Cover image of EntreArchitect Podcast with Mark R. LePage
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Rank #117 in Design category

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EntreArchitect Podcast with Mark R. LePage

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #117 in Design category

Arts
Business
Design
Careers
Read more

Proven business strategies for architects, including financial management, profit, marketing, sales, productivity and planning. Architect Mark R. LePage explores the business of architecture, firm leadership and the everyday life of an architect. EntreArchitect Podcast features weekly interviews with inspiring, passionate people who share their knowledge and expertise… all to help you build a better business as a small firm entrepreneur architect.

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Proven business strategies for architects, including financial management, profit, marketing, sales, productivity and planning. Architect Mark R. LePage explores the business of architecture, firm leadership and the everyday life of an architect. EntreArchitect Podcast features weekly interviews with inspiring, passionate people who share their knowledge and expertise… all to help you build a better business as a small firm entrepreneur architect.

iTunes Ratings

127 Ratings
Average Ratings
114
9
1
1
2

Amazing free resource

By Chicago mies - Aug 01 2018
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Mark's podcast is such an amazing free resource for anyone running a small architecture firm or someone that wants to start one up. The guests always have something useful to contribute and Mark's no-nonsense and engaging personality really make listening to this a true delight. I'm formulating a plan to start my own firm and this podcast has been so tremendously useful. My favorite way that Mark engages a guest is that they'll often recite a bunch of generalities for how to be successful but Mark always asks pointedly "ok, so how do we do that?" It's because Mark has and is there himself running a small firm, so he gets it and gets down to it!

Constant inspiration juice

By FAHRENHEIT STUDIO - May 06 2017
Read more
Who knew ?? That one day the Heavens would open and pour out such awesomeness!

iTunes Ratings

127 Ratings
Average Ratings
114
9
1
1
2

Amazing free resource

By Chicago mies - Aug 01 2018
Read more
Mark's podcast is such an amazing free resource for anyone running a small architecture firm or someone that wants to start one up. The guests always have something useful to contribute and Mark's no-nonsense and engaging personality really make listening to this a true delight. I'm formulating a plan to start my own firm and this podcast has been so tremendously useful. My favorite way that Mark engages a guest is that they'll often recite a bunch of generalities for how to be successful but Mark always asks pointedly "ok, so how do we do that?" It's because Mark has and is there himself running a small firm, so he gets it and gets down to it!

Constant inspiration juice

By FAHRENHEIT STUDIO - May 06 2017
Read more
Who knew ?? That one day the Heavens would open and pour out such awesomeness!
Cover image of EntreArchitect Podcast with Mark R. LePage

EntreArchitect Podcast with Mark R. LePage

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #117 in Design category

Read more

Proven business strategies for architects, including financial management, profit, marketing, sales, productivity and planning. Architect Mark R. LePage explores the business of architecture, firm leadership and the everyday life of an architect. EntreArchitect Podcast features weekly interviews with inspiring, passionate people who share their knowledge and expertise… all to help you build a better business as a small firm entrepreneur architect.

Rank #1: EA159: Compensation Strategies for Small Firm Architects [Podcast]

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Compensation Strategies for Architects

How do you get paid? How to you structure your fees as an architect? Architects love to talk about this topic!

This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, Mark R. LePage shares his Compensation Strategies for Architects.

Note: This episode is about how Mark structure’s the compensation strategies for his own firm. These strategies work for him. You should structure your fees in ways that work best for you and your firms. Entrearchitect.com has lots of information on understanding fees, how to be profitable, and how to figure out what your fee should be.

Inspired by the EntreArchitect Facebook Group

Our Facebook group is active with architects throughout the world. Everyone can share successes and failures in an open, transparent forum that’s private for only those who are in the group. It’s free to join, but you must be an architecture student or architect of any type and any size firm.

Every week, Mark and other EntreArchitect Facebook group members post several thoughtful questions and all members of the group are able to collaborate on varying topics such as the following:

  • How do you remain confident in a room full of folks with many years of knowledge and experience ahead of you?
  • What does everyone do for secondary/passive income?
  • I’m running out of cash and I don’t have a single client or project to work on. I just started, but it’s really stressful knowing that the source of cash is diminishing and soon I won’t be able to attend to my family’s needs. Any thoughts?
  • I’m currently working with the most dysfunctional husband and wife client of my career. They can’t make or keep decisions and they incessantly argue about the smallest things using the most brutal terms right in front of me. I always thought that a good residential architect should also be a good marriage counselor, and I’ve prided myself on those skills, but I have met my match. Any suggestions, comments or similar stories?
  • Are you struggling with the transition from CAD to BIM?
  • What’s a good construction detailing book?
  • What kind of car do you drive and what does that say about you as an architect?

Background

Mark has a small architecture firm, Fivecat Studio Architecture, made up of himself and his wife, Annmarie. They’re based about 40 minutes north of New York City, and they focus on high-end additions and alterations.

Fee Structures for Fivecat Studio

Fivecat Studio’s basic compensation is 12% of the cost of construction. Depending on the client or the project, they may use different types of fees.

A hybrid fee starts with an initial payment of about 10% of the project prior to the schematic design phase. At the end of schematic design and having a full understanding of the project, they get a construction cost estimate. If the client wants to move forward, they put together a scope of work and base their fees on a schedule broken into $25K increments of construction costs.

Mark’s preference, the percentage of construction fee is based on the client’s budget. Once they know what the client wants to spend, they can put together a proposal. After a schematic design is complete and approved, the project goes through to bid and the fee adjusts to the final cost of construction.

Hourly works for a lot of other architects, but for Mark, hourly has always felt like a monthly negotiation. Flat fees are too hard to predict with different clients, project, expected quality levels, contractors, and more.

Mark has learned over the years that it’s easier to develop systems around the beliefs and expectations of the clients rather than to try and convince them that he’s correct as the architect. Instead of trying to justify everything, Mark developed the hybrid fee based on the client’s existing expectations.

Compensation

For Mark’s firm, compensation is divided into 5 phases:

  1. Schematic design – 25% of total fee
  2. Design development – 25% of total fee
  3. Construction documents – 25% of total fee
  4. Bidding and selection of a general contractor – 5% of total fee
  5. Construction administration – 20% of total fee

Construction Administration is part of the base fee for architectural services. Every architect should provide construction administration as a mandatory service for every client.

Architects perform much more work on projects that’s not in the basic scope of services. If it’s not included in your basic services, you should be paid for any additional work you do. Many architects are performing additional services that they aren’t getting paid for and leaving significant amounts of money on the table.

One way to keep up with this is to manage your clients’ expectations. If you’re clear about what a project will take and what each piece will cost, your client will be prepared to pay for it.

Some additional services provided include master planning, construction management, and more.

Coordination of Consulting

Have you been on a project when a client says they’re going to take care of some part of the project? Often, you end up consulting or coordinating on their work. If so, you should be paid for those services.

Initial Payment Retainer

Typically our initial payment is based on 10% of the total fee based on expected construction costs. Upon signing the contract, the client pays that initial 10% and it’s held until the final invoice where it’s 100% refunded as a credit to the invoice.

However, Mark is considering making a change because of a post in the EntreArchitect Facebook Group. The point of the initial payment is protection and if a project is cancelled, it’s currently refunded 100%. Recently, Mark had a project that’s dragged on for several years. The firm has been compensated for all the work that’s been done, but, after some time, the project was cancelled. Now, they have to refund the full initial 10% payment?

Moving forward, Mark plans to credit a percentage of the initial payment at the end of each phase, instead of the very end. With this model, the balance of the initial payment is non-refundable and transferred to the architect upon termination for costs related to project close out.

