Dodge Data & Analytics recently launched Construction Nearby, a mobile app designed to build business relationships between contractors and nearby construction project managers.
Nearly 10,000 contractors across the country have since downloaded Construction Nearby in the two months it has been available, says Cherie Hernandez, senior director of project development at Dodge Data & Analytics. Formerly known as McGraw Hill Construction, Dodge Data & Analytics provides news, data and analytics to the commercial construction industry. Private equity firm Symphony Technology Group acquired McGraw Hill Construction last fall and rebranded it. The app was developed by mobile software development firm Symphony Teleca for an undisclosed sum, says Hernandez. Development took approximately eight weeks, and Construction Nearby was released for Android in February and for Apple iOS on April 1. There was no beta test phase.
The Construction Nearby app provides two sections of content divided by contractor trade and job type. Each section contains six to 12 filters for finding particular types of contractors or projects, including such skills as woodworking or painting, and such projects as building or road construction. The app primarily features commercial construction projects, as those are generally more profitable for contractors than residential projects, Hernandez says.
After logging in, users can view such details as the project’s development stage, the estimated amount of time to completion and the project’s estimated cost. The app automatically detects a phone’s location and users can register for personalized notifications whenever a new job or qualified contractor is free in their area.
For contractors seeking to get in touch with construction managers, or vice versa, users pay between $1 and $2 to access contact information. Users can also unlock projects ahead of the date that they are opened to the public. For seven days before a project opens it costs $2.99 to unlock it; 14 days before costs $4.99; 30 days before costs $9.99. That information, along with project plans and specifications, is then saved to the mobile app and ConstructionNearby.com, and emailed to the user.
“Construction professionals are often away from the office on a job site and depend on their mobile device for productivity,” Hernandez says. “Construction Nearby helps them to locate new nearby projects out to bid and scout prospective jobs to convert leads into new business.”
To market the app, Dodge Data & Analytics is investing in paid search ads on the Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines and is making sure phrases such as “construction jobs,” “construction in a particular area” and “construction leads” and other common terms that customers use to search for the Construction Nearby app or its web site appear in the web site’s headlines and text pages to rank Construction Nearby high in search engines’ natural results, Hernandez says. Over the long term, Dodge Data & Analytics expects to build up the number of users on the Construction Nearby marketplace, and may also include a feature that allows subcontractors to showcase pictures of previous work they have completed.
Hernandez says Dodge Data & Analytics will monitor user demand and develop additional app features to better compete with online marketplaces where construction project managers can connect and share product bid information with contractors and suppliers of materials and equipment, including CMD Group, BidClerk and Angie’s List.
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