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Improve Your Relationship with Architects (and Win More Work)

David Cartwright

Senior Marketing Manager - Software

Jul 19, 2018 1:29:00 PM

Good relationships between contractors and architects can be beneficial to both parties, but a recent report showed that architects often receive poor satisfaction ratings from contractors. Clearly, some of these contractor/architect relationships are strained.

Miscommunications, differences in priorities and budgetary issues can all strain relationships between contractors and architects. With some attention to these problems and a concerted effort to improve your relationships, you can not only make your work smoother and easier, but you can also develop alliances that will be advantageous in the future. 

In this post we’ll point out several ways you can improve your relationship with architects (and win more work).


Recognise Differences in Priorities

When you work with a team of people, it can be tempting to want everyone on the team to have the same priorities as you. The truth is, however, that team members have different skills, tasks, and even priorities, and when you recognise and appreciate the differences in these, your relationships will improve.

Let’s take a look at contractors and architects. Architects are concerned with the ideas and design concepts of a project. Contractors are concerned with delivery, with reducing risk and with getting critical information on time. They can’t be expected to be as concerned about the development of the design concepts. Conversely, architects don’t have the motivation and incentive to be concerned about supply chain, construction labor and deadlines. If you can remember the important duties and strengths of each team member, you’ll experience less stress and improved relationships.


Address Budgetary Issues Early On

Relationships between contractors and architects can sometimes deteriorate over budget disputes, which is why it’s so important to work problems out as early in the process as possible. 

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Architects sometimes find themselves caught in the “crossfire” by not recognising that their designs don’t fit within a project’s budgetary restraints. This misunderstanding can be avoided by properly setting up the project and addressing financial issues from the very start. Instead of seeking to assign blame regarding financial issues, work as a team to secure the very best end result possible.


Keep Communication Lines Open

When contractors and architects work to understand one another’s motivations and feel free to bring up problems, concerns and questions along the way, it’s much more likely that a productive business relationship will ensue. 

Open communication is based on honesty and understanding. Be clear and honest about resources and capabilities. Remember that negotiation is an art; it is also frequently necessary on building projects. Practice your negotiation skills and remember that it’s the success of the project that matters most, not the maintenance of your ego.


What Does it All Mean?

So you’re working to improve your relationship with architects, but what will these improvements mean in your professional life? 

Good working relationships can be hard to come by, and once a good relationship is established, people often want to lean on that relationship as often as possible. For instance, if you learn how to work well with a particular architect, he or she is likely to choose to work with you on many future projects. Additionally, he or she will probably refer associates to you. 

You’ll gain a reputation as a contractor who is dependable, easy to work with and professional, and this reputation will pay off year after year.

For more advice on improving your construction business, check out our popular Building a Better Trade Business eCourse below.

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