I spent a couple weeks in the US recently visiting with friends, family, and attending an architecture conference. My goal every time I go back to visit is to take stock of the current state of design architecture in the US to see if there’s anything I can apply to my practice here in the U.K.. While I learned about a lot of interesting design elements, one of the more prominent themes of my trip was how people find creative ways to finance their home renovations or remodels. Credit is still tough to come by for a lot of people so some architects have found themselves in the interesting position of having to help clients figure out how to afford their services. Most architects that I know, myself included, are not particularly great with money. We tend to be more creative people than number people which makes this latest trend a real challenge.
Here are some interesting observations you may be able to apply to your own practice if you have clients who want to pay you but just don’t have the cash available.
1) Don’t be afraid to part with your assets.
This story comes from a visit with my friend Phyllis in New York. One of the hottest trends right now is to use old barn wood as a design element. The old weathered wood can provide a nice, natural, and comforting feel to your home or office. But it comes at a price, a very steep one if fact. My friend Phyllis had a client who just had to have her entire home built with the stuff but unfortunately it cost much more than the client was able to afford. However, she was able to come up with the cash by selling a structured settlement, and built the home of her dreams. The point is, a client may have an asset they can sell to get the money needed to complete their project. You can help them determine if they’d be happier holding on to the asset or building the new home.
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2) The reverse mortgage.
This option is only available to those over 62 years of age and who own at least part of their home. With a reverse mortgage, the homeowner can borrow against the equity in their home without a credit or employment check. This isn’t a good option if the client is going to sell their home in the near future, but can work if they just want to do some upgrades to their house or are building a second home.
3) Ask relatives for help.
Obviously, this one has been around for a while, but sometimes we forget it’s an option. You’d be surprised how giving family can be if you present you case in the right way. You can help your client by providing them with detailed plans and mock-ups of what their dream home will look like. If you do your job correctly, your client will be able to show people what you provided. Knowing that they’ve done their homework will make families more willing to help out.
Most architects aren’t great salespeople and even worse at dealing with money. Hopefully these tips will help you secure some new business and generate good referrals from your existing clients. Visit Homepage for more ..