Young Architecture firm pitch for new projects


As a young architecture firm, how do you approach clients when you have no executed projects ? how to build the trust in the client ?

Jul 15, 18 1:08 pm

When you say young firm, do you mean the firm or the firm and the people?

Looking for and bringing on a "senor" architect is a way to boost the experience of the firm and there are a lot of people who might want a change of pace and the excitement to be part of a new firm setting a new direction.  I did this during the recession got an urban planning landscape project with a small city, a Church renovation, a renovation of a passive house and several small landscaping projects. this Senior architect was about to let his licence expire as he was several years into retirement but was not willing to sit around and do nothing.  Once we partnered up and formed a firm we had all of the projects rolling in. They were small and paid very little but I was able to finish most of my IDP (Internship hours) and continue to add built works to my portfolio.  

So I might look for someone who is retired from a government job or university and is still licensed and ask them to be a part time team member, head of Quality Assurance Quality Control and leverage their knowledge and experience to your firm's advantage.  The best place for a new small firm is to look for people who retired with a pension as they might have health insurance partially covered and will be doing this not for the money but for the interest in the profession.

The hustle of lining up prospective clients and getting them to sign a contract for design services is, for me, one of the best parts of the job. You get people excited about what your team can do to help them realize their dreams. You get to enable people to think beyond what is in front of them.  Once you land a client and satisfy them then all of the people associated with that initial client might bring new work to you and it can be a weird and unpredictable path that leads you to your next job.

Best of luck.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Jul 15, 18 1:39 pm

Worked at a "young firm" once where the first hire was an experienced senior architect with 30+ years experience. He brought a certain seniority to the meeting table. He still works there and they do amazing things.

The question is not clear. Do you mean how to find new clients or how to deal with potential clients?

Jul 15, 18 2:12 pm

Who starts a firm without any clients ?? I was moonlighting on several single family projects while still employed at my old office, Once I landed a fairly large contract I was off and opened my own firm. The one large project allowed me to establish a monthly invoicing cycle and was to become the basis of the office's work load and provided some security to that I could still go after other smaller projects to supplement the client base .  Still working for the large project client 23 years later in some small capacities.

Jul 16, 18 6:06 pm

One you could do to build some client confidence is use a third party QAQC peer review.  Another I've done is partner with a out-of-area niche firm... like a out-of-state school designer if you are trying to break into schools or in my case, prisons and police facilities where I had nothing like that in my portfolio.

Jul 16, 18 6:20 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: