Your clients want it custom, and that means an immense amount of communication needs to occur throughout all stages of a project. It’s not as if clients have suddenly started demanding such type of communication. Yet, given the rate at which things like social media technologies have made the idea of having information instantly accessible at all times, customers demand the same type of instantaneous communication with their builders.

Today, project-management systems targeted at custom builders and remodelers rely heavy on the communication features in order to win over and retain clients. The ability to capture every email, document, photo, and correspondence with a client helps builders maintain a high level of communication. That even extends to partners, including designers and trades, on the job as well.

BuildTools,, Minneapolis, Minn., for example, has found success in the custom builder and remodeling market, providing a specialized project-management system that builds off a few main elements, such as communication and documentation.

In terms of communication, the online system provides a central repository for collection of all project-related communications. Part of the appeal is that builders are able to send and receive emails (a primary tool for communication with clients) using their current email system, meaning there is no new system in which to learn.

This also means clients don’t need to worry about communicating with builders in a new way; instead they simply use their own email system. Instead, trades and clients receive an email and are taken directly into the central system.

Of course, with regards to communication it is important to retail documentation, and providing a system of record for all correspondence is one of the features that BuildTools bills as a central part of the system. Project notifications are sent to all parties that use the system, which helps increase the level of communication between vital trades on the job as well.

The market for project-management systems tailored at the custom builder and remodeling marketing continues to heat up. Companies like Co-Construct,, Crozet, Va., and BuilderTREND,, Omaha, Neb., have made a name for themselves in this market. But others, including BuildTools and JetStream,, Auburn, Ala., for example, are looking to carve out a similar niche as custom builders and remodelers turn more and more to automating these critical functions within their operations.

In the case of JetStream, for example, the company has made integrating with core builder systems like Intuit’s QuickBooks a valuable piece of the system, which helps builders feel more comfortable making the switch to automation.

As the market continues to heat up and software providers target the custom market more intently, the name of the game will be communication. Not only that between you and your client, but that between the software provider and builder as to why technology can help improve efficiencies across your operations.