Tags: business developmentcareermarketing
Episode 084

The Architecture of Value with Craig Park

Enoch SearsDec 12, 2014

Today we talk with Craig Park, principal with the Sextant Group. Craig is an author, speaker, consultant and former Chief Marketing Officer for two large architecture firms.

In today's edisode we discuss:

  1. How to differentiate your firm (create your own niche)
  2. What the most successful firms are doing today to stay ‘ahead of the curve'
  3. Personal information management – how to stay on top of your inbox and phone calls

This interview is on iTunes. Subscribe above, and be a hero! If you know another architect who would benefit from watching this video, share away using the social share buttons.

Show Notes:

Craig Park is principal with The Sextant Group.

Craig Park is the author of The Architecture of Value and The Architecture of Image.

He can be found on Twitter at @cepark49.

Interview Transcript and Members Only Resources:

[DAP errMsgTemplate=”SHORT”]
Enoch: Hello, Architect Nation. Welcome back to the Business of Architecture Show. I hope that you’ve had a wonderful Thanksgiving, or whatever parts of the world you are. The holiday season is upon us, the change to the New Year. Things have been wonderful here on Business of Architecture. I hope things are going well for you as well.

As you may have been aware, we recently had the Business of Architecture Summit. It was very successful. You can go to Business of Architecture. I’ve actually put up the recordings of those so you can purchase those for a nominal fee, ala carte.

You don’t have to buy the whole thing or you can get a package deal and buy the whole entire summit. Twelve hours of continuing education credits. More importantly, these are cutting edge business information that’s going to help you start your firm, improve your business, make more profit. Brought in a lot of industry experts, so you’ve got to go and check that over on Business of Architecture.

I am just stoked, as we say over here in California, to have my guest on the show today. The guest today is actually native Californian Craig Park. I’m going to talk to Craig today about some strategic issues with marketing and business development.

Craig is a Principal with an independent technology consultancy firm, the Sextant Group, based out of Omaha, Nebraska.

Now, Craig is a powerhouse in terms of… His resume is, literally, I think, it’s three or four pages long here. He has a ton of experience. We’re going to have a great conversation here. I encourage you to take out your pen and paper if you’re a t a point where you can do so.

Craig is an author and speaker. He’s written the book “The Architecture of Value: Building Your Professional Practice” in 2011; 2013, “The Architecture of Image: Branding Your Professional Practice.” “Marketing Handbook for Design and Construction Professionals,” he was a contributing author, as well as the SMPS Foundation’s 2013 book “AEC Business Development.”

So, Craig, welcome to the show.

Craig: Thanks, Enoch. A pleasure to be here.

Enoch: Well, Craig, you have a background and you are an architect.

Craig: Right. Trained as an architect – Cal Poly, San Francisco.

Enoch: Excellent. It’s not too far from where I’m at here.

Craig: Yeah.

Enoch: You have a long, long industry experience in the larger firms scene, which is great. It’s good to have you on the show here.

We’ve had a lot of smaller firm practitioners on the show, so it’s good to bring someone in like yourself, Craig, who has this broad experience of working with larger firms, and doing larger deals, and being involved in some cool stuff.

Now, an interesting story that we were talking about is you worked on the Getty Center with Richard Meier.

Craig: Yes, I did. It was a wonderful project. Started in 1989 and opened in 1997. I think Richard Meier’s firm started working in 1984. So, thinking about your architectural typical process of two to three years, that was a long, drawn out, extended process that had a lot of different elements to it – wonderful project experience.

There were lots of teams on that too – many engineering firms, consulting firms. The client had multiple user groups that had… If you’ve ever been to the Getty, it’s got five major building areas that hold everything from administration, to the conservancy, to the museum kinds of spaces.

Enoch: Yeah. It really is more of a master plan city than a museum.

Craig: Yeah.

Enoch: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a museum of that size and scope.

