Overall, BuilderTrend seems like it could be a good solution for companies that build homes or do other large projects like that with subcontractors. It definitely is not designed for companies that do small jobs or many jobs with one client. Be ready with questions when meeting with your BT rep during your 90 day trail time. Have them show you how things are done so you understand how it works 100%. There were a few features that were promised to us, but then when we asked more specific questions, it turned out that those things were not as promised. However, probably a great tool for a general contractor needing to stay organized and wanting to stay transparent to clients!
- Time tracking with overtime automatically calculated.
- Job costing with custom jobs/types. Can generate reports so you can see effectiveness of employees.
- Different views for job schedule which can be nice - calendar, agenda, gantt.
- Can store unlimited photos, videos, and documents. All are organized in folders and can be shared with the client easily.
- Can assign multiple employees to jobs as well as subcontractors and their prices and information.
- It will show your current costs, so you can see how much the job is costing the client in real time.
- Most everything is customizable and template based.
- You are assigned a specific rep from BT that will answer all questions and do live training with you - Very helpful.
- There are a fair amount of videos available online from other users who are also using the software.
- Effective for companies that deal with large jobs with many moving parts and subcontractors.
- Client portal for each job that includes notes, pictures, videos, progress, invoices, etc. This all can be hidden from clients as well and customized to how much information you are wanting to share.
- Calendar feature doesn't allow you to drag and drop jobs or scheduled items and also allow clients to view it. You can either drag and drop or have it be viewable to clients. This is fairly simple to switch back and forth, but it adds extra steps.
- App is not user friendly for employees or technicians. There are too many buttons to press.
- This software only works well for companies that handle large jobs that are long term with many elements.
- To-do's are fairly simple and not well designed. Great that you can add photos, videos, docs to each checklist item. But there's only 1 checkbox per item, no title for the item, and no way to make the to-do list required for employees.
- If you don't press "save" after uploading photos/videos or writing notes, they will disappear and you can easily erase notes. No window that reminds you to save work before moving on.
- Extremely job-based. You must chose the job and then you can view schedule, clock in, add notes, complete checklist, etc. Not easy to view all jobs at same time.
- No line items for invoices.
- Client portal is set up to be job-based and not client-based. That means every job will have to have a different username for the client to log into.
- Overtime that is automatically calculated doesn't automatically calculate a higher rate on the client's budget.
- Learning curve is overall fairly steep. As a fast learner and pretty technically able, it took me a while to figure out how the software worked. Not super intuitive.
- Not a very updated or attractive look.
Ethan, we very much appreciate your detailed feedback! We would love to have a member of our Product Team contact you to hear more of how we can make Buildertrend a fit for your industry. Thanks again!
There are additional comments on the forum and with Derek (from a several months ago). The pain points we were trying to resolve were not resolved with BT. One pain point was dealing with project management. Sharing plans, having daily reports, seeing who is on the job, the calendar, having budgets in an easy, central place, etc. Those were addressed. We were also wanting a program to manage POs /contracts from PO to final payment -dealing with lien releases (all of them, progress, unconditional, final). Allowing for subs to progress bill and deal with change orders and retention. This was not better, in fact we are double entering data and having to extract to DocuSign to get what we need completed.
Project management. daily reports, calendar, to dos, bidding, having a budget, documents, mobile app, templates
all things financial - PO's, Lien Releases, integration with QB (need to have PO's and budget integrate), subs submitting an invoice (shouldn't be all or nothing), progress billing. Securing areas of use. Not getting a sub report (with custom columns so we can print a list for customers). Not having custom fields in the PO. not being able to remove former employees from the list (make inactive, like subs). reminders on the bell are always wrong or not relevant. Not able to have a change order directly associated with a PO so we can see the full value of the contract with changes. Managing retention. No PO approval process (internally route). Unable to get signatures on additional lien waivers. Time it takes to push from BT to QB - during billing there is a long delay. Constant circle of death. Unable to pull up vendor from a PO or add a new vendor from PO. With Bills and POs we should be able to select on that bill/po if we want it added to the budget / new expected. On the budget we should be able to select which columns are viewed.
