How subcontractors in construction can build stronger relationships with contractors

With a healthy mix of industry best practices and construction software, subs are able to not just maintain healthy contractor relationships but continually improve them.

Sean Robinson / Buildertrend

Subs and contractors are partners in project success. Trades are essential because they come onto a job site with specialized skills and experience. They do the jobs others can’t. In turn, they help general contractors stay profitable and on deadline. Meanwhile, contractors keep their subs employed and oversee the entire timeline of a job.

They are peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk or butter and popcorn. A winning combo through and through. That’s why it’s wise for subs to keep a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with builders. The effort is worth it. Done right, you create long-lasting partnerships and guarantee yourself work for years to come. Done wrong – or worse, ignored completely – you’re stuck working on chaotic job sites and continually guessing where your next bid is coming from.

Even though contractors seem like they have all the control because they’re the ones doing the hiring, subs can empower themselves to improve relationships, too. How, you ask? That’s what we’re unveiling here.

Here are three tips to put into practice.

1) Communicate how to communicate

Good communication boils down to more than just the daily back and forth (but that should be in tip-top shape, too). Even before you step onto the job site, ensure your lines of communication are already wide open. As you accept projects, you’ll want to ask builders how they like to send messages and receive updates as well as learn any other communication processes they follow.

This little bit of legwork upfront can avoid big headaches as the real work begins. From the beginning, you’ll also want to discuss payment procedures, health and safety guidelines and other expectations.

The best thing you can do as a subcontractor is exceed a contractor’s expectations. Learn exactly what these are from the get-go, and you’re golden.

2) Continually track and record your progress

Here’s a secret for subs: It’s OK to brag a bit when it comes to improving relationships with contractors. It’s a proven way to standout. Think about it … on any given job, they are working with a dozen or so subs. Be the one who catches their attention by always sharing the good work you complete, day in and day out.

This ties back to being an excellent communicator, too. In fact, you shouldn’t think about it as “bragging” at all. This is just you doing your due diligence and continually sharing updates. If your contractors use construction software like Buildertrend, reporting can take the form of Daily Logs. This tech tool makes it easy to keep builders in the loop, every step of the way.

3) Find ways to work more efficiently

It’s true what they say: Time is money – especially in the construction game. Save contractors more of both, and you’re guaranteed to win them over. So, how do you do that?

That’s where construction software comes in again. If your contractors are using Buildertrend and asking you to get on board with tech through the Subcontractor Portal, it should be a no-brainer. This robust system is filled with features that help you more efficiently complete your day-to-day and impress builders.

To-Do’s is one of the best tools in this platform. This takes all the guesswork out of what needs to be completed by when and whom. Right in Buildertrend, your contractor lays it all out through simple-to-follow punch lists. Now you’ll more easily stay on top of every task while cutting out hours wasted going back-and-forth then stalling in the field waiting for an answer.

As you complete items in To-Do’s, you can check them off from the Buildertrend app on your mobile device. This does more than just keep you straight. It efficiently communicates the progress you’ve made in one simple place.

Yep, we’ve come full circle. To-Do’s combines all three of these tips into one time-saving tool.

Start using the Buildertrend Subcontractor Portal today

For subs looking to improve contractor relations, you want to work how your builders work. So, if they’re using Buildertrend to improve the way they do business, it’s time to get tech on your side, too.

You’ll meet them where they are while finding new ways to streamline your own processes. And it’s all done from one easy-to-navigate portal.

There’s a lot more to the Sub Portal than To-Do’s. Learn what other benefits are waiting for you.

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