Craig: Yeah. No, really, the Getty Center, it’s an education center. There are scholars who work on art history and conservancy there on an annualized basis much like the Rome [Inaudible] when you get to go to work in Rome if you’re an architect – that kind of event.

A wonderful client. They were blessed with the benefits of the Getty Trust that could afford to build that building in 1997 when it opened. I think it was the largest building project – close to a billion dollars in the United States at that time.

Enoch: That’s incredible. Well, Craig, you have an interesting story about how you ended up working on that project.

Craig: Sure, I’ll be happy to share that.

So, a little bit about my background: I’m an architect by training, but I interned in my junior year for a technology and consulting practice like the Sextant Group, a different firm then and no longer in existence. I was in L.A. I really liked the firm because their clients were all the different kinds of architectural practices I wanted to work for, and I ended up working for them after I got out of school.

After a few years, I was promoted to run their L.A. office. One of the things you learned about marketing is you’ve got to find work. The phone doesn’t automatically ring, as you know, and you tell your clients, “What do you do to make that happen?”

I had read an article about the Getty being awarded. Richard Meier’s firm had won the competition for the project and they have established a Los Angeles office. So, I drove down to Westwood and knocked on their door, and met their Managing Principal, and said, “We’re a unique technology firm, and we’d like to be considered.” He said, “Absolutely, but it’s way too early. Keep in touch.”

So, I did. Over the years, I would send interesting articles on projects we’ve worked on. Then, a few years later, I changed firms. I moved to San Francisco, but I was always interested in that project, so I continued to stay in touch.

In 1989, we received an RFQ from the Getty themselves. The Getty Trust Organization was heavily involved in consultant selection. They reached out to about twenty technology firms around the country, many well-known museum exhibit designers and people who have worked on large museums. Because I had stayed in touch, we got a request for our information, so we then put together our qualifications.

Quite honestly, we had not done a lot of museums. We had done a very interesting art exhibit space in the Hess Winery in Napa. It’s one of the largest private collections of art, and it has a lot of technology that supports that presentation. We worked on the Boudin Sourdough Bread Museum in San Francisco.

It doesn’t really stand up there with the Getty when you look at equals, but we have done a lot of work in Silicon Valley on high resolution imaging of graphics. I knew in reading about the Getty that this was at the time Getty was developing Getty Images, which if you use that as a resource, they were starting to collect imagery and share that with the world through the Internet. So, I knew that their IT and their CIO (Their Chief Information Officer) had a passion for digital imagery.

We ultimately submitted our, as you do, we state our qualifications. A couple of months later, we got a notification that we were one of six firms. I was number four in the interview list. Not the place you want to be. If you’ve done many interview lists, you’d really like to be number one or number six in this case. You want to have the first impression or the last impression because the middle…

When you look at our firms in professional services, architecture, engineering, and construction, quite honestly, to most clients we look at the same. It’s hard to differentiate. You really have to have a good story that resonates and they remember when you leave the room after the interview.

So, knowing that we had such limited museum qualifications but had a lot of facilities designs that we worked on that had elements of high resolution graphical imagery for companies like Apple, IBM, and Oracle in those days – the early Silicon Valley, the growth of Silicon Valley where we were at the heart of that – I presented that as our qualifications in our forty-five-minute presentation. Fifteen minutes of Q&A, typical interview scenario.

It was interesting because the selection panel was made up of three people from the Getty: the Head of Real Estate, the Chief Information Officer, and the Getty’s Project Manager. Then, on the architectural side, Richard Meier’s Office, was Michael Palladino who’s the Design Director for the Los Angeles office of Richard Meier, Don Barker who was the Managing Principal, and Rick Irving who was the Head of the Interiors Group in Meier’s office.

So, the six of them, they listened to my presentational background, they had a [Inaudible] then they asked a lot of questions. The conversation went an hour. I had a forty-five minute… We were already at, like, an hour and fifteen, so I’m thinking this is good. It’s always a good thing when you run long and you’ve engaged them in some way.

