Change and Technology In Real Estate and Construction

This summary highlights a number of the principal underlying trends and initiatives which are currently shaping the long-term characteristics of the US construction industry. The hypothesis is that such can only be realized through the simultaneous combination of business process change and the complementary implementation of new IT support systems.The most encouraging aspect of such initiatives is that, for the most part, they are being undertaken on an integrated and cohesive basis and address the same set of underlying criteria.Those taking part and driving such change include leading commercial, consultancy, trade and professional organizations and universities. The funding for such activities is being made available via a variety of sources including US Government research programs, direct commercial sponsorship and the subscription to more generic studies and initiatives by joint industry-academic bodies.Technology As A Major Change Enabler(a) The PotentialAs demonstrated by the varied (but nevertheless interrelated) objectives identified by studies, there are now several major areas of strategic industry focus currently gathering pace and high level commercial, professional and governmental support within the US.A common underlying factor in nearly all cases however is the importance and value of information and the implementation of new communication networks such as intranets to support client and project team information management, access, flow and exchange between both remote office based staff and the construction site itself. In addition there is also the increasing potential for the introduction of other leading edge technologies such as PC based video conferencing and electronic whiteboards for group working, 24 hour access to live site based ‘birds eye’ video, 3D virtual reality modelling and augmented reality applications all of which have on-line project oriented capability.Furthermore, there are emerging portable technologies such as bar coding and the use of portable digital assistants for site based staff use with support for sending and receiving data such as work- in-progress valuations and materials delivery recording. The real added value however is in approaching all such systems strategically and ensuring their interoperability and integration in operation across a common project communication network.Construction organizations are proving themselves to be increasingly ready, willing and able to invest in proven administrative based, proprietary office systems developed by the major IT hardware and software vendors and which admirably cater for everyday operational tasks such as accounting, sales and marketing presentations. Where it is more difficult for such organizations however, is in relation to more strategic and industry specific applications and especially those which require a fundamental review of predominant and traditional methods and processes and the acquisition of new technical skills at both managerial, consultant and site-level.The US is particularly well supported by high level university based construction research which have close relationships with the industry and where a good number of leading edge initiatives are being investigated and modeled for commercial application.In addition, because of the scale of funding and the publicity that tends to be generated as a result, knowledge dissemination of such projects is guaranteed useful profile via the press, conferences and exhibitions etc. In this way, the gospel of strategic industry thinking and trends towards cultural and process related paradigm shifts and the application of new technology, tends to permeate through to all levels of commercial and professional representation with individual organizations and practitioners focusing on specific elements relevant to their own specific areas of operational interest.But what are the technologies under development and how are they being applied specifically in relation to construction?(b) Technological ConvergenceOne of the keywords used in current technology circles is ‘convergence’. Convergence accurately describes the trend towards the integration, interrelationship and blurring of the distinction between computing and communication technologies. Such convergence is simply the result of the ability to convert all kinds of different information into digital format. (E.g: text, sound, video, speech, graphical images and drawings).This means that particularly when coupled with new dedicated digital based communication infrastructures the diversity of possible new domestic and industry-specific applications and services is now leading to the introduction of such technologies as digital interactive TV, video-on-demand,etc. What we are really talking about of course is Multimedia.(c) Multimedia ApplicationsThe fact that multimedia technologies are now only beginning to filter through into everyday life actually belies the underlying development that has occurred during the last three years to the point where multimedia technologies and networks are being utilized to support a wide variety of serious commercial applications in all manner of business sectors.Multimedia technologies have particular potential within the property and construction industry not only in a general business management sense but also in relation to industry specific activities such as surveying, design, project management, information gathering and sales and marketing.The early multimedia applications proven popular via CD-ROM and first generation Internet/World Wide Web services running over existing copper telephone lines, have helped to identify a strong potential long- term market for multimedia. This has in turn given greater confidence to public and private network providers who, following global telecommunication liberalization and deregulation, are now investing heavily in designing and developing a high hierarchy of different local, regional, national and international networks capable of supporting a variety of combined digital multimedia data and telephony services.Such networks offer different levels of speed and capacity to suit different end-user needs and utilize a variety of clever compression techniques designed to help achieve an optimum balance between quality, speed and cost.As a result of the development of such networks, this in turn has stimulated a new round of multimedia application and service development geared to the specific capabilities of different network technologies. These network technologies are aimed at the different needs of demanding, high-end group work based business users such as the construction industry.By now we had reached the point where multimedia represents the single most important global focus for both the information technology and telecommunication industries. The increasing potential for both business and domestic related multimedia applications and the means by which they can be delivered, received and interacted with means that mass market development is occurring at a point where many of the aspects of using such technology have already been resolved.In addition, the required level of average user understanding and ability to access and utilize a whole new range of multimedia based applications and services is really no more than is required to cope with the latest generation of TV set.The marketing and promotion of such multimedia applications and services will therefore focus on their user-friendly functionality and cost-effective benefits rather than the nature of the underlying technologies themselves. The most successful services and applications will be those which are seamless and transparent and ‘just work’.(d) Multimedia TechnologiesMultimedia technologies are now being used to develop all kinds of diverse general and specialist applications and which in relation to the construction industry include, for example, PC video conferencing based group working, 3D virtual reality, on-line construction product and cost data information, survey data gathering using PDA’s (portable digital assistants) and training and education. One of the most important multimedia software applications is the Web browser.The web browser represents the most potent single source interface to online multimedia communications, products and services and its development has been phenomenal. Web browsers are increasingly being developed as project management interfaces, capable of supporting a variety of integrated and seamless applications such as video conferencing and electronic whiteboards for group working. Web browsers are also able to act as the interface to server push based technologies such as web casting which enable new and highly potent methods for delivering commercial and educational multimedia web-based content automatically to a wide range of industry and specific project based clients and individual consumers.Delivery systems will include a wide range of cable, digital broadcast, satellite, and intranet based multimedia networks serving both PC and TV. Web casting will even provide the ability to combine conventional TV program content with interactive web page support information which can be supplied as part of the overall broadcast signal and displayed in a separate part of the screen.Multimedia Networks• Intranets
The move to using Internet-based protocols on internal networks has given rise to the concept of Intranets which are effectively private multimedia networks.
Intranets provide the means for both the controlled internal access to multimedia information and resources and the control of external access to on-line services such as the WWW. In addition, gateways can be provided which permit intranet interconnection so that a particular company’s intranet can be connected to that of a major client or supplier for example.• Mobile Multimedia
As part of the online multimedia revolution, no review would be complete without briefly considering current developments in relation to mobile technologies and their supporting networks.There is recognition of a growing need for more potent mobile capability and the need for a wider range of mobile and handheld devices which have a greater degree of integration and interoperability with fixed desktops and “back at base” networks. This particular area has great potential for use in relation to on-site based real estate, estate management, facilities management and construction applications.• Broadband Delivery Systems
The latest generation of broadband networks will not only provide the means for more potent access to on-line PC related networked multimedia resources but also introduce more consumer services such as interactive digital TV and video-on-demand.Optical fiber will play an increasingly important role in the establishment of broadband networks. As far as the domestic market is concerned installation will mostly be provided on a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTM) basis for the future. For commercial users however, some providers are now providing full Fiber-to-the-Building (FTTB) connection and this is an increasingly important consideration in relation to building specifications for owner occupiers and tenants.