Strategies for Getting Paid Faster

  1. Be consistent by billing on the same day of the month
  2. Follow up on your invoices
  3. Accept credit cards and electronic payments
  4. Always send reimbursement invoices separately from fee invoices

Question: Describe your fee structure. What works and what needs improvement?

Head over to the EntreArchitect Facebook Group and share your thoughts.

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NCARB is helping architects reach their goals! Get back on track with the new AXP (Architectural Experience Program) Portfolio by submitting an online portfolio and meeting your state’s requirements to get one step closer to becoming an architect! Visit NCARB.org to learn more today.

TruStile is a leader in high end, architectural interior doors that never fail to perform. They’re passionate about providing inspiration and tools to transform your designs with the most authentic and distinctive doors available. Visit them at EntreArchitect.com/Trustile to download the New American Home case study, watch the video and learn more!

Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time. Learn more at FreshBooks.com.
Access Your 30-Day Free Trial at FreshBooks.com/architect (Enter EntreArchitect)

Referenced in this Episode

EntreArchitect Profit for Small Firm Architects course (free)
EntreArchitect Hybrid Proposal for Architectural Services

The post EA159: Compensation Strategies for Small Firm Architects [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Mar 03 2017
51 mins
Play

Rank #2: EA282: How to be Resilient in Times of Change

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How to be Resilient in Times of Change

Small firm architects can often be overwhelmed with all the hats they’re wearing to run an architecture firm. How do you find the energy to keep on keeping on when there is a lot on your plate?

This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, How to be Resilient in Times of Change with Eileen McDargh.

Learn more about Eileen at EileenMcDargh.com, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Visit Our Platform Sponsors

Gusto is making payroll, benefits, and HR easy for small businesses. Learn more at EntreArchitect.com/Gusto.

Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time. Access your free 30-day trial at EntreArchitect.com/FreshBooks(Enter EntreArchitect)

ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required. Want to collaborate with colleagues in real time? Visit EntreArchitect.com/ARCAT and click Charrette for more information.

The post EA282: How to be Resilient in Times of Change appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Aug 02 2019
47 mins
Play

Rank #3: EA215: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Architect Developer [Podcast]

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Architect Developer

If you’re interested in becoming an architect developer, this is the episode for you!

This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Architect Developer with Danny Cerezo of cs design.

Background

Danny Cerezo is originally from New York City, but moved to LA long ago. He has a bachelors in Architecture from USC and a masters from Woodberry San Diego where he studied under famed architect developers Jonathan Segal and Ted Smith. He’s a liscensed general contractor who has recently started a contracting firm with a development partner where he’s now designing and building a development project as an architect.

Origin Story

Hear Danny’s origin story in EA126: Successful Technologies for an Architect Startup with Architect Danny Cerezo.

cs design is a small husband and wife firm in LA. In 2008, Danny decided he wanted to pursue the architect as developer route, and today the firm is split between traditional projects and partnering with developers to do their own projects.

In LA, there is so much development that isn’t necessarily attractive, and it made Danny wonder why people weren’t developing things that were more architecturally significant. Through talking with others, he found a whole world of people who were architects and developers and took a leap.

If someone wants to be an architect developer, what should they do?

For Danny, he knew that he wanted to do it but didn’t have any money. The natural action for him was to find someone to partner with. The developer he went to work for was willing to do some smaller projects with their funds and equity.

How do you show someone that you have the skills needed to take their money and turn it around for a profit?

You have to learn how to walk the walk and talk the talk. What are the fundamentals of real estate development? Do you know how to do a pro forma? Can you talk about risks and potential pit falls of a project? Are you familiar with comps? Build up a base of tools and knowledge. Figure out how to convey your goals to those who you’re hoping will fund your development.

Danny has written the whole process out on Medium.

What’s a pro forma?

It’s typically a spreadsheet that shows what it would cost to do Project X, where that money comes from, what the return will be, and what everyone gets from the project. How much are you putting in and how much are you getting out?

What is the process as an architect developer?

Danny suggests staying local. Jonathan Segal says, “If you can’t get to it in 15 minutes, it’s too far”. You’re familiar with what’s closest to you. Once you find the land, figure out how you’re going to borrow the money for the lot. Get as creative as you want with how you acquire the land.

Once you pull the money together, give a verbal offer or letter of intent.

Next, there’s 12 months to pay the financiers back through the construction loan. That means there’s 12 months to design, permit and get a construction loan. The construction loan that you get covers the cost of the land to pay back your sellers, the money for the fees, and pay for construction. Usually the bank will loan you 75% of the total development cost, which allows us to pay back the sellers and start construction.

If you borrowed a dollar, you have a dollar to spend. As an architect developer, you only have the money that you have to spend, because you have to pay out what the pro forma says to each party at the end.

After we’re done and we get our certificates of occupancy, we hope to sell them for the prices we had in the pro forma. Then, we pay back the bank for the construction loan and those who gave us the money for the  soft costs. Whatever’s left goes to the developer, the fee and interest negotiated over time.

During construction, is the process different doing it as a developer?

The only difference is that you’re way more involved. On a typical project you may be doing some construction administration and some site meetings. For architect developers, you’ll go to the job sites every week and sometimes more.

You’re way more invested in it than a typical agreement, and that’s a selling point when you’re looking for a partner. You care about the project more than the next firm because you want it to succeed.

You also know the pro forma and what the parameters are around what can make this project fail or succeed. Having been there from the beginning, you know what the project hinges on and you have to be involved to makes sure it stays on track.

What do you do for marketing?

Throughout the project, stay on social media and share what you’re doing. Pick a good real estate agent who can get the word out and create interest.

Where are you now and what are your next steps?

Danny’s first project started in 2015, and now they’re framing the second project and have another one they’re about to submit for permits. They have a general contractor company and are starting to look at larger projects.

Are you rolling your profits into the next project?

Once this project sells, part of the money will go to savings and the other part will allow him to contribute more to the pro forma and become a bigger stakeholder in deals moving forward. Eventually, the goal is to have enough paydays to be ready if a great opportunity comes along.

What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?

“Play a simple ‘what if’ game. What if _____. Think of something beyond your comfort zone. What if you did that? What’s the worst that could happen if you did?”  – Danny Cerezo

Download Danny’s free Architect Developer Worksheet

Connect with Danny online at CandSDesign.com or find him on social media on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and Medium.

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Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time.

Access your free 30 day trial at EntreArchitect.com/FreshBooks(Enter EntreArchitect)

ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required. Want to collaborate with colleagues in real time?

Visit EntreArchitect.com/ARCAT and click Charrette for more information.

Referenced in this Episode

Join The EntreArchitect Community on Facebook

Download the Profit For Small Firm Architects course for FREE.

Leave a Rating and Review at iTunes

EA126: Successful Technologies for an Architect Startup with Architect Danny Cerezo [Podcast]

The post EA215: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Architect Developer [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Apr 13 2018
54 mins
Play

Rank #4: EA271: How to Build Your Network by Creating Meaningful, Lasting Relationships

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How to Build Your Network by Creating Meaningful, Lasting Relationships

Many of us don’t understand how to figure out where we should be spending our networking time and who we should be talking with to build relationships. Who are the players in your market? Where are they? How can you get a seat at the table with your community? How can you connect with them on a personal level?

This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, How to Build Your Network by Creating Meaningful, Lasting Relationships with Julie Brown.

Connect with Julie online JulieBrownBD.com or email her at Julie@JulieBrownBD.com. Find her on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Join us in Las Vegas for the 4th Annual Small Architecture Firm Meetup! CLICK HERE for details and to RSVP.

