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tdewitt

Construction leads

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How do you all go about bidding projects? Do you use a lead generator like one offered by many online sites or do you chase them down yourself? I wold really like to get some more invitations to bid but I don't have time to go knocking on their doors every week to see what is out there. If that is what it takes then I guess I need to look into hiring a sales person...........any advice would be welcomed, PM me if you like.

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There are different Plan Rooms and online sites that post projects. Try and find the one that has a local walk-in office. Local Contractors and Architects tend to use those.

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We paid the big bucks for quite a while to get leads from Read, and then we thought we could save money by joining Blue Book. Our Reed subscription cost so much that they gave us a free large format printer to print out blueprints. We still use it to this day.

However, with Blue Book, you won't get any leads other than from companies that are also members of Blue Book. Yes, we did get a website and an ad, and paid for some high listing, but I just didn't find that it paid off, although some companies swear by it. What we did find, however, was that once we had been a member for a while, we started to get repeat invitations. As a matter of fact, a year after stopping our subscriptions, we get so many bid leads for sign jobs in California (our area -- and we get both north and south --) that we can't even keep up with them. Our fax machine just spits them out, several per day.

I think that, if you can afford it, you should pick an area and subscribe to the best service for a year. Try to bid a lot of jobs from the leads that are listed, and make them responsible bids. You should be able to then forge connections, and that may do the trick.

Another possible avenue is to join your local chapter of the American Subscontractors Association (www.ASAonline.com) if you have a local chapter. If it's anything like our chapter, you can go to monthly dinner meetings and different contractors come and introduce themselves and will talk with you. You can get all the tricks of how to contact the estimators and put in bids. We get constant requests from divisions of CW Driver, for instance, for private jobs when before, we only knew about their public works division. I recommend membership in ASA very highly. Our executive secretary is great, and they have been very helpful to us. We get, for instance, a book of all the new lien laws with exact wording for everything. It's a huge help.

Sharon Toji

H Toji and Company

Long Beach, CA

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I know this thread is kinda worn out but I am also at the stage of kind of preparing myself for the "elephant hunt". Having said that, without having signed up, just had a look at ASA and it looks pretty decent to me. Apart from @Sharon, did ASA work for anyone else in here ? Are they still maintaining their Bidding activities ?

What kind of other bidding platforms / website are you making use of to get a hold of more subcontracting jobs ?

Really appreciate your help in advance ....

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The word bid makes me shudder.

Especially when they say they are going "Award" the project to the lowest bidder.

I think word of mouth is the best

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sorry about that @george, was just using the common word right there.

but bottom line you are completely right ... through most of those subcontracting auction platforms the industry is somehow doomed to be measured by price instead of quality ...

maybe I am too optimistic at this point but still worth giving it a shot I think ... Might catch a healthy fish or two :D

And WOM always works, that`s for sure ;)

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If you build your business, Forget all the Blue Books and Bidding companies..Its a waste of time. Build your business on quality and service. Then your reputation will get you more work then you want.

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Getting business like this is a process. When we were still doing full service, now we are strictly wholesale, I used the contractors plan room service. At first I thought it was a waste of time. You bid these jobs before construction begins usually, so it takes a while for the jobs to show up. But they did show up. And, they were typically good size jobs. I also think it give you credibility to the contractors. It keeps them from having to call sign companies and trying to get quotes. You do one quote and submit to all the contractors who are bidding on the job.We got a lot of Hospitals, Banks and government jobs.

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@Paul
I second you on that one and that´s the case anyway with our sign & lighting forgery we have. Already running installations and regular maintenance work for some bigger accounts we have in our portfolio in IL, IN and WI and these keep on recommending us. But besides that, I am trying to figure out new sources for delivering exceptional work in time and budget for potential customers and as a by-product creating more revenue and facilitate further growth for our company. In other words trying to spread the word and reputation faster ;)

@Gerald

thanks for the hint. even though the volume of jobs seems to be at all time low in there, I will be adding that as a possible source to my database and will be looking into on a regular basis.

Edited by Eddy_E

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