Running a business is no small task. It is, however, achieved by many small tasks. “Add [xyz] to the workflow”. “Turn on utilities at [123 Main St]”. “Send feedback to [bob]”. “Prep the company newsletter”. Process development, communication, organization, marketing: the list of to-do’s never seem to end and paint points seem relentless when you’re in growth mode. If we’ve learned anything thus far in the construction business, it’s this: the right tool changes everything. That’s why we are sharing a tech stack for construction management that made a difference in our company.
What is a Tech Stack?
What is a tech stack, you may ask? Although the term often refers to the tools used for app building, according to this source, a tech stack is “a collection of apps and digital tools that are all used to serve a particular business function.”
The article linked above also suggests ensuring you first have the right people and processes in place prior to adding in technology. We couldn’t agree more! Technology services, with their subscription based model can easily create unnecessary overhead expenses. Use sparingly and re-analyze on an annual basis.
Tech Tools We Use in Construction Management
Below is the list of tools – technology software we use to run our company. We include a short description, the cost, and the value proposition it offers to our team.
BuilderTrend (Construction Management)
BuilderTrend is a construction management software that offers pre-sales processes, project management tools, financial tools, and customer management. Their on boarding and support team is superb and they definitely need it, because the software is robust. After a year, we are just now feeling more competent in it.
Cost: $300-$500 per month
We use it mainly for tracking jobs, delegating tasks, and communicating with buyers.
Slack (Internal Communication)
Communication is a core value at our company, so it’s important to us that we do it well; especially internally. This app based tool that can be set up to communicate by project, which is why we like it. There are channels within each workspace, each starting with a “#”. We name each channel as one of our projects, for example “#123MainStreet”.
Cost: Free up to a certain amount of space, then ranges from $6.67 – $12.50 per person per month.
We use this tool to ask questions and share issues, NOT delegate tasks. (That is exclusively for BT.) Within a given channel (or for us, project) a team member can tag another team member using an @ symbol to ask a question, update, or encourage their co-workers.
Monday.com (A Project Management Tool)
This is another project management tool that is extremely versatile. It’s a visually based tool with a focus on processes.
Cost: $8-$16 per person per month.
We use Monday.com mainly to manage content creation for marketing. But we may be eliminating this tech tool to save money. In its place, we’ll probably use a google sheet.
Active Campaign (Email Marketing)
Active Campaign is an email marketing software. We’ve tried comparable services: Flodesk, Mailchimp, and Convertkit and nothing compares to this one. Their onboarding process and education is impeccable and saved us thousands of dollars.
Cost: $9-$479 per month, depending on # of contacts
Worth every penny, in our opinion
Google Workspace (Productivity: Gmail, Calendar, Sheets, Docs, Drive, Tasks)
This Google system provides many tools for productivity. It is our internal email system, so firstname.lastname@example.org, allows our team to collaborate on working documents and spreadsheets in real time.
Cost: $6-$18 per user per month
Dropbox (File Management)
This file management software provides secure storage. We use it like a file cabinet: to store important documentation and closed out projects. We also use it to store our media content: images and video.
Cost: $16.58-$24.99 per user per month.
We use Dropbox for Teams.
Calendly is a scheduling tool that integrates with our google calendar. It shows our availability, so that clients, vendors, or potential passive investors can easily book a time slot that works with their schedule.
Cost: Basic is Free, but if you want more than one scheduling option, it can get up to $12/month
This is one of our favorite tools. Loom allows you to record your screen to quickly and easily send video messages. This time of communication has proven invaluable, especially when reviewing house plans, or responding to the city permitting office.
Cost: The free version limits video length, but if you upgrade, it’s $8 per creator per month.
Other reputable alternate software for Construction Management
- Asana – comparable to Monday.com. We’ve heard good things.
- Google Tasks – included in Google Workspace
- Airtable – an alternative to Google Drive or Dropbox
A Tech Tool We Will Most Likely Use In The Future: Syndication Pro
We are primarily a real estate investing company that focuses on single family, residential investment projects: flips, developments, and new construction. Although we aren’t yet doing projects that require a syndication, this tool may prove valuable to help us further improve communication to our current passive investors.
Cost: From our recollection, we were quoted about $750 per year.
Tech Adds Up: Tips to Keep Cost Under Control
As you can see, all of this technology has a cost; and it can add up!
- Start with one new tool at a time, as needs arise.
- When adding a new software, choose the monthly payment option initially (even though it’s a little more expensive.)
- Create enough time margin to fully integrate and implement your company’s workflows into the tool.
Hope this was helpful!
Until Next Time …