Tags: peter twohysole practitioner
Episode 094

Running a Successful Residential Design Firm with Peter Twohy – Part 2

Enoch SearsFeb 2, 2015

Peter Twohy is the principal and owner of 2e Architects based out of Baltimore, Maryland. In today's show Peter Twohy shares his best strategies for running a successful residential architecture practice.

In today's episode you'll discover:

  • How 3d images help ‘sell' architecture
  • The power of ‘before' and ‘after' architecture images
  • Learning new architects marketing strategies on ArchitectsMarketing.com

The 2e Architects office:
Peter Twohy Architect Ikea Countertop
Peter Twohy Architect Office

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Show Notes:

Interview Transcript and Members Only Resources:

[DAP errMsgTemplate=”SHORT”]
Enoch: Hello and welcome back, Architect Nation. This is Enoch Sears. This is the show where we talk about tips and strategies for running a successful and profitable architecture practice.

Generous support is provided for today’s show by BQE Software, the makers of ArchiOffice.

ArchiOffice is the office and project management software built specifically for architects. If you’re a start up firm, you can get up to two seats of the software absolutely free for a full year if you’re a startup firm. I encourage you to go check that out. Once again, thanks for supporting Business of Architecture.

Today, we’re going to continue our conversation with architect Peter Twohy. Peter is the owner and Principal of 2E-Architects based out of Baltimore, Maryland. This coming April 1st will mark ten years in business of Peter’s firm, Peter’s practice.

So, Peter, welcome back to the show.

Peter: Thanks, Enoch.

Enoch: So, congratulations. Ten years is a big year. One thing we left off in the last episode, which was just a few minutes ago, you talked about, “Listen. I’m a sole-practitioner. I’ve been doing this for myself for, you know, almost ten years now,” let’s talk a little bit about scale in the office. You were talking about how you, right now, have too much work and you’re thinking about what it might take to get an employee or have someone to help you with your work. What’s going on right now in that regard and your thoughts?

Peter: Right. So, for me, I use ArchiCAD, right? That’s a very important part of my business and it’s on the website. Visualizing in three dimensions, to help my clients do that, ArchiCAD – I know Revit does a similar thing and there are others that do that too, but ArchiCAD is the one I know and it’s the one I use, so any employee would have to be an expert at that.

What I’ve started now is I’ve hired an architect who now helps me get that work done. He is better at ArchiCAD than I am. That’s like a step in that direction of hiring somebody. I contract him out for fifteen hours a week. He helps me immeasurably to get through this work that I have, which, again, it leaves me to just be able to have more clients, so that’s good.

Right now, I’m at that point where should I… Again, I think the economy has turned, finally, the phone is ringing, the Internet marketing is working, the “1 from 2E Architects” is working, the home show work is very steady, so it’s pretty easy to sit in on one side to hire somebody – I’ve just never done it. I know there are a lot of questions and I’m really just at the beginning stages of asking those questions. I don’t know what the answers are going to be and frankly I don’t even know what all of the questions are.

I told you before, my mentor Bruce Finkelstein, I’m having lunch with him next week. These are the questions that I’m going to be asking because he’s had employees, and he’s the one who jumpstarted my firm, and he’s going to talk about the pros and cons of both. I’m looking forward to that. I’ll let you know.

Enoch: Excellent. Wow. We look forward to hearing that. Well, let’s talk about time a little bit as a sole-proprietor. I know, just in my experience, being a sole practitioner, I personally don’t see how it’s possible to do everything that’s needed to run a really profitable firm as a sole-practitioner without some help.

So, let’s look at the previous ten years and just tell me how you manage your time and where you find most of your time spent in terms of running the practice.

Peter: Right. When I started ten years was with Bruce and Kitty. Kitty did absolutely everything that wasn’t design or work in the field. She even met initial potential clients, which is an enormous amount of time just answering the phone. You can imagine the phone calls I would get. One – I’m not making this one up, by the way – one person wanted to know if I would go out to his house to see if I could make a dormer bigger in the house, an existing dormer bigger. “Yes, I can,” but I don’t have time,” you know?

Enoch: Yeah.

Peter: Now, this person wants to tell me all about architects – whatever. I know, by the end of the phone conversation, I’m not doing anything. I want to be helpful and I know this person is going to talk about this experience to somebody, maybe. I wanted it to be not a negative experience for him, but, at the same time, it’s a complete non-starter for me.