I will tell that I knew one person on the selection committee. I didn’t know I knew that person until I walked in to the room. The Head of Real Estate was a gentleman named Kurt Williams, and had been the Head of Facilities and Real Estate at Stanford. He had been my client on a project when I did the consulting for the Graduate School of Business at Stanford a few years prior.

So, we had a working relationship. I knew he liked the work I did because it was at the time when I transitioned firms. When I left the firm in L.A. to go to the firm in San Francisco, he insisted that the firm in L.A. continue to use me and subcontract the work for being on Stanford even though I was no longer with their firm. I stayed through the completion of the Stanford project. So, we had a good working relationship.

Needless to say, the interview ran and the Getty people put their heads together. I watched them have a side conversation. They said, “Could you excuse us for a minute?” The Meier people said, “Sure,” and they got up and left. I’m scratching my head and going, “Okay, what’s this mean?” because I’ve never seen this before. They were gone for a few minutes.

Then, they came back in and they said, “You know, we’ve decided that we really like what Craig has said and what his firm does because he’s illustrated in his projects and his process a way about thinking about technology planning for this building that we had not been exposed to.

We looked through everyone else’s qualifications involved, they’re all really good. No one speaks to what we want to achieve the way that he has. We’ve decided that we’re going to hire him now, so you can cancel the last two interviews.”

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the next, but fifth interview was the gentleman who I worked for, actually, the President of the company I worked for in L.A. He was from New York. My former boss called me the next week and said he couldn’t have been prouder; that, if he was going to lose it without ever getting interviewed, I was the one who won.

Enoch: Good guy.

Craig: But, it was a good case of a marketing strategy when you identify a client that you want to work with: The importance of getting to know what’s important to that client as you send them information to keep you on their radar, and to inform them about trends or information that will help them think about their project differently.

Enoch: Two questions on that, Craig.

Craig: Yeah, sure.

Enoch: Tell me about the thought process of being able to understand so deeply your client. Secondly, the thought process of innovation. So, now you understand the need, how do you come up with that innovative solution?

Craig: Okay, sure. Well, we’re an interesting case and a niche within the architectural industry in that we are the technology for video and audio – how we communicate with media in our spaces, how we collaborate. That’s a good thing. If you are a generalist architect, it’s a little harder to say, “What am I going to do?” but you can still follow these same ideas.

I started reading about the Getty, what was in the press, what was on there, what was available from them. They have an existing small museum. I don’t know if you’re aware of that, down in Malibu, the old…

Enoch: Yup, been there. Beautiful. Getty Villa.

Craig: Yeah. So, I visited that. Got the books on the Getty, read about that. I realized that they had published things about Getty Images and the idea of having this collection of digital imagery that would be available on the Internet that was just starting in those days. If you think about it, this is in the early 1990s and 1980s. The Internet really became public in the late 80’s after DARPA.

Because we were working with all of these companies in the Valley, Silicon Valley, that would also say “We need to present better.” That was the innovation. We were going to be ahead of… The Valley’s always been ahead of the rest of the corporate America in corporate thinking, institutional thinking, about how to advance the experience of the visitor.

It’s a really unique case when you deal with the entrepreneurial thinking. It’s really true today as well. We have Google as a client. Seeing what they’re doing around their facilities around the U.S. – very similar. They’re doing the same thing. “How can we engage, provide an experience for our clients when they come to our facilities that reinforces our brand as innovators?”

So, I took the same thought. What is it that I can send to them? I was sending them things about, “Here are new facilities that these companies are building that exemplify the way we communicate or the way we collaborate on how we present and how we work.”

The Silicon Valley had started a process called “Executive Briefings” where instead of them coming to you to sell, the way most of us do – go knock on a door and tell our story – Silicon Valley has started a process of bringing the clients to them and have them experience what it’s like at Apple. “A day in the life at Apple,” or “A day in the life at Oracle.” That was a really interesting twist.