Visit Our Platform Sponsors

Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time. Access your free 30-day trial at EntreArchitect.com/FreshBooks(Enter EntreArchitect)

ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required. Want to collaborate with colleagues in real time? Visit EntreArchitect.com/ARCAT and click Charrette for more information.

Young Architect Conference is the live conference event for emerging professionals. Save $150 when you register with the promo code, “ENTRE”. Learn more and register at EntreArchitect.com/YoungArchitect.

The post EA271: How to Build Your Network by Creating Meaningful, Lasting Relationships appeared first on EntreArchitect.

May 17 2019
56 mins
Play

Rank #5: How to Get Started as an Architect Developer (Best of EntreArchitect Podcast)

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How to Get Started as an Architect Developer

This week, enjoy the Best of EntreArchitect Podcast as Mark R. LePage invites Declan Keefe of Placetailor back to share his knowledge about How to Get Started as an Architect Developer.

For full show notes and a list of references from the original podcast, visit EntreArchitect.com/EA134.

Connect with Declan Keefe online at Placetailor.com and on Twitter @placetailor & Instagram.

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Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time.

Access your free 30 day trial at EntreArchitect.com/FreshBooks(Enter EntreArchitect)

CORE by BQE Software is designed specifically for architect’s project management!

Get a free 15-day trial of CORE at EntreArchitect.com/BQE.

ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required. Want to collaborate with colleagues in real time?

Visit EntreArchitect.com/ARCAT and click Charrette for more information.

The post How to Get Started as an Architect Developer (Best of EntreArchitect Podcast) appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Aug 25 2017
1 hour 15 mins
Play

Rank #6: EA102: Risks and Rewards with Architect Developer Jim Zack [ Podcast]

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A dream for so many of us small firm architects; design, build and develop our own residential architecture. No rules. No limits. No clients. You make the decisions for what gets built and what does not.

There is much risk in residential development, but there is also much reward. Creative rewards, professional rewards and financial rewards. This week on the EntreArchitect Podcast I am speaking with Jim Zack of San Francisco-based Zack DeVito Architecture about his risks and rewards as an architect developer.

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Access Your 30-Day Free Trial at FreshBooks.com/architect (Enter EntreArchitect)

For an exclusive tour inside FreshBooks, join me and Tim Lee from FreshBooks at this free video series.

Referenced in this Episode

Zack DeVito Architecture and Construction

Jonathan Segal Architect

The post EA102: Risks and Rewards with Architect Developer Jim Zack [ Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Dec 04 2015
47 mins
Play

Rank #7: EA180: Taking Action to Maximize the Value of the Architect with Ric Abramson, FAIA [Podcast]

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Taking Action to Maximize the Value of the Architect with Ric Abramson, FAIA

Ric Abramson, FAIA has been in professional practice as a licensed architect for 28 years. He established his small firm, WORKPLAYS, in 2003. He’s taught for over 18 years on the faculty of Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and USC School of Architecture. He’s been invited as a keynote speaker at the BIG Ideas Conference and has produced educational workshops around the country. He’s a small firm advocate, spearheading new California legislation protecting architects’ creative work.

This week on EntreArchitect Podcast, Taking Action to Maximize the Value of the Architect with Ric Abramson, FAIA.

Ric’s Origin Story

Ric’s story has been an organic process; he didn’t know he wanted to build things as a child. Looking back, he was always a “maker” of some sort, creating things and exploring. In high school, he was summoned to the counselor’s office to figure out what he wanted to pursue. His current class load and interests pushed him toward architecture school.

He earned his undergraduate degree at California Polytechnic State University, and his progression through the program created more passion for what he wanted to do.

His first job was with a small, well-established firm. It was a very old-school experience. That firm did primarily government work, but Ric stayed there for a year and a half before going to the next firm for 6 years.

After that, he attended UCLA for his Masters of Architecture degree and returned to begin a doctoral program. He was awarded a full ride scholarship to go study architecture in Italy. That had a profound effect on the course that Ric would embark on. After a year there, he came back, started his own firm, was offered a teaching position and has been growing ever since.

What kind of work do you do?

Ric does mostly residential work, with some commercial and consulting work. Lately they’ve been doing policy consulting in Los Angeles, California.

Like many growing urban areas, Los Angeles has a huge housing need. They’re looking for ways to be more innovative, integrating density and sustainable living. How can we house more people in closer proximity without giving up home ownership? WORKPLAYS responded to an RFP to write a new ordinance and design guidelines for a compact home ordinance in Los Angeles County.

Why did you move from design work to working with government?

Ric thinks it might go back to his Italian research roots. He was always fascinated with universal thinking, not only creating architecture, but the process by which it’s made and how architects fit into that role. Some of the control that architects once held has gone away, and that’s because architects aren’t at the table when housing policy is being made.

How can others get involved in policy-making?

There are so many ways to get involved. If you’re not already, get involved with a board, city commission, design review panels, etc. AIA National has a Center for Civic Leadership and a Citizen Architect Initiative, and they’ve been looking for those who want to get involved with making a difference in their community.

In smaller communities, go directly to your elected politicians and get to know them. Have coffee with your counsel member. Start to understand at a deeper level, how policy is made. Many elected officials aren’t experienced in land use, and many want to learn about it. Right now, the majority of the input comes from planning, community development professionals or private developers.

Relationships matter. We get caught up with the websites, marketing, blogs and everything else. The day to day, knowing the leaders, advocates and business entities in your community will help build relationships.

How can we change the conversation about the value of architecture?

We need to be able to communicate, in a very clear way, to the public why what we do matters. Ric has been working to explore a means by which the AIA would create a value index for new construction that could communicate to the public some things we do as architects that others don’t do because they don’t have the training. Scores could include measurables like energy efficiency, water consumption, building performance, sustainability, resiliency, and more. Architects can come together to measure the value in the things we do when we design. Assigning a measurable value to the work we do and comparing that to developed homes changes the conversation about what architects really do and why it’s valuable to homeowners.

What other ways can architects get out there and show their value?

The key for this idea is that it has to be flexible and scalable to local conditions.  Architects need to figure out the key measurables in their local area.

Right now there’s a working group that Ric is the co-convener of. Contact him if you’d like to be a part of a national network of local architects who are passionate about creating a value proposition in their local area.

What is the influence of architects in society?

Ric is working with a local City Architect movement. In the formation of most American cities, there was a City Architect who was front and center with the planning and understanding of how a community would grow. Now, City Architects are few and far between. This person would be someone who was the visionary for the community, someone who would embrace the aspirations and goals, the sustainable and environmental interests and the cultural or social issues. How can we reinsert that person into the local government? Listen to this episode to learn more about how you can help promote the concept of City Architects.

Connect with Rick at info@workplays.com or online at WORKPLAYS.com. Also find him on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Visit our Platform Sponsors

Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time.

Access your free 30 day trial at EntreArchitect.com/FreshBooks(Enter EntreArchitect)

BQE Software is designed specifically for architect’s project management!

Get a free 15-day trial at EntreArchitect.com/BQE.

ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required. Want to collaborate with colleagues in real time?

Visit EntreArchitect.com/ARCAT and click Charrette for more information.

Referenced in this Episode

Leave a Rating and Review at iTunes
EntreArchitect Academy Small Group Mastermind is for architects in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa facilitated by Katie Crepeau. Enrollment is limited to the first 10 members, so join today!

The post EA180: Taking Action to Maximize the Value of the Architect with Ric Abramson, FAIA [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Jul 28 2017
1 hour 2 mins
Play

Rank #8: EA063: Residential Construction Management with Architect Nicholas Renard [Podcast]

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Click the podcast player button above to listen or subscribe to the show on iTunes.

Have you ever put all your heart and soul into a architecture project?

Have you ever worked from inception at Schematic Design, developed all the details during Design Development, assembled the construction documents, bid it out and then handled it off to some unknown contractor to build?

