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Contractors Training – Read a Lesson – Take a Test!
How contractors can use Geo-Fencing:
Being a contractor, there are many jobs you can do. With Geo-Fencing, there are many demographics out there like D.I.Y. enthusiasts, homeowners, recently moved, home improvement stores (i.e. Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, etc.) and many more we can target to get there services out there.
- Most contractor's public profile determines their status in the community. Geo -Fencing allows them the opportunity to get more exposure and allows them the chance to access Top-of-mind awareness (or TOMA). It's a pretty simple concept. When customers are asked which products or brands come to mind first when a particular business sector is mentioned, the one they choose is at their “top of mind”.
- We can target all home improvement stores anywhere, with Geo-Fencing.
- We can target all homeowners with an interest in home improvement, with Geo-Fencing
- We can target Real Estate Investors that are always looking for good local contractors, with Geo-Fencing.
- We can target Veteran Hospitals, with Geo-Fencing.
- We are looking for a contractor in the area that can assist these men and women with their home modifications.
- Can I ask you a question? Would you be willing to assist a senior with their home modifications?
- Do you offer Veteran, first responder or any type of discounts? (if they do:) Perfect! We can help you get that information in front of these men and women, with Geo-Fencing using our special targeting groups. (If they don’t:) Would you be interested in offering a discount to increase your public profile? We can help you do that, with Geo-Fencing.
- If you could gain new customers by targeting the right demographics with Geo-Fencing, wouldn’t the investment be worth it?
- Many people use mobile devices to find a contractor. Our Geo-Fencing targets many demographics and we would like to add you to our project so they are seeing your name.
Contractors 1: General and Independent Contractors
What is a contractor?
A contractor is professional skilled in a specific area, such as electric, plumbing, or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning)...or they may have a good deal of knowledge in many areas. There are plumbing contractors, electrical contractors, and even drywall contractors, all of which have dedicated themselves to a specific service type. General contractors, on the other hand, have knowledge about many different areas of building and construction and are able to manage large projects involving a number of subcontractors (contractors with specific knowledge). Overall, a contractor is a person who knows how certain projects and repair should be approached in order to be done properly. The balance of these lessons will cover general contractors, but in places where it is necessary, a more detailed presentation will be given on specific or independent contractors.
What do contractors do?
General contractors are responsible for managing all elements of a given project. They will hire and supervise subcontractors, get all the necessary building permits, order supplies and parts, and schedule all inspections with the required authorities. General contractors oversee the plumbers, electricians, painters, carpenters, etc. who are subcontracted on a project to make sure the work is done efficiently and with high quality. When a general contractor is hired, he or she is the middleman between the owner of the property and all the subcontractors. A good contractor will have a good understanding of procedures and know when certain steps need to take place. For example, a contractor will make sure the tile-work around a bathtub is only put in after the bathtub has been installed. Furthermore, when a client has specific ideas about the work they want done, the contractor is the one who relays that information to the appropriate worker and is thus responsible for it.
Independent contractors are an important part of the service industry. A licensed contractor offers a customer a sense of trustworthiness because they usually have expertise in the area they work in. For example, a homeowner experiencing serious electrical problems is better off hiring a licensed electrical contractor than a handyman, because the electrician has often taken courses in electrical systems and, in some cases, has taken an exam to meet their state's requirements. Moreover, the contractor in any specific area will more often know when special permits are required to complete a job, and there are implicit guarantees involved in a licensed contractor...especially if they are bonded too. Good work and trustworthiness are important to an independent or small business contractor.
General contractors often learn their skills through a 2- or 4-year degree in construction science. However, a degree is not mandatory and many general contractors started out as skilled construction workers or carpenters. Many general contractors have a good working-knowledge of multiple areas of the construction process including but not limited to electrical systems, plumbing, concrete, and HVAC. This knowledge can be learned through formal courses, on the job-site, or a combination of the two. When contracting to work on projects that are more involved than simple "handy-man" style jobs, most states require the contractor to become licensed. Licensing generally requires the contractor to pass a contracting exam, have a valid business license, and be at least 18 years of age.
For contractors who specialize in one area, such as plumbing or electrical systems, some jurisdictions will require the contractor to complete some type of courses and have some real-world experience in order to become licensed.
An understanding of business management is a must and the ability to manage other people is an important part of being a general contractor. General contractors must have good knowledge of construction basics and be able to read blueprints. In order to generate the most accurate estimates, construction related math skills are imperative, and a good understanding of measurements and geometry are a necessity.
