How to Build a Trustworthy Architect-Client Relationship

When an architect or their firm and a potential client meet, there needs to be trust from the start. Having a weak sense of trust can have effects on an architect’s or firm’s reputation, and possibly cost future business.

A number of factors can help build a stronger relationship between an architect and a client, and it can also break that relationship just as easily. Sometimes even litigation is batted around after a falling out. In that case it’s smart to have an architects and engineers professional liability policy for this type of matter, but it’s just as important to know exactly how to start and strengthen a positive trusting relationship.

Have A Solid Online Environment

In today’s digitally driven world, it’s important to have an effective and up-to-date online presence. When a potential client is researching a firm or an architect’s own work, the first thing they do is reach for the phone or laptop and see what they can find based off of a company’s website. Furthermore, clients take research even further by looking at reviews and seeing how other clients have dealt with them in the past. Everything from company transparency to updating professional profiles can help give potential clients a fresh look at a firm.

Keep Communication Open

Communication is key when developing a trusting relationship with a client. Having open communication when it comes to the progress of a project is essential, but it’s just as important to communicate design ideas in a conversational and everyday tone. By clearly and consistently delivering updates and information, clients will begin to trust an architect or their firm as a dependable and reliable resource.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

After a project is underway, a client has certain expectations. Delivering on committed promises are the backbone of any trusting relationship with a client. Some architects might have a fear of saying the word no. If a part of a project, or a project as a whole, can’t realistically be delivered within certain parameters, this needs to be made clear up front.

Architects, as mentioned above, should keep communication open and regular, especially when it comes to the realities of specific parts of a project. Creating realistic goals together will only add trust to the relationship.

Stay In-The-Know

As any architect knows there is a vast amount of small sub-tasks to take care of in a project.  Architects should stay up-to-date on everything from applicable codes to materials used to the overall budget. Architects are supposed to be the experts, not the client, when it comes to projects. Being updated in the industry you’re working in will convey an educational approach to any job, and possibly result in continued work.

About Walker & Associates

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