I’ve had questions about basement windows and I refer people to ScapeWEL, which is a decent product that can help them, but I’m not interested. I find it kind of amazing, by the way, that people call architects for those projects. Ninety percent though, I think is a minimum, when they have a real project, they call a contractor first even though the contractor really can’t do much for them until they have a drawing, not even a legitimate cost estimate, really. What’s going to happen by the time the design is finished? I never know.

To this day a lot of my referral work from contractors. I actively treat them really, really well for several reasons. One: They absolutely deserve it. They’re extremely talented, they work very hard, and they’re really smart, so they deserve it.

I remember when I was a young architect – I was probably about thirty, so I wasn’t that young – my new boss and I went out on site and the contractor had a question. He said, again, I’m not exaggerating by even a little bit, he said, “Any deviations from these drawings will be a deviation for the worse. All you need to do is build it exactly the way it’s drawn and not ask any questions.”

I thought this guy’s a hero. He’s a real architect and that’s exactly an architect should respond to any kind of question like that. It then it took me about a year, and I’m giving myself the benefit of that, it might have been two years, to figure out how just insanely wrong that was. It took that long, but I thought about it because I was proud of him at the time.

Then, now, I look back at it and say, “That’s a valuable resource,” who cares about the project, specially in residential design. The contractors are in the residential arena for the exact same reason that an architect would be. The opposite’s also true. If they’re not in residential design, it’s for the same reason, and that is you like the personal connection. If you want that, then you’re residential. If you don’t, then you’re commercial. It’s the same for architects, the same for contractors, so they will want to do the best job they can and they want to help.

So, for me, I’m looking for their advice. I’m looking for what they can bring to a project. If I think their idea is every bit as good as my idea, not better, but every bit as good, I want to use their idea because then I know they get invested in the project. It’s a marketing strategy, really, what it comes down to, but it’s in the reverse though. In other words, it’s not really a marketing strategy, but it ended up being one. Again, I’m getting a lot of referrals from contractors and I like it that way.

Enoch: Do you have any special procedures you do with contractors? How early do you bring them in to the process? Do you do any sort of preliminary pricing or anything like that?

Peter: That’s a good question. The second best way to do a project, in my opinion… The second best way is the way I do it, most of the time, which is you do the conceptual design, which, for me, is the floor plan’s pretty well square away, not a hundred, but they’re 90-whatever percent, and then one elevation. So, it’s a front elevation if it’s a new construction. It might be the back elevation if it’s an addition or whatever.

That gives the contractor an idea of size, it gives them an idea of quality, and it gives them an idea of complexity and detail. Then, they do a cost estimate from that. It slows down the project and it takes usually somewhere between two and four weeks to get a good estimated cost of construction.

It’s a cold shower normally. Normally, it’s more money than people thought it was going to be, but it’s early in the project. So, I divide up the contract in to three equal parts: conceptual design, developed design, and then construction drawings. Then, 1/3rd of the way through we’ve got a pretty good cost estimate. I have several contractors that will guarantee that number within 10% or something like that. So, that’s the second best way to do it. It’s a great way, but it’s only the second best way.

The best way is to have the contractor and the architect on board at the very, very beginning. So, now, we’re all a team, but the only way to do that is you have to know and love your contractor because the architect’s commission isn’t nothing, but it’s peanuts compared to what you’re going to be paying that contractor. So, you have to know and love that contractor because the project starts. Most people can’t. They just can’t do that unless they’ve known that contractor, they’ve worked with them before on that kind of thing. If you’re in that boat, that’s the right boat to be in, but, again, the second best way is a pretty good way.

Enoch: So, when the contractors give you those initial estimates, you’re not paying them for that and they’re just saying, “Hey, here’s my bid. This doesn’t commit you to using me in the future”?

Peter: Right. It’s not a bid, it’s an estimate.

Enoch: Correct.

Peter: Yes, but it’s a pretty close estimates. Again, these are contractors I’ve worked with for decades, some. I’m working with a client right now who has an estimate from one contractor I’ve never worked with and one I have. I said the one I’ve never worked with, that might be a great estimate, all that, but it really doesn’t mean much to me because I don’t know what that is because I’ve never worked with them before. The one I have worked with, I know exactly what it is.

So, we could talk all you want about the first one, but I can’t add anything to it. My client and I have the same amount of expertise on that number, but the second one, now I’ve got some expertise on it. I know exactly what that means. It makes a difference.

Enoch: How do you help clients choose a contractor? What’s that process like?

Peter: Yeah. I, kind of, feel a little Yenta at times…

Enoch: Like a what?

