7 Tips For Networking in the Construction Industry

Networking is all about making new connections and building longstanding relationships. In the commercial construction industry being able to effectively network is a vital skill that as an individual could land you your next job or put your company on the path to your next big project. While networking is something that you should always be doing it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s as simple as meeting new people and forming an initial bond with that person that can be nurtured into a relationship. We’ve put together some simple and easy networking tips and tricks to help you further expand your network of contacts.

Take advantage of your trade associations (and trade shows). One of the top benefits of membership to a state, regional or local trade association is the ability to network with like-minded individuals in your field. Most trade associations host a number of conferences, meeting, events and seminars throughout the year in order for you to make new connections. You also might want to consider joining your local chamber of commerce as it will put you in touch with business leaders in your community that can lead to even more opportunities to network.

Don’t burn bridges. This may seem a bit cliché but you never know who you might be working for or with in the future. You should keep in contact and maintain good relationships with former employers, coworkers and subcontractors that you’ve worked with in the past because chances are you will come across these same people in your future endeavors. In an industry like commercial construction, everyone knows everyone else and word will travel fast if you’ve left a bad impression on someone.

Business cards are your friend. Exchanging business cards is a great way to have all the pertinent contact information for that new connection you just made. When taking someone’s business card don’t just shove it in your pocket or cram it in your wallet. Take the time to review the information and make some comment about it. For example, maybe they have another office in a state that your company is looking to expand into. Also, the back of a business card is a great place to jot down a quick note or two after your conversation that you can later reference when you follow up with your new connection. Be sure that when you hand out your business card that it is up to date with all of your current contact information. It would be a real shame if someone tried contacting you about a new opportunity only to discover that the phone number you provided on your business card was no longer in service or that your email address wasn’t spelled correctly.

Network at the jobsite. If you’re spending weeks or even months at the same jobsite you should take the time to get to know the people working around you. Depending on the size and scope of the commercial construction project there will be any number of specialty and trade contractors at the jobsite throughout construction. Take the time to walk around and meet some of the other people working with you. It’s a quick and easy way to expand your network.

Go online. Social networking sites like LinkedIn are a great way to reconnect with old acquaintances that you may have lost touch with over the years. There are also thousands of groups devoted to practically every aspect of the construction industry where you can join in or start your own discussions. One of the best features of LinkedIn is the ability find new people you’d like to network with and having a shared connection introduce you to that person. Online networking should not replace face-to-face networking, but it is a valuable tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Focus on helping others and facilitating connections. Once you’ve made a new connection you need to nurture and build your relationship with that person. Your main goal should be finding ways to help your new contact instead of focusing on how they can help you. Your new contact might not need your particular services at the time but if you can put them in touch with someone who can help them then they will remember you the next time they do or will reciprocate by introducing you to someone who does.

Networking opportunities can happen anywhere. Networking boils down to having a meaningful conversation with the right person. This can happen at the gym, watching your kid’s soccer game or standing in line at the grocery store. I once struck up a conversation with the owner of a general contracting firm while on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Don’t limit your networking to the office or the jobsite, a future opportunity might be closer than you think.

25 thoughts on “7 Tips For Networking in the Construction Industry

  1. The white paper in reference to “Tips For Networking in the Construction Industry” was very interesting. Some of your tips I have already been using for some time. I have great results with five of the seven tips. The two other tips I have not really engaged as yet, but will try then.

  2. Great Information. I just recently started working directly with Construction Industry folks and this is very helpful and timely advice. Thank you for sharing.

  3. YES PLEASE IM A SUBCONTRACTOR MY COMPANY HAVE A 8 YEAR EXPERINCE PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOU HAVE ANY JOBS COMING IN THAT POSITION
    INSTALATION FURNITURE

  4. Great information! I was always skeptical of LinkedIn. I decided to try it out 6 months ago and added some of the people that use to work for me. My network got pretty big and suddenly I was getting calls all around from companies I did not know asking if I was endorsing X person. Seems that they used the fact that I was a connection to make their way into job opportunities. Although it is deleted now i might recreate it and be more selective on my connections.

