Word on RealStreet!


As we wrap up 2017, RealStreet would like to thank you for helping us see success in the past year. We continued to grow, adding a number of new employees to our team, and are excited for the opportunities to come in 2018!  From everyone at RealStreet,  best wishes this holiday season and our most sincere thanks for your loyalty throughout the year!  

Katy Cook, CSP
Marketing Coordinator

What's Happening at RealStreet?
We Still Need Your Help!
RealStreet still has a great need for skilled architects, engineers and construction professionals to assist in the hurricane disaster recovery efforts.  Resumes can be submitted via e-mail to  Irma2017@RealStreet.com  or online, directly from the job post


RealStreet wishes you a very 
  • Ronald H. 12/05
  • Thomas A. 12/11
  • Bennie H. 12/13
  • Sherry A. 12/16


RealStreet will be closed:
  • December 25th
  • January 1st

Interesting Industry Information
How Does the Job Market Look?
For another look at the information, check out the  BLS' interactive graphs.
The U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a "M onthly Jobs Report"  soon after the beginning of each month. Each report describes the previous month's employment situation, based on data such as the number of jobs that were added to the economy and the unemployment rate. According to t he  October Jobs Report,  t he US economy saw an increase of 261,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate decreased slightly to 4.1%. 
The ADP Research Institute provides an alternative look at our country's employment situation. The report, which is always released two days prior to the publication of the BLS Employment Situation, showed an increase of 235,000 jobs within the private non-farm sector. According to Market Realist, this report includes private non-farm payroll while the BLS report includes both private and government sectors.

While there are varying opinions, the reports show a relatively positive outlook, even in the wake of the recent hurricane disasters. M ark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody's Analytics, stated in a recent Wall Street Journal article that "the job market rebounded strongly from the hit it took from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma." As w age gains have been marginal, m any concerns regard the lack of significant improvement in compensation for American workers.

Construction Industry 
ADP reported that the construction industry added 62,000 jobs in October, while the BLS showed an increase of 11,000 within the  industry. Furthermore, the BLS found that unemployment within construction was higher than the national average, at 4.5%.
As stated in a recent ENR article, Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors of America's chief economist, believes that "while some of the job gains may reflect hurricane recovery work in Texas and Florida, recent spending and regional employment data show the job growth spans both residential and nonresidential projects and is occurring in most states." Moody's Mark Zandi believes the "resurgence in construction jobs shows the rebuilding is already in full swing." 

The Dodge Momentum Index tracks and measures the initial reporting of non-residential building projects. With the increase in non-residential construction projects, the  Dodge Data & Analytics ' Momentum  Index rose 13.2% in October to 130.9, in anticipation of future spending.  Dodge's analysts believe that "while month-to-month activity could continue to be volatile, there are enough projects in the pipeline to sustain growth into 2018."

Future Indicators  
According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) the October Architecture Billings Index (ABI) shows a slight decrease in demand for design services. According to the AIA, the ABI is the leading economic indicator of construction activity, as it "reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and nonresidential construction spending." 
According to the AIA, 
  • October ABI Score: 51.7
    (49.1 - September)
  • October New Projects Inquiry Index: 60.2 (59 - September)
  • October New Design Contracts Index: 52.8 (52.9 - September)
According to  a recent  AIA article,  architecture firms predict growth in the coming year, but many are concerned about finding qualified candidates to fill open positions as they expand. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker is optimistic about construction in the new year as well, stating that  "as we enter the fourth quarter, there is enough design activity occurring that construction conditions should remain healthy moving through 2018."
How many job seekers do you know? Would they be a good fit for one of these positions? 

 To see all of our open positions, check out the  RealStreet Job Board !

RealStreet has recently filled the following positions!
  • Program Delivery Managers
  • Construction Managers
  • Estimating Manager
  • Program Coordinator
  • Track Engineer
Featured News Post
How to Effectively Collaborate With Others
and Work Well in Team Environments

Whether you are a part of a cohesive business unit, frequently assigned to teams or simply required to collaborate as needed, working with others is a basic function of most roles. Collaboration often improves creativity, productivity and morale, and increases innovation, professional development and the organization's success. As the old idiom goes, two heads are better than one.