We began using Builder Trend a little over 2 years ago as a move away from Build Tools. I have been very happy with the response time on customer support, and it is nice to always be able to reach someone when you have a question. We as a company are not currently using some of the features including scheduling and none of our subs or homeowners are going into the system, but we are trying to change this. We are actively using documents, selections, budgets, etc.
I like the ability to get notifications for a variety of transactions, the ability to log in & see things from a variety of devices, the tracking features for every transaction, and I love the amount of storage space for documents & photos that it has.
I wish it was more affordable to purchase more jobs so that we could use the system for our remodel projects, currently, we do not enter them in as many of them are small projects and do not warrant the expense it would cost us to have that many jobs. It is unfortunate because it puts us with two different processes for selections, budgets, docs, etc. depending on what type of project it is. I wish it was also possible to mark a selection as "Ordered," much like you can mark it as "Approved" it would help the designer & client know when it is absolutely too late to make changes. Lastly, I wish the transition to QB was more efficient. If you are using a desktop version of QB, which is the only way to have the contractor version, when PO's are pushed to QB, they do not populate the customer's job to the items on that PO even though it is tied to that job. I am not even sure what the point of tying the jobs together is as it does not seem to connect them at all in the transfer process.
Our team has been using Buildertrend for just over 2 years now and we would be lost without it. It's a no-brainer! The program has given our team a competitive advantage by providing our customers with their own project website, has improved the efficiency in our processes dramatically and has made project management on site incredibly easy. Even after 2 years, I'm still learning about new features that will help our team. The program's unmatched support team, detailed and highly-developed features and complete integration has helped us increase our volume, revenue and profits... It's completely changed the game for Owen Homes.
The included customer service team and support are unmatched. When you're running your business through this program, sometimes you need an immediate answer or need to learn a new feature on the fly and having instant access to those webinars and forums is invaluable.
I also love how detailed and thought through each feature is - it's what made the switch from our old process so easy because they literally thought of everything!
I could go on forever... the custom fields, different types of users and permissions, project templates, sync to Quickbooks... Buildertrend is doing it and doing it well.
Some of the features like selections, financials, and the gantt chart portion of the calendar are definitely more challenging when trying to switch from our current process over to Buildertrend. However, I'm not sure if there is a better way for any of those; I know those will have a learning curve because those are the more difficult parts of the project.
It's hard to come up with cons for the program because I feel a lot of my issues could be resolved by learning more about the feature. I guess I'll leave with a suggestion: maybe emailing or notifying users of the next month's available webinars or reminders to use the resources -- I forgot these existed for about a year, I was just watching the videos available. I would like to see more videos uploaded -- long and short on specific features.
We are a boutique custom home builder; each project is unique and personalized. Although I was not involved in the selection of this software, my understanding is that we wanted a program that could be accessed by all the parties involved, handle the scheduling and move us away from paper checklists - ultimately allowing all users to be both informed of changes and to be able to plan for future events without having to directly communicate with each person.
As far as scheduling goes this system has failed. It has caused more time consuming questions. My complaint is that you can only link item to item by a (or a couple) predecessor(s) that, ultimately, the program struggles with which item is next in the list if a few of them share the same linked task. Also in a best case scenario, this scheduled list is how you build a house - but in most cases something, whether it be trade related or whether related or inspection related, cause a task to be delayed but the other ones would continue on schedule however the program has linked the start date to the the delayed task and now the whole calender is messed up. Or perhaps the exterior of the house generally starts after framing and roofing but maybe a winter storm makes this impossible so you continue the interior for weeks. Then you try and adjust backwards and because your best case scenario template stated it should commence at framing completion and you delayed that. Thus your left with a domino affect of wrong dates. and a series of emails sent to vendors informing them of the delay that really didn't apply to them. So they change schedules and you are left with no trades to do the interior work that in your mind could and should be fine.
I also find that the program doesn't offer enough flexibility in the selection section. It allows me to upload a previously created document to be stored that a homeowner could then log on and download. They then fill out and can't re-upload this document, so they are forced to fax or scan and email back to us. This is neither time effective nor practical. Perhaps it would be better if we were able to create a checklist that was interactive in this section, similar to the change orders where we type out the change and the client could update decisions. In our company we don't limit our clients to three choices of floor plans and two cabinet doors and 4 granite selections, they are free to choose anything they can dream of. As a result we cannot load a document that would apply to all builds.
