Episode 160

Communicating Your Value as an Architect

Enoch SearsMar 3, 2022

Are you being compensated both in recognition and money for the enormous value you bring to the table as an architect? Do your clients clearly recognize your value? Can they articulate it? Can YOU articulate it? 

Often there is a misalignment between the perception of architects and their clients in terms of value. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for design firms to have their fees questioned and examined by clients, be price-shopped, and compete with other firms on fee alone. This creates a working pressure that decreases the quality of work and creative innovation, not to mention stress and business problems for practitioners.

Ultimately, any commercial transaction is a transaction of value. Each party exchanges something of value for something they value more. Often, we think of value exchange in terms of money, but money is merely a representation of value, not value itself. The study of semiotics tells us that language is composed of signs, signifier (sound-image) and signified (mental concept).

When we examine value through the lens of semiotics, we realize that value and money are mere mental constructs. In other words, money has no inherent value, only the perception of value.

This reasoning informs how to position, describe and value architectural services. When we understand this, we realize that value is not a fixed construct, but it is something that can be molded, influenced and shaped.

In this episode, we'll discuss how to communicate your value as an architect. Stay tuned for Part II next week!

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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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