Reviews by construction experts of all the best construction CRMs for this upcoming 2022.
You know the ins and outs of building and remodeling homes, but do you know how to have the perfect conversation with a prospective client? How to move them toward choosing you for their project and signing a contract? Even if you’ve already aced this area, it’s likely taking up a lot of your time each day. Construction CRMs, or customer relationship management platforms, can do some of this work for you. Their main purposes are to manage the sales process and keep track of all client contacts and conversations.
Other common purposes of construction CRMs include:
- Document and file storage
- Construction project management
- Marketing campaigns
- Team communication
Some of the main benefits of these softwares are:
- Improved customer relationships
- Better organization
- Higher levels of collaboration among all project participants
Each of these purposes and benefits can be enjoyed by various members of the construction community. We’ve witnessed CRMs working well for:
- General contractors
- And more
It’s also important to note that CRM use in the construction industry is becoming more common every day. Although this is an industry that did not include much technology in the past, many companies are implementing software for similar purposes in their daily work. As of right now, 4% of all CRM use in the United States belongs to the construction industry. That’s a solid chink compared to all the jobs in our country, meaning CRM use is likely to stick around and even continue to become more popular as time goes on.
That was a lot of information, but you now have a brief understanding of what construction CRMs are, why they are used, and who should use them. While dive further into the details in the post below:
What is a Construction CRM?
Before deciding whether a CRM for construction is the right choice for you, it’s important to understand what these softwares do in great detail. The most commonly used features for CRM construction include:
- Client tracking
- Centralized data
- Project Management
When you get that first message from a prospective customer, your work has just begun. You still need to move them through several stages to create a contracted, paying client. This process takes time, effort, and sales-related skill. It forces you to often reach out to perspectives, to follow up if they do not, and more. And as you can imagine, this is fairly high pressure on your end, as it includes multiple actions you need to remember and complete in a timely fashion.
Now take all those actions and multiply them by the 10 prospective clients you currently have in your phone or email inbox. It’s too much for anyone to do well, and even if you don’t mind, it’s taking up tons of time that could be spent better elsewhere in your business.
The best construction CRMs will take care of client tracking for you. They will send automated cold emails when you input new email addresses into the system. They’ll also send automatic replies when potential customers reply to those cold emails, set up their free estimates, and more.
Construction CRMs will automatically move clients to their next stop on the sales track, whether that’s a place that shows they sent their first message, or a spot that shows they had an estimate but never responded back.
These organizational details can help you spot clients who are slowing down, in order to give them a little extra push. It can lead you to the best prospects, giving you more opportunities to make an income in your business.
Another essential feature of CRMs is their ability to store data safely in one central place. If you're like most companies, you likely have all sorts of documents stored in separate places, whether that be the office, your computer, or a file folder on the field.. This can make you lose significant time whenever you need to find a document that seemingly walked off on its own two feet.
Even if you have a filing cabinet perfectly organized by alphabetical letters, it takes time to sort through — and requires an in-person visit to the office whenever a simple piece of information needs to be accessed.
When all your most important data is stored within a construction CRM, it’s easy for any team member to access it from anywhere. You’ll simply log into your system and search for what you need.
Businesses of all ages and stages use the same CRMs. But every business has different needs out of their CRM. The CRM you use must be customizable to get the most out of the features it offers.
After all, you aren’t looking for software that will add more to your to-do list. You want this tool to save you time and take tasks directly off your plate. By choosing a version that allows you to choose the features you use and lose, you can create the perfect digital helper to support your customer relations and sale closing processes.
Also, this feature comes in handy when your business grows. Your needs will change, and you won’t have to switch to a larger construction CRM because of it. Simply update your systems to match the new needs you find as time goes on.
If you’re trying to downsize the number of construction apps you use each day, this feature is beneficial as CRMs for construction serve so many purposes. The construction project management software should allow you to add and communicate with your suppliers, designers, subcontractor teams, and more — all on top of the conversations with clients that the apps are made for.
Why is this so important? Because your projects have moving pieces. When a lead is moved from a prospective client to the quote creation stage, it can be helpful for your supplier to be notified alongside you. This could lead to them creating a materials estimate, so you don’t have to spend time calling them on the phone to get the numbers yourself.
The process usually goes something like this:
- The client requests a quote for their project
- Your supplier is notified, and they create a materials estimate
- You can move forward with the quote creation, already knowing exactly how much the supplies will cost
As shown above, the app could take in the lead, notify the supplier, and send the materials cost to you without even using one moment of your time. And of course, this works for all types of situations in the construction field — saving you time in unique ways every day.
Above all else, CRMs for construction can serve as communication support. This feature has already been covered fairly well in the points above, but here is a brief recap for solidifying its importance:
- Conversations with clients
- Conversations with the rest of your team, including suppliers, subcontractors, and more
- Emails to create clients, going out to either warm or cold leads (addresses already interested in your work, and those with whom you have not yet had any contact with)
For a visual example of construction CRMs and the stages they can support, view the data on the table below:
When Do You Need a CRM for Construction?