Contractors planning on getting involved with large projects involving real estate developments or high-rises will often take courses in business management and communication. This is important, because when working with subcontractors, it is crucial to get ideas and directions across correctly to prevent loss of materials, and prevent anyone on the site from getting hurt.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 general contractors earned a median annual income of $87,400. Licensed contractors who work on larger jobs with a good reputation have a much higher earning capacity, while local small business general contractors fall below the median. The differences in pay between the small business contractors and the larger contracting managers is related to reputation, licensing, portfolios of past work, and capabilities. The larger the job a contractor can reliably handle the more they will be paid and are more likely they are to get similar work in the future. The continued success of any contractor, small or large depends on three important factors: quality, reliability, and honesty.
Smaller contractors rely on every bit of business they can get their hands on. Independent contractors tend to focus on one home-improvement or building area. For example, and electrical contractor deals primarily with electrical systems in the house. While an electrical contractor may have some knowledge of residential plumbing, they aren't likely to do plumbing repairs for a customer. Contractors need to continually be making appointments for the future in order to be successful. Moreover, independent contractors will generally charge less per hour than a more established general contractor. Dry spells are an unfortunate part of the contracting business, when owners aren't prepared for these slow times, it can be devastating for the company. Small business contractors need to work hard to stay in business. With Geo-Fencing, we can promote a contractor by targeting demographics like homeowners, D.I.Y. enthusiasts, households with an income over $100,000, income over $50,000, recently moved, home improvement stores (i.e. Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace Hardware etc.) and more by using our special targeting groups.
Some smaller and independent contractors will take the time to build relationships with general contractors in their area, which is a good business decision. Many general contractors hire other contractors to work on large projects which are lucrative and offer good opportunities to make more business connections. This also goes to build trust in the building and construction community. Smaller companies definitely want to be in a general contractor's rolodex.
Contractors 2: Independent Contractors
For most homeowners, making major home improvements can be a huge commitment, and unless the homeowner is highly skilled in electrical systems, construction, plumbing, or heating & air, it is a good idea for them to contact a professional. Professionals, particularly licensed professionals offer homeowners a sense of security in knowing that the work they are having done to their home is going to be done right.
Contractors are an essential part of the service industry. As stated in the previous lesson, there are different types of contractors, but they can generally be divided into two main groups: independent contractors and general contractors (sometimes called construction managers). To review, independent contractors are typically specified and trained in one industry, such as plumbing. General contractors, on the other hand, usually have knowledge of multiple different areas and tend to take on larger projects.
If a homeowner is interested in a specific type of work like building a new deck, installing a hot tub, or installing new sinks throughout the home, it is better to hire a contractor who specializes in the area, like a carpenter or plumber. Generally, if a job involves only one or two types of contractors, the homeowner will save money and time by hiring the contractors directly. However, if the project is bigger, such as an addition to a home requiring a number contractors, hiring a general contractor to coordinate the project is the best move for a homeowner.
On the job...Independent Contractors
Here are some areas independent contractors specialize in:
•Plumbing - deals with the infrastructure that moves water around, into, and from a structure, as well as the installation and repair of some plumbing fixtures
•Electrical systems - concerns the proper supply of electricity to and throughout a home and its fixtures. Some electricians specialize in solar power
•Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning - deals primarily with heating, cooling, pressurization, and proper humidification of air inside a property
•Roofing - focuses on all issues involved in the roofing of a structure and sometimes the physical structure of the roof
•Drywall - involves the installation and repair of drywall (sheet-rock) to walls, ceilings and some other surfaces
•Framing - deals with the internal framework structures of a home according to blueprints
•Flooring - concentrates on the installation or repair of carpeting, boards, and tiling. Some flooring professionals install floor heating elements
•Garage Doors - installation and repair of garage doors
•Siding - installation and repair of exterior surfaces of the structure. This includes wooden, aluminum, and vinyl siding
•Insulation - deals with the proper insulation of the home, as well as energy-saving techniques
•Painting - concerns interior and exterior painting and refinishing
•Concrete - pouring of concrete slabs and other concrete fixtures
•Carpentry - building and repair of wooden fixtures
Depending on the individual contractor's skill level, skill type, local market, and earning potential, independent contractors can earn anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 per year. For example, drywall installers can earn roughly $21 per hour, which translates into a median salary of around $21,800 per year. Painters generally earn between $47,000 and $60,000. Quality carpenters can earn upwards of $70,000.