How often do we do this? How often do our ideas get revised, simplified and value engineered , just to make it easier for the contractor to build?

Have you ever thought “I could do better? I wish I could control the project all the way through construction? I wish I could make certain that my ideas are fully executed and every detail is exactly the way I want it?”

Have you ever considered how beneficial it would be for you as the architect, to control quality, manage the expectations of your client and assure that they are “raving fans” when the project is complete . and then they tell all their friends how you, the architect, built their home instead of the contractor basking in all that glory?

This week’s guest on the Entrepreneur Architect Podcast did something about that. This past year, with a new modern home on his boards, he pitched the idea of constructing that project for his client. The client agreed and Dig Architecture was born.

Today on on the Entrepreneur Architect Podcast, I am speaking with my friend Nicholas Renard about his architecture firm, Cote Renard Architecture, how he is marketing his Florida based firm and why he launched Dig Architecture, his new construction management company.

Please review this podcast on iTunes.

Referenced in this Episode

Cote Renard Architecture

Dig Architecture (Construction Management)

Maria Chrissovergis Public Relations

Buildertrend

The post EA063: Residential Construction Management with Architect Nicholas Renard [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Feb 12 2015
49 mins
Play

Rank #9: EA103: 3 Roadblocks Experienced by Every Entrepreneur Architect and What To Do About It [Podcast]

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Architecture is a tough business. How do we find work? How do we find help? How do we grow, make more money and ensure that our small firms are profitable?

This week I welcome back a friend of the show who, in the past 12 months has interviewed almost 200 small firm architects. He knows our strengths. He knows our weaknesses.

This week on the EntreArchitect Podcast, I m speaking with Todd Reding of Charrette Venture Group about the 3 roadblocks experienced by every entrepreneur architect and what to do to find your way to success.

Visit our Platform Sponsor

FreshBooks
The easiest way to send invoices, manage expenses and track your time.
Access Your 30-Day Free Trial at FreshBooks.com/architect (Enter EntreArchitect)
For an exclusive tour inside FreshBooks, join me and Tim Lee from FreshBooks at this free video series.

The Architecture Business Plan Competition
Take your firm to greater success… with a plan. It’s free to enter and grand prize is $10,000.
Learn more and register at ArchBusinessPlan.com

Referenced in this Episode

EntreArchitect.com/Episode60 (Podcast Episode about Architecture Business Plan Competition)

Charrette Venture Group

LinkedIn

StrengthFinder 2.0

Business of Architecture (Enoch Sears)

Salesforce (CRM)

Zoho (CRM)

Insightly (CRM)

Highrise (CRM)

Pipedrive (CRM)

2016 Architecture Business Plan Competition (learn more and register)

Mark R. LePage, AIA (Jury Member)

Matt Ostanik, AIA (Jury Member)

June Jewel, CPA (Jury Member)

Steven Burns, FAIA (Jury Member)

AIA National Convention (Philadelphia)

The New EntreArchitect (Subscribe to the newsletter for updates)

The post EA103: 3 Roadblocks Experienced by Every Entrepreneur Architect and What To Do About It [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Dec 10 2015
44 mins
Play

Rank #10: EA052: How to Take Your Idea to Market with HowToArchitect Founder Doug Patt

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This week on the Entrepreneur Architect Podcast is a registered Architect based in Allentown Pennsylvania. He has worked in the architectural field since 1993, specializing in high-end residential architecture.

Published in a variety of professional journals and magazines, Doug Patt worked on projects that have received American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Builders Awards in residential architecture. He is the creator of the How to Architect website and the How to Architect YouTube channel with over 160 videos, 50,000 YouTube subscribers and over 12,000,000 video views web wide.

Doug is the author of How to Architect, published by MIT Press.

He is the co-founder of RootPhi, LLC a product development company. Co-creator and inventor of three patented products including one for Avifauna. He created and spun out two businesses including Golaces, LLC, which was acquired by a publicly held footwear company, and Reclaim, LLC which licensed technology to San Francisco based soft goods company Timbuk2.

Doug is the creator of The Architect’s Academy, an online classroom teaching architecture and design. He is a classically trained painter and has sold artwork through Target stores nationally.

Doug Patt is most certainly an Entrepreneur Architect.

Please review this podcast on iTunes.

Referenced in This Episode

Brian Witlin

Penn State Architecture

How To Architect Website

How To Architect YouTube Video Channel

How to Architect (Book)

CRANtv (AIA CRAN Video Series)

AIA CRAN

RootPhi, LLC

Patent Writing

Creating Prototypes

MFG.com

The Architect’s Birdfeeder

Joeb Moore + Partners Architects, LLC

The Architect’s Academy

@HowToArchitect on Twitter

About Doug Patt

The post EA052: How to Take Your Idea to Market with HowToArchitect Founder Doug Patt appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Nov 12 2014
41 mins
Play

Rank #11: EA130: How to Build a Successful Architecture Firm That Works with Architect Declan Keefe [Podcast]

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This month, we’re shifting our focus from technology to management.

How do we build a successful business? How do we build the right systems and team? How can we efficiently and effectively do what we do as architects in the most profitable way?

This week on EntreArchitect Podcast, Declan Keefe of Placetailor talks about How to Build a Successful Architecture Firm That Works. 

Declan spent his younger years focused on photography and fine arts before realizing that wasn’t the direction he wanted to go. He began to think about architecture as large-scale, “occupiable” sculpture, convincing himself that it was okay to transfer into architecture without compromising his creative path.

While still in school, Declan found a job as a founding employee to start Placetailor, a firm that wanted to fully integrate the design and building process of architecture. Every member of the team had to have an understanding and a base skill set of being able to both design and build. Three years into the business, when he was a project manager and still in school, the founder of the company stepped away. Rather than allowing Placetailor to die, Declan stepped into the role of owner in 2013.

Placetailor is working to provide a fun experience for clients by creating a brand with loud colors, snarky commentary, and relevance to the times. While splitting his time between design and working in the field, Declan realized that they needed to do some work to actually run a business. He put his head down in the office to figure out how to let people know who Placetailor was and how to convince potential clients that what they’re doing is a good idea.

His plan was to transfer the business into an employee-owned cooperative. They began to test the boundaries of where architecture and construction met, and to figure out their roles in high-performance and energy-efficient buildings.

How did he work to make that transition to a successful cooperative?

  • Help each other to balance different strengths and weaknesses
  • Incentivize with a three-year vesting period prior to becoming an employee-owner
  • Test geographic and technological boundaries
  • Strategized to streamline systems on larger scales for sustainability
  • Developed bylaws as a cooperative, an operating agreement and general rules and guidelines for how they operate as a team

How do they dream and decide on which decisions to move forward?

  • A dream is born
  • Decide how much time & money can be allotted to pursue that dream
  • Invest in the idea first before someone else does
  • Let ideas work through the architecture, development, construction and investment arms
  • Prepare for meetings by trying to anticipate where different people are going to end up so the meeting can continue to think through impacts on the business
  • Use digital minutes to track decisions throughout meetings

Connect with Declan online at Placetailor.com and on Twitter @placetailor & Instagram.

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Jul 01 2016
53 mins
Play

Rank #12: EA208: How to Build a Million Dollar Small Firm Using a Remote Team [Podcast]

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How to Build a Million Dollar Small Firm Using a Remote Team

The future of architecture for small firms is the remote team. Using technology and online tools to acquire new clients, manage projects, and work with a team of top professionals distributed around the world, the virtual studio along with a remote team will allow you the flexiblity, freedom, prosperity and success that many of us are seeking as small firm architects.