It was just a regular, ongoing communication. You have to remember the timing of this. Much of what we take for granted in technology, the ability that we have to have this conversation over Skype – live, real time – was much harder to do in those days. Video conferencing have been around but wasn’t as robust, the network speeds were not necessarily guaranteed as they are today.

I knew that Bruce Briggs, who was the CIO, the Chief Information Officer for the Getty, had come from UCLA. I had friends at UCLA. They had talked about how he had been engaged in upgrading the network at UCLA, so I knew network speed and network configuration, the IT side and what we do, the pathways in which all the signal travels was an important aspect.

So, I started sharing information in our presentation about the trend towards optical fiber as the pathway. That we were not going be on copper anymore, we’re going to be – just that one step. Quite honestly, I’m five years ahead of being able to do that when I’m saying this. It’s like the old AT&T commercials where they would show some science fiction room and they say, “Do you want to do this? Can you do it? No. But, when you will be able to do it, AT&T will do it for you.” That was the model.

We often talk in our practice as technology visionaries, about writing science-fiction. We want to write, tell stories that are true but are just a stretch enough that a building that is being designed today will have this capability five years for now. That capability may not be available right now, but it will be at some point. We want to plan the infrastructure to support that. That’s been the pitch all along in what makes our little niche in the architectural industry so unique.

Enoch: Well, you did mention something earlier that ties in well to what you’re saying now, Craig, the concept of the story.

Craig: Right.

Enoch: You said you need to have a story. So, what you just crafted for us was a story, talking about how you developed that story, and how you paint a picture of something that happens in the future.

Craig: Right. There’s an old saying that says, “Facts tell, but stories sell.” Many firms, when they market their practice will go in and say, “We’re a hundred years old.” “We have five hundred people.” “We’ve done ten thousand projects, and 50 million sq. ft.” and, you know, the client’s going, yawn, “So, what’s in it for me?”

The stories are always about this challenge that was faced, the features of the solution, and the benefits. I think that’s the most important part – the benefits of that solution to the client. When you can craft those together and, even more specially, if you can have testimonials from that end-user client about what that benefit was, where they’re speaking to the benefit, that’s a powerful advertising for your practice.

I see that in the better architectural firms that we worked with. We worked with hundreds of firms every year and they all go through the same process of responding to an RFQ, submitting their pretty book of great pictures and stories in some fashion, and then having to get up and tell the story in front of a selection committee to win the work, and then, ultimately, negotiate an appropriate fee for that work. You can speak for the small practices. We don’t do a lot of work with the under ten population firms. We do some… But, that’s a process that’s pretty common through the industry for many projects particularly in the larger public sector.

Enoch: Craig, as someone who isn’t working currently in an architecture firm but is an architect, you’re uniquely positioned to be able to work with a lot of these different firms.

Craig: Right.

Enoch: Can you talk to me about your perception of what these firms are doing well that you think others should be emulating?

Craig: Sure. When you look at the really exemplar firms, they are the ones that are sharing thought leadership. They’re providing information on their websites or through their various social media outreach programs on trends and buildings, every benchmark issue…

A benchmark, to me, is a really key issue. When you can tell a client, “If you are planning to do a new city library, here are the last five city libraries that have been done in the United States, here’s what they cost, and here are the features that made them unique and what their communities thought about them,” that gives the client a lot of confidence that you can replicate that experience with them; that they’re not going to go down a rabbit hole of over-budget, or overextended schedule, or a project that isn’t actually what they wanted at that time.

I don’t want rattle off all the names, but the top firms all share that common model. You look at their websites, you see that they share information well and they focus on the visual imagery of their projects.

