An Architect Showing a Project to His Clients

Bringing architectural projects to life is hard and complex work. And building an architect-client relationship is an integral part of it. This aspect influences the workflow from the architecture presentation to the site supervision. So, ensuring a comfortable and productive architect-client communication is an absolute must. Otherwise, it will be challenging to reach a consensus on design, functionality, aesthetics, timeline, price, or materials.   

An architect and client relationship starts long before any construction work ever takes place. Building communication bridges, listening, collecting and analyzing feedback are prerequisites for the job. Also, knowing how to build a relationship with clients can help emerging architects understand the profession.

So, our goal for today is to pinpoint the means of building trustworthy fruitful partnerships. Check out our list of 7 surefire ways of strengthening an architect and client relationship!


Architect-Client Relationship: an Architect Talking to a Client by Phone

Modern people grew accustomed to great customer service. That is why receiving quick feedback justifies that they’ve made the right decision by hiring a particular expert. Thus, optimizing an architect-client communication starts with putting a client’s needs first. Providing a quick professional solution to any problem the customer is facing is a must.

There are common-sense rules for building a comfortable architect-client relationship. For instance, it’s unwise to leave lingering questions for a long time. Responding within half an hour during business hours is necessary. Moreover, being available after hours falls in the realm of going the extra mile for building architect-client bonds. There can be different scenarios here and the schedule can be adjusted. Nonetheless, when working on a huge project with a client that is on-the-go and available 24/7, the architect should take this into account. Which means that they should reply promptly at any time.


3D visualization is the best communication tool for establishing a productive architect-client relationship. Let’s see why. 3D rendering brings much-needed clarity to the process. Architecture professionals are speaking from education and experience. While their clients aren’t the architect’s peers in academia and practice. Moreover, they aren’t even obligated to have a good imagination. So, understanding drawings and sketches is a big challenge for them. 

A photorealistic animation or CG render can paint a clear picture of the future building. It is the most effective communication booster. 3D visualization shows exactly what the architect envisions. It betters architect-client communication by helping customers discuss the design with the appropriate level of understanding.

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An Architect and a Client Discussing the Estimate

Transparency and honesty play a huge role in the architect and client relationship. Especially when finances are in question. A straightforward way of doing business in architecture is the needle that threads it all together. While avoiding honesty and tiptoeing around the problem will inevitably end in a disaster.

This starts at the beginning of the relationship. Which is the project presentation. Aligning a client’s goals and wants with their budget and, let’s be honest, the reality is essential. When left unaddressed, unrealistic expectations will fail and become the architecture professionals’ fault. So, architects must be ready to stand their ground on the cost and viability matters. Being firm and delivering a clear understanding of the possible outcome within the set timeframe and budget is a must. It will ultimately result in an architect-client relationship based on trust and respect. 

Many of the finance matters can be cleared up with a detailed project presentation. Especially if it is enhanced with CG visuals. The benefits of 3D renderings for the architect and client relationship are stated in the second paragraph.


An Architect Looking at His Professional Website

In the digital age, the architect and client relationship begins before any meetings or agreements take place. Usually, it all starts with Google. Even if an architect is initially found via a referral, the first thing prospects do is an online search. They look for portfolios, case studies, a list of former customers, and reviews. So, a professional website and active social media accounts matter and hold value. 

It’s doubtful that a poorly-made site with stock photos will help to build any fruitful architect and client relationship. Especially with the tech-native generations. Even with great recommendations, it’s highly unlikely. The same goes for the use of social media. A Facebook or Instagram page with a post here and there once in a blue moon will scare people off. So, business web pages must be regularly updated with quality content. Pro tip: photorealistic renders are ideal for livening-up a social media profile. These visuals can go viral on Pinterest within days or get widely shared on FB and Instagram.


An Architect Supervising Works on the Construction Site

In architecture, the authors’ supervision is somewhat overlooked by clientele. Oftentimes, architects’ participation ends when the construction phase begins. Which is a big mistake for any architect-client relationship. That’s because if the final result of construction does not meet the clients’ expectations, they will blame the architect. So, it’s never a good idea to remove the author from the project at any point. A person who supervises the construction and makes sure that the result matches the approved project is a necessary one. 

Architects must set aside time to explain the absolute necessity of project supervision. Their on-site presence means accurate drawings and beautiful CG renderings coming to life within budget and on time. While an unprepared person trying to supervise contractors and suppliers is a disaster waiting to happen.


An Architect Receiving Feedback from a Client by Phone

Architects shouldn’t fear losing clients. They work in an extremely competitive field, so that is inevitable. But, losing a client and not finding out why is a huge mistake. Even if it’s one case out of a hundred, knowing why the prospect decided against working with an architect should be a priority. 

The ability to listen and hear the truth is vital for maintaining strong architect-client communication. The success recipe is simple. Architects should eliminate emotions, listen carefully, ask questions, and make sure they are not making the same mistake with other customers. And, lastly, if necessary, they should extend an apology. It is vital to remember that one bad service story can spread widely. Which is never a good thing for an architect-client relationship.


An Architect Presenting a Project to Stakeholders

A responsible approach to an architectural project should be based on an understanding of the investor’s business. Five years ago, the Royal Institute of British Architects came out with a report on the architect-client relationship. One of the noteworthy takeaways was that architects often misunderstand their corporate clientele. 

As an example, the report states that in the late 1970s, a third of employment was in manufacturing and half in services. Now, the number shifted to services surpassing 80% of employment. This means that there is a much bigger demand for commercial buildings than industrial ones. So, architects specializing specifically in commercial design are highly sought after. Showcasing this sort of knowledge powered by business-specific project presentations is key to effective cooperation with investors.

The future of architect-client relationships boosted by the newest tech looks very promising. Architects are well-equipped to help their clientele realize their dreams and, with that, build strong bonds. All in all, effective architect-client communication is the key factor in building a successful architectural practice. And, as always, the best way to start is with an impressive 3D visualization of the client’s dream.

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Architecture experts should start by establishing an extensive online presence. For that, it is needed to run a professionally designed website and social media accounts. These pages need to be updated with fresh content as often as possible. Also, it is a wise move to get published in industry magazines, both print and digital. It is also recommended to participate in professional events to speak to the public.

To create a perfect home, an architecture professional needs more than technical details about a future building. An architecture expert needs to find out as much as possible about the needs and preferences of the customers. This includes learning about the habits and lifestyles of each member of the family that will live in a place. Such information will help to tailor a project to the clients’ needs. Also, it is a great idea to ask customers for some visual references that can give an idea about the future design.

To build a fruitful relationship with clientele, architects need to explain design ideas clearly. They can do it with the help of CGI. Also, they need to always be responsive, maintain a personal approach to every customer, learn as much as possible about the customers’ needs and preferences. Another vital aspect is financial transparency. It must be clear for clients what they are paying for.

Definitely yes. Creating designs is only half of the architects’ work. The other half is presenting these designs to prospects and finding understanding with them. So, learning to communicate effectively is a must for every architecture expert.