However, I believe the change orders tab is well thought out, easy to use and provides all the options to make it a valuable asset. The warranty section does a great job of tracking and notifying and saving time and assuring that service and warranty items are handled and accepted. The daily log and messaging capabilities that allow us to keep a record of notes or messages in one area logged by date and job site is extremely valuable and a good system.
Furthermore, the software as a whole is easy to learn, has a logical and simple layout so even those who are not computer savvy can fumble through without creating errors and won't be too intimidated by the complexity of the software to attempt to use it.
Finally, the technical support and training provided is always quick to help resolve an issue or aid in a question. New training is scheduled in a very quick time frame for free and is tailored to the person that requires it. This is handled exceptionally well in a time when often companies forget you exist once the purchase is complete.
So, we have decided that we will use BuilderTrend for those things that they excel at and don't use it as a scheduling tool.
Willet Construction, Remodeling Specialist has been in business for 17 years. Our goal is to give Top Quality Service including Top Quality Craftsmanship. We are a Residential Remodeling Company that will do almost any type of project. We strive to create an enjoyable remodeling experience for our clients, so they will use us again and again.
During the growth of our company, it became apparent we needed a production management system to communicate with our customers and within the company. I became aware of BuilderTrend while being a member of Remodelers Advantage. We had been using our own spreadsheets and calendars for customers project. Our Change Order process was slow and hard to keep up to date. I took a look at 3 different programs, and decided that Builder Trend met the needs we were looking for.
We have been using Builder Trend for exactly 1 year now. We are extremely pleased with how it has improved so many areas of our company. Our customers love the communication system and seem to be able to use it with much ease. The Change Order & Selections process is so wonderful to keep us and the customer up to date.
Using the calendar for the job schedule is so easy and the customers appreciate knowing what will be happening on a day to day basis. We put our payment schedule on the customer calendar so they know when all payments are due. Customers are sending checks exactly on time, sometimes even before we send out an invoice. Cash flow has never been better for our Company due to the customer knowing exactly when to send payments.
Builder Trend has been extremely easy to learn. Technical Support has been extremely quick in responding to our needs. They are very knowledgeable about their product, and usually have answers for our requests immediately. Any time we need training on something, they are quick to set a date and time to cover any information we need.
With the help of Builder Trend, we have grown our volume of completed jobs this year without adding more employees. This has resulted in Willet Const. having it's largest and most profitable year of our 17 year existence. And we hardly ever have any Accounts Receivables that are more than 15 days old.
With the Selections being "Approved" by the customer on line, all the people that have viewing rights know exactly the product being used on each job. This way when our salesperson/designer are on vacation, anybody else in our office can answer questions from subs or customers about a product without having to bother the designer while they are on vacation. That way the job keeps moving smoothly, and our employees can enjoy their vacation without any worry about work going well while they are gone. This is especially nice for myself as the owner to go on vacation and leave work completely behind.
I also like that Builder Trend keeps improving their program. The "Leads" tab is great to know how much potential work we are estimating. And it helps organize our meeting schedule with our potential customer throughout the designing and estimating process.
I really can't enough about the customer service. They always answer the question I ask. My Customer Success Manager, , is so unbelievable. If every rep I had in my construction was like him, I would have no problems. But, all the other people who answer the phone are great, too. I attended a BTUniversity event, and the event planner, Danielle, for that was amazing, as well. EVERYONE I have ever dealt with (after sales) at BT has the best attitude. They are helpful and lovely and all things good. For those of you who do not know, they have bootstrapped the funding for this company. As a lot of us in construction have done, I find it extremely respectful. The guys who are in charge have done a great job and are very humble coupled with excitement for their business.
This online management system is so great in every way. It is so intuitive to the construction community. I love the ease of scheduling, the ease of selections, having everything in one place for our team, the level of permissions per team member, and the customer support is off the charts - I don't think there's a rating high enough for them. I used a competitor of BT for years, and it's like driving a Tesla compared to a ModelT.
What I like least is that I didn't find it sooner and the sales experience...barf. I get why they sell the way they do, but it's icky. Eventually, I forgot about how gross it was because the customer service is unimaginably great! Don't not sign-up because your sales person lacks authenticity and makes your skin crawl. The experience after is totally worth it.
