, if we were to look at this from the point of view of a business-owner, perfect competition is actually very dangerous. Why? Because in a market where there are a lot of options offering the same products or services, it’s very hard to create your own identity and stand out from all competitors. Here’s the reality: in a perfectly competitive market where one company is just as good as the next, it means that, should you slip up and fail, it wouldn’t matter much because any other company can replace you in a matter of seconds. When you’re equally comparable to every other company out there, it’s easy to die a quick and quiet death. Nobody will even notice the absence of your company.

We can’t stress this enough: You HAVE to stand out and separate yourself from the pack. In fact, the goal is to gain a strong hold of your target market. How can you dominate and become the BEST option for customers? The ONLY choice of your clientele?

Unique Technology

Oftentimes the deciding factor is technology. When you have a unique technology at your fingertips, you can offer something new to the market. You can provide services that have never been possible. You can address problems that are usually brushed off or have never been though of before. Certainly, the best way is to invent something of your own. But the next best thing is to employ the latest technologies out there. Upgrades that will significantly affect your business in a fast, and positive way. Find tools that your competition hasn’t discovered yet!

Offer a Unique Service

Think of it this way, say you’re at a neighborhood potluck and everybody accidentally brought pork dishes. The best way to stand out at this party is to bring something new to the table. A special dessert or an unforgettable seafood dish will definitely ignite more attention and tickle the guests’ palates- palates that are sick and tired of pork. The same goes for business. Think about how you can offer something new, something that your competitors don’t offer.

Make yourself stand out by offering a unique service. This is a big challenge for builders. In an industry that’s been established for decades upon decades, what will be your X factor?

Creating a Unique Brand

It’s also important to market yourself properly. You have to position yourself in the market in such a way that your customers will be drawn to you. What message do you want to send them? How do you want them to see your company? Who are you to them? How can you touch their hearts in a personal way? Your message should be carefully crafted and then thoroughly implemented in the company. It should be visible in your marketing collaterals (website, brochures, flyers, signage, etc.) as well as in your people too. Your employees, even your contractual ones, should be briefed about your company’s mission, vision, and market position. Send your message by living and breathing it.

Consistent Performance

We all know that after sealing the deal and getting a contract, our work has officially just begun. If you truly want to dominate the market, you should hit a homerun every single time. No project is too big or too small. Every project matters. Every client matters. Consistently excellent service will give you positive feedback, good word of mouth, and valuable referrals. In an industry where you’re only as good as your last project, it’s essential to always do a good great job. There’s no room for hit-and-miss, make it a slam-dunk each and every time. Be the expert. Be the go-to guy. This is the key to longevity and market dominance.

It’s not an easy task but if you truly want to succeed, you have to remember this- competition is not what you want. What you want to achieve is market leadership. To become number one. There are countless builders out there. What will make you stand out from the pack?


Automated Trackers will be on the 2016 NAHB International Builders’ Show and we’re giving away free passes. Click the link below to know more.

How to Realign Yourself in Order to Get Things Done

How big a procrastinator are you? Are you doing it right now? Is there too much on your plate lately? Are you finding it difficult to juggle the millions of tasks in your to-do list?

In this post, we’re going to talk about how to realign yourself (and your mind) in order to get things done. This week, to help you sort through your mental mess of never-ending tasks, we’re giving you a few simple questions that you need to ask yourself.

Who am I going to be today? 

Start every day with a simple meditation. This only needs a minute or two. Decide on who you want to become for the day. Do you want to be a driven drill sergeant, a compassionate counselor, an inspiring free-thinker, or an enterprising innovator? Whatever you decide will serve as your anchor for the day’s activities. This will influence your priorities and decision-making.

When the pressures of work deadlines are too much, a little bit of mental and emotional conditioning can go a a long way.

What am I committed to? 

Sometimes, the most effective way to get things done is to focus on the bigger picture. What is the outcome that you want to achieve? However, oftentimes we find ourselves saying, “Oh, I don’t have time for that.” The truth is, what you’re actually saying is that you are not committed to it. If there’s a will there’s a way right? We will always find time for the things that we are committed to.

A simple way to find out what you’re committed to is to look at the things that you spend the most time on. For example, how many hours a day do you spend on social media? If your answer is about 3 hours or more, then stop and reassess. Is it absolutely essential for you to be allocating 3 hours of your day for that?

What are the things that need to be done? 

It’s a simple enough question but it helps a lot in sorting out your head. As a tip, remember that you should always put the bigger picture within view. All of the smaller tasks should bring you toward the bigger goal. If all of the little things are bringing you down, try focusing on a big, rewarding goal that will inspire you to push forward.

What are the tools that I have at my disposal? 

Stop for aminute to think about your resources. Do you have an awesome team of hardworking people? Do you have valuable connections? Do you have the latest tech tools to speed up efficiency? Do you have the support of loving friends and/or family? Most of the time, our minds get so clogged up by things we need to do, that we tend to completely forget about the helpful things that we already have at our disposal. Find out what your weapons are and use them wisely. Maximize what’s already within reach. Remembering your strengths will not only motivate you, it will also help you to come up with brilliant solutions to your problems.

Speaking of tools that you can use to get things done, have you checked out SAM yet? It’s the Superintendent’s Automated Manager. Click this link to learn more about how it can help you to juggle up to 10 construction projects at once.