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Old 11-18-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,485 posts, read 71,226,071 times
Reputation: 36580

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First if you are going to design individual homes, you need to come into contact with people with money. Average people buy mass produced homes designed from a catalog.

Second you need to demonstrate that you have true artistic talent and can design something that is unique or special and at the same time practical. Create a portfolio of homes that you have designed and have been built.

Third you need to contact your former clients and ask them to recommend you to others.

Fourth, get very very active. Join Kiwanis or Rotary or other volunteer organizations, get involved in Church programs, school organizations, alumni associations, everything you can. The more people who know you and know what you do, the more likely you are to get a referral.

Fifth. Contract the contractors who built the homes that you designed in the past and ask them for referrals and/or leads.

Sixth. You can try advertising. Particularly if you have designed a home of note in a particular community.

When we hired an architect, we found leads almost entirely by referrals. We also looked int eh local telephone book because we wanted to hire someone local who was familiar with the inspectors and agencies that we would have to deal with. We chose our architect based on his demonstrating an understanding of what we wanted to do. he was already familiar with our house (a historic home) and was excited to work on it. He sketched out some idea drawings on a paper when we first met and talked with him and we could see that he knew exactly what we were looking for. We bought my conceptual drawings along and he immediately pointed out how to make the layout better, cheaper and more practical. At the end of the meeting, I woudl have gladly paid him twice his quoted price. Being cheap is not always the best thing. The guy we chose was cheap, but that is not why we chose him. It was his understanding of what we wanted and his ideas. Most people know that the design is not where you cut corners. If we are doing a $750,000 project. We do not really care whether the architect charges $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000. It is a drop in the bucket compared to the over all price and it is the most important part of the project.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 11-18-2011 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,721 posts, read 16,127,008 times
Reputation: 11123
Quote:
Technically, anyone who works in an office while unlicensed is an intern. 75 percent of project managers are unlicensed. You can have 40 years experience and be an intern
Interesting perspective you have there. I've got numerous college degrees as I enjoy the learning experience. I have almost 50 year experience in the industry, college degrees, yet I'm an apparent intern to you as I'm not licensed. While you might think you have a clue about the industry, I teach structural components and designs on a college level and have for the last 11 years. I've also sat on the Board of Directors at the 5th largest home builder in Texas where the house did not close unless I signed off on it. The plans started at my desk along with site plans, options, and budget to be proofed by me.All subs were subject to my approval and any issues with subs performance was handled by me at my discretion. What I have learned about most LICENSED architects is that few have a clue about the building process or how to build most anything. It's one thing to draw it on paper, it's another to build it. Then you have the non-stop changes that does nothing but drive up costs because they didn't like something about the work. Sorry grilfrien', but I'd much rather work with a good designer anyday than a licensed architect.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
38,805 posts, read 67,149,302 times
Reputation: 39564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.Architect View Post
to get single family residential clients?


I design modern houses... anywhere in the country.
I am licensed.
I stand for the highest quality of construction.
I have extensive residential experience.
I am practical and down to earth.
I have a sense of humor.
I love what I do.
I want work.

and
I work for peanuts.
And that is all about YOU.

Make it be all about the client experience.

Don't claim. Demonstrate, particularly in your outreach, how all the "I's" convey to value to the client.
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Old 11-23-2011, 05:30 PM
 
29,985 posts, read 40,243,817 times
Reputation: 12799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.Architect View Post
I hear you- thanks for the reply. I am in the high end residential field. My clients are all the 1 percenters!
Network, network, network and the referals by word of mouth will drive much of your business, if your work is worth it to your clients to gush over. Remember that those 1%ers have children with first time homes, and their friends, etc...; so, don't limit yourself. Your work will either speak for itself, or you won't work.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: S.W.PA
1,361 posts, read 2,714,358 times
Reputation: 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
...... If we are doing a $750,000 project. We do not really care whether the architect charges $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000. It is a drop in the bucket compared to the over all price and it is the most important part of the project.
You missed a zero in each of your fee examples

Last edited by stevo6; 06-09-2012 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: S.W.PA
1,361 posts, read 2,714,358 times
Reputation: 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperL View Post
Interesting perspective you have there. I've got numerous college degrees as I enjoy the learning experience. I have almost 50 year experience in the industry, college degrees, yet I'm an apparent intern to you as I'm not licensed. While you might think you have a clue about the industry, I teach structural components and designs on a college level and have for the last 11 years. I've also sat on the Board of Directors at the 5th largest home builder in Texas where the house did not close unless I signed off on it. The plans started at my desk along with site plans, options, and budget to be proofed by me.All subs were subject to my approval and any issues with subs performance was handled by me at my discretion. What I have learned about most LICENSED architects is that few have a clue about the building process or how to build most anything. It's one thing to draw it on paper, it's another to build it. Then you have the non-stop changes that does nothing but drive up costs because they didn't like something about the work. Sorry grilfrien', but I'd much rather work with a good designer anyday than a licensed architect.
Whats holding you back from getting licensed?
What is it about a license that precludes the kind of hands on experience that you are talking about?
While I think that a license does in no way guaranty competence, it is just foolish to suggest that a licensed architect brings nothing to the table, or worse.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,320 posts, read 17,596,637 times
Reputation: 5742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.Architect View Post
to get single family residential clients?


I design modern houses... anywhere in the country.
I am licensed.
I stand for the highest quality of construction.
I have extensive residential experience.
I am practical and down to earth.
I have a sense of humor.
I love what I do.
I want work.

and
I work for peanuts.
Have you considered an ad in say Dwell magazine or one of the more modern housing sources? Expensive...but may give you the exposure you need. Web sites are helpful and putting some projects out there may help you as well. Right now working for peanuts is a blessing. We love peanuts, sigh.
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