Kim, thank you so much for your great feedback! It was wonderful to meet you at Buildertrend University and we’re so happy you got so much out of our event. We’d love to have you back here in Omaha anytime!
We were looking for a construction management tool that could include communication and job visibility throughout all departements and in the field - supervisors, procurement, management, financial, client & volunteer services, and that would allow updating and access in the field. BuilderTrend had it all.
We are a medium size, not-for-profit, affodable home building & repair, educating, and financing firm. Multiple Excel spreadsheets couldn't be kept up to date, and traditional MS Project Management software was too cumbersome with less features. A really nice aspect of BuilderTrend is that the whole history of the build process is kept in one place rather than in multiple files on in-house servers and personal computers. We are blessed with many volunteers from out of state and by creating a "Volunteer" job, the schedulers and supervisors can see how many and who is coming in advance so we can stage the work and communicate to them exactly what they will be working on weeks in advance.
Our client services department can see the build schedule for a client and keep the client informed of progress. We may not be using the program like a traditional commercial builder with clients would, but we have found all the features including selections and warranty to serve our needs very well. We have on average 25 repair jobs in process and 20 jobs in the planning stage at one time. We have completed over 180 repair jobs in the 11months using the system, and I could not imagine trying to manage this much work without it.
Out of the box, BuilderTrend is fairly intuitive to use, but there are nuances that should be learned to increase the user benefit. Training is always available and we discover more ways to use its functionality to streamline processes and communications. Our scheduling and planning meetings have gone from 1.5 hours weekly to 20 minutes. We schedule meetings with subs with the task function and quickly get a confirmation. This saves multiple phone calls of us and the subs. I can quickly answer questions for management and business partners simply by looking at daily logs, internal notes, schedules and pictures. The job list allows us to forecast and track our goals and find solutions when jobs are held up for any reason.
I have freed myself from continuous updating of Excel spreadsheets to being able to pull a job list and calendar list whenever I need to know status. Using the baseline features ensures I don't have to save a bunch of old reports for comparison to track project variances. BuilderTrend is very open to our suggestions on reporting and manipulating report and export functions, and I would like to see more capability in exporting reports. I like their focus on continuous improvement, adding functionality and meeting the customers' requirements.
Online topical is available but limited to the basics and I have always found the staff to be just a phone call away for answering specific questions. Overall a win for us.
BuilderTrend had (in theory) everything I needed to make life as a general contractor easy. Everything is all under one software program and seems to interact well with the CRS, accounting and tasks. We have only used it for a month so we're still figuring out all it can do.
Having our own account manager has also been essential. I call him or his team when I need help or assurance that I am using the program correctly. It is helpful to have a live person. It is also helpful that he will send me vids with instructions on how to do things and I keep them flagged so I can refer to them whenever I need.
I'm relatively tech savvy, but the software is easy to use. Having done things manually for so long it has been an adjustment to automation. For example, I am used to downloading documents into different files. BT will file documents and attach them to the job automatically. When I get quotes from subs, they integrated into the budget (once accepted) and I don't have to download and file it independently, then upload the bid to my accounting. Very helpful.
The SAVE function is the weakest part of the program. When saving information on, say a subcontractor contact page, you will be bumped back to the primary page instead of staying on the current location. It's very frustrating. Especially since it will not automatically save during any function so if for some reason you leave the page or tab elsewhere, all your work is lost. Being a cloud-based program, I would hope a future update includes the auto-save feature so the save button is duplicative instead of mandatory.
The ability for the owner to see the home under construction. Daily logs, photos, schedule, once their loaded, you can oversee many more jobs. Our office can upload change orders and tag a Superintendent, a Superintendent can take a request on site, price, and an owner can execute a change order on site, a freebie confirming a verbal request or a extra. The office can order advance items by watching progress, speeding up build times. We upload all plans, shop drawings, permitting info, making the Superintendent much less reliant on sales/design/office explanations. Easy for owners to communicate questions, requests, and payments. We bought it for the owner interface and scheduling interface, and found it useful for so much more, Lead management, warranty, and mobility.
For it to be functional the entire team needs to utilize it. We had a few that didn’t buy in, some were relying on it but not others, and that can be a headache. The schedule is harder than I would like for Superintendent to make changes. Large changes, should be done from the office on a desktop.