Despite the benefits, there are a number of challenges to group work. Individuals are unique, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, experiences, preferences and work styles. Regardless of these differences, they must work together as a cohesive unit.

There are many instances where collaboration cannot be avoided. Whether you tend to be introverted, simply prefer to work alone, or have found yourself in a dysfunctional group, it's important to function effectively.  Consequently, you need to learn how to function in a team setting.

Read the full post for three tips to assimilate into a team. 

Investing in Your Future
Tips to Save
Having the opportunity to contribute to a 401(k) is one of the best ways to save for your retirement. Let's take it one step further and discuss a few tips to help boost your savings before you reach retirement.

Start Early, Start Now

Time is your biggest asset. The younger you start, the more time you will have to your advantage. If you haven't started, begin contributing to your 401(k) now. The power of compounding interest will allow your investments to grow over time. You will miss out on investment opportunities the longer you delay.

Get the Full Employer Match

If offered, take full advantage of your employer match. The amount your employer contributes on your behalf is added to the amount you contribute to your 401(k); make sure you contribute enough to receive the full match. Combining the two contributions will help give your account an extra savings boost.

Percentage vs Fixed Dollar Amount

If you have a choice between the two methods, select to contribute a percentage of your salary to your 401(k). By contributing a certain percentage, you will automatically capture any raises and bonuses you earn. Another helpful tip is to increase your contribution by 1% per year or after you receive a raise until you are contributing the maximum limit. Keep in mind the maximum limit to contribute to a 401(k) for 2017 is $18,000 (plus $6,000 catch up for age 50 and older).

Look at Your Investments

You want to make sure your risk is in line with your objectives, age, and risk tolerance. The best option is to talk to a financial advisor who can help assist you on selecting the appropriate investments based on your goals.

Contributing to a 401(k) will play a vital role when preparing for retirement. It is important to take this opportunity now to increase your savings as much as you can while you are still working.

The aforementioned content was courtesy of Prosperity Consulting Group.
John Hancock 401(k) Account Holders
Need to Register?

Go Online: go to www.jhpensions.com and click on "Register"
1. Enter your contract number, last name, social security number and date of birth
2. Enter your email address, and create your username and password
3. Choose challenge questions and answers
Track your progress towards retirement at any time!
Seasonal Safety
Staying Safe While Shopping Online
this Holiday Season
The holiday season is upon us! While consumers flock to internet sites to buy gifts and take advantage of hot deals, cyber-criminals will capitalize on the influx. Taking advantage of the heavier traffic and increased sales, cyber-criminals will create new scams, including fake websites, infected web links and phishing scams.

Do you best to minimize cyber risks and impact of any scams by educating yourself ahead of time with the following tips from CSO

Pay Attention to Where You Are

WPA2, the protocol used to encrypt data moving between a computer and wireless access points, was recently broken. Install updates and patches to ensure your network is safe and think twice about using public WiFi connections.

Use Protection
  • Patch and replace
  • Watch for fake apps
  • Limit your exposure
  • Use your credit card and not your debit card
  • Make sure your connection is secure
  • Use VPN
Know Where You are Shopping
  • Don't click on links in an email or on a web site unless you check them first
  • Look up URLs
  • Use your search engine
  • Look at the website design
  • Read the text
  • Be skeptical
  • Make sure to use a secure checkout system
Track your Purchases

Keep track of what you have purchased and from where. Look at your bank and credit card statements and respond to any discrepancies quickly.

Read the full CSO article for more details.

A recent Government Technology post provides a variety of information as well, such as 
David Papp's 12 quick fraud awareness tips to remember when shopping online:
  1. The best way to get your attention is with a "stunning" price, so be wary of things that are too good to be true
  2. The best scams don't look like scams
  3. Usually the scammers don't get reviews
  4. Safe payment systems take hard work, and a new website might not have put in the effort
  5. Look for a "real" owner
  6. Watch out for making purchases over public or open Wi-Fi
  7. SSL protects your connection, but doesn't protect you from who you connect to
  8. Review your online account settings
  9. Keep personal information personal
  10. Develop good password habits; change them often and use unique ones that are hard to guess
  11. Ensure the website address makes sense
  12. Consider a low-limit credit card
This only scratches the surface. Educate yourself on cyber threats ahead of time, so that amid the excitement and urgency, you continue to shop smart, avoid scams and stay secure.