This week on EntreArchitect Podcast, How to Build a Million Dollar Small Firm Using a Remote Team with Winn Wittman of SelfBuiltArchitect.com

Background

Winn Wittman is a contemporary residential architect based in Austin, Texas. His work has been featured in various publications including Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, The Rob Report, Green Building & Design, Hinge, The Discovery Network, and HGTV. He has a BA from Tufts and a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas in Austin. He’s received numerous awards, including best green innovation for his Wittman Panel Designs.

He’s also the founder of Self Built Architect, an online community and educational program where Winn shares his knowledge about leveraging technology and using online tools to create personal freedom, prosperity, professional excellence and more.

Origin Story

Winn’s love for architecture started in his mother’s basement where he woodworked as a kid. From that came a love of art and architecture. As a liberal arts major, he bounced around before discovering art history and falling in love with architecture. A professor suggested that he go to Austin, Texas.

Several years later, the recession happened. Winn began to buy homes and fix them up when he discovered an old office building. Him and his ragtag team ran wires, ran equipment, and finished the building. A luxury jet designer then bought the building from him, earning him his first million dollars.

After that, going to work for a firm was unappealing. He began developing and building unusual homes that realtors would tell him he had no chance of selling. Surprisingly, he always found a buyer.

When the next recession hit, Winn had a trendy office and a bunch of employees. He noticed his expenses were eating up all of his profits. By 2010, all of his work had dried up, he had to let people go and get rid of his office.

It was time to do things in a different way.

As he began to realize the tools that had recently become available allowing people to work anywhere with an internet connection, he started to do his research. Slowly but surely, he began to build a virtual firm. He had a reputation for high end residential work and needed to figure out how to maintain the same high touch approach to architecture that he had before. He didn’t want the client experience to suffer at all as a result of his remote work.

How did you start your remote firm?

First, Winn realized he needed a luxury conference room to meet clients in. He rented an apartment in a luxury high rise that a resident could reserve a conference room in. He also sought out other conference rooms he could utilize in a pinch. Now, there are plenty of places that have conference rooms for rent.

Many of his tools were the same, but he found them through different channels. Both the internet and GoToMeeting helped him become a laptop architect. When he wasn’t meeting clients, he could work completely remotely. He prepared his clients to know that he was not only very busy, but that he worked in different states. With the technology today, he still has a robust practice with a high degree of client services.

His day is now freed up to work on whatever he wants instead of managing a business and office.

Have you ever experienced pushback from clients?

Only when Winn hasn’t properly prepared them. One client came with him on the transition, and wasn’t prepared for the new expectations.

Do you think this is a model that someone can come at from scratch without having established a business before?

If anything, there’s less expectation if you’re starting a new business. Young architects and their clients are so receptive to using new technology. The next generation realizes that life is more important than work, and technology is just another part of life.

When you have a potential new client, how do they first interact with you?

First, they get a live human being answering the phone instead of a voicemail. It sounds just the same as calling an architect’s office. The service Winn uses texts him right away so that he can connect with them to set up an appointment. Until you sign up a client, the purpose of every meeting is to have another meeting. Winn doesn’t send proposals and doesn’t charge for an initial visit.

Winn then meets them at their property or a conference room and gathers information. After the initial meeting, he sets a second appointment on the road to figuring out what their dream is and if/how Winn can help them achieve that dream.

How do you qualify leads?

Winn gets between 2-10 inquires per day from new potential clients. Once they get to his website, they see the vision blueprint which allows them to answer key questions so he knows right away where they are in the process and what their dreams are. If it doesn’t seem like a good fit right off the bat, Winn refers them to someone who may be a better fit for them.

Who answers the phone?

Winn uses a company called Ruby Receptionist that screens calls and patches them through to the right person. They know everything about the business and function as an in-person front door for his firm.

How do you manage each project?

Winn starts by sketching on his iPad, snapping a picture, and texting it to a subcontractor for SketchUp. He only works with people who are extremely proficient at SketchUp. They hop on a video call to review.

Then, he sets up meetings in person at least every two weeks and on the alternate weeks, he meets with them online.

Why are your employees’ proficiency so important? 

The world is your oyster when you work remotely, so there’s no reason not to find the most proficient person in the industry when your pool is so big.

What’s your role in the process and how to you structure things?

There’s not a fixed way of doing things, it depends on the task and the project. It’s important to know where your skills lie and to delegate to other areas where it doesn’t to capable, highly compensated people.

Winn doesn’t charge or pay for hours, he charges and pays for outcomes.

What are your favorite tools for remote work?

More than anything, Winn likes to keep it simple. They use cloud based document sharing to keep track of where they are with each project and what the next step is, potential clients, and financials.

Instead of chasing clients for payment, he sets up expectations clearly by making payment due by the next meeting.

Do you have any systems in place that help you with creative collaboration?

In remote working sessions, they often discover serendipitous things because of the process. Collaborative work is a conscious process. Remote work allows this to happen outside of the office; schedule brunch, find a time to connect over a weekend or a trip, etc.

What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?

“Start going to places where you’ll meet people of influence who may want to build the types of homes that you want to design. There’s only two things that can change your life: meeting a new person and gaining a new piece of information. Be receptive to meeting new people.”  – Winn Wittman

For EntreArchitect listeners exclusively, check it Winn’s free gift at SelfBuiltArchitect.com/Entre.

If you’re interested in exploring the idea of 1:1 coaching, Winn has some packages available on SelfBuiltArchitect.com.

Connect with Winn online at SelfBuiltArchitect.com and WinnWittman.com, or find him on Facebook and YouTube.

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Core by BQE Software is a brand new software designed specifically for architect’s project management!

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ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required. Want to collaborate with colleagues in real time?

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Gusto is making payroll, benefits, and HR easy for small firm architects. Get an exclusive, limited time detail. Sign up today and get three months free. 

Visit EntreArchitect.com/Gusto and claim your free three months today!

Referenced in this Episode

Download the Profit For Small Firm Architects course for FREE.
Leave a Rating and Review at iTunes

The post EA208: How to Build a Million Dollar Small Firm Using a Remote Team [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Feb 23 2018
1 hour 15 mins
Play

Rank #13: EA089: Field Guide Series – Passive Income for Small Firm Architects [Podcast]

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Imagine working in your studio, designing a great project for another happy client and your receive a notification on your iPhone that Paypal dropped $50 in your pocket.

Then after work, you head over to the ball field to watch your daughter s game. As you are cheering her on, Paypal drops another $50 in your pocket.

The next morning, you wake up, check your email and there are 5 more notifications. Two hundred and fifty dollars was delivered to your account while you dreamed.

Sounds crazy? Well it s not…

That could be you with some work up front and minimal maintenance, you can develop strategies for an additional income to supplement your income as a practicing architect.

This week on the EntreArchitect Podcast, I ve invited my good friend Eric Reinholdt of 30×40 Design Workshop to join us for Round 2 of the Field Guide Series. This week, we re talking Passive Income for Small Firm Architects.