Adam - We really appreciate the positive feedback. I will have your Buildertrend Coach reach out to you to talk about any additional training and the scheduling feature!
I think there's still a lot of room for improvement. Things can still be simplified and streamlined. A lot of our laborers struggle with and resist this technology because it's "too complicated." Additionally, we get frustrated in the office with the slow load time, the program's multiple windows, and the wait time for a customer's information to load. Not to mention all the different clicks necessary to add an email address, for instance. It's just very cumbersome. Other than that, we utilize this program a lot! We couldn't function without the ability to connect leads to jobs to work orders, not to mention the app is a convenient feature, albeit a little crowded (and, as I said before, "too complicated"). With a little more improvement, this program could be incredible.
I love the flow of lead to job to work order. I like the ability to create to-dos for the guys and I like that all leads and jobs are archived and can be reached at any point once filters are changed.
I don't like that there is not a feature to create AND accept multiple proposals in the same job. We often have customers who want separate bids. For example, a bathroom remodel AND a siding replacement. In our company, we have separate salesmen and crews to deal with these things. We would like to be able to create two or more proposals for one customer with the ability to accept all proposals so that we don't have to clutter up our jobs list when the customer is the exact same for both bids. Weeding through duplicate customers, waiting on the lag for it to load and then load and then load again with each click/action is just inefficient. When we should reasonably be able to separate our bids and work orders under the same customer name.
I started my own renovation company over five years ago after working 15 years for various custom builders. But because of the cost of construction software, it just wasn't in the budget. Over the past five years, I developed Excel spreadsheets and Word documents that helped keep me organized and efficient (or at least I thought so).
One day I had a random phone call from one of the Builder Trend representatives (Clint) and I checked out the web site. After the free demo, I was convinced. It never occurred to me the amount of double entering, emailing and communication that I was doing (or not doing). It was easy to understand, manipulate and use.
I have used various types of software throughout my career so I was very familiar with how software could benefit a company. However, product out there was very expensive to purchase. What I liked about Builder Trend's pricing structure is that I set the price based on the amount of jobs that I believe I will do in that year. No different than my business plan forecast. And if I exceed that (which we all hope we do), I just contact Builder Trend and they increase the amount of jobs available to me. This also increases the monthly payment but if I achieve my sales, then the minimal additional cost is irrelevant. It pays for itself.
With respect to the software itself, the product I used in the past was labor intensive to start up, implement and train. After 1 session, I was easily changing schedules, adding jobs and communicating with trades and clients. Scott was very informative and educated. He quickly and honestly answered all of my questions. In addition, prior to our implementation meeting, I sent in my schedule and trade templates and it was all in the system "ready to go" for me to fine tune. No starting from scratch and "learn as I go". While he taught me Builder Trend, we altered and changed my information to best teach me the ease of Builder Trend.
Finally by having a customized page for my clients to communicate with us, shows that we are a legit company and professional. That says a lot in the renovation market. My clients love this as they can view their project at any time. We love it because we can get change orders approved quickly and sometimes even right on site without having to go back to the office and prepare a word document. We make the necessary adjustments through our iPhone and send it for approval. They can be standing right beside us, go into their secure page and approve it right there.
I would strongly recommend other renovation/building contractors to lose their old ways of keeping their companies organized and use Builder Trend. It will do nothing but save them time, money and increase customer satisfaction.
Crimson Design & Construction is a full-service design/build remodeling firm. Like any firm that employs field employees and subcontractors there's bound to be something that gets lost in translation. Communication at times between the field and office employees suffers though we work hard to keep that to a minimum.
Though we are still implementing our BuilderTrend software, I (office manager) have found that it helps to act as a liaison between all the important parties - management, design, field, subcontractors AND homeowners. It's a win-win-win-win!
Our homeowners have been slow to engage in BuilderTrend, which is unfortunate, and we as a firm need to work to improve this usage (For one, I send messages to clients only through BT instead of email hoping to engage them in the software). It is currently a work in progress.
Our subs, however, have responded with far more encouragement then I would have expected. I assumed most would find it to be a "pain" or a "waste of time" however several have informed me of the benefits they have found using this software - mainly being the schedule which they can view for approximate dates on upcoming work.