Winter Driving Safety Tips  
When winter weather strikes, drivers face out-of-the-ordinary challenges when they get behind the wheel. Snow, slush or icy roads are involved in nearly one in four weather-related vehicle crashes. These conditions can make it harder for drivers to see, slow down and stop - all factors that can increase the chances of an accident.

If you must travel during winter weather, preparing your car in advance, knowing the forecast and driving based on road conditions are three key ways to help you drive more safely. Following are some winter driving safety tips to help you prepare for the elements - before you face them - on the road.

Preparing Your Vehicle

As temperatures start to drop, it's time to make sure your car is stocked with a winter driving survival kit, including an ice scraper, a snow shovel and sand or salt. This way, you'll be prepared if winter weather arrives while you're away from home. It's also a good time to check your tires to determine whether it's time to replace them or whether you need snow tires.

A few habits to adopt regularly during the winter months can also help prepare you for a wintry drive. Make it a practice to keep your gas tank at least half full so you can run your engine and stay warm if you get stuck or stranded. Keep your windshield wipers in good condition and your windshield fluid reservoir filled so you can clear snow and ice from your windshield.

Watching the Weather

If you plan to travel when inclement weather looms, monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news stations or Internet traffic and weather sites. You can sign up for weather alerts to receive text messages and optional alerts for your area. Do not check your phone while driving, and avoid all unnecessary distractions when you're behind the wheel.

Driving for Winter Conditions
Before you leave the driveway or parking lot, take time to clear snow and ice off your car, including your windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk. Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility. Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.

As you get on the road, remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen. Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions - you want as much control of your car as possible. Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy, and avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks. The drivers can have limited visibility, and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.

Breaking Down or Getting Stuck

If you do venture out or are unexpectedly caught in a snowstorm and encounter problems, if your car is safely out of harm's way, stay in your car and wait for help. You can run the car heater to stay warm for 10 minutes every hour, but make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. There is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning if snow blocks the pipe and enables the deadly gas to build up in your car. Open your window slightly to help prevent any buildup.

Remember, driving in winter weather can be challenging, even for experienced drivers. Slowing down, allowing increased time to come to a stop, wearing your seatbelt, devoting your full attention to the road and being aware of changing conditions can help you drive more safely. If your travel route takes you into remote areas with limited cell phone coverage, consider informing a third party of your travel plans that include your route and when you plan to arrive. This way, if you are overdue, first responders will know where to start looking. If you're unsure whether it is safe to drive, consider waiting until the roads improve.

The aforementioned content was courtesy of Rongstad Insurance Services .
Holiday Safety
While the holiday season is full of cheer, it brings with it a variety of risks as well. Use the following tips to ensure you, your friends and family have a safe and happy holiday season!

The  National Safety Council  recommends:
  • Never use lighted candles near trees or boughs
  • Keep poisonous plants out of reach of children and pets
  • Ensure trees have a stable platform and keep them away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources
  • Ensure artificial trees are labeled fire resistant and natural trees are watered
  • Check holiday lights for fraying, bare spots, gaps in the insulation or excessive kinking in the wire 
  • Turn off all tree lights and decorations when not in use
  • When putting up decorations, use a step stool or ladder to reach high places
  • Designate a sober driver when celebrating away from home
  • When preparing a meal, wash hands, utensils, sink and anything else that touches raw meat
  • Reheat leftovers to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit
Additional tips: 
Keep in Touch!
Feedback Wanted! 
We Value Referrals!
Would you mind taking a moment to  write a few sentences  about your experience working with RealStreet?  Thank you!
Who in your network is looking for a new opportunity? 

Check our  open positions to see if any are a match to the job seekers that you know. At RealStreet we value great candidates and when it comes down to it, we know you're the Real Deal! We have a great referral program that compensates you for every qualified referral you provide us.