Communicating comprehensive design and CD services to new clients


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I've used Auto Achitect (Cadcraft) with Autocad, Microstation, Softplan, Datacad, Sketchup and now considering Chief Architect. To me the selling point is excellent communication of ideas to owner and their builder.

I have two residential home projects and I am wondering what others have done to showcase the features CA affords a client.

 

Simply put, in a crowded marketplace, how can I best sell my services to a client who could go to a builder and buy a tract home, or to a blueprint shop and get a set of plans.

 

I'm not speaking of design ability as I can show past projects, but how to sell a very comprehensive set of drawings and for them to appreciate what they will do to avoid miscommunication and mistakes.

 

How can present this quickly and efficiently?

 

Thanks!

 

PS. I love sketch up and really like datacad, but think the 3D model and drawing extraction from it is the way to go.

 

Larry

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To start, if your market is "a client who could go to a builder and buy a tract home, or to a blueprint shop and get a set of plans" then you need to find a new market where a better presentation that comes with a higher price tag is valued.

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For my presentations, mainly for custom homes, I use "Go to Meeting" as a via to work with the client so they help me develop the design. I also print to PDF a letter sized, color layout for renderings-exterior and interior views in full color and a second layout, usually Arch D or E sized PDF file showing mainly 2D plans. This way the client is kept in the loop and is an active participant in the design creative cycle.

 

DJP

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Let me put this another way. 

 

I want the client to value the fact that they will get not only plans and elevations, but full framing drawings, material quantities with pricing for cost analysis, 2D AND 3D views, bathrooms and kitchens they can see what they are getting. 

Energy performance.

A set of drawings that will save them money.

 

This is a presentation before I'm hired.

 

How do you get them to GRASP the value?

 

Thanks

 

Larry

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Once you have a 3d model built and begin to present with that model, your clients reaction to being able to view their project from all camera angles will sell itself.

 

 

True story:  I was showing my client her project in 3D and she said,  "I can't picture what it will look like"   What should I of said  to her?

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True story:  I was showing my client her project in 3D and she said,  "I can't picture what it will look like"   What should I of said  to her?

Hmmm.....

That sounds very similar to someone I know who keeps saying "I just can't figure out how to use macros".  ;):lol:

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Showing two different sets is good. (Wonder where I can get  a poor set)

 

I'm thinking that if I had something to quote that says the average builder has to put in a contingency factor to cover unknowns.

 

Or, with a detailed cost of materials they can get a better bid as they act as general contractor and sub out trades.

 

In marketing you want to show the benefits.

 

What are the benefits?

 

Larry

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I had a client wanting to build a 1.6 Million house but decided he only wanted to spend $800,000

 

he insisted he didn't want 3D

 

I created a set of 3D camera views in preparation for adding to my website as my "prime project"

 

went to a meeting showed him the 3D prints and he went crazy and wanted a set for his wife

as she couldn't understand 2D plans

 

fortunately, I ended up firing him as a client as he kept trying to nickel and dime on "one more set of minor changes"

 

Lew

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If your client doesn't come into the relationship with an understanding of the difference between off the shelf and custom or semi-custom, then there isn't much of anything you can say or do. Sounds pessimistic, but it's honest. If I have to spend more than 5 minutes explaining what I can do over off the shelf, then I have no interest. Wish them luck and move on.

 

EDIT: And be prepared to drop your pants. They will toss around the cost savings of going off the shelf until you are doing the job for break even or worse. 

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