And finally, our project manager now has an IPad on site and is able to essentially view a company folder through the use of BuilderTrend. Adjustments with this are still being made (how often to update, etc.) but we are finding this to be a smooth transition.
For me in the office, I love being able to view the schedule at a moments notice. If a sub is not active on BT and calls me I can quickly access any job and let them know their approximate start date. I like having all my homeowner's info, permit info and docs in one easily accessible place.
The things our firm is having difficulty with is: 1. The leads. While this is great progress, it's not where we need it to be in terms of reporting so we do still find ourselves doing a little double entry. 2. Selections. We used to enter our selections in the system but because selections are picked before we have a contract with a homeowner we don't generally have owners signed up on BT at that point. Plus we have a tracking form in Excel that we haven't been able to use in BT so we found ourselves doing double entry there as well. I would love for us to be using the Selections tab again if you can implement a tracking form that we can use. I can provide you with an example.
All in all our experience with BuilderTrend has been exceptional. The staff is very friendly and helpful, the software is user-friendly, and it's only helped improve our company's communication. We look forward to seeing more from BuilderTrend in 2013!
We run a busy Design/Build construction team and Buildertrend has been a huge help organising and streamlining our day to day activities. It's great for clients to be able to log in to the app or the website from home to see progress and communicate with us and our trades on all levels of the project. Their support staff are amazingly helpful, providing phone support anytime I need it (even for the silly things I've asked them a hundred times). They're always willing to hear you out. In some cases they've whipped up short tutorial videos and emailed to me as future reference material to save me the trouble of calling in.
-Client's love being able to see what's happening
-Easy to navigate the website layout
-Having everything related to the project (documents, construction drawings, communication, selections, pictures, schedules, to-do lists, invoices, etc.) in one place and available from anywhere via the mobile app
-Support staff is awesome
-Mobile app for both iphone & andriod require frequent updates as they continue to improve features
-Not as easy to navigate the app's menu layout (things aren't in a similar order to the website)
-From time to time external email notifications from the message feature will take an extra 2-3 days to arrive in the external email inboxs creating a bit of confusion.
-Missing some small features like a filter on the "pay" option instead of having to either pay all at once or pay each individually (but this is a "serve the masses" issue, customers are always welcome to make suggestions to their resource team and hope enough other customers are asking for the same tweaks)
The construction company I'm involved with uses the sub-contractor management piece a lot! It allows us to easily communicate with our sub-contractors and put projects out to bid easily and collect and compare bids seamlessly. We are trying to dive deeper into the customer communication piece, especially for change orders, it will save us/ make us more money. I Love the selections aspect. It takes a lot of upfront work and staying on top of selections. Once we got it all figured out it has been great. Lastly, we rely on the calendar aspect and how it works/ties into the other sections we use the software.
Overall ease of use and completeness of solution, pricing model, mobile application. I also liked the ability to include subcontractors and homeowners in the project communications - where desired - this can be controlled. Training materials are excellent (videos, live training), the Buildertrend support staff were knowledgeable of the building industry, the home building process and very helpful.
The estimating component changed and it is more difficult for us to build out budgets than it used to be. Maybe we are making it harder on ourselves but the changes were not well received from the estimating side of the house.
I like the that it is a web-based application with easy access. I have not used the the cellphone application, so I can not speak about that undoubtedly handy feature, although I have used it on my tablet from various job sites utilizing a "hot-spot." The Log is especially good with respect to keeping track of job site status and incidents. The ability to attached photos and documents is very helpful. Perhaps the most time saving feature for me has been the Bid and Budget functions. The ability to simultaneously send out bids to a group of contractors, see their acknowledgement, and receive the bids placed automatically and notify them of results all within the project is huge. Another feature that has been especially good for me is the ability to create custom fields in Leads and Jobs. This feature allows me to provide specific reports with tailored information in an Excel spreadsheet. As an organization we have not fully implemented the features and functionality available with the product, however, once we do, there will be greater benefits specifically related to accountability, efficiency, and quality.
It would be helpful to have the ability to create email distribution lists or groups, similar to Outlook on a project-by-project basis. I believe it would be utilized mostly in the Message function, but also could be useful in the Log Notification piece as well. The Leads function does not really apply to our type of business, but at this time I have modified its use to utilize it in a limited, but functional way.
