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Thread: Opinions on project finding sites / bidding cold

  1. #1
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    Opinions on project finding sites / bidding cold

    Any opinions on or favorite places to find projects, both commercial and larger residential? I've just started using Blue Book and PlanHub to find commercial work. I like PlanHub pretty well, but it's too early to tell if I've won anything from it and it wants a monthly fee after my trail period ends. Are there any others I should be looking at? I'm not into Angie's List, we've tried that.

    Also, these sites are GCs throwing their projects out there for anyone to bid on, so all the bids are sent in "cold". I try to warm them up a little by contacting the GC prior to submitting my bids but there is no relationship behind it. Anyone having luck in doing this or am I wasting my time? Most of the GCs are out of state and I don't know if I'd ever end up bidding for them again.

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    I don't normally bid on large projects so take my opinion with a grain of salt....

    1) The larger the project, the more risk you are taking. If you underbid, you could lose a lot of money.
    2) GC's on large projects with multiple bidders are generally looking for the cheapest bid which means you will start out making a low profit percentage.
    3) Bidders on these jobs play a lot of games where they bid low to undercut other bidders (sometimes to the point of making no profit) and then hope (pray) to make some money on the extras.
    4) GC's on large projects play a lot of legal games to (a) make you do things you didn't plan to do, (b) keep you from getting paid your full amount, and (c) retain a portion of your money for a year or more.

    You would be better off seeking out and getting a personal relationship with small GC's who do small to medium jobs for high-end clients. These jobs are easier to bid, less risky, and pay a higher profit %.

    Another source of work is government contracts with local governments. Each jurisdiction will have a website that lists the work available and how to bid it. For recurring contracts, sometimes they even tell you the winning bid on the previous year's contract. Usually the description of work is detailed. If you comb through them you can find some easy to do and bid projects like changing all the light fixtures in a school.
    Last edited by Coppersmith; 04-17-19 at 09:24 AM.

  3. #3
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    I currently use plan hub,..no contracts and they are customer friendly unlike blue books

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    I don't normally bid on large projects so take my opinion with a grain of salt....

    1) The larger the project, the more risk you are taking. If you underbid, you could lose a lot of money.
    2) GC's on large projects with multiple bidders are generally looking for the cheapest bid which means you will start out making a low profit percentage.
    3) Bidders on these jobs play a lot of games where they bid low to undercut other bidders (sometimes to the point of making no profit) and then hope (pray) to make some money on the extras.
    4) GC's on large projects play a lot of legal games to (a) make you do things you didn't plan to do, (b) keep you from getting paid your full amount, and (c) retain a portion of your money for a year or more.

    You would be better off seeking out and getting a personal relationship with small GC's who do small to medium jobs for high-end clients. These jobs are easier to bid, less risky, and pay a higher profit %.
    Man I agree 100% with this.

    Another source of work is government contracts with local governments. Each jurisdiction will have a website that lists the work available and how to bid it. For recurring contracts, sometimes they even tell you the winning bid on the previous year's contract. Usually the description of work is detailed. If you comb through them you can find some easy to do and bid projects like changing all the light fixtures in a school.
    I think this is a great idea. This is where a relationship comes into play. Most localities have some discretion on small jobs, and you could wind up the go to guy, especially if you are capable of handling (and don't mind doing) odd jobs that don't have a trade license requirement.

  5. #5
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    I had a short term free listing with Blue Book. It was a nightmare. I got ITB's but usually about a week or 2 before deadline. Rep said it was because other contractors hadn't bid jobs and they were doing 2nd or 3rd rounds. That didn't make sense. This was around 2008-2010, when work was so hard to find. I couldn't believe no one was bidding these jobs. Things like fast food, stores, etc.

    Rep told me if I had a paid subscription, I would get offers first time around. I almost did it, but it was $300 a month. That seemed really steep with little promise of results.
    Yes, I'll be happy to do a first class job for less than anyone else and take a dollar a week for 10 years.

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