Peter: Yenta the Matchmaker.

Enoch: Yeah, Fiddler on the Roof, okay.

Peter: I tell them it’s a little bit like a James Bond movie. You don’t go in to a James Bond movie wondering if, with about eight seconds left on the timer, James is going to save the world or not. Of course he is. You’re not even wondering if after that he’s going to get the girl. Of course he is. But, how that all happens is why you go to a James Bond movie.

It’s the same thing with contractors. You’re not wondering whether or not they can build it. Of course they can. You’re not wondering whether or not it’ll be great when it’s done. Of course it will. What you are wondering is that process.

People’s personalities make a big difference. So, I tell people to weight the contractors, interview three, if they’re going to do the second best way to do this, interview three. If they don’t like one of them off the bat, interview a fourth – some people want to do more anyway. I don’t think it’s that beneficial. But, five always seem like too much, two is never enough, so three or four.

Then, rate them one to four, however, before the numbers come in. Be brutal. Give them a one, two, three, and four, and there are no ties. Then, the numbers come in. We see, normally, number one is… Again, the contractors change. In other words, sometimes contractor A is less money than contractor B, and sometimes vice-versa, and then C, the same thing.

So, I never know where the bids are going to come in, but I do tell them that, it’s just like Murphy’s Law, the number one is not going to be the least expensive. Then, you have some choices. Sometimes number two is saving enough money and was close enough to number one that it’s worth it, but if that relationship isn’t right, then it never gets better.

Years ago, I had somebody choose a contractor… I go over this carefully because of this experience. So, they saved a $1,000 on a $100,000 project, so 1%. They chose a contractor they didn’t like because he was the least expensive. They chose him – a $1,000 difference. By the end, I had to stand in between the two of them – they wouldn’t speak to each other. The contractor would say, “We have to move that window because…” whatever. Then, I would say, “The contractor said we have to move this window because…” and then she would say to me, “Well, we can’t move that window because of this.”

Enoch: Oh, wow.

Peter: It was awful. It was, again, a personality thing. Neither person was good or bad; their personalities completely conflicted with each other. You just never want that. It’s not beneficial to you. It’s not beneficial to them. It’s just bad all the way around. So, the choice of a contractor is one of, if not the most important aspects of any residential project.

Enoch: Your approach sounds like a very consultory process, coming as their advisers. I’m sure a lot of architects take that approach.

Peter: Right.

Enoch: You know, “Here are the facts. I’m here to assist you and help you, but I can’t make the decision for you.”

Peter: Yeah. I also make sure that the bids are apples to apples. Again, one time one of my contractors, who was normally on the lower side was on the higher side. I was looking through the bids and I didn’t see anything different about it. So, I called him, and we’re talking, and I told him that he was the high bidder which has never happened before. He goes, “Well, I wonder if it had anything to do with the basement they asked me to add in there,” which I didn’t see in his numbers. I’m looking for something like that.

So, he, “Yeah. So, I put in a number.” Then, I found it after he said it. It was like $20,000 for this basement. That was part of the reason that he was so high. Nobody else had that. They didn’t mention it to anybody else. They didn’t mention it to me. So, it’s just one of those experiences just trying to make sure that it’s all apples to apples as much as it can be.

Enoch: So, Peter. We started out talking a little bit about time constraints, about productivity. You’ve been a big time ArchiCAD user for a long time.

Peter: Right.

Enoch: One of the things that I’ve always thought about BIM is that it could be a potential time saver. Do you find that it actually does help you in terms of time of construction drawings or are there other benefits?

Peter: Well, the huge benefit is you made this 3D model. I sent you some images. The 3D model is critical that my clients fully understand their project before we start building. So, I don’t try to do one or two renderings per project or even three or four. My goal is, and I say this, it’s unlimited, right? I make this model and I put a camera in a certain spot, wherever they want it to be, inside, outside, anywhere around the home.

The most someone’s ever asked for was forty. So, I did forty renderings for one home. Because that model is made… I have to make the model to get the permanent drawings because it is not only the plans, but also the sections, and the elevations. I have to draw the model the right way. There are a couple of little tricks that are technical that make the model better than the minimum. I’m not trying to do a beautiful artistic rendering. I’m trying to give the whole picture to my clients.

I worked with ArchiCAD in my previous firm for ten years.

Enoch: Wow.

Peter: Yeah, which is why I wanted to use it for mine because I was extremely familiar with it. When I started with ArchiCAD twenty years ago, I was horrific at it. I was using it as a 2D drafting tool and it doesn’t even work that way. You’ve used Revit, right?