The Builder Trend program has been so helpful for our remodeling company. It tracks everything for each one of our jobs from beginning to end. It starts with our sales information and then moves to the actual job information. The Project Managers can schedule all activity on the calendars, create daily logs, selections and change orders, upload pictures of the progress of the job. The customer can view the progress of their project from anywhere because they get their very own portal to see the progress, the schedule and make payments online. On the accounting end, it keeps track of our estimates vs. actual cost and owner payments. It keeps all parties involved throughout the job. This is a great tool for our business.
I like the fact that everyone involved with each job is connected by the Builder Trend Program. The personal portal for the customer is one of my favorite features as well as the Financial features. Also, Builder Trends customer support is awesome! Always available and always helpful!
The only thing that interferes with my working on Builder Trend is when Builder Trend is working on the actual site. Sometimes it runs slow or the site drops. This does not happen for long periods of time but would be nice if Builder Trend could do this after most business hours.
First, my background contains over 20 years in software design, management, and development. Working with all the latest .net platforms for many large companies.
In 2012 I went to work with Avalon Homes and started my use of BuildTrend. Naturally I was spectical based on my exposure of other sub-par software platforms built and sold to builders.
After 6 months of heavy use including every aspect of desktop, ipad, and smart phone options I am amazed at how BuilderTends has designed a platform that enables companies to leverage the software and tailor it for just their needs.
There are so many examples that could be given from how companies can use the upload of photos, word documents, excel sheets, PDF documents, and really any type of electronic file and turn BuilderTrend into a powerful document management system. Truly powerful beyond words to a work force that is scattered throughout the state. A feature of the platform that is really under advertised.
We are able to store all customers photos of their choices on our site and have the trim carpenters, tile shop, paint shop, framers, etc... view photos in real time as we meet with them or during build time. Truly saves hundreds of miles of driving monthly for us.
The uses of the online storage of documents is endless. It is basically a high powered document managment system with very good security that just happens to be attahed to the rest of what BuilderTrend can do.
Simple to use from any platform like the desktop PC or smart phone. Each field personnel can adept their own technique for keeping notes, reminders, to do's, schedule items, and request for resources. Then management can easily monitor this as well as the progress of a jobsite and adjust accordingly.
The customer side of BuidlerTrend has greatly helped our marketing. Todays customers expect this level of service and technology and finally we are able to deliver thanks to BuilderTrends.
I fully expected to build a web suite of products to help our customers stay in touch and us to communicate since the other web based products are so poor. But after using BuilderTrends I dont have a single issue that has not been met. I quickly got up to speed in only hours, and within a couple of days had solutions in place for problems that had existed for years.
Yes its Great, their team of developers have done a great job with the infrastructure of the platform and continue to enhance it on a timely basis. Best of class for sure.
BuilderTrend has been a fantastic addition to our business since we began using it last year. It has greatly enhanced our communication capabilities within our organization as well as our communications with our customers. The ability of our customers, employees and sub-contractors to have all the information they need at their fingertips has made a world of difference. I would highly recommend BuilderTrend to all construction companies seeking to take their business to the next level. I use this program everyday, whether I'm on the road or in the office. The mobile app has made it very convenient to work while on the road.
Being able to have our entire business function so well within 1 program from CRM and proposals to project management, communication and project financials this program does it all.
I know this program is designed for project management so most of the focus is on that side and it is helpful to have the CRM side to keep everything in one program. However, the CRM side is certainly the weaker side of the program. That being said, BuilderTrend is constantly improving their program and coming out with new updates so I anticipate the CRM side will continue to improve.
We have been using BT for 6 months. It has some really nice features. it does take some time to set up cost codes, the schedule, selections templates, etc. But this is true for any construction software. This is our 3rd software attempt.
We like the schedule, the mobile app, the customer portal, file sharing, all job discussions are in one place, to do are easy. There are many nice features.
The Not So Good;
The Request for bid module is okay, however to move the bids to an estimate is a mess. All the information comes over all mixed up. The numerical sequence is gone. all the line items are mixed up. It is so bad that you can not do an estimate from the bid. we have been using our old spreadsheets and importing those directly into the budget to avoid the bid to estimate module.
