Topical Networking Vs. Relationship Building

A few years deep in the construction world I’ve learned more than I could’ve ever anticipated. One glaring difference from other industries I’ve worked in is the opportunity for a relationship to take on many more forms than the conventional-and it’s all dictated by a willingness to go the extra mile. What I’ve found is that construction business development managers all have their own style and tools for hitting leads. When managers with slightly different focuses get together to collaborate, I’ve found there are big ways to gain new targets and benefit from information exchanges.

It can be exhausting running from coffee meeting, to lunch networking, to happy hour connects-this type of presence can spread even the most energetic BD manager a bit too thin. While quantity is important, I’ve been tapping into the relationship-focus more, and in my world, this is done best with a smaller circle repetitively. Rather than being exposed to someone at a business card exchange once, it’s served me more to schedule ongoing meetings with another business development manager/broker over coffee in a nice setting where both parties can relax and enjoy a brief, yet productive escape from looming Salesforce tasks.

While I think it’s always nice to mingle at late night commercial real estate centric events over drinks with a new contact, I’ve been seeing a new contrast in more one-on-one networking settings where both parties understand each other’s typical scope and are able to form parallels in industry news to collaborate on ways to engage both sides’ interests. Recently I’ve partnered with a few connections to exchange our target lists and keep our eyes open towards any intel that may benefit the other. When one person gains a relationship, there is an understanding that the other person will be introduced from the mutual effort that led to the link.

Other topics I’ve delved into that can enhance any BD manager’s pipeline are new tools and free programs that either party has found success with in usage for lead generation. Exchanging these means can spare valuable time and open doors that wouldn’t have been accessible otherwise. More detailed opportunity information can also be shared (when not confidential) in circumstances when a specific project isn’t suited to one party, but it may end up being ideal to the other.

There are also new perspectives on conflict resolution that can be introduced through a connection’s experience. These uncoverings from a conversation aren’t limited to a contractor and their competition working in the same capacity. It’s likely that an architect or engineer has a unique perspective on a discovery from previous project’s challenges.

My emphasis in relation to commercial construction is that relationships across diverse parties in the project lifecycle are a wise use of time if handled in the above-mentioned ways. Whether a general contractor sits down with an engineer, architect, designer, furniture supplier, branding specialist, or subcontractor partner – the collaboration potential is there for those who want it to be.

The Fascination of the Construction and Building

Have you ever wondered what it takes to build these giant buildings and how do these construction people get up there and maintain their balance and do such a good job and they do not even fall off; many people are amazed with the construction process and if you have ever wondered to then try pulling up one of those web cams that is set on the construction of one of these places, it is amazing.

There are some places like this in Texas that has been observed with their technique where they put these giants Texas scaffolding around these big round balls that looks like a giant water tower and they scaffold up and around it like it was nothing. Then they apply these so called Texas coatings right on it after wards. What does it take to be one of these brave souls to do this kind of job; their mamas must live on pins and needles.

Doing something like this cannot be just a summer job and go do a little construction here and there for a couple of months and then go back to school in the fall, this is very technical work and safety is imperative and you can be sure that OSHA would be on that like a fly in hot water. There are just too many variables to do this type of work and a person would definitely need a degree for this career.

And the turnaround time on this type of construction is also fascinating this week a person could drive by and view it starting with the steel beams going up and drive by in two or three weeks and walls are fully completed with flooring and spaces for the windows and possibly some balconies stuck in here and there. The architecture has come a long ways in the past decade including the very material that is used to complete these master pieces.

The sprays that they finish them with is also state of the art, nothing can get through to fade the material away it is so well protected from weather and human destruction; and at the same time they have material that they can apply to this very substance and it just wipes away like a water based paint. This is why today’s young students need to stay in school, look at what you can be and what you can do with your entire future; and the salaries are far beyond your imagination.

The next time that you go by some local construction pay closer attention to what is actually happening and watch the people that are doing the labor; these are some very talented folks and they know exactly what they are doing right down the millimeter and that is a fact. Even though it seems dangerous due to the height and materials used it is probably one of the safest jobs around because of the highly strict safety regulations enforced by the federal government and OSHA which is one of the strictest entities around.

Responsibilities of Nigerian Professionals in the Building Construction Industry

(1)The soil scientist:

The soil scientist work is to determine how suitable is the land for the purpose of which is going to be used for.They check the strength,ph content and gives report on the effects of building on such lands.They are important indeed to avoid settlement of land due to weight of building in the future. They use different ways to investigate soil conditions.For simple residential buildings on reasonable sites digging several holes about three spits deep, drilling holes up to 2 or 21/2m deep with a hand auger or driving a pointed steel bar about 1 1/2m into the ground are generally sufficient. With larger buildings or more difficult sites,the following methods are applicable.