Enoch: Correct, yup.

Peter: So, trying to draw elevations with Revit as a 2D drafting tool and not using the modeling at all was what I was doing for a year or so. At least I learned, right? You can get the model to be so good that from any place you can do a camera view.

One story, a client of mine, her name is Karen. We were talking about a pendant light over the breakfast room. She chose a beautiful pendant light that was about half as small as it needed to be. So, I said, “Wow. This is the best pendant on the planet. It’s still not big enough, so we can’t even consider it, unfortunately.” So, we had to pick a different one.

Then, she asked, “Well, what about this view from the kitchen in to the family room?” I said, “Well, had to have shown you that.” She said, “I don’t think you have.” I looked back in the plan and all these little camera icons are exactly where the views are. Sure enough, she was right. I hadn’t, which was kind of bad. Looking from the kitchen in to the family room is a pretty typically view that people want to see.

So, I made it right there on the fly. We’re still on the phone. I did a screenshot and sent it to her, email. She opens up her email, “Oh, Peter, it’s beautiful.” Was that a question? Of course it’s beautiful. But, it was that fast – seconds. That’s the only way to do this in my opinion. Again, I would say, like, 90% of my clients tell me straight off that they can’t visualize in 3d at all and I think the other 10% are lying. They really can’t.

As an architect I can’t ever remember not being able to visualize in 3D. It’s the one talent I actually have. It’s hard for me to imagine not having this ability like it would be hard for me to imagine not breathing. It’s that natural to me. I always have to think extra about… Well, okay. They’re I can understand this, so I need another 3D view here and another one there.

What I love about the renderings is they are, kind of, in a way, a worst case scenario. The renders are not intended to beautify or make it more beautiful than it could possibly be – it’s not an artistic… But, then when you put the after photo right next to it, they line up exactly. It’s because my rendering is the construction drawing. They’re the same thing. So, if the contractor built it the way it’s drawn, which they do because they don’t have any other real options, the roof height is the roof height. It’s remarkable sometimes.

Now that I have a couple of these things done… I’ve been doing this for about, maybe, five years this way at the most. Now, the early ones are done and built, and photographed, so we just put one right next to the other, and they line up exactly. It gives my current clients – they look back and they say, “Okay, I get it. This, that I see now, is going to really look more like this photo.” That helps.

The first ones were harder because I’d say, “Yeah. Yeah, this looks great. I guarantee it looks great,” but they would see just the rendering, which looks good, but it doesn’t look great. You know what I mean?

Enoch: [sponsor] Hey, Architect Nation. It is great to have you listening in today.

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Now, back to our show. [sponsor]

Yeah. We’re going to put all these on my blog. If you don’t mind, I’ll put them on Business of Architecture.

Peter: Yeah, please do.

Enoch: These are some just great, great images. You sent me, I don’t know, fourteen or fifteen images here, maybe more than that. You have a before picture, you have a rendering picture, and they’re all taken from the same viewpoint, and then you have the after image.

Peter: These are one of those things that get under my skin sometimes. They can’t imagine what I could do, so therefore they do nothing.

Enoch: Yeah.

Peter: Well, wait a minute. Just because you can’t imagine what I could come up with doesn’t mean I can’t imagine it. Again, that’s the one talent I have.

So, for me, I use these as marketing as well. I show people the befores, the renderings, and the afters just so that they get it in their mind that, oh, I can do a lot more than what they can imagine. That’s what I want them to know. That’s why they hired me, like any architect, it’s the same.

Enoch: I love that. Peter I don’t know if you’re aware, a couple of weeks ago I interviewed Robert Ivy, the CEO of the AIA. He came on the show to talk about the new AIA campaign. They’re titling it “I Look Up.”

A very aspirational campaign about the metaphor of looking up at the art, etc. The stated goal of that is to improve the public perception of what architects do and the value that architects add as designers and as professionals.

Peter: Right.

Enoch: There’s this divide between the sole practitioning residential architects and then the more corporate institutional architects that seem to be more in line with what the AIA generally puts out there – so sort of this divide that we all know about.

There are a lot of interesting comments. Thank you for all those of you who came on the blog and posted your reaction to that. Robert Ivy is actually going to come back and hopefully address some of that from the AIA’s perspective.

One thing I got just from looking at your images, and that’s why I mentioned it, Peter, is because just looking at these images, I’m able to see the value that you provide as an architect.

Peter: Well, thank you.