There are three defining moments in your business career that show you it's time to consider using a CRM for construction.
- When your team size requires it
- When your resource needs require it
- When you feel customer relations are too much for your team to handle without added support
When your team size requires it
CRMs for construction companies are more common as the team size and project rate grows. Why? Because with more work to complete and more clients to communicate with, customer relations become more and more complex. They take up more time and often require more work than you can complete on your own.
Introducing CRMs in this circumstance lets you focus your time on more important things, like hands-on project completion.
This style of CRM introduction also tends to be quite large, as you already have many moving pieces to incorporate into the software. Thankfully, the apps make the process simple and will have you back to the work you love with just a little effort on your behalf.
When your resources require it
Sometimes it’s not team size, but resource management that requires a CRM. Maybe you don’t have admin personnel and an office, for example. Having software to complete many pieces of this person’s job will support your team by:
- Storing and organizing documents
- Replying to customers’ first inquiries
- Tracking leads for you to follow through with
- Showing you where all your leads are in the sales process
- Sending automated cold emails to get those leads in the first place
A construction CRM can also help manage a multitude of supplier conversations, so they can be a valuable tool for companies who work with various materials and therefore need to interact with multiple suppliers daily.
When you feel customer relations are too much for your team to handle without added support
If you don’t have a large team or an extensive list of suppliers, a construction CRM can still support your business. It can even support teams with admin personnel in an office. How? By taking duties off the plates of the people on your team.
CRMs for construction companies can:
- Let company owners, supervisors, and managers spend more time on the field or closing contracts
- Up the efficiency of HR or admin professions by taking multiple duties off their plates
So even if you don’t fit into the two categories mentioned above — team size or resources requiring a change — don’t feel bad about testing a CRM for construction. If you feel the need to use a CRM, it’s likely to leave a lasting positive effect on your business.
Benefits and Downsides of CRMs for Construction Companies
The point of this article is not to coerce you into trying out a CRM for construction companies — it’s to help you decide if this type of technology is right for your team. With that said, we will share both the ups and downs of these apps below.
Benefits of the Best CRM Software for Construction
Here’s why good CRM should matter to construction businesses:
- Construction CRMs can increase customer value and experience.
- Integrations, such as the ability to use project management software or business email accounts alongside the app, save significant time.
- They also save time by letting you input information one time, instead of the typical two or three in the client creation process.
- CRMs for construction give customers a familiar experience, as they are used in so many other industries today.
- They ensure that customer relations are just as high quality as the work completed — something clients often take into account when leaving company reviews.
- Many CRMs for smaller companies are free, with more features added in when expansion or feature addition is required in the future.
Downsides of CRMs for Construction
Not every piece of CRMs for construction are positive. One of the biggest negatives of these softwares is that they cannot often integrate all types of client communication. For example, they likely track emails and email replies with complete accuracy. However, if a client reads your email, does a quick internet search for your company’s phone number, and calls you directly, the lead will not be pulled into your CRM. You also won’t be able to communicate with clients via text within your software.
CRMs also come with high price tags, often than not. If you’re a small company and only looking to use a few features of the software, it may not be worth the money you spend.
Below are some prices of common construction CRM tools to give you an idea of the amount you will have to spend:
If you feel like you could benefit from some CRM features but aren’t yet ready to put in the entire price, we can help you here!.
Rivet is a construction communication software designed to make your project participants save time and be more productive. Our goal is to help you connect all the moving parts of your construction project by centralizing all your information.
With Rivet, you can organize your information (pics, texts, files) and communicate it to everyone on the project. Our features provide accessible communication, which can help solve some of the problems you’re running into.
Some benefits of Rivet include:
- Affordability — download the app for free today
- Ease of use — simple tools are easy to implement, and they are accessible on devices your project participants are already familiar with, including desktop computers, laptops, and smartphones.
The main features of Rivet include:
- Communication support — including the ability to integrate client, supplier, and subcontractor text messages to track all leads and keep all conversations in a central, accessible place.
- Conversation organization — along with simply allowing for communication, you can use Rivet to organize talks with customers by the step of the sales process they are currently in, from lead to active to former client.
- Contact hub — store all contacts and information on each of them. Let all project participants access this information no matter where they are.
- Document organization and storage — store important files such as contracts, invoices, and more in a spot that every team member has access to.
Other unique capabilities offered by Rivet include:
- Translation — communicate successfully with speakers of all languages, whether to subcontractors currently working on your projects or clients who aren’t yet comfortable with the language you know.
- Integration — Rivet can be used as a light CRM, alongside larger CRMs as communication support, and/or with other apps like construction management software or subcontractor scheduling tools. We work hard to offer customization to suit the specific needs of your work.
All in all, construction CRMs are helpful tools that can take many tasks off your plate. They’re perfect for companies of any size, as long as the need for customer relations support exists.
And if Rivet sounds like a good fit for your business’ construction CRM, please contact us today. We’d be happy to help you get started on your way to client and customer communication and lead closing success.