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Targeting Commercial, Industrial, and Residential Development Companies....

1518 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  MattCoops
As I've mentioned many times in the past, I'm fairly new to the construction industry, although the GC I work alongside with has over 25 years of experience, which has taught me many critical things about this industry. One of those being the fact that in order to succeed, or expand your operations, you have to be well connected and know the right people that can help you out. Through my countless of hours reading posts on this site and all throughout the internet, I've come to realize that some of the best contacts are not necessarily other companies in the construction industry, but companies that are tied in with our industry.

Since we offer our construction and remodeling services to residential and commercial properties I figured it was a good idea to get in contact with some of the "big dogs" that are in charge of developing structures that comfort office, retail, warehouse, and even residential space. About two weeks ago, I ventured to do a "test" marketing trial targeting development companies down here in South Florida and abroad. Within this short test period, I've received call backs from a few reps indicating their interest in having our company help them out with some of their facilities. One has gone as far as contacting a couple of future tenants to contact us for their construction and remodeling needs. My approach has been very simple, in my opinion at least and has been very concise. This is what I've e-mailed to all these individuals:

First and foremost, I hope you're having a good day thus far. My name is Claudio Fernandez, Owner and licensed General Contractor of CF Construction and Remodeling, Inc. We're a General Contracting company based out of Miami, FL. that specializes in the interior remodeling, repair and construction of commercial properties. We could assist you in many different ways with any of your properties; ranging, but not limited to remodeling and construction, project management, and plan/permit expediting. I invite you to visit our website so you can get a better idea of what we've done in our past projects and what we're capable of doing:
I hope we can be of any assistance to you in the near future and can start building a trusting and profitable partnership. If you have any question(s) regarding our company, or any of the services that we offer, please feel free to contact me at any time. Thank you for your valuable time.

Kind Regards.

As I mentioned, I have a little over 2 years of experience in this industry so my "contact list" is not that impressive at the moment, but I work on building it up everyday it seems. I do have several years of sales experience because of my past so I think this has helped me take charge of our marketing campaigns because I know how to "sell" our company and services.

Again, I think this is pretty simple and straightforward. This same approach has helped in developing contacts and hopefully a future partnership with some of these development companies (we're currently working on a couple of estimates). Now, I'm not claiming that I've had a 100% success rate, or even a 50% success rate with this approach, but it has helped.

Have any of you tried something similar by approaching development companies and if so, what approach did you take? Is my approach pretty good, or do I need to work on adding/excluding a few things from it?

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My sense is that, working within the community of developers and large-scale owners, some will "try out someone new" if they think they can get a better price. The problem you have is (a) earning a fair margin on the work and (b) getting paid. Just one bad job can create havoc on your bottom line. I've heard too many stories of smaller contractors and subs ruined by dishonest players who exploit the newcomer's innocence or lack of

You also often are in the space of "lemmings" chasing obvious opportunities, where "low bid wins the job" and unless you are really efficient, low bid means losing money on the job.

Of course, as you've discovered, sometimes the best approach is simple and direct. You ask.

On a longer-range perspective, I really like connecting with relevant associations with local chapter serving your client focus (niche). The appropriate association depends on whether you want to work on schools, hospitals, commercial buildings or the like.

Generally, marketing is most successful if you frame your work within a niche or speciality -- the "narrower" the better. "We can do anything" is usually not a good marketing message, unless you are operating within a very confined geography. (Miami in my opinion is too big to say we do everything, usually this distinction is best if you serve a primarily rural area or relatively small town.)

Again, for marketing, I like SMPS, especially in connecting with architects and engineers -- the members in your local chapter will not always be the company decision-makers, but if you build relationships with their marketing people, you will likely also get connections to the executives who can refer work.
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It's good to know people. But know this: the vast majority of commercial projects are merely seeking the lowest bidder
With that being said, do you still want to devote your time, money, and efforts on chasing after work like that?
These projects have an overflowing surplus of contracting companies chasing after them. So if you want to get this kind of work you really need to make yourself known, stand out from the crowd, and continually be in the face of your potential customers.
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