Architect-client relationship, like any business relationship, is built on trust and mutual benefit. It's, therefore, important to learn how to maintain and nourish your relationships with your clients to keep your business going. As an architect, a client who trusts you will want to work with you again. They will be patient when something goes wrong and will refer you to new clients and contribute to the development of your career.
Here are five tips from architectural experts that will help you achieve an optimal architect-client relationship and maintain trust.
1- Communicate effectively
Before you start working on a design project, know that your client should be part of the work process pretty much like you should. Let your client know what's happening and try to engage them on a regular basis. That will help you discover and fix any potential problems that may arise or make any modifications requested by your client early on.
While you do that, make sure not to use highly technical language. Your client is just a regular person who wants to design their place :)
2- Create a strong online presence
An efficient online presence helps portray why your architectural and design services are so great. It's unlikely for a client to trust you, much less cooperate with you, if your website or professional profiles are poor and outdated, so why risk that?
Update your website and LinkedIn profile with information about your firm or new projects and don't hesitate to list your skills and achievements. This very simple, yet absolutely necessary process can push your career to the next level!
3- Make your vision clear
Another major factor in cultivating your client's trust is offering them extensive details about their project using 3D modeling software. Your client probably doesn't have a background in architecture, but 3D visualizations will make it easy for them to see the full picture.
Once your design concepts are clear and fully understood by your client, there will be little room for misinterpretation or conflict. and thus, a happy client who is more likely to work with you again.
4- Don't promise what you can't deliver
Finding jobs in the architecture industry isn't an easy task. This is a fact. However, it's never a good idea to accept a job if you're unsure you can deliver it flawlessly. To do that is the fastest recipe for losing clients and hurting your career in the long run.
To void falling into this, ask your potential client to talk you through their whole plan and what they actually need beforehand. You can then decide if you want to take on the job or politely decline.
5- Provide creative solutions
In case you have made a mistake or failed to deliver a particular promise, it will be your personal duty to fix the problem to re-establish trust with your client. Apologize for your mistake sincerely and offer creative solutions that could make things right for you both.
Whether you are an established architect or just starting your career, these 5 tips will be of great value to you. Have you already applied some of these architect-client relationship tips? What tangible benefit have you gained in return? Tell us in the comments!
If you haven't yet received your first job, you can start applying these tips on DezynCle by participating in our design contests!
A fresh designer and don't know where to start? Read our tips on how to start your career as a freelance architect.