Visit our Platform Sponsor

ArchiSnapper.com (Creating and Managing Field Reports – 30 Days Free)

Referenced in this Episode

Field Guide Series – Building,Branding and Marketing Your Startup Design Business

30X40 Design Workshop

The Unofficial Guide to Houzz.com: Create a Profile That Resonates with Clients and Outranks Your Competition (Book – Affiliate Link)

Architect and Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business (Book – Affiliate Link)

Smart Passive Income (Pat Flynn)

WordPress.com (Free Blog Platform)

WordPress.org (Self-Hosted Blog Platform

WooCommerce (WordPress Plug-in)

GumRoad.com

Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

" target="_blank">Bluehost.com (WordPress Hosting Service – Affiliate Link)

YouTube Advertising

HowToArchitect.com

Doug Patt on EntreArchitect Podcast Episode 52

30X40 Design Workshop Channel on YouTube

Aweber.com (Email List Service – Affiliate Link)

MailChimp.com (Email List Service)

Fedora.com (Digital Courses)

Udemy.com (Digital Courses)

ArchiOffice

Charrette Venture Group

Fulfillment by Amazon

Marmol Radziner Jewelry

Houzz.com

e-junkie.com (Selling Digital Products – Affiliate Link)

EntreArchitect Facebook Group

Join Eric’s “Street Team” for his next book

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Max Sattana

The post EA089: Field Guide Series – Passive Income for Small Firm Architects [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Sep 03 2015
1 hour 5 mins
Play

Rank #14: EA095: 5 Steps for Successfully Managing Your Architecture Client’s Experience [Podcast]

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Your story in the mind of the client is your brand.

That story is told, one chapter at a time, through everything you do and everything you say. At every point of contact your client is learning more about who you are and what you do. They are developing their thoughts and carrying their opinions about your firm at every step and throughout the entire process.

It’s an overwhelming process with barriers and obstacles found throughout. The more we define these obstacles and develop systems that successfully guide our clients through the process with comfort and understanding, the stronger our brand will be.

The story our clients tell their friends will be the story you want told.

Throughout the process of delivering a typical architecture project, there is a series of touch points that our clients experience. The level of development, intention and management at each one of these points of contact determines the overall satisfaction of our clients.

This week on the EntreArchitect Podcast, I will share 5 Steps for Successfully Managing Your Architecture Client’s Experience.

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Try the ArchiSnapper Field Report App Free for 30 Days

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Referenced in this Episode

EntreArchitect Hybrid Proposal

Leave a review for this episode on iTunes

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Rasstock

The post EA095: 5 Steps for Successfully Managing Your Architecture Client’s Experience [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Oct 15 2015
34 mins
Play

Rank #15: EA166: Beyond the Box with Katie Crepeau [Podcast]

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Architects Practicing Beyond The Traditional Design Firm

Beyond The Box

Architects are trained to find solutions. We have a superpower many other people don’t have: we can see a problem and create a way to solve it. This gives us a huge opportunity to lead both as traditional practitioners and in roles in our society that require creativity and solutions for critical problems.

This week on EntreArchitect podcast, Beyond the Box: Architects Practicing Beyond The Traditional Design Firm with Katie Crepeau.

Background

Katie is an architect and a business consultant based in London, England. She’s an advocate for and a practitioner of social impact design. She’s the founder and editor for Design Affects, an online platform that inspires, teaches and connects those involved in social impact design and much more.

Origin Story

The earliest memory Katie has of engaging with architecture is around the age of five when she was living in a home she was moving out of. She remembers drawing the plan of her bedroom, complete with the red-orange carpet, and she added all the various elements of that space.

Katie’s dad is an engineer and her mom is a teacher who studied art, so a big influence was seeing both of their personalities and approaches to doing things. Both of them inspired Katie and her family to be creative: her dad was focused on precision and technique, and her mom on the expression of creativity.

As she began studying and practicing, she wanted to connect with people. Katie studied at Tulane in New Orleans, a very different and distant place from where she grew up in California. There she explored and grew in a new city around new people and was able to define who she was as a person.

She thought she’d be pursuing the traditional architecture path, but she’s also aware that she’s a “question-asking” type of person. Following graduation and licensing, she wanted to improve the profession of architecture and reconnect it to who we are as people and to the people we’re trying to impact in the first place.

Early in her career, Katie worked with small firms that did residential and urban repurpose and regeneration in New Orleans. When she moved to San Francisco, she got more involved with commercial and developer-led projects.

Her background, including volunteering and seeing the change in people because of her giving, led her to take a night course from Berkley called Architecture is Activism. Then began the journey of the next six years of her life to focus on social impact design.

What is social impact design?

Social impact design is working with marginalized or underserved communities and developing products or services that help them create a better environment for themselves. It includes architecture, systems, and everything that comes along with it.

Eventually, Katie became an advocate for social impact design. Though working with a group of architects who were all pressing toward the same goal but lacking a certain business acumen, Katie started looking at other firms who were doing similar things.

What is your advice for someone who has a problem they want to solve?

Katie advises people to start with a project. Don’t start an organization until you have a project and a client and can validate the demand for what you’re doing. She has a ton of eagerness as well, and a lot of her early projects reflect that. In actuality, it’s about validating your idea before you do anything. Identify the people you want to help, get out there and talk to them about what they do, why they do it, their challenges and more. Following that, you can pitch something to them, similar to the ideas presented in the book, The Lean Startup.

Sometimes when you go down that road you get so wrapped up in the funding that you forget to ask if there’s actually a need for what you’re doing. It’s important to find the middle ground of what you’re passionate about and who it is that has a need for that.

What inspired you to serve architects who want to grow beyond the traditional practice?

Through conversations Katie had with architects and designers and following business communities, she observed that everyone wants to provide value to others. It’s not only about social impact, it’s about anyone who can provide value to a group of people who need it. Now, Katie works to help people identify their vision and the change they want to see. What does that mean for their skills and interests as well as those they want to work for? How can that all tie together? Social impact comes in many different formats, and it’s up to us to decide how we want it to come about in a way that makes sense.

How can someone branch out on their own social impact project?

Katie works to develop a five year plan. What does it look like day to day and where do you find the purpose through what you’re doing? Today, who is doing something similar to what you want to do and how can you get to know them? After those conversations, what resonates with you and how can you craft your vision to include potential opportunities to embody this? You never quite know if it’s the right path, but you have a gut feeling from those around you that you know will support what you’re doing.

What are some first steps to build a team and execute a big idea?

Really understand where you want to focus and what you want to do. Figure out your assets and how you want to drive your energy toward that. Then, what do you need to balance or supplement that? Katie uses personality tests, like Instinctive Drives, to gain insight into where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Then, find someone who compliments your weaknesses and can drive their energy toward those.

What’s next?

Katie really enjoys one-on-one consulting, but she really wants to help architects reconnect with why they entered the profession. She’s developing an online program to help people find and craft their vision and then have the follow-up support to make it happen.

What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?

“I would challenge people – especially those who like to make to-do lists – to cross something off that won’t add to what you’re doing and don’t do it.” – Katie Crepeau

Connect with Katie about one-on-one support or group support online at DesignAffects.com or via LinkedInTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Exclusive EntreArchitect Opportunity: Learn more about booking a FREE 30 minute Clarity Call with Katie.

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Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time.

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NCARB is helping architects reach their goals! Get back on track with the new AXP Portfolio.

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BQE Software is designed specifically for architect’s project management!

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ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required.

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Referenced in this Episode

EntreArchitect Profit for Small Firm Architects course (unlimited free access)
Essentialism by Greg McKeown (book)

The post EA166: Beyond the Box with Katie Crepeau [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Apr 21 2017
48 mins
Play

Rank #16: EA121: The 12 Critical Categories of Business That Will Take Your Firm from Struggling Studio to Small Firm Success Story [Podcast]

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In architecture school, we all had a dream of what we would become when we became architects; designing beautiful spaces and making the world a better place with each project. We each told ourselves a story of success as an architect. We imagined a studio filled with light, working with talented people and surrounded by the iterations of our creativity. Powerful projects, patrons and processes of purpose that allowed us to pursue our passions.

How is your dream looking today? Are you succeeding or are you struggling?

This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, Mark R. LePage will share The 12 Critical Categories of Business That Will Take Your Architecture Firm from a Struggling Studio to Small Firm Success Story.

