Archinect
anchor

How to get clients as a new firm?

Tyyler

Hello everyone. My dad got his licensure in California and opened his own firm a little over a year ago. Currently he has been doing small projects such as ADUs and wants to transition to commercial/industrial projects. He has over 20 years of experience working on residential, commercial, and industrial projects. I’ve essentially been acting as the Marketer for the firm scheduling networking events and ways to get our name out there. To be honest, networking events and things I have done had no results so far. So what is the best way for a new firm to get commercial and industrial projects? My dad is more than qualified and is very knowledgeable, but all we need is to get him in a room with the right people who need our services. Please let me know what ideas or strategies worked for you guys. 

 
Oct 5, 22 10:52 am
DickCheney

Post work online to sites that showcase projects.
Get photographed work into magazines.
Most importantly from what I hear, FRIENDS WITH MONEY.
If he is self-cert he can build a portfolio reviewing drawings and building a network?

Build out his branding/website/social media (ick, I know) and generate interest.

Oct 5, 22 11:15 am  · 
 · 
reallynotmyname

A LinkedIn page and a website where you can send clients to look at your work is good. I question a lot of other social media. In my experience, Meta's algorithms will f*ck you out of anyone seeing your content. They have ruined Instagram.

Oct 5, 22 12:54 pm  · 
2  · 
reallynotmyname

Try to connect with some good commercial contractors.  A lot of times, they are in a position to recommend architects for jobs people have brought to them.  Facility managers at universities and industrial plants often have small jobs they can give to start-up architects.  They hang out at meetings for an organization called IFMA (International Facility Management Association.  Networking can take a looong time, you may go for a year or two with little/no results.

Oct 5, 22 12:49 pm  · 
 · 
Tyyler

Thanks for the reply! What’s the best way to connect with commercial contractors? Currently I made a list of commercial contractors and am looking to email them to ask if they could reference us to their clients for any future projects. Is this okay or should we take a more indirect and friendly approach, such as scheduling a time for lunch/coffee?

Oct 5, 22 2:07 pm  · 
 · 
thisisnotmyname

Connecting with them in person is best. Listen to what they need and find out how you can be the best person for their jobs.

Oct 5, 22 2:54 pm  · 
 · 
Tyyler

Thanks for the reply! What’s the best way to connect with commercial contractors? Currently I made a list of commercial contractors and am looking to email them to ask if they could reference us to their clients for any future projects. Is this okay or should we take a more indirect and friendly approach, such as scheduling a time for lunch/coffee? 

Oct 5, 22 2:07 pm  · 
 · 
justavisual

I'd meet them in person - emailing gets mostly nowhere

Oct 7, 22 2:18 am  · 
 · 
el_jeffe

It seems as though different areas skew more heavily to one trade organization than others, but I'd recommend getting involved with the dominant organization for commercial brokers and developers. The local NAIOP chapter might be a good springboard in your area.

I'd also start hitting up local commercial brokers individually just to get on the commercial TI radar and start getting some bread and butter projects that keep the cash flow while you're working on strategic objectives.

The goal is to get your firm in the position where the brokers contact you for ideas and feasibility before a contractor.

Oct 5, 22 2:28 pm  · 
1  · 
thisisnotmyname

Yes, it is good to be the firm the brokers think of when somebody is buying land or a building and needs design work.

Oct 5, 22 2:56 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

Work with or market to local builders and real estate agents. They want to close deals too and if they can package up a sale to a client with a group of consultants / contractors to build out the new lot or renovate an old house it's an easy connection.


Oct 6, 22 5:54 pm  · 
 · 
chigurh

builders yes, realtors no - they will say/do/promise anything to close a deal, which oftentimes does not align with what is realistically possible by code or cost.

Oct 13, 22 10:56 am  · 
 · 
whistler

You don't have to take every client that walks in the door or that you meet. To be honest some of my best residential clients were from a cold call or referral from a realtor, they had a realistic budget and told us to do what they thought was appropriate with minor micro management ..... and paid their bills! What's not to like

Oct 25, 22 2:38 pm  · 
 · 
Joe Cmap

The key is people, all work comes from knowing people. Even competitions rely on relationships. 

If you want to work with certain firms, find out who the decision makers are, who the advisors are and who the facilitators are. Find out what publications the firm subscribe to. (Linked in is a great source for this). Invite these targets to events, to seminars - even if not your own. 

Networking never gave someone a job, but it sure helps, even just being on the attendee list reinforces your name. Have your 3 minute elevator pitch ready. In a world without business cards, have a QR code with your contact details on your phone ready for people to scan. 

And above all, have a decent CRM system to track all of this. Being able to look at an invite list and see when you klystron saw them in invaluable. 

It’s tough out there but remember, there is no point in using a low fee to attract work, it wont be profitable and will cost you money. 

Oct 25, 22 3:27 am  · 
 · 

Block this user


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

  • ×Search in: