Mining the data field: 6 months since COVID-19

Sean Robinson / Buildertrend

Numbers don’t lie – they tell a story.

That’s why, each month through a series of new blogs posts, we’re mining our data field. Using graphs and analytical research to mine instead of picks and shovels, our team of data scientists uncover facts and figures based on Buildertrend customer activity. And really that’s the next best thing to discovering actual gold itself! Why? Because this data acts as valuable industry insights.

As the No. 1 leading construction project management software, Buildertrend is in a unique position to provide a snapshot of what’s happening in construction on a wide-scale level. For the builders, remodelers and specialty contractors who rely on our platform to power their businesses, these gold-worthy trends can then help inform better decision making to futureproof companies for long-term success.

Today, we’re bringing you details about the impact of COVID-19 on construction. What effect did the pandemic initially have? Where are we at now? How are builders and their clients navigating this new normal?  Step into the data mine* to get these questions answered – and more!

*Hard hats not required.

Job starts have increased approximately 30% since April

Job startsDown but not out! That’s the trend here. Based on a sample of new homebuilders who use Buildertrend, our data shows a small slump in the number of job starts at the beginning of the pandemic … but one should never doubt tough-as-nails, hardworking construction pros! The industry came roaring back busier than ever.
Pre-pandemic, job starts were actually ahead in 2020 compared with 2019, with March showing an 11% increase. However, amidst coronavirus shutdowns, numbers dipped. April clocked the lowest stats, showing a nearly 15% decrease year-over-year. That all changed in June with a massive rebound that has remained as job starts hover around 20% more each month in 2020 versus 2019.

Our customers are telling the same story, too. This trend aligns with what our users told us when we checked in with them six months into the pandemic.

“We have rebounded by opening our eyes to new opportunities,” said Steven Miranda of NOVUS Building Services in West Palm Beach, Fla. “We have taken on additional scope, opened ourselves up to new territories and taken on additional marketing tools that we were not using prior to COVID.”

Homeowner engagement up 120% year-over-year

Homeowners are 120% more engaged in August 2020 than August 2019, according to proprietary data. Whoa, right?

This figure is based on how often homeowners log into the Customer Portal feature of Buildertrend during their project, which allows them to keep in touch with their job progress and construction team. In contrast, sign-ins were down 20% year-over-year during the peak of shutdowns in April.

This skyrocketing effect as the year progressed only makes sense. As builds were halted, there was likely no reason to sign-in to the Customer Portal. But the question remains: Since we know job starts are surging, what explains the huge percent increase in August? It’s simple. With social distancing in place, technology solutions like Buildertrend are taking place of face-to-face interactions.

The portal is more critical than ever as homeowners don’t have as many in-person meetings and fewer job site visits. At the beginning of the year, with our 2020 Homeowners Report, we told you consumers wanted a digital experience. Now, they not only want it. They need it.

Homeowner engagement

Monthly app downloads grew 30% in August 2020 versus August 2019

app downloadsAs jobs picked up, so did app downloads. App store total numbers serve as proof. Downloads of the Buildertrend app are up 30% year over year.

This driving demand not only demonstrates how the industry is getting back to work but also the fact that they’re doing so while on the go. Even as job starts increase, the industry continues to navigate the new normal – meaning an increase in remote project management. Instead of teams all working in one office or cramming onto the job site, more responsibilities and daily tasks are completed from wherever, whenever.

That means the Buildertrend mobile app becomes a contractor’s best tool for keeping everything moving forward. Without being able to run their business from the palm of their hands, their business now may not run at all. Or at a snail’s pace. Homebuilding apps like ours make remote work a reality while also helping teams find next-level efficiency as they become busier and busier.

Buildertrend can help your team

These three mini data stories tell an even more compelling narrative when considered together. Since the onslaught of COVID-19, the industry has bounced back (and then some!) with digital solutions like Buildertrend empowering teams as business booms and informing their clients every step of the way.

To make sure you’re getting the most bang out of Buildertrend, take advantage of our unlimited training. Schedule a training with your support team to find extra efficiency as the industry resurges.

Or, are you not using Buildertrend yet? To see the No. 1 construction project management software in action, schedule a demo today. If these numbers are any indication — now more than ever — this is the platform you need to get ahead and stay ahead.

About the Author

Sean Robinson
Sean Robinson

Sean Robinson is a copywriter at Buildertrend

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