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January 29, 2018

40 Misconceptions – Client Edition

For almost a year, Sebastian’s president John Sebastian and his team have been sharing their insights on the business of planning, designing and building high end residences.

Today, we’re spotlighting two client-based misconceptions, with advice on how to avoid them.

While some architects prefer to create their designs solo until the big reveal, we’ve found that the most successful projects are those that engage the client along each phase of the process. Clients are better informed and therefore, feel stronger ownership and commitment to the final product.

In Sebastian’s State of High End Residential Real Estate in 2018, we surveyed architects to get a feel for their clients’ level of involvement.

While almost 30% of clients have limited time to be involved, the majority actually enjoy the process and make it a priority to participate.

Misconception #8 can cause project delays and issues when the architect doesn’t take a leadership role in the project. It’s usually not the client’s fault – he or she is often unaware of the impact their decisions (or lack of decisions) have on the project’s schedule and budget. It’s up to the architect to keep the client informed, especially when decisions are needed to keep the project moving.

As the architect, you may feel that you are keeping the client happy when you make requested changes that delay the project, but going over budget and beyond the project schedule will cause ill feelings at the end that can’t be undone. Letting clients know the ramifications of decisions and changes gives them vital information to contribute to the best project outcome.

At Sebastian, we use a specific agenda format with time sensitive “hot items” clearly indicated to keep projects on schedule. Our project managers and field superintendents never leave a meeting without each action item having a person who’s responsible for that item and a deadline for completion.