Of course, all these earnings depend largely on the local market and the contractor's skill level. For example, some markets are filled with plumbers, so many plumbers compete for business, sometimes resulting in lower prices or even price-fixing. Concrete contractors, on the other hand, are usually more lucrative and have less competition, so they can charge more for their services. Moreover the more lucrative the skill, the more often they will crossover between residential and commercial jobs, which allows them to make more money.
As a sales agent making calls to contractors, you will likely notice a marked difference between talking to independent contractors and general contractors. Independent contractors are often on-the-job. You may notice loud machinery and power tools are running in the background. In most cases, the reason they picked up the phone is that they are hoping you are a new customer, because they always need more work. This is the likely mindset of the independent contractor when you call. Jumping down their throat with a sales pitch may not be the best approach for an up-front sale. Don't be overly-aggressive, but always go for the sale.
Try to use positive and supportive emotion to slow down their hurried state. With Geo-Fencing, we can promote a contractor by targeting demographics like homeowners, D.I.Y. enthusiasts, households with an income over $100,000, income over $50,000, recently moved, home improvement stores (i.e. Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace Hardware etc.) and more by using our special targeting groups.
Contractors 3: General Contractors
A homeowner or company usually hires a general contractor because it offers convenience and efficiency. While it’s not unreasonable to think that a homeowner could act as their own general contractor (and save on the expense), it’s a difficult role that requires real skill, expert knowledge and lots of time on-site. Large projects involving a number of different services and industries, not to mention a large number of moving bodies, can be difficult to handle without someone with the knowledge to manage the project. A good general contractor can save time, even several days, on a given project. Projects that should only take a few days may end up taking a few weeks without proper scheduling and management of subcontractors.
In general, when a number of subcontractors are involved in a project, having a general contractor involved can be cost effective. For the most part, independent contractors charge a higher rate for their services when they are dealing directly with the property owner. Time is money, after all, and when a subcontractor is working with a good general contractor, they have a bit more assurance that their time on the site will not be wasted. Also, general contractors make arrangements for supplies and materials, and because they often get discounts for buying in bulk, they can extend this savings on to the property owner. Many general contractors also have access to a wider array of materials and supplies, so the homeowner can achieve a more customized look.
However, general contractors often add a 10% to 20% surcharge to the cost of a project. Depending on the size of the project, this is a reasonable rate for access to time and worker management, but it is something the homeowner should always consider.
Success Tip: General contractors work closely with their clients and Veterans appreciate businesses that support them and are willing to work with them on their needs. Many Veterans like to know how projects are progressing and will appreciate informative contractors.Working with architects If there’s an architect or architectural designer involved, the general contractor will work with that person to ensure the project is implemented as planned. The architect and the general contractor will typically review the plans together before any work begins. If problems arise, the architect will often look to the general contractor to suggest workable solutions. It’s a symbiotic relationship that’s difficult for most homeowners to replicate. On the Job Site. General Contractors:
- Create estimates for clients detailing the work to be done and its cost
- Secure all necessary permits to complete the project
- Organize workers and subcontractors throughout the project
- Schedule necessary inspections with local jurisdictions
- Ensure the project complies with all building codes
- Act as the middleman between the homeowners and workers
- Manage the day-to-day business on the job site
- Provide the required materials to complete the project
- Follow blueprints in cases of new additions, new home builds, or major alterations
- Makes sure all workers on the site are following safety standards
Contractors: Killer One-Liners
- Do you do commercial, residential or both? Perfect! With Geo-Fencing, we can target the right demographics using our special targeting groups.
- We are looking for a contractor in the area that can assist these men and women with their home modifications.
- Can I ask you a question? Would you be willing to assist local families with their home modifications?
- With the services you provide, we'd love to get your business out in front of the right people.
- With Geo-Fencing, doesn't it make smart business sense to target the right demographics like homeowners, renters, people recently moved, households with an income over $100,000 home improvement stores (i.e. Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace Hardware etc.) and more to potentially bring in more customers and income?
- As a contractor, what type of demographic(s) do you usually work with?
- We are looking for a trustworthy and reliable contractor to assist those in need of modifications done at their homes.
- Do you offer Veteran, first responder or any other type of discounts? (if they do:) Perfect! With Geo-Fencing, we can help you get that information in front of the right demographics with our special targeting groups. (if they don't:) Would you be interested in offering a discount to increase your public profile? Because with Geo-Fencing we can help you promote it to the right demographics using our special targeting groups.
- Many people use technology to find a contractor. With Geo-Fencing, why not target the right demographics using our special targeting groups to get your services in front of them?