Most of you probably already have a good experience managing clients and projects, so it could be interesting to see differences and common points.
In general, a project starts with a clear (sometimes not so clear 😀 ) request from a family or a couple or a person in general that needs to renovate, refresh or build something new.
Here an example of email I got recently:
We have seen and read your website with interest.
In the attached, I have described a project we would like assistance with.
Hope you have the time and resources to look at the assignment and finally call / write if more / other information is missing.
The first important thing is TO BE RESPONSIVE, so once you get a potential lead, get a phone and call them. You create a positive impression.
Being responsive and available from the first email, will ensure the client to trust your process and deadlines. And most important, will make the client feels that, you don´t forget his/her future email in your inbox for days, before to answer.
What I’ve learned from that potential lead:
1- Have a clear and update website online with examples of your work.
Prepare 3 great examples of your work, no more. Then show them your design choices and explain why.
2- Set up a clear process of each part of your work (Design brief – collecting existing drawings – Step 1,2,3 during the idea development – presentations layout – references folder). Clarity is the goal. Prepare a clear Case study, explaining the journey and the purpose of the project.
Don’t tell them. Show them.
After the first call, I asked the client to write me what they had in mind, their main desires. Here you can read what they wrote to me:
“We would like to have some suggestions for remodeling current apartment for our family, future interior plan for the living room, kitchen and basement.
How can we optimize the different zones in the house (sleep / eat / stay, etc.) with harmonic layout?”
Which is the main reason behind the simple request to move the kitchen around, facing the harbor? And why is the living room now the most important space for them? What does that say about them and their lifestyle?
Those reflections help you, as an architect, to be focused in the next call. What it worked so far and what I learned during the last years talking with different type of clients is:
• Don´t be too much prepared for the call/meeting, allow your mind to be free from any assumptions.
• Be curious as possible and don´t be in a sales mood. Ask why, why, why and dig deeper into the conversation asking more questions.
• Be genuine, curious and open minded, don´t judge any request, keep your mind empty and be helpful from the beginning.
After the first meeting, the client got the Renovation process Guide that shows the standard phases necessary to bring order to the design process.
Learn more about the process in the downloadable PDF.
Danila Lampis arkitekt. Connect with her on Instagram and say hi!