Enoch: I can definitely see how powerful this would be, like you said, to help someone understand, who’s not a professional, that there are things that you can do with their house that they cannot even imagine.

Peter: For me, though, the quality that I think is the most essential quality that I have (might be two of them) is just listening. So, for me, you can see in my projects, they don’t all look alike.

Enoch: No.

Peter: They’re very, very much focused on the aesthetic of my client. I get like this little Christmas gift every time I get a new client. I open it up and find out what the aesthetic I’m going to be working on now is.

What I do then is make that aesthetic as beautiful as it can be but also practical because it’s, you know, again, it can’t be… Practicality, for me, specially when you design a home, it’s really, in some ways, a machine that you live in. So, kitchens, they either work or they don’t. If they don’t, that’s bad, right?

Things like locations of powder rooms. I remember being in a house where if you were seated on the toilet and the door were open, you could see the T.V. in the family room. It was awful because, of course, you can hear everything and all that kind of stuff. The worst conceivable location for a powder room and they found it.

We were able to change that, but people don’t even know – “You could move a powder room?” “Yeah, pretty easily.”

Enoch: Yeah.

Peter: But, it’s for them. I’m not trying to design a house that I would move in to tomorrow because I’m not moving in to their house tomorrow. So, for me, that listening, and then figuring out what that aesthetic is and how to make it better than they can ever make it themselves. That’s what I do.

Enoch: Excellent. I’m just going to talk about some of the images here. I’m looking at this one that’s labeled “K & J.” It looks like, sort of, a, kind of, Cape Cod knock off style house – the original. Then, I flip over to the rendering, and you’ve gone with a very nice bat and board vertical with some stone wainscoting around the bottom, and you’ve added an entry.

As an architect, I can see what’s going on here. I see how you’ve broken up the massing. I can see how you’ve pronounced the entry and given it a lot of focus by adding this beautiful timber entry portico. You’ve given it some hierarchy by raising and enlarging one of the dormers.

Peter: Correct. I enlarged all the dormers, but I raised the height on the middle one.

Enoch: Do you explain to your clients what’s going on here, why it looks so nice? When they look at it, they probably think, “Wow, that’s incredible.” Do you tell them, “Hey, listen, the reason why we’re doing this is because of this”? How much of the education does it go in to what these images show here?

Peter: I probably did more of that earlier. It’s a little bit like going to a restaurant. You go to this great restaurant, and it’s all organic, whatever. You get this meal that’s unbelievable. You don’t then ask the cook, “Well, wait a minute. How much exactly cumin did you put in here?”

So, I used to do more education than I do now, but what I try to do is get a real good feel for everyone’s aesthetic even if they can’t name it. You know, like, “I want to do a mid-century modern,” it’s pretty easy to name that one.

Karen’s was harder because it wasn’t really quite a specific style. She wanted her house to be very casual, but at the same time, very elegant. It can be polar opposites. Elegant could be Versailles on the extreme end, but that’s not casual in anyone’s book. That would be the opposite of casual. Every decision we made was: How is this casual and how is this elegant at the same time?

So, we chose this… She said, “It was, kind of, like a Maryland farm house, isn’t it?” I said, “No. Maryland farmhouse isn’t elegant enough.” It’s not unelegant, but it’s not elegant enough. A week later she comes back, “It’s really a Maryland horse farm, isn’t it?” I said, “Yes, that’s what it is. That’s exactly our style.” So, we ended up doing that kind of thing, but I don’t tell people why I’m accentuating the entrance or that kind of thing. They just know that it looks and feels great and we go on from there.

Enoch: They just get it. Excellent.

There’s a remarkable transformation here. I encourage those of you who are listening. Go check out this episode, episode 94 with Peter Twohy. Take a look at the way he’s presented these images because I think you really have to see it to understand what a powerful visual tool this is.

When I was looking at these, I’m like, “Jeez, I’m going to have Peter take a look at my house.” The transformations in some of these are remarkable. That’s pretty good coming from one architect to another, you know. He shows a lot of versatility here with different styles, but then just great buildings, Peter.

Peter: Thank you. I always thought the versatility part, I think I have, probably, “attention deficit aesthetic syndrome.” So, I really am looking forward to the next aesthetic.

I’ve done a house not too long ago. This couple, very young couple, both of them not even thirty, I believe, came in to my office and said they wanted a mid-18th century Greek revival. So, I joked in the office before they were a client, I said, “Well, a late 18th century Greek revival wouldn’t be good enough?” They’re jaws, kind of, fell and they said, “No, not even close.”

