Word on RealStreet!


November 2016 

At Thanksgiving, more than ever, our thoughts 
turn gratefully to those who have made our  progress possible.
In this spirit, we say simply but sincerely,

Thank You and Best Wishes 
for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Katy Cook, CSP
Marketing Coordinator

What's New at RealStreet?
RealStreet Hires New Recruiting Coordinator!
Last month, RealStreet hired Lina Guzman  as the Recruiting Coordinator for the Tysons Corner office.  As a recruiting coordinator, Lina will support the recruiting team by sourcing potential candidates and  assisting in the coordination of candidates throughout the hiring process. Her responsibilities include scheduling interviews, formatting resumes, creating ScoreCards, and a variety of Human Resources (HR) functions, such as conducting reference and background checks and confirming new hire start dates.

Learn more about Lina on RealStreet's Leadership Team Bios webpage.



  • Liz F. - 11/25
  • Jennifer P. - 11/25



RealStreet's offices will be closed on:

  • November 11th (Veteran's Day)
  • November 24th (Thanksgiving)
  • November 25th 

Interesting Industry Information
How Does the Job Market Look?
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. 

The US economy added 156,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate increased to 5%.  For more information, check out the BLS' interactive graphs.

According to an analysis of the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the  Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 
  • The value of projects launched in September fell 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $703.7 billion.
  • Year-to-date starts were valued at $506.7 billion, down 3% from January to September of 2015.
  • The nonresidential sector rose a modest 5% in September to an annual rate of $282.3 billion. 
According to Chief Economist Robert Murray in the 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook t hree areas of change to look for in the upcoming year include: 
  • Growing infrastructure spending.
  • Extreme volatility in the electric power and gas plant sector. 
  • Rising interest rates.  
Overall, Dodge anticipates positive performance throughout the construction industry next year. 

Murray also anticipates that the construction industry's period of growth will continue into 2018. 
Drone Usage in the Construction Industry
Dron es, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), are becoming more prevalent in the construction industry. As mentioned in the article 6 Ways Drones Are Affecting the Construction Industry, in The Balance, some of the predicted uses include: 
  • Surveying (quick and accurate aerial views)
  • Inspection (quick gathering and reporting of data)
  • Management (enabling constant contact with work sites)
  • Security (protecting job sites from theft and vandalism)
  • Surveillance (around the clock monitoring and reporting of issues)
  • Transportation (safe and efficient transportation of materials)
Some of the more advanced drone  benefits  would result from the use of smart sensors, as mentioned in the article How Drones (UAV) With Smart Sensors Are Being Used in Construction from The Balance.

There are a number of uncertainties regarding drone  regulations  and their legal commercial uses. As more rules are defined, more companies will turn to the technology as a cost-effective investment. For more information regarding recent updates, read the article  New FAA Rules Make It Easier for Construction and Real Estate Industries to Utilize Drones in The National Law Review. 
The Upcoming Election 
and the Construction Industry
Only one week away from the presidential election, a great deal of uncertainty lingers across the country. As mentioned in the article All Eyes on November in Constructor Magazine, the AEC industry is anxiously awaiting the outcome and resulting impact the election has on issues such as the growing skills gap and the need for infrastructure investments. 

As mentioned last month, increased infrastructure spending is a topic of great interest to both major party presidential candidates. Despite this, as mentioned in a recent ENR publication, Industry Weighs in With Cash in U.S. Campaigns, many industry organizations have focused donation efforts on congressional races. Voters can influence many of the decisions on November 8th when they cast their ballots as well. The ENR article, The 2016 U.S. Election: Beyond Trump and Clinton, can be referred to for examples of big-ticket topics from state to state. Are you ready to vast your ballot?

Regardless of the outcome, it is predicted that the architecture, engineering and construction industry will receive an increase in government investment. The influx in demand will likely contribute to the industry's ongoing labor shortage and growing skills gap. If you're considering a career change, now might be the ideal time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile. 
Featured News Post
Three Tips to Build a Bond with your HR Manager
Human Resources can have a significant influence on the hiring decisions at a company. Consider doing more to maintain a relationship of trust and respect with your HR department. Read the full post for three tips to bond with your HR Manager and advance your career. 

Cyber Security
Insider Threat
Over the years, the government and private industry have focused on keeping the "Bad Guy" from hacking into our networks. The unfortunate truth is, the "Bad Guy" is at the front door and we may have provided them with everything they need to enter.
Wikipedia defines an insider threat as " a malicious threat to an organization that comes from people within the organization, such as employees, former employees, contractors or business associates, who have inside information concerning the organization's security practices, data and computer systems. The threat may involve fraud, the theft of confidential or commercially valuable information, the theft of intellectual property, or the sabotage of computer systems."
Stories about disgruntled employees who steal intellectual property are in the news all too frequently. Bank employees funnel money to non-existent accounts, financial analysts manipulate trading documents to show profits while hiding massive losses, and cleared employees who abuse access and jeopardize national security. Going forward, the government and private industries must improve defenses against the insider threat. These defenses will include the use of technology, insider threat training for all employees, continuous monitoring (networks, data and employees), tighter controls on employee access, and policies encouraging employees to report strange and unusual behavior.
The   National Counterintelligence and Security Center  leads the U.S. Government's research and response to The Insider Threat and can provide the reader with relevant reports, briefings and additional reading material. Future newsletters will include additional information on cyber security, The Insider Threat, training opportunities and case studies on Cyber & Insider Threat activities. Until then,  i f you see something, say something.