How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Free Construction Leads in Five Steps

While you are desperately searching for construction jobs to bid on, others brag about generating more leads than they actually need. You see their companies growing and taking over the market, while you struggle to avoid bankruptcy. If you happen to get into a conversation during a local meeting or constructions conventions, they laugh at you saying that they owe it all to their LinkedIn profile.It is all a lie. You have been active on LinkedIn for years, you have a great profile, a lot of connections, and, yet, no leads. Do they know something that you don’t? Are they only lying to distract you?Indeed, LinkedIn is a great place to start generating construction project leads, and, contrary to what you may be thinking, you do not have to spend hours every day updating your account, adding connections and writing nonsense. There are only five simple steps that you need to follow, and the results will undoubtedly begin to show up.The 1st Step: Make a Commitment for One Week DayYou could commit to connect with five or ten present or previous business associates. Just by sending them an invitation, you manage to capture their attention and, the next time they or someone they know need construction services of any kind, your name may be the first to come up.The 2nd Step: Join 15 Construction Related Groups in One Month It does not matter if you join one group every two days or three-four groups at the end of the week, the purpose is to exceed the 2-3 limit that many people and companies stick to. It is time you got out of the box and started thinking out of the box, and these groups are a great way to begin.As a member, you will also see whenever new construction jobs to bid appear, and, thus, have the chance to bid for them or at least get to know the requirements and prepare the necessary workmanship and equipment offers for future bids.The 3rd Step: in Every New Group That You Have Joined, on Each of the First Five Days after Joining, Start a DiscussionBelieve it or not, it will help you to make a lot of new friends and even earn their respect and admiration, assuming that you start discussions of interest. These discussions can actually include links to your website or to photos or videos of certain projects that you have completed. You can never know when someone needs the same services and remembers what you did.The 4th Step: Access the Answers Section and Answer at Least 2 Questions a Week. Besides creating a positive image of yourself as a professional and of your business in general, you can also include backlinks to your website, information on your most successful projects. This way, you create the premises for generating construction project leads easily.The 5th Step: Take Advantage of All of LinkedIn Tools and Features.You can create DirectAds with links to your website or to your previous projects’ portfolio, use the ReadingList to show your interests or the WordPress application to educate your target clients. These tools and applications may not help you find new construction jobs to bid, but will allow you to become a powerful presence online without too much effort.Measure Your Efforts and the Results They BringThe results will, obviously, depend on what you do and how you do it. Some of these steps may prove more helpful than others, so it is up to you to track and evaluate the results they bring and to find the most profitable balance for your business.It is important that you spend little to nothing on this marketing stage of your business, and that you do not invest more than 10 to 15 minutes a day in the above described steps, perhaps a bit more in the beginning, until you find your rhythm.The results are guaranteed by the specific of LinkedIn as a social environment in itself. Since it focuses on the professional side of its users’ life, it will allow you to connect with your target clients, to keep in touch with your existing clients and even to spy on your competition, it will allow you to make hundreds of new connections and show to your connections everything that traditional marketing campaigns cannot or would require a fortune to.With LinkedIn, your constructions company can grow exponentially without you giving up your free time or investing a fortune in the process – it is all a matter of making the right decisions and implementing them smartly and timely.