I’d say we all, in terms of the architectural industry, design beautiful buildings. It’s one of the things that keep us in architecture. I think you would probably agree. It’s the experience of seeing what we have done, built, and standing in the landscape. There are so many bad buildings out there that are just built for strip malls and all that other crap, but there are so many good ones that show what architecture can do.

We do a lot of work in higher education. That’s a building type that really engages the users because students, faculty, administration all interact in those spaces. The activity levels that you see in a well-designed space that really works well really shows off what architecture can do.

Enoch: What innovations are you seeing right now in higher education?

Craig: Oh, there is definitely a trend towards, what we call, “Student-centered learning.”

Enoch: As opposed to?

Craig: Didactic. We had lecture halls or classrooms of rows and tables, much like the elementary school and high school experience we had, at least my generation. I think probably of your generation as well.

Enoch: Mine too.

Craig: We have seen a trend in the last ten years towards team-based learning, much like an architectural studio. I think the one thing I’d make a comment of when we’re working with schools of education and schools of Science and Engineering is that they’re all starting to adopt the studio model that architecture is thought most of our career (except for that art history class we have to take in the dark where they show the two images of ancient Roman art and mid-century Renaissance or something).

What’s happening is, in these programs, there are two and three, or, actually, three to six-person teams working on a project in class where they’ve actually taken the lecture online the night before. It’s the “Flipped classroom.” I don’t know if you’ve heard of that term.

The flip classroom model is that I take my lecture online and I come to class. I do my homework in a team. That homework is much like a lab experience where we’re actually doing a small research project within the hour or ninety minutes of the class time and we present that at the end of the class to our other cohorts in the class. So, the students are not only learning applied research and cognitive thinking, they’re learning how to communicate and present their findings to a group so they get more comfortable in standing in front of groups and presenting.

It’s a really unique experiential change in the learning model. It started about ten years with North Carolina State and is now sweeping the country. We have not worked on a project in the last three years where the focus wasn’t on student-centric learning. This change of classroom design is impacting classes everywhere.

I just had a conversation yesterday with an architect in Minneapolis who’s doing a university in Cost Rica. They have the same concept there. The schools that are working with the local Costa Rica adjacent university – it’s a U.S./ University of Costa Rica collaboration – are wanting to model these active learning models that are happening in the U.S.

The reason why it’s important, and it has a little less to do with architecture though it does impact the architecture, is it has greater student learning outcomes. It means that you’re getting better grades and are performing at a higher level at a lower cost to the university because we’re putting more students through [Inaudible]

Enoch: Fascinating.

Craig: It’s changing. What’s happening though is it’s, architecturally, it’s not just classroom buildings anymore. These kind of collaborative spaces are popping up. What used to be the library is now called the “Learning Commons” The books are becoming digitized. The physical books are going away, or being radically reduced, or being archived with robotic systems to bring them up to the student if they need a physical book.

The rest of the library is now a place to go work with your team in a variety of ways that are media-centric. They will have Skype connections to experts, we could call anywhere in the world. These are places we can build media.

If you look at North Carolina State’s JB Hunt library, which was completed this year, it’s a great example of that kind of space – really innovative, lots of technology. If you’re familiar with touch screens, if you’re using a touch screen on your tablet, take that and buy steroids, blow it up to something that’s 20 ft. long and 5 ft. high, and now I have an interactive multi-touch blackboard effectively where I can have four or five students working on a model on a screen that they can then share, save, and present to their faculty and their friends.

Enoch: It’s incredible to get a picture of the future there.

Craig, I’m looking at my notes here and I’m seeing a pattern of you being put in the leadership positions from a very early age. You talked about how a few years in of working for a firm in L.A. you were promoted to run the office.

Craig: Yeah.

Enoch: What would you say is it about your particular characteristics, the way you think, that suits you well for that kind of path?

Craig: Thanks, Enoch. I’ve looked at that too. I’m always amazed because somebody taps you on the shoulder and said, “Hey, we want you to go run L.A.” At that time, that was the first experience of that. I have been a project manager out of school for this firm, and I had fun…

Enoch: What did they see in you that they didn’t see in others?

