Subcontractors in construction: Your step-by-step guide to communicating in Buildertrend

For subs, effective communication with contractors drives project success. Learn how project management software can help you connect.

Sean Robinson / Buildertrend

“Was that update somewhere in my inbox or voicemail?

“Wait. Where are those questions at again?”

“How does this contractor prefer to receive updates?”

For subcontractors in construction, it’s time to stop letting these questions plague your progress. Construction project management software like Buildertrend cuts through all the noise. Communication chaos is controlled by centralizing all that back-and-forth into one system. Better yet, it’s organized by job, too.

When working with contractors who use Buildertrend, subcontractors in construction have their own portals to leave comments or messages. Right at your fingertips, communication is organized, recorded and leaves no room for guesswork. You’ll always know what’s been said and the preferred way to say it to builders.

Let’s dig a little deeper to show how Buildertrend Comments and Messages open the lines of communication for subcontractors in construction.

Step-by-step guide to Buildertrend Messages

Messages is a robust and easy-to-use feature found within Buildertrend project management software. Both contractors and subs can use this digital tool.

Think of it like email just for a certain project. It can sync to your regular inbox – but now messages won’t get lost in the shuffle of promotions, team questions and notes from mom. You can log in to Buildertrend to view only messages specific to a given job.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: To send your builder messages, simply click the “Compose a new message” icon.

Step 2: You’ll then need to select who you want to send the message to.

Step 3: Enter a subject and add your note to the body field.

Step 4: Once you’ve crafted the perfect message, all there’s left to do is hit send.

Step 5: Read and reply to any messages sent to you in the same spot.

It’s simple, savvy and saves major time.

Step-by-step guide to comments

Comments differentiate themselves from Messages because they are a functionality of Buildertrend instead of a feature. That means they can be put into action across a variety of digital tools within the program. This includes Bids, Change Orders, Daily Logs, Files like documents and photos, Bills/Purchase Orders, Scheduling, Selections, To-Do’s and Warranties.

Each contractor you work with will determine which features are available in your portal as a sub. Some may grant you access to all of these tools while others may only use a few.

It’s important to also note that comments are visible to everyone who has access to a given tool in Buildertrend; whereas, messages act as private communication between you and whomever is on that specific chain.

Here’s how it’s all done:

Step 1: Click into which feature you’d like to leave a comment or reply to.

Step 2: Select the messaging tab within that feature.

Step 3: Click into the comment box to write your message.

Step 4: Directly underneath this box, proceed to choose who you want to notify once the comment is sent under “Viewer and Notification Settings.”

Step 5: Select which users you’d like to notify. They can be notified via email, text or push notification within the Buildertrend app.

Step 6: Hit send.

Comments are a powerful piece of Buildertrend. That’s because they’re useful when asking specific questions related to a feature, giving brief updates or adding more context.

3 tips to improve communication as a sub via project management software

To round out this guide for subcontractors in construction, we added a few insights. These will hopefully improve how you say what you say.

  • Be clear and concise: The point of communicating via tech is to avoid confusion – not create it. That’s why you want to avoid jargon, keep things short and proofread for anything that might trip up your contractor.
  • Stick to the facts: Transparency is key when it comes to mastering communication. Make sure to not embellish things or downplay any errors. Say it as it really is, and you’ll gain major credibility points.
  • Add visuals to give the whole picture … literally: Sometimes words just aren’t enough. That’s where images or videos come in. Include these in your updates to contractors then add comments to explain anything.

Evolve your communication when you work with a Buildertrend builder

One communication slip-up can bring job sites to a stand-still, which is why you want to work with contractors who choose the smarter way to collaborate. That’s Buildertrend. It’s got all the bells and whistles to connect in 21st-century style – but that’s not all.

Subcontractors who want to be tech savvy can tackle more jobs with ease with Buildertrend.


About the Author

Sean Robinson
Sean Robinson

Sean Robinson is a senior content marketing specialist at Buildertrend

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