Has anyone convinced a regular (design professional) customer to change form another software to Chief Architect?


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Hey y'all. I've been using Chief for a few years now as I was seeking a more efficient way to draft and model residential houses. I'm VERY skilled in Revit, but I've come to seriously HATE it after I became proficient with Chief. I have an architect that uses Revit and has me work with their file. They were my very first customer and we have a great working relationship, but I am very annoyed having to use Revit for their projects. This architect always appreciates my high quality work and construction detailing knowledge.

 

I've talked a lot of about the benefits of Chief, and they allowed me to test out a small house project. They liked it, but still feel the need to stick with Revit for their large high-end home projects. Their reason is they have structural & MEP consultants that model in Revit and then cross-link it to coordinate. I told them that you can handle all of that within Chief Architect, but they don't seem to comprehend. I hired someone to take over my Revit projects so I can focus on my Chief projects, but it hasn't been fantastic with finding someone for Revit. Revit is just such a beast to learn that it takes over a decade to become really good with it. Plus, since you have to manually do so much stuff, the user has to have the construction knowledge to go along with it. Finding that person has been impossible.

 

So, has anyone else ever been firm with a client to switch over to Chief if they still want your services? I don't want to lose them as my customer, but I also don't want to work in Revit anymore and be frustrated everyday knowing I can avoid all the issues using Chief.

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Sure... I'm an example.  I was doing some work with an interior designer and she told me she was thinking about getting into using Chief.  We were both using AutoCad at the time.  I hadn't been looking at alternatives then, but had been thinking about jumping into something different for a while already, so with the rent-to-own option Chief gives, it was a fairly easy decision to at least give it a try.   Convincing a 1-man operation to switch vs. an office with multiple people on a different platform is a very different proposition.  That's a lot of man-hours of re-learning if they're all proficient with Revit already.  Unless they have a pretty strong gripe with Revit it's pretty unlikely you'll have success in getting them to switch.  Best you can do is prove by example that there would be a no hiccup in working with the consultants via Chief, and of course delineate the possible savings in software costs and time/efficiency.  If that doesn't convince them you should probably just rip off the band-aid and move on.  Once I became proficient with Chief I had a couple different projects I had to go back to doing on AutoCad and after the 2nd one I swore it would be the last.  

Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/6/2021 at 12:40 AM, DzinEye said:

Sure... I'm an example.  I was doing some work with an interior designer and she told me she was thinking about getting into using Chief.  We were both using AutoCad at the time.  I hadn't been looking at alternatives then, but had been thinking about jumping into something different for a while already, so with the rent-to-own option Chief gives, it was a fairly easy decision to at least give it a try.   Convincing a 1-man operation to switch vs. an office with multiple people on a different platform is a very different proposition.  That's a lot of man-hours of re-learning if they're all proficient with Revit already.  Unless they have a pretty strong gripe with Revit it's pretty unlikely you'll have success in getting them to switch.  Best you can do is prove by example that there would be a no hiccup in working with the consultants via Chief, and of course delineate the possible savings in software costs and time/efficiency.  If that doesn't convince them you should probably just rip off the band-aid and move on.  Once I became proficient with Chief I had a couple different projects I had to go back to doing on AutoCad and after the 2nd one I swore it would be the last.  

Good luck!

Thanks for your opinion! Yeah, once you learn a software that works better for you, it's painful to go backwards. 

 

I successfully got my customer to let me do Chief on all of their projects! I just couldn't bear using Revit anymore, and they didn't want to loose me :) Chief just makes working on residential projects fun. Revit is a nightmare each and every time.

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On 5/5/2021 at 5:10 PM, nVisionTEKBIM said:

Their reason is they have structural & MEP consultants that model in Revit and then cross-link it to coordinate. I told them that you can handle all of that within Chief Architect, but they don't seem to comprehend

I don’t want to be that guy but I think you’re the one who doesn’t comprehend.
 

The capabilities of Revit versus the incapabilities of Chief with regards to this topic are immense. 
 

There are absolutely no clash detection tools or collaboration tools in Chief as there are in Revit. 
 

I don’t believe we’ll ever get those either. It’s just not Chief’s client base. 
 

All you have with Chief is a quicker road to a realistic 3D model complete with cabinetry and mouldings etc…

 

Working with Revit to produce the same “finished” 3D model would take a million more hours. 
 

But, that’s where it ends as a comparison. 
 

(my opinion, of course)

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8 minutes ago, Michael_Gia said:

Working with Revit to produce the same “finished” 3D model would take a million more hours. 

Hi Michael,


I totally comprehend. Before starting my business I worked as a BIM coordinator for federal government projects using Revit. I'm well aware of what Revit is capable of, but it's terrible if you're a small (or 1-person) business trying to make a profit. Revit just requires a team of people to manage everything. It's totally ridiculous to use it for residential projects and think you can be as profitable as you can be with Chief Architect.

 

I consider myself a high-level expert with Revit....and I think it totally sucks for residential.

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3 hours ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I successfully got my customer to let me do Chief on all of their projects!

 

Congrats

 

When I first read your thread, and you said 

 

On 5/5/2021 at 5:10 PM, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I don't want to lose them as my customer, but I also don't want to work in Revit anymore

 

my response was gonna be "then I wouldn't work in it anymore" but I didn't want to influence you to drop your customer so I didn't reply

 

It's just, for me, I don't want to do anything I don't want to do. Too old for that. And if I lose business, so what? I do what I want :D

 

Glad it went your way

 

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53 minutes ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I consider myself a high-level expert with Revit....and I think it totally sucks for residential.

Couldn’t agree more. Revit for single user residential stick framing is like using a bazooka for fly fishing. 
 

I only had issue with the comment regarding structural and mep capabilities. 
 

I feel your pain though. 

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24 minutes ago, Chrisb222 said:

It's just, for me, I don't want to do anything I don't want to do. Too old for that. And if I lose business, so what? I do what I want :D

 

Glad it went your way

 

Thanks Chrisb22! I've started to feel the same way! haha 

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