Business is a game, and like any game, you have to be able to learn and play by the rules to win. There are critical steps that need to be taken in order for our firms to thrive and become the success stories of our dreams. The only way to small firm architecture success is to hit each one of these twelve critical categories:

  1. Finance // Are your books in order? The numbers are how we make it all work financially. How do you manage your money? How do you put together your financial reports? Should you use debt to grow or not?
  2. Business Development (Sales) // If you don t have sales, you don t have business, you don t have an architecture firm. Are you selling your services?
  3. Leadership // Are you a strong leader? How can you become a small leader? Do you know how to build strong teams? Are you familiar with the roles, responsibilities, and results expected in your firm?
  4. Culture // Have you defined what your firm’s culture looks like? Are you intentionally developing your firm culture?
  5. Client Fulfillment // How do you manage the expectations of your clients? How do you develop systems that help you fulfill clients’ needs? How can you develop strong project management skills? Are you using the EntreArchitect Hybrid Proposal?
  6. Technology // What design software are you using? Are you using the best equipment and software that you can afford to make you into the most productive in what you do? Is your technology relevant and are you looking to the future technologies that architects will be using?
  7. Business Management // Who are the people in our firm and how are they working? What are the processes that those people are working with? What are the products and services that we’re creating and serving with? Do you have an interview process, a hiring process, a conflict/resolution process, a firing process? Are they documented?
  8. Personal Development // Are you learning and exploring to build a better you? What are you doing on a daily basis to care for yourself mentally and physically to make sure that you stay strong and healthy? Are you sharing what you know with others?
  9. Marketing // What strategies and systems of marketing do you have in place now? What types of marketing should you be developing? Are you connected through social networks? Is your website telling your story in a captivating way? Is it a way for you to connect further?
  10. Life // How do you integrate your firm with your personal life? Are you learning the skills of scheduling and prioritizing to live a better, more integrated life?
  11. Community // How can you build a business that does good for others while building a business that does well?
  12. Planning // Do you take time to look back at what you’ve been doing to evaluate if you’re on the right track with your goals? Can you look forward at how your plan will evolve further down the road?

If you are running a firm, these things aren’t optional. Focus on each one of them, schedule time and be intentional to develop systems and strategies.

Mark struggled and searched for the answers for years, but when he focused on the fundamentals, he saw his firm turn around. His projects got better and his business grew.

He wants the same for every small firm out there, and that’s why he launched EntreArchitect Academy in 2014. Every month we’re diving deeper into these critical categories beyond what you see on the blog and hear in podcasts to learn all there is to learn. We have exclusive live trainings with experts who provide resources on what they know in each of these subjects. We break into smaller groups that support one another and help one another grow. Every member has access to our digital courses, document templates, systems templates from experts, and access to a whole library of videos that talk about so many topics. Early bird enrollment with a discounted rate is open until general enrollment opens.

Enrollment for the EntreArchitect Academy opens on May 2nd and is limited to the first 50 new members!

Click here to enroll in the EntreArchitect Academy

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Referenced in This Episode

New Year. New Budget. [Blog]
Basic Financial Statements for Small Firm Architects [Blog]
6 Ways Your Architecture Firm May Benefit from Working with an Investor [Blog]
Financial Intelligence for Small Firm Architects [Podcast]
4 Steps for Changing an Architect s Mind on Money [Podcast]
The One Thing by Gary Keller [book]

Join us in Philadelphia at the EntreArchitect Meetup

The post EA121: The 12 Critical Categories of Business That Will Take Your Firm from Struggling Studio to Small Firm Success Story [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Apr 29 2016
41 mins
Play

Rank #17: EA252: How to Develop an Architecture Fee Proposal that Converts [Podcast]

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How to Develop an Architecture Fee Proposal that Converts

As architects, we know that our fees are a direct reflection of the work we do. Yet all too often, the way that our potential clients perceive our fee proposals doesn’t address our clients’ emotional needs and the value that we bring as design professionals. This week on EntreArchitect podcast, How to Develop an Architecture Fee Proposal that Converts with Ian Motley of Blue Turtle Consulting.

Connect with Ian online at BlueTurtleMC.com or find him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Want to learn more about how to address the emotional needs of your clients? See if Ian is coming to a city near you for his Fee Proposal Workshop Series!

Enroll in the EntreArchitect Membership FREE for 30 days! To learn more and sign up NOW, visit EntreArchitect.

Visit our Platform Sponsors

Freshbooks is the easy way to send invoices, manage expenses, and track your time.

Access your free 30 day trial at EntreArchitect.com/FreshBooks(Enter EntreArchitect)

ARCAT has huge libraries of free content, Specs, CAD, BIM and more. No registration required. Want to collaborate with colleagues in real time?

Visit EntreArchitect.com/ARCAT and click Charrette for more information.

Referenced in this Episode

Join EntreArchitect Membership

Request Free Access at The EntreArchitect Community on Facebook

Leave a Rating and Review for the Podcast at iTunes

The post EA252: How to Develop an Architecture Fee Proposal that Converts [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Jan 04 2019
Play

Rank #18: EA173: Lee Calisti – The Entrepreneur Architect Series [Podcast]

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The Entrepreneur Architect Series featuring Lee Calisti

At EntreArchitect, you’re encouraged to share your knowledge. When we share with other architects, we all benefit. We are able to learn from one another and the profession will grow. One of the goals of EntreArchitect is to provide a platform for other entrepreneur architects to share their stories.

We want to interview you! What’s your story? Do you want to share your knowledge or the story about how you were inspired to pursue this profession? How do you become an entrepreneur architect?

Join us for our series called The Entrepreneur Architect, where each guest has the opportunity to share their story and answer some questions that will provide value to each of you.

This week on EntreArchitect Podcast, The Entrepreneur Architect Series featuring Lee Calisti.

Background

Lee Calisti is based in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and is a licensed architect and founder of Lee Calisti Architecture and Design. He was one of the original founders of AIA Pittsburgh chapter’s Young Architects’ Forum and was a co-chair for seven years. He’s served as a regional liaison representing Pennsylvania as part of the AIA National Young Architects Forum. He serves on the City of Greensburg History and Architecture Review Board and trustee for the Greensburg Alliance Church. He’s active in social media and is a regular writer for the #ArchiTalks blog series.

Origin Story

Lee wanted to be an architect ever since he was a child. Early in grade school he discovered drawing and had a passion for comic books. He worked to replicate what he saw in the comics and developed skills in his early days. In junior high, he had an art teacher who was a great inspiration, he promoted creativity and encouraged Lee to develop his skills further. He was fascinated by architecture, checking out books from the library to learn more. Soon enough, he designed houses and built model. His mother bought him a drafting table as a kid and he spent hours there.

Lee focused singularly on architecture. He applied for school and plunged into the world of architecture. He took design classes at night and got connected twitch an adjunct professor who was hugely inspirational to him. His professor was working for a firm and doing work on the side. Recently, Lee was able to connect with him to thank him for his patience and inspiration.

After finishing school at the top of his class, he went to work for an architect he’d spent summers with previously. He learned the nuts and bolts of working in an architecture practice. After that, he went to work in downtown Pittsburg. He loved the big city where he was exposed to lots of different things, and it was those experiences that prepared him to launch his own firm.

His son was born shortly after, and Lee started teaching as an adjunct professor. He wanted to be an architect and a teacher just like those who mentored him. Everything leading up to that point prepared him, but couldn’t replace the hard work it takes to start a firm. Lee borrowed money from his personal savings with the promise to pay it off within a year. He brought work in slowly but surely and paid off the loan without having to borrow from a bank.

Down the road, he realized that, unfortunately, he couldn’t do both architecture and teaching. His personal practice was growing and he needed to focus on that exclusively. Last year, Lee began considering hiring his first employee and started the wheels in motion to expanding his firm.