Craig: What they saw and they said… I was in a small office, we were fifty people. I was one of seven project managers managing multiple projects. They said, “You have the best client relations based on referral work. We have more of your clients coming back to us for more work than we have from any of the other project managers combined,” which was, kind of, interesting. I was really not even self aware that I was doing that. I thought maybe it’s work ethic or the way… It’s that beach… I grew up at the beach in California. It’s that beach boy work ethic, “Yeah, Let’s go surfing.”

No, but I was always focused on providing value to our clients. Responsiveness, to me… Something my father taught me was if someone asks you for something and you are able to provide them with that information, don’t wait. Give them that information. So, always, responsiveness has been a key part of my practice.

I’ve always focused on the value of that. So, I will take the time, if I don’t know something, to do the research in to that before I’ll share. They’re coming to consultants, whether you’re an architect, or a consultant like us, or an engineer, for help. The more you can provide… If you [Inaudible] knowledge you don’t know, you can take the time and get smarter and share with them relevant information.

So, those two things: Responsiveness sand valuable information – have, over the years, been a characteristic. People said, “We look to Craig as the guy who knows stuff.” I’ve been in the architectural field for all of my career, but I’ve also been in the technology side of the practice for all of my career. I write, as you know, for a number of magazines. I write for the technology magazines about marketing professional services and I write for the marketing magazines about technology. So, I’ve always had this, sort of, split personality of geek and strategist.

Enoch: Craig, how do you stay abreast to have so much valuable information? What do you do in your personal life to make sure that you’re on the cutting edge?

Craig: I try and carve at least an hour a day of doing web research or reading. I subscribe to a lot of journals. I take an hour before I go to bed and read at night. I’m a voracious consumer of information.

Doesn’t mean I absorb it all, but I make notes. I see what’s applicable to us… I’m blessed with a good memory. I used to say, “I’m not really smart. I just have a great memory.” But, that part of watching for the connections between new technology development and applications we use in our practice, I share this with our clients all the time.

There’s a company out of Boston called the Gartner Consulting Group. Gartner does a lot of technology research. I would look at their stuff all the time. They have what’s known as the “Tech hype curve.” If you can imagine, [Inaudible] the curve that goes up like this, and then it comes down, and drops off, is that something will be innovated, new, and get the media’s attention. It will rise to the top. Google Glass…

Enoch: So, you just illustrated for us, for those people who are listening, you illustrated a curve that goes up very sharply, peaks, and then comes down very sharply.

Craig: Right. And then trails off overtime at a middle level.

Enoch: Okay.

Craig: What happens is that someone will innovate something new. Google Glass is a good example. All of a sudden, it will get a ton of media attention and be everywhere. Then, someone will realize there actually isn’t a real application for this yet. It’s cool, but… All of a sudden, it will hit that steep dive. It could go in to what’s known as the “Trough of Disillusionment.” It will sit there until applications start to be developed where that technology is applicable and where that technology benefits the output or the result of that application. That happens all the time.

We can look at Wi-Fi, Gigabit Wi-Fi. I know, at least for me, everywhere I go the first thing I ask for is “What’s your Wi-Fi address?” Five years ago, that wasn’t the case. It wouldn’t have been in your mind. You’ll just say, “How do I connect to the Wi-Fi system here?”

So, we track all those technologies: Virtual Reality… Holography in Architecture, I think, is the really interesting coming technology that will change the way we present and market our projects. When you can walk in with a 24 in x 24 in x ¼ in square that looks like a floor tile, and shine a light on it, and the model of the building appears much like Princess Leia did…

Enoch: Every since I saw Star Wars, Craig, I’ve been wanting that.

