I was recently asked by one my colleagues in the real estate industry about the impact COVID-19 has had on our business. Like many industries, we're dealing with a "new normal" of virtual meetings, jobsite temperature checks, handwashing stations and masks. But in the months that have passed since March 2020, we've also seen a lot of change surrounding a project's start date.
On the positive side – we have seen a definite increase in proposal and bidding activity, particularly over the past few months. That is always a good indicator of the business out there and the sectors that are bullish on the future. This feels like movement in the right direction!
On the challenging side – we see projects being "paused” or decisions being put off until early 2021 or beyond. On the planning side, we see projects that get through the design phase, are teed up to start and then... stalled. When we look at the numbers year-over-year, our project award cycle is about 25 days slower right now than it was at this time in 2019. And that feels like we're going backwards.
Forward motion followed by backward or stalled momentum feels a bit like running in place.
I’ve used running as a metaphor often in my business life. Like running, being successful in business takes tremendous effort, commitment and intention. We put in the same amount of work day after day – chasing leads, submitting bids and responding to proposals – but sometimes, like when running regularly, even though our bodies are getting strong and faster, it can feel like not much is happening. This “running in place” feeling can be frustrating and unsatisfying, but like all important things in life, through consistent, intentional, focused effort, mountains can be moved, and marathons can be run.
At Welsh Construction, we put in the work daily – understanding our client’s vision and goals; managing the limited resources of time and dollars; and delivering high quality ground up and tenant improvement projects. Our Welsh team is extremely committed to that outcome – successful projects for happy clients.
Although we have had many challenges due to the uncertainty COVID-19 has brought to our clients and real estate partners, we are optimistic that once a vaccine or protocol is established that allows more “business as usual”, a sizeable portion of work will move forward. We believe we are poised to win those projects through our daily focus of competitive pricing, lower project overhead and long-term client relationships – these daily practices have us ready for a marathon!
MEGHAN HUBER Vice President, Welsh Construction