The selection module lacks the ability to place a selection in more that one room without entering it again and again for each additional room. For instance, if hardwood flooring goes in 6 rooms you need to enter hardwood 6 times to get it into all the 6 rooms. As a result the selection module is a real disappointment. For now we have just three locations; inside, outside, or multiple. One nice part is the ability to have customer go the module and approve selections and files.
A centralized database for managing projects, clients and schedules.
The customer service is fantastic. We have a dedicated rep who responds immediately and works with us to resolve any issues. Buildertrend also helps us integrate their online tools with our current project management systems, increasing efficiency and creating a very user-friendly experience.
While we appreciate the scheduling function and its ability to link subcontractors and users to tasks, some of the tools within the tasks are difficult to navigate, such as the successor/predecessor links between tasks. In addition, adding increased options in the views function would enable the user to see the overall schedule more easily.
Lastly, it would be nice to be able to see a high level calendar that shows all active jobs in relation to one another.
Very easy to use.
Buildertrend is super easy to use and very client-friendly. It is also convenient and integrates with a variety of other software, like estimating software and accounting software.
Although Buildertrend has lots of features, it isn't geared toward builders that do more than roughly 60 homes per year. It gets tedious when accounting software isn't already part of the production software. It also doesn't have a portal for vendors to update their own pricing, which would be really nice. Overall good, but only if you don't do THAT many jobs in a year... it's not quite comprehensive enough for that.
Beth - thank you for your feedback! I would like to get our product team in touch to show you some features we have to streamline your processes as a high volume builder. We want to hear your ideas on updates as well!
We have been using BT for approx 3 years and, overall, the experience has been fantastic. Training and customer service has been outstanding and the product has been a great tool for us both in project and client management. It has raised our game to a higher level in terms of performance and professionalism.
All of it. It touches all aspects of our business so it is truly a one-stop shop for us. Customer interface is also great. Shows clients what we see so they feel informed and involved throughout their project.
The estimating component changed about a year ago and it is much more difficult for us to build out budgets than it used to be. Maybe we are missing something and making it harder on ourselves but the changes were not well received from the estimating side of the house.
It came down between this and ProCore. ProCore was way over priced and Buildertrend was the perfect blend. Would like if the CRM function would have been a bit more robust than we had originally anticipated.
customer service and user interface. Not a straghtforward jump right in experience. There was countless calls needed with Buildertrend and the Buildertrend fols seem to shoot from the hip based on what the client is calling about. So then we have two people who don't know what they dont know trying to feel their way around.
Not straightforward. Requires a lot of conference calls with Buildertrend Customer service. Would have liked it if there was more of an Apple/Mac like experience where there is no need for a customer service or manual to determine how to use the product. Buildertrend is the closest to user friendly than the others we tested.
Chris - Our Customer Success Team will be in touch soon to make sure we are doing everything on our end to continue to provide great service.
On the job side: aside from the jobsite menu and template menu, having a sub contractor/vendor menu would also be useful. On the individual jobsite information I have created many of my own custom fields. However, some that I have created, I would think should be standard for a construction CRM. BT only provides for one permit to be listed. We often have more than one for any one job, also having a "Permit Finalized" date field standard for each permit would be nice. And while you're at it, the issued date and expiration date of the permits would be some good information to have right there. Outside of not needing some of the features because we are only AC and Heating, I LOVE THIS PROGRAM. NOTE: on the next step of this review where it is asking how frequently it is used, the choices are odd in that its Once a day or week or month, I use it ALL day everyday. I find that several of the choices within BT are odd like that, but nonetheless, I still LOVE it.
This program really helps me stay on top of tasks and everyone else's tasks as well. It helps me meet deadlines and track everything.
Because our jobs are generally short in nature being an AC and Heating contractor only, its rare that our clients log in and take advantage of the software.
The creating of templates in LEADS is not as straight forward as the rest of the program and not easily mastered by someone who has basic computer knowledge.
Having to clear my history every day to ensure that I can view everything is annoying.
Setting time in LEAD activities is a little weird.
Not being able to set activities or calendared items on a 15 minute mark is annoying, sometimes it really is that pinpoint crucial to a job.