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7 Takeaways from Our Summer 2020 Survey of Maryland Construction Contractors

7 Takeaways from Our Summer 2020 Survey of Maryland Construction Contractors

Construction & Real Estate

The future is uncertain for many Maryland construction contractors. That’s why we surveyed construction contractors in July 2020 on what they think the future of their business and the industry looks like. Here are the highlights of the survey:

  1. Optimism for company outlook is down.
  2. Contractors say industry outlook is “worse.”
  3. Revenue decreases expected.
  4. No layoffs ahead.
  5. At least six months expected for businesses to “normalize.”
  6. Finding new business has become the top concern for contractors.
  7. Concern about finding qualified employees is on the rise.


 

 


 

1. Optimism for company outlook is down.

Unlike when we surveyed contractors in our January 2020 outlook survey, it’s no surprise that optimism has taken a hit in the last few months. 66% of contractors said they were less optimistic about their COMPANY’S outlook than they were before Maryland’s stay-at-home order took effect in March.

In comparison, only 16% of contractors said they were less optimistic about their company’s outlook in our January survey.

 

Here's what four seasoned industry veterans had to say about the future of the Maryland construction and real estate industries.

 

2. Contractors say industry outlook is “worse.”

Contractors aren’t overly optimistic about the future of the construction industry. 56% of contractors said they think the industry’s outlook is worse compared to before Maryland’s stay-at-home order took effect in March. In comparison, only 10% of contractors thought the industry’s outlook was worse for 2020 in our January outlook survey.

3. Revenue decreases expected.

Only 31% of contractors expect their revenue to increase in the second half of 2020. That’s a big change from just a few months earlier. In our January survey, 70% of contractors said they expected to see a revenue increase in 2020.

4. No layoffs ahead.

Despite predictions for a tough year ahead, 78% of contractors said they haven’t and don’t expect to lay off employees. This isn’t surprising given that most contractors continually struggle to find and keep qualified employees on the books.

5. At least six months expected for businesses to “normalize.”

Contractors are on the fence when it comes to how long they expect it to be before their business normalizes. 41% of contractors think it’ll be 6-12 months while 38% think it’ll take over a year for their business to get back to normal.

6. Finding new business has become the top concern for contractors.

31% of contractors say that finding new business is their biggest concern as we head toward 2021, followed by concerns about operating in the “new normal” and cash flow. Back in January, the biggest concerns on contractor’s minds was finding and retaining qualified employees, finding new business and labor costs.

7. Concern about finding qualified employees is on the rise.

Even though contractors are worried about finding new business, they are still worried about finding qualified employees to get work done. 63% of contractors said they are more concerned about finding and retaining qualified employees than before Maryland instituted the stay-at-home order in March.

 

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Published on August 12, 2020