(i)Excavating trial holes about 1 1/2m deep deep outside the perimeter of the building.

(ii)Drilling boreholes by percussion or rotary methods.The percussion method uses a steel bit with a chisel point screwed to a steel rod.The rotary method employs a hollow rod with a rotating bit and a core of strata is forced back up the hollow rod.

(iii)Load testing often using a reinforced concrete slab about 1.20 to 1.50m2 and 300mm thick,to which loads are added at about 2 hour intervals and the amount of settlement is determined with a level .The safe bearing capacity of the soil is found by dividing half the load applied prior to appreciable settlement into the area of slab.


Lawyers are needed right from when you want to purchase your land,they help in all legal dealings. From contracts to agreements between you and the “omo onile” landowners; you need them .It is the job of a lawyer to find out the true owner of the land because the person selling to you may actually not be the right person to do so, they will do a thorough scrutiny on the agreement papers and give their legal advice on your investment.The money you pay for this service may be worthwhile considering the possibility of losing your money if you refuse to contact them.

(3)Land Surveyors:

These people map out the the area or plot of your land.They see to it that your land is properly demarcated from your neighbour with their instruments and skill they will give you the accurate length of your plot .There drawing is what you take to the architect for design of your building. You also needs survey plan for validation of your land when you want to register it.


They liase with you i.e the clients on one on one to achieve the type of building you want .Architects give professional supports to the clients not only on the design of the building ,the execution ,but general support even the viability of the building .The work of an architect is extensive because they are generally closer to you clients than every other building professionals. He is in the best position to know what meets your dreams and how to help achieve it. He conceives or dream and put pen to paper and sketch out what you have in mind,gives you to criticise to suit what you want properly, and make the necessary adjustments .He is the bridge between you and the other professionals and artesans on site ,by his position he is the head of the building team.

(5)Quantity Surveyor:

This professional estimates and see to it that you won’t embark on a project that is beyond your financial means .They cost and determine the amount of money you will require to build your house so that you don’t end up abandoning your project midway. This people are very important unfortunately Nigerian of today do not see the need for them and that is why we have abandoned projects dotting our landscape. It is nice to have a beautiful and befitting house .It also helps to promote the architects that designed it for you when your house is very beautiful, though for small projects your architect can give you an idea of what your building will cost ,but you may not really get the perfect and non-sentimental estimate as to what a quantity surveyor will give you. The quantity surveyor has nothing to lose if the house is very ugly his job is to make sure you have a financial understanding of what you are about to embark on. On big projects ,they maintain and award money to artesans and labour based on the input each worker is putting.

(6)Civil or Structural Engineers:

The civil or structural engineer in building industry is to see to it that, the stability or structural disposition of your building is not compromised. I mean they give calculations and recommends based on the Architect’s drawing, what kind of reinforcement or iron or any other structural elements that can make your house stable and will not collapse. And they come out with the drawings on this to help the builder on site to carry out is work effectively.

(7)Mechanical Engineer

These people see to the mechanical aspects of the building especially large projects they give out detailed drawings and specified on plumbing work in the building, the plumbers work with them and help carry out instructions for the good of the project.

(8)Electrical Engineer

As the word implies they see to it that there house is properly lightened. Dangerous electrical connections has led to the death of several people. I will advise you have the electrical engineer in your plans when embarking on a building project. They give instructions to the electrician on large project sites.

(9)The Builders

These are one of the most important professionals in the building industry, unfortunately, the Nigeria of today is a case of dog eats dog. A situation where you claim you can do the work of somebody else and no law to discourage you against such impersonation that is what we are seeing in the building industry at presence. “Collapse of buildings” The builder is trained to carry out or execute on site or transform or bring into reality on site the drawings and intentions of every other building professionals, may it be the Architects, the Civil Engineer, the Mechanical Engineer and the Electrical Engineer. His duty is to see to every artesans or workers on site carries out is job effectively. Unfortunately every jobless person with some money in Nigeria are now claiming to be building contractors and people out of ignorance do not even know the difference.

Even other professionals too are jostling for each others job. A situation where a town planner or a surveyor lays claim to the fact that he can design a house plan for you or when a quantity surveyor is doing the work of a builder will not give you the best you deserve. A building contractor yes, is important in a construction industry but their work is not to bypass any professional rather they are to work with the professionals or consult with them to carry out the project effectively except if the contractor is a professional himself. They are probably the one to finance the building project at times, but to get a very good job you must insist on knowing the professional they will be working with.