PPM As-Built Surveying Financial Forecast for 2017
Precision Property Measurements has been creating As-Built drawings for our architecture, design and construction clients for almost 15 years. In that time we have surveyed over 14,000 buildings (and portions of buildings), and we have created proposals for another 5,000+ that we didn’t end up measuring. For the last 10 of those years, we’ve kept all of those project records in a software platform that enables us to quickly and easily find and analyze data from all these projects.
As an unapologetic math nerd, it is one of my great joys to sift through all this data on a spreadsheet and look for trends. With another year coming to a close, last week I downloaded all of our project information, threw it into an Excel spreadsheet, and did just that. As an independent company that works with hundreds of AEC professionals on potential renovation projects, we are in a unique position to see what is going on across the building industry, particularly in our primary Southern California and Bay Area markets. Plus, since the As-Built survey is just about the 1st thing that happens on a project, it provides a potential window into the activity that will be happening months or even years down the line in construction projects.
For the last several years we have averaged approximately 100-130 proposals created per month for As-Built surveying projects. They are split pretty evenly between Residential and Commercial projects. Here’s a few things I noticed from this most recent data mining:
- Q2 (April – June) consistently has the most new proposals coming in. Q4 (October – December) is the slowest period by a good 20-30%.
- Residential As-Built projects grow steadily for the 1st half of the year, but then drop off as summer starts.
- Commercial peak in January, stay strong through about mid-summer, and then start to decline through the rest of the year.
- In general, the 2nd half of 2016 showed some signs of weakness for new remodel projects. I’m not sure if this may have anything do with election jitters, rising interest rates, or maybe just a cyclical slowdown after 5-6 years of strong grown coming out of the Recession.
- So far in the first few weeks of 2017, however, we are seeing a strong bounce back, with proposal volume up about 30-40% over where it was in December.
2016 Stats. # of Proposals (bar) shrinking, but average size (line) increasing
Looking at this data, I am cautiously optimistic for the industry in 2017. While we did notice some possible headwinds in late 2016, this year has started off well, and we are entering what is traditionally the best part of the year for new As-Built project starts. Like for most industries, the general strength of the U.S. economy will be the biggest factor, and I don’t see anything even close to the volume cratering we saw just prior to the 2008/2009 Recession.
To maintain our competitive edge at PPM and continue to offer the best value to our clients with our As-Built services, we are planning to focus on these 3 areas:
- Faster Turn-Around time: Currently we average about 25 days, our goal is to get that down under 20
- Better Product Offerings: We will be adding some 3D As-Built deliverables this year
- More communication: We plan to reach out to our customers (current and future) more often to make sure we understand their needs.
Thanks for reading!