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PODCAST: Construction and real estate industries navigate murky COVID-19 mandates

Written on Oct 7, 2021
By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager  

Construction and real estate weathered the start of the pandemic well, but one industry pro said they have been navigating in some fog recently.  

“The construction companies are dealing with a lot of uncertainty and HR and personnel issues,” said Doug Houser, CPA, principal, director of construction and real estate services at Rea & Associates. “They’re asking themselves ‘How do we handle mask mandates, if we're on government jobs, or on other types of public work?’”  

Houser joined the State of Business podcast this week and said while it's a good time for the industry in terms of demand and available work, it's a difficult time when it comes to “secondary challenges.”  

Many companies are struggling to figure out what rules apply to them when it comes to vaccines and mask mandates, Houser said, and that can make it tough when deciding how to communicate with staff.  

“The messaging just is very challenging,” Houser said. “We make sure we have those conversations with our clients to really think about the culture and the transparency. We try to emphasize to our clients the more transparency that you can provide to your employees, the better that we've seen they're able to kind of adapt and pivot.”  

The construction and real estate industries continue to be impacted by the supply chain and worker shortages, but Houser said he’s seen clients pivot in creative ways. One client was having such a difficult time finding drivers that they decided to open their own driving school.  

For CPAs who have clients in these industries, Houser recommended over-communicating to ensure client needs are being met. Providing knowledge and resources they might not even realize are available can be a valuable way to strengthen that relationship and benefit the client’s business.  

“Those are the relationships that we enjoy the most,” Houser said. “We feel like as part of the firm that we're really helping somebody. To have those conversations and provide as much of those resources as you can with your firm, you're just going to be so much better off with that client base.”  

For more learning related to the construction industry, visit MyOSCPA