Craig: http://www.Zebraimaging.com in Austin Texas has those available for architects for about $3,000 per model. It’s an amazing technology and very effective. I was part of a group of architects around the country that, six years ago, beta tested their technology. We did half a dozen different project models to show a building that’s using this holographic/photographic methodology.

We had them in the office and we had them in the lobby, so everybody would walk through and see them as their way in and out. I’ll tell you, the architects in the practice looked at them and go, “Eh, not really ready for primetime.” “It’s not as good as my little laser-cut basswood model,” you know, with the, sort of, precious detail that goes in to that. “It’s, kind of, fuzzy.” “It’s taller. I like that, but…”

Then, the client walked in, and the client’s first, once their jaw got off the floor was, “We want to buy one for our lobby to show our new building to our customers and our employees.” “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” I will tell you, we’ve won projects taking those…

So, still a technology in development, but a technology that has now starting to gain traction. I think you’ll see more of it. Where it’s really interesting to me is that what we’re doing right now will, at one point, be you and me, as holograms, talking to each other. Ten years from now, this will be a holographic conversation. It’s much more real when you see the three dimensions of someone.

Enoch: You mean I’ll have to wear some presentable pants, Craig? Is that what you’re saying?

Craig: Unfortunately, yeah. I’ll have to wear pants.

Enoch: That’s right. So, we talked a little bit about, kind of, the secret to being recognized as a leader, not for leadership’s sake alone, so you can give additional value to people, and really live out your purpose in life.

One of the things you mentioned was responsiveness. You gave us some great examples of client satisfaction. Tell me a little bit about your personal code of responsiveness. Do you have a certain amount of time you like to respond to emails? How do you handle the inbox and the incessant ringing of the phone?

Craig: Oh, yeah. I will tell you, today, more than ever before in our life, between our computing, our phones, our cell phones, our tables, we’re connected in ways that we may not really appreciate how connected we are.

I have always had a policy that if I can respond to a client within four hours, I will. If I can’t, I will let them know within four hours the response to their question will come within twenty-four hours. That, for me, has always been the easy rule. Because it’s easy to say, “I saw your question. I can’t get to this right now, but I will within the day.” That’s always been satisfying.

The lesson I learned early on with one of my mentors was, when we’re working on a project with a client, if we know we’re going to be late on a deliverable, tell them you know you’re going to be late. Don’t be late. You can be late, but you can only be late if you told them you’re going to be late.

If they come to you and say, “Hey, where’s the stuff? I thought it was due today,” and you say, “I’m still working on it.” That then you’ve lost trust. By establishing that proactive responsiveness, you gain trust. As you know, trust is the key to building a strong client relationship. Trust in the information you provide them, trust in the way you respond to them, trust in the information you provide them is relevant to them and meets their need.

I think, we, as architects, are creative. I’ll use the global design practices… Really, our role in life is to be creative. It’s to come up with innovative solutions that will last, prove the test of time. We’re designing 50-year buildings today, sometimes 100-year buildings if we’re lucky. Those buildings need to respond to change, and we need to think that way and communicate that way.

It’s not just a one-time deal and we walk away when the punch list is done, and “Enjoy your building, we’ll see you later.” You’ve hopefully built a lifetime relationship where whether that client has another project or not, that client will be a referral to other clients who want to do something similar.

Enoch: Craig, I think that’s a great place to end this particular episode.

Craig: Okay.

Enoch: In the next episode, I’d like to talk more about where you’re getting right now in terms of the marketing and relationship-building side of things, collaborating, and you have some great stories to tell there too. So, I encourage everyone to tune in to the next episode and continue that conversation.

Craig: Look forward to it. Thank you.

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Enoch Bartlett Sears is the founder of the Architect Business Institute, Business of Architecture and co-founder of the Architect Marketing Institute. He helps architects become category leaders in their market. Enoch hosts the #1 rated interview podcast for architects, the Business of Architecture Show where prominent guests like M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Thom Mayne share tips and strategies for success in architecture.


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