I looked it up after and, of course, now I know. The late 18th century, they were really McMansion-y, but mid or early 18th century Greek revival were very simple homes that were also very, very elegant, not casual, but very, very elegant. So, we designed that for them. It’s a beautiful little house. It’s almost done.

Enoch: I love it. Maybe you can share some picture of that when you get that up, Peter, and we’ll put it on there so people can see that.

So, Peter, just to finish up, tell me a little bit about any tools or resources that you found useful for helping you achieve what you have with ArchiCAD, using that as a tool.

Peter: Yeah. It’s training. Maybe it’s not as difficult for the younger generation to think of the conceiving of their building as a model as opposed to a drawing. When I was growing and we did plans, and sections, and [Inaudible 00:31:30] and it all took time. You would overlay one piece of the trace paper, or vellum, or mylar on to another, so it took awhile to transfer all that knowledge.

It’s really the model. I’m spending time on the model from day one. I don’t do anything other than the model, and then we keep adding detail to it. So, the training for that. You have to be an expert with that tool in the same way a contractor is – they’re an expert at the tools they use. This is just another tool.

Again, I like ArchiCAD. I’ve also used Revit, but it was more than twenty years ago when I was in Germany – that firm used Revit – so I really don’t have any comment. AutoCAD, which was the industry standard for years, probably still is, I find to be almost useless if it’s still the 2D drafting tool that it was back then. I hear they keep adding the 3D element, but, again, I haven’t used it in probably fifteen years. So, for me, it’s making sure that you’re up to date and an expert. Not just good, but an expert at whatever tool it is. Again, mine’s ArchiCAD, so I am, and that’s made all the difference.

Again, ten years ago, I was very good at ArchiCAD, but not an expert. I took some courses. Eric Bobrow gives them. I took his courses. I’m way better because of his teachings and because of the time I put in, but you know, again, his teachings. So, you know, I can do this now.

Enoch: Excellent.

Peter: Just one more thing. I see a lot of these 3D drawings and they look like computer games. You’ve probably seen them as well. I can’t really show those to clients because they can’t make the jump from this computer game – ArchiCAD will make a computer game-looking rendering if you let it, and I’m sure Revit does sort of the same thing. I find it to be not helpful for the clients, again, because that’s all we do. We’re trying to make their dream come through and their dream better than they ever hoped it could be, but it’s for their imagination.

I always looked at these drawings and Kitty would yell at me if I ever even thought about showing it to a client. They just weren’t good enough because they have too much, sort of, baggage. They look like the old Doom, or Quake, or whatever. There’s going to be a space alien right around that corner and we’re going to have to shoot it – so, getting the view to look right.

The story I tell people is when I was worked for that other company using ArchiCAD, I showed my boss one of these. He said, “Peter, this looks like crap,” so I went back to my desk. I knew it looked great, and I just traced it. The rendering that I’ve just done, just traced it and put it on his desk. That’s a two and half hours, it was a big rendering. Then, he goes, “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Why did you even waste my time this morning?” Even he couldn’t get past how the rendering made him feel and look at what it actually was.

So, to me, the secret is finding a way to present the drawings in a way that’s aspirational enough. Again, I don’t think my renderings are beautiful, but they’re aspirational enough and I don’t think they have negative baggage with them. They don’t look like a videogame. They don’t have that feel at all. It’s not easy, but it is important. That’s what I’d say.

Enoch: Peter, do you have any parting thoughts for our listeners that you wanted to share before we end today?

Peter: I would say anyone who’s thinking about opening up their own office, one of the most important things for my success was to getting a great mentor. Again, I fell in to it, but I can’t emphasize enough how important that is. So, I would get that out first.

Again, about ten years ago, Internet marketing wasn’t really, I don’t think, important for architects. It was important for people selling other things, but not architecture. I completely disagree with that now. So, now all of my clients find me through Houzz or through my website, or referrals. Those are basically the three ways that they find me now. So, learn enough about the Internet that it becomes a tool, and then you have to use it to your advantage. I would highly recommend doing that too.

Enoch: Excellent. Thanks, Peter for joining us today. Thanks for joining us on the Business of Architecture. It’s been great having you.

Peter: Thanks, Enoch. Really appreciate it. It was fun.

Enoch: Good. Look forward to meeting in person.

Peter: Yup. It’s in like a month, right?

Enoch: Yeah, that’s right.

Peter: Perfect. Looking forward to it.

Enoch: Okay.


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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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