4 Low-Risk Online Marketplaces for Construction

online marketplaces for constructionOnline marketplaces can make running a construction business easier, helping with the functions of marketing, finding bid opportunities, hiring subcontractors and staffing. If your business is not on the first page for a relevant Google search it can be challenging for potential customers to find you. Online marketplaces geared to the construction industry expose your business to more potential customers and opportunities, helping you to grow your business. Marketplaces that help you find talented craft workers can save you time and money.  Here are a few online marketplaces that you can try with very little risk or resources.  

buildzoomTarget qualified home building and light commercial projects on BuildZoom

For contractors focused on multi-unit residential construction or smaller commercial jobs such as tenant build-outs, restaurants, or retail, BuildZoom can connect you to vetted, high-intent property owners. Unlike many other lead generation sites, BuildZoom doesn’t make money by selling leads that may return no benefit for the contractor. The company takes on the upfront risk, and contractors pay a referral fee (1-5% based on the size of the project) only when hired. “We use construction data to bring transparency and accountability to the construction marketplace,” says Sasha David, Growth Associate for the company. BuildZoom aggregates data on licenses, permits, and qualified reviews to understand the work history of each contractor and effectively match them with their desired clients. Contractors can complete a profile at no cost, indicating the types of jobs they are interested in, including the distance they are willing to travel and minimum budget size.

Once property owners submit a project, a project consultant from BuildZoom verifies the scope of work, timeline, and intent before matching. If your business is a good fit, you can opt into the project, communicate with the client, schedule walkthroughs, and send proposals all through the contractor dashboard. A high-touch process with high-intent clients and third-party verification creates a better experience for both property owners and contractors. Last year, more than $5 billion dollars in projects have been submitted to BuildZoom.

 workyardFind subcontractors and craft workers on Workyard

With a tight labor market and robust construction market, general contractors may find themselves in need of additional subcontractors and craft workers. Workyard is an exclusively B2B online marketplace for more than 35 types of specialty trades ranging from acoustics to waterproofing. More than 40,000 contractors in the U.S. already have a profile on Workyard. “When a general contractor posts a bid opportunity on Workyard, subcontractors within a certain radius are alerted,” says Sam Reid, business development manager. “You don’t have to go searching for the opportunity.” There are no fees for posting a bid or winning a bid.

Workyard also provides a staffing solution for craft workers. In California they are working to staff companies like Andersen Windows and modular home builder Cover.  “Recruiting is difficult and specialized,” says Reid. ““Companies have turned to us to augment their recruiting efforts or even fully rely on us to find the tradespeople they need.”

Workers are initially hired by Workyard for six months at which time they can either transition over to the hiring firm or stay with Workyard. A background check ensures everyone hired has the right to work. During the time they are employed by Workyard, craft workers enjoy full benefits, including health insurance and workers’ compensation.  This process lessens the risk for both the employer and craft worker.  The company, which started in Australia has its strongest presence in California but is growing nationwide.

fedbizopps.govTarget federal government construction opportunities at FedBizOpps.Gov

Use the search feature at FedBizOpps.gov to find bidding opportunities for federal government construction projects in your state.  There is no fee to register and it’s free to use and see opportunities. Opportunities can be narrowed based on a wide range of variables including the date the opportunity was posted, SIC code and federal agency.

This site offers a way to identify projects that are specifically for minority- and/or veteran-owned businesses.  Video tutorials teach you how to navigate the site.

By putting opportunities on a watch list and using the save search feature, you can minimize the work of monitoring and searching. Searches can be scheduled to run at specific intervals and you can receive email alerts after those searches are run. Once you figure out how to find the most relevant opportunities for your business, it should be relatively easy (and free) to keep tabs on federal work opportunities.

 

AGC ConstructorSubcontractors, GCs and suppliers connect on the Constructor Marketplace

 

Constructor Marketplace from Associated General Contractors (AGC) is an online purchasing directory for the industry, containing listings for more 2,700 subcontractors and 2,300 suppliers. “Convenience is key,” says Jeanie Clapp, editor-in-chief of Constructor.  “Multiple search capabilities give a construction professional the ability to request proposals from potential vendors by geography and category.” From architects and accounting services to concrete and earthmoving contractors, hundreds of products and services categories make it easy to find what you are looking for. According to Clapp, a company does not need to be an AGC member in order to be listed in the marketplace. Non-members can purchase listings to be included. 

New online marketplaces seem to be popping up each year.  Leave us a message in the comments to let us know which ones you find valuable to your business. 

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