The Entrepreneur Architect Questions

What is one big goal you’ve achieved in your career and how did you get there?

When Lee was an intern, it was important to him to become licensed. He wanted to reach that goal as soon as possible, and he had to do a ton to fulfill the requirements. He wanted to do it in the minimum amount of time, which was three years, and was upset when he didn’t. He disciplined himself and spent time doing the work every day. After finally making it through the exams and waiting a few months to hear his results, he got a letter in the mail with his passing scores.

It was such an intense experience for Lee, that he got a nosebleed literally during the 11th hour of his testing.

What is one struggle you experienced and how did you overcome it?

After being practice several years, Lee had a situation where he thought legal action might take place. Thankfully it didn’t! After working with his insurance company, he wrote a letter and the whole ordeal ended. He ran into the client years later, and the client admitted fault. Having an LLC gave him some peace of mind, but more than that, he wanted to keep good terms and maintain pride in himself and his brand.

What makes your firm unique?

Balance has always been the key to Lee’s success. He feels he hasn’t always been the best at design, but he was able to balance that skill with all his others. There’s so many things that architects are expected to do or be good at, some of them may not be inspirational, but you have to get them right. Lee has learned to do lots of different things, despite his various strengths and weaknesses.

Are you seeing any influence on your practice because you work with kids?

Quick Questions

At what age did you decide to become an architect? 9 years old
What’s your target market? Adaptive reuse projects for urban buildings and modern contemporary residential homes
Stipulated sum, hourly or percentage-based fee? Stipulated sum for commercial, hourly for residential
Other than architecture, what makes you happy? Family, faith in Jesus, and making things
What are some of your hobbies? Photography, graphic design, traveling, trying new things
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Listen to what the client is really needing, it’s different for everybody, and then work to meet that need
What’s one personal habit that contributes to your success? Sketching
What’s an app or resource you’d recommend? Pitch Gauge to figure out the pitch of a roof, or take approximate measurements
What book would you recommend and why? All In by Mark Batterson and The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabil
What’s a parting piece of guidance? Promote the profession of architecture first, and then the individual results will come in

What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?

“Adapt. Depending on where you’re coming from, you could come from a lot of different scenarios. Adapt to dealing with different kinds of people, work settings, work days, building types, and more. It may not come easy, but adapting, learning new things, and adjusting to how the world of architecture is going will help you from getting lost in the back.” – Lee Calisti

Connect with Lee online at ThinkArchitect.Wordpress.com or leeCALISTI.com. You can also find him on LinkedInTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Want to be a guest on the entrepreneur architect series? Connect with us on any social media platform or email podcast@entrearchitect.com!

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Referenced in this Episode

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Ian Morgan Cron How Self-Awareness Makes You More Successful

The post EA173: Lee Calisti – The Entrepreneur Architect Series [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Jun 09 2017
1 hour 1 min
Play

Rank #19: EA122: How to Build a System to Manage Your Architecture Clients’ Expectations [Podcast]

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Happy clients are the result of clients knowing what to expect, when to expect it, and how much it’s going to cost when their expectations are met. This week on EntreArchitect Podcast, Mark R. LePage shares How to Build a System to Manage Your Architecture Clients’ Expectations.

How do we deliver services to our clients in a way that meets or exceeds their expectations? How do we ensure that every interaction results in a happy, satisfied client?

Under promise, over deliver. Don’t say you’re going to do something and then fail to follow through. Always do, at the very least, what you say you’re going to do. Know the time it will take you to do something and give yourself more than enough time. Then delivery the results early whenever you’re able to.

Manage expectations. Our clients want to know what to expect, when to expect it, and what it’s going to cost them when the expectation is finally realized. Managing their expectations manages their happiness.

Create a system for client expectation management. Put together a step-by-step process of items that will keep your clients feeling fully in control from pre-contract through design and construction to the end of project close-out. Schedule time to review each project once you complete it. Once you have identified the various phases, figure out how to communicate the start and end of each phase to your client.

How to Build Business Systems for Architects

This month on the EntreArchitect Academy, founder of Business + Architecture and author of The E-Myth Architect Norbert Lemermeyer joins members as our expert trainer to share his knowledge and research on how to build business systems for architects. He’ll share his own templates for his proprietary Client Fulfillment System. EntreArchitect Academy expert training sessions are only available to members inside EntreArchitect Academy. For more information, click here to learn more about our all-inclusive online membership program for small firm architects. Enrollment is open but is limited!

Click here to enroll in the EntreArchitect Academy

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Referenced in This Episode

The E-Myth Architect by Norbert Lemermeyer
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The post EA122: How to Build a System to Manage Your Architecture Clients’ Expectations [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

May 06 2016
24 mins
Play

Rank #20: EA188: Using Emotions to Successfully Attract the Clients You Want [Podcast]

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Using Emotions to Successfully Attract the Clients You Want

Our prospective clients learn with their heads, but they decide with their hearts. After years of research, often, when a client chooses to work with an architect it simply comes down to their feelings. They choose their team by deciding who they like the most.

This week on EntreArchitect Podcast, Using Emotions to Successfully Attract the Clients You Want.

Do you ever make decisions based on emotion? We don’t always buy based on price or features, more often we buy because something makes us feel a certain way.

When we’re developing a marketing strategy for our firms, we should consider the part that emotions play in the decisions that our clients make. Professor Antiono Damasio at University of Southern California argues that, emotion is a necessary ingredient to almost all decisions. When we are confronted with a decision, emotions from previous, related experiences affix values to the options we are considering. These emotions create preferences which lead to our decision.

Our feelings help us make our decisions. That’s why storytelling is so powerful; they trigger emotions and feelings. In EA140, architect storyteller Jeff Echols shared How To Use Your Story to Find the Work You Want.

How can we craft our branding to be based on emotion? How do we use emotion to effectively find the clients we want?

Here are 4 Fundamentals about Emotions to use in Marketing:

Knowing Who We Serve Matters

Without knowing who we serve, how can we have any idea how to emotionally connect with those people? Who are you serving? Who do you want to serve?

Where do these people work and play? What makes them happy? What are they trying to achieve in their search for an architect?

Sensorial Experiences Matter

What does an architect do? When answering this question, think beyond the traditional descriptions. How can we develop strategies and services that are experienced with every sense? Do we have strategies around sight, sounds, touch, and more?

Think along the lines of experiencing design through virtual reality or presenting hand-sketched schematic designs with freshly baked cookies. Do you think your client will talk to their friends about that type of meeting?

Using an Imaginative Approach Matter

Immaginative systems and strategies make the process more real for our clients. It causes them to pause and think about what’s different than they expected it to be. How can we create a different and imaginative website to trigger emotions? What experiences can we give that feel different? What can spice up our proposals to give pause?

How can clients’ first point of contact feel different than another firm?

The Words We Use Matter

The words we choose have the opportunity to make a client feel one way or the other. In residential architecture, are we designing a house or creating a home? A house has a function, but a home is filled with feelings, love, and memory.

Using intentionality with the words we use goes a long way.

To learn more about emotional marketing, check out these books:

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping–Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond by Paco Underhill

Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People by Marc Gobe

I want to know your favorite book on marketing! Share on the EntreArchitect Facebook group today.

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Core by BQE Software is a brand new software designed specifically for architect’s project management!

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Referenced in this Episode

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Enrollment for the EntreArchitect Academy closes TODAY Friday, October 6, 2017 at 12 PM EST!

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The post EA188: Using Emotions to Successfully Attract the Clients You Want [Podcast] appeared first on EntreArchitect.

Oct 06 2017
25 mins
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