Seasonal Safety Information
Staying Safe on Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday is one of the largest online shopping days of the year. Even the most cautious online shoppers can become overwhelmed or distracted by the advertising and hype surrounding the day. Educate yourself on cyber threats ahead of time, so that amid the excitement of potential deals and the urgency of limited time offers, you continue to shop smart, avoid scams and stay secure.

According to Digital Guardian, some of the most common Cyber Monday scams include:
  1. Shopping phishing emails
  2. Clickbait
  3. Social media scams
  4. Malicious banners and pop-up ads
  5. Fake gift cards
  6. Fake shipping notifications
  7. Job scams
This list is only a small sample of the multitude of potential threats and the list of threats grows daily. With that in mind, do your best to be cautious when shopping on Cyber Monday (or any other day of the year). 
Reduce cyber threats when shopping online throughout the holiday season with these 10 tips from the Better Business Bureau   (BBB): 
  1. Protect your computer
  2. Confirm site security settings
  3. Shop trustworthy websites
  4. Protect personal information
  5. Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals
  6. Keep an eye out for scams
  7. Pay with a credit card (vs. debit)
  8. Keep documentation of your order  
  9. Obtain a tracking number for shipments
  10. Know your rights
Holiday Food & Fun
The holidays are filled with delicious meals, fantastic fun and a myriad of treats, crafts and decorations to celebrate the season! Unfortunately, with all the added activity comes additional risk. To make the most of your Thanksgiving, we encourage you to be creative and careful.

Did you know that if a turkey is thawed at a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, food-borne bacteria, (such as salmonella) can multiply rapidly (increasing the risk of food poisoning)? How about the fact that there are more home fires on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year!? Ensure you, your friends and family have a safe and happy holiday by celebrating responsibly. 

Check out the following: 
If you are looking for a few great craft and recipe resources, check out the following sites: 
Safe Driving Tips for Thanksgiving Travel
Planning to hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday to visit with family and friends? You won't be alone. The AAA forecasts 42.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, marking a 4-percent increase over last year. Before you embark, consider these tips to help prepare you and your car for whatever challenges might be faced on the road.



Don't head out on a long trip without a full tank of gas. In addition to topping off the tank, also check fluids and tire pressures before you leave.



Bring supplies in the event of an accident or medical issue. Stock your car with an emergency kit - especially a flashlight, blanket, first-aid kit, and some basic tools. Also, bring water and extra snacks, just in case.



Check your vehicle's load capacity to make sure you aren't putting too much weight in the car. On most new cars, the total weight you can carry is printed on a placard (sticker) inside the driver's door jamb. This load rating includes all the passengers and cargo. Also, make sure your gear is packed properly and will not be a hazard if you stop short.



A portable GPS navigation system will help you get where you're going, making it easy to find gas stations or restaurants along the way. Traffic-enabled devices can warn of roadway congestion, and all units can assist in finding an alternate route. Also, a navigator can help direct emergency services to your location, should something happen. (See Video: Don't let a GPS navigator steer you wrong.)



If you're driving with kids, make sure you pack enough snacks, water, games, videos/DVDs, and music to keep them occupied during your journey. (See our 10 tips for a stress-free road trip with kids for more advice.)



Be sure to secure your pets, either with harnesses and seat belts or by placing them in a crate. Animals can be a dangerous distraction when driving and a physical threat in an accident, should they travel about the cabin or escape onto a busy motorway. Bring water, food, toys, leash and clean-up supplies-you never know.



During busy travel times, expect to hit traffic. It may make sense to drive late at night or early in the morning to avoid the rush and ensure you get to your destination on time and with minimal stress. A GPS device with traffic information and an exit guide can help you navigate around congestion and help find desired pit stop locations.



Cell phones and driving don't mix, so if you need to send a message or make a call, hand your phone to a passenger or pull over. It's not worth risking your life or others on the road.



Always use your seat belt, make sure children are properly secured in a car seat and are seated in the rear seats if they are under 13.



If you're driving in wintry weather, make sure you clear off the snow and ice for better visibility, allow for longer braking distances, and reduce your speed. (Check out our winter driving guide if you are headed to a snowy location.)



There could be a variety of scenarios on the road, but if you stay calm and be prepared you can get through any challenge. Check out our story Surviving the worst-case scenarios for more on driving in fog, snow, or if you car has brake failure, overheats, or your tire blows out.  And finally, be safe and patient. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

The aforementioned tips are from the Consumer Report article: Safe Driving Tips for Thanksgiving Travel.
Just for Fun...

Last month's puzzle:  click to enlarge.
Think you know the answer? Check the phrase!
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