    1. Thanks, Jimmy. LinkedIn is a good resource for keeping in touch with your professional network. Another professional social network you might want to check out is called BuildBoom which is focused on the construction industry.

  5. S&AA Inc., dba, Precise Communications
    4000 W. University Dr.
    Denton, TX 76207
    Serving General Contractors Since 1985
    Low voltage structural cabling, Sound and Signal devices, sales and repair service. 31 years experience in telecom, business phone systems, security systems, CCTV, surveillance devices ie., cameras, recording devices, intercom systems, nurse call stations, emergency care, acute care and assisted living facilities. Access control doors and gates, new construction data, phones, TV, A/V, and central vacuum systems. MF residential, to single family with quick response monitoring service. BTW thanks for the platform.

  6. Thank you for the platform to network. I agree with your tips and tricks. Telecom is a new industry for me . As a former Realtor for 30 yeqrs , learning a new product I believe is is crucial. The construction side is close to my heart so, I will say the better you know your products and services the better opportunity for success. I’m happy that you still believe in face to face networking. I’m old school and it’s difficult for me to sit in front of a computer or be online constantly. Its blinding an has a negative affect on my eyes and quite frankly, it proves to be maddening.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mark. Yes, face to face networking is still important in the construction industry. I know general contractors who host networking events to meet new subcontractors and most of the local chapters of the various trade associations hold regular networking events.

  7. Mark, thank you for the 7 tips of networking. Lastly be considerate of others and conversations they may already be engaged in, and be truly interested in others. One can learn best by listening to others.
    I have formed a private group of 8-9 other subcontractors, developers and a land broker, called, “The Meeting of the Geniuses” we network about every 6 weeks at a favorite watering hole to discuss what is going on and what we are working on at the time, and football, and cars, and…….
    Rick White

    1. Thanks, Rick. Glad you enjoyed it and those are some great additional tips. Very cool that you’ve created your own little networking group.

  8. Thank for the insights Kendall!

    I’ve been doing construction for the last 25 years and I have to say.. my whole network is pretty old school. I know only a handful of people with a LinkedIn account. I’m sure this will change over the next few years as LinkedIn gets more and more popular by the day, but for right now I can’t seem to figure out how to use it most effectively..

    Regardless, thank you for the post and I’ll keep this bookmarked. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment, Grant. Old school is still great when it comes to networking. I find that joining and participating in groups on LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to network.

  9. Great tips for networking in the construction industry. According to me the most important thing these days is online networking. There are many portals available online which provides a list of contractors, which is the best for building networks online.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Kenneth. There are plenty of outlets, both online and off, to network in the construction industry. Good to hear you’ve had so much success online.

  10. Thank you so much for the advice about construction! I specifically appreciate the information regarding business cards. I think not only does it make it easier to have someone’s information all in one place, but it makes you seem much more professional. This information would be perfect for contractors who are trying to get their name out there! Thank you again!

  11. I appreciate all of the help in regards to networking effectively and smartly. This information could be applied to the networking or cabling in your home as well! We have a room in our home where all of our technology is located and it needs to be organized desperately. With that being said, I wonder if there are any companies that could help me out. Thanks again!

  12. Great tips! In construction, you will literally always find someone you’ve done business with. It’s inevitable, from small, private businesses to $100M & $1B companies. Every big project requires almost every major trade so most doors get open. I’ve gone to AGC events here in SoCal and have met some cool professionals that ended up giving opportunities because I ended up meeting them through previous clients and discussing our project roles & successes!

  13. Networking, Networking, Networking! Sounds like I’m beating a drum here but it really is IMPORTANT to attend industry events, charities, shows, meet-ups, etc. I’ve been able to find arborists, graders, off-site/on-site builders and other tree companies for our jobs when asked to take on more work by our clients. All of which have been able to help us out with fair prices.

  14. Loved the tips on networking. Really good to know and ive started using them already. Landed 3 jobs in the last month. A conversation about buying a car turned into Air conditioning amd ventilation and epoxy floors. Thanks

Leave a Reply