Facts to Know About Building & Construction Management Services

Even a toddler of this modern age is well accustomed with the complexities of the construction industry. Why won’t be the business-heads then? Today, availability of an adequate amount of capital is not enough. Proper planning, detailed research work, apt usage of the available principal amount, completing the project right on time is an essential part too. Maintenance of all these facets is one and only path to acquire lucrative profit at the end. However, these are not all. There are numerous other field and domain that needs to be planned and executed in a strategic mode. But it can’t be done in a finer and smarter way without the help of professional, knowledgeable and expertise guidance. Proficient building and construction management services thus got automatically signified.Note the Praiseworthy Functionality Construction business can be classified into seven different segments. Those being:

Residential

Commercial

Agricultural

Industrial

Institutional

Environmental

Civil
Such sort of service providers has impressively turned out to be a notable assistance for construction venture of any kind. Systematized and methodological tactics followed by them assures that the venture gets affluent enough to fetch profit and required goodwill. Moreover, for the entrepreneurs associated with it gets to relax too. This is possible because of the functional quality of such range of service suppliers. It goes like:

Making the most of available resources

Clear view of the project objectives to prospects and hence planning accordingly

Execution of the plan in a tactical way

Time and cost management

Quality management, etc.
Essential Arenas That Gets Solved SmartlyAs the construction domain is a diversified platform, there are various issues that need to be resolved. Graphical idea about which, goes like:

All it starts with is designing the developmental plans and also preparing the documentation process

Second are the pre-construction requirements

Then are the essentialities of maintaining the procurement process

Construction regulation and occupancy aspects hence come along

But each of these stages needs to be resolved in a legitimate way

This in turn pops-up the legal issues too

But no one can avoid the eco-friendly facets that every other construction venture needs to be acquired with

Resolving various unseen disputes in the process is a stage even
Needless to state that the project management service suppliers discussed above can gift the business-heads with all these factors. Outcome of which is closure of the venture in a lucrative way. Added with it are the achievement of desirable goodwill and stronger base of loyal consumers.Get Suitable to Gain ROIReturn on Investment (ROI) is one of the most essential requirements that need to be gained by a business process of any kind. Eventually, its importance in the construction domain is of no difference either. On being attached with the management services for the construction project, its definitive meaning can be enjoyed by the business-heads, at its best. This can be directly related with numerous benefits that they can ably serve with. To mention a few among many:

Completing the ventures at a lowest possible cost but with efficient quality management process

Proper hiring of the contractors and using their mechanisms in a best way possible

Apt selection of the productive financiers

Looking after the legal issues and financial transactions which includes TAX savings too

Time and energy driven mode of project completion

Marketing and promoting the project

Uplifting the profit margin, etc.
These are the most essential factors that get perfectly solved with the industrious and committed assistance of these service providers. All those aforesaid facts and facets are actually responsible for popularizing their immense workability. Ability to gift a construction venture with mentionable success has enhanced their favorable productivity facets too. Eventually, it gets evident that, to be hitched with such sort of smarter services from the initial stage, is a brilliant idea to settle-with. After all, a stress-free mode of project completion gets aptly accomplished with such crucial assistance.