Adobe Stock / Sergey Nivens

For decades, new construction technology companies have launched with a mission framed to fix or save the industry, beginning with construction management software.

Procore is one example, founded in 2003 and recently valued at $5B. There are many others, yet construction is still pretty much the same.

Other technology groups like the librarians of our industry (the CSI folks) have their opinions, but so do the blockchain advocates, the lifestyle innovators, and the transformers. Though divergent in their methods, their solutions propose to address a very real problem: the productivity issue.

Traditionally, the housing industry’s business models have focused on reducing the cost of labor and selling as many products as possible to achieve economies of scale. Some of you might associate these ideas with the ‘feast-or-famine’ mentality, you either have too much work or not enough. Let’s just say, the industry has struggled to manage growth.

That’s not necessarily the fault of the builders. Our industry is directly impacted by major forces outside of our control: the fluctuations of politics and regulations within public works, the volatility of the housing market, and an informal job market, to name a few. These external dynamics have shaped our extractive business models, which inherently prevent us from preserving or protecting, let alone resorting or regenerating the markets in which we operate. Rather than grow, embrace technology, and evolve new careers for our building trades, everyone is just stuck.

The ConTech and PropTech movements have given us some cause for hope. In addition to grabbing market share, these startups and initiatives want to solve real world problems: productivity in building, the housing crisis, the skilled labor shortage, and the destructive impact our industry has had on the environment.

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