A great market correction, a great reckoning is upon us.
The business of architecture is currently facing an existential crisis that has been accelerated by this pandemic.
And after you read this article you’ll understand the severity of the problem but you’ll also be far better equipped to dealing with it.
The biggest issue that architects face when trying to get new clients & projects is that the underlying strategies they use are fatally flawed.
The problem here is that we’ve inherited a load of false truths handed down generation to generation by our peers about what we need to do to get our own clients and projects and start an architectural practice.
Ask yourself: how much of your marketing have you copied from your peers?
The reality is that our industry has changed unrecognizably over the last 20 years or so.
Yet our peers are still stuck in the past and old ways of thinking.
Our industry, like most to be honest, are super slow to change to new ways of thinking and doing things.
The internet has immeasurably changed how we live...
...how we purchase things...
...how we communicate with each other...
...in so many facets of our lives.
It’s also had a massive impact on how we can get projects & clients.
And the old traditional ideas and methods of starting a business and getting clients have become nearly obsolete.
Have you ever heard the phrase – do good work and the projects will follow?
I’ve heard it a million times and I even once believed it.
And whilst there might be some truth in there somewhere I’m telling you now it’s no way to run a business.
Too many architects rely on word of mouth and referrals as their single source of new clients.
Sure it’s free but it’s slow and it’s something you have absolutely no control over.
Do you think your old clients spend every minute of every day thinking about you?
Leaving the success of your business to the whims of others is a sure fire way to fail.
It will take you forever to gain any traction with it at all, it’s a long slow road that may or may not have an ending.
I’d have starved to death before I’d have gotten this to work consistently for me.
But the worst part about word of mouth marketing and that is that like minded people tend to hang out with each other.
So if most of your clients are the type to hammer you on fees...
...and see you as a glorified drawing monkey:
Who do you think they will be recommending you to exactly?
It’s just more of the same crappy clients.
Word of mouth is fundamentally flawed unless you address the quality of client first.
It’s a bloody self-fufilling prophecy otherwise.
Yet this is what we’re told to do by our peers.
The truth is that if you are going to succeed in 2020, recession or not, then you're going to have to learn what works in the modern age yourself.
Successful architects that do get this stuff aren’t gonna tell you.
They don’t want competition coming in and eating at their income.
And they certainly don’t want their best staff leaving to start for themselves either.
And you can be sure you’re not going to hear this stuff from our various professional associations and institutes either.
Firstly, they don’t know this stuff anyway and secondly all they are interested in, is getting their membership fees out of you.
Why do you think they don’t even bother to try and educate the masses on what architects actually do and the value they provide?
They don’t care about you.
So the big problem you are facing with this whole client and project getting mullarkey is that you’ve been fed a load of information that just isn’t true anymore.
It might have worked fine 15-20 years ago but those days are long gone.
Let's look at some tragic examples from other industries.
Just look at Borders Books or more recently Toy R Us and even Kodak is on the way out.
These were once the industry standard and now they are extinct, all because they didn’t evolve with the times.
Borders Books have been replaced by Amazon, who also had a big hand in the demise of Toys R Us.
Whereas smartphones have pretty much decimated print photography for Kodak.
If these companies had of evolved with the times then they would have survived.
And architecture is the same.
Here’s what I want you to understand:
After things go back to some kind of normality after Covid-19, things are going to be different.
The world has been changed now forever.
The industries, businesses and architects who have relied on the old ways of doing things are gonna have their asses handed to them.
There is a huge market correction happening right now.
Even Disney is in serious trouble, DISNEY?!
One of the biggest, most famous companies in the world that is decades old and even they look like they’ve been operating all these years on shaky ground.
You would think a business like that would have lots in reserve for such an event as we’re experiencing now but it turns out even they are in big, big trouble.
Ask yourself: if even Disney is getting hit now, how many architectural firms do you think are in trouble?
How many people will lose their jobs in all this?
Now, this market correction always going to happen on a much slower scale but this corona business has accelerated it big time.
There is going to be a great market correction in every industry once this corona business has finished...
...and for some, it’s already too late and for others...
...they might get another year or so but be under no illusion, a great reckoning, the great market correction is upon us so ask yourself right now:
Which side of that do you want to be on?
My name is Declan Connolly, founder of Affluent Architect.
I’ve been designing homes since 2000.
I started my own practice in 2009.
And now I teach Architects from all over the world how to generate Custom Residential projects for their practices.
And after all that, I can safely say:
The ‘normal’ way of educating potential clients on the benefits of hiring an Architect…
...is NOT THE ANSWER to getting great clients & projects.
If that worked Architects wouldn’t find themselves in the constant battle of:
❌ Talking to people only interested in free advice…
❌ Writing proposals for people who only use them as a fee shopping exercise…
❌ Being underpaid & treated like a commodity…
These problems happen because Architects haven’t been taught something crucial:
How to articulate the value of their services in a way that impacts their clients on an EMOTIONAL level.
Instead, they try to ‘logically’ educate potential clients on:
❌ Reasons to hire an Architect…
❌ Project process…
❌ How they deliver their services, etc…
But high-quality clients don’t care about these things.
In fact, they view these things as OBSTACLES to them getting their new home.
It’s like when someone books a flight for a holiday.
They don’t care about the number of rivets in the plane & the stitching in the seats.
All they care about is enjoying their holiday at the end destination.
Similarly, all that matters to the potential client is the new home.
Along with all the lovely lifestyle benefits it will give them.
All the ‘logical’ based approach does is position Architects as a ‘set of plans to get the permit’.
So, here’s how we fix this.
My Architects attract creative residential projects with clients that pay top dollar for great design.
And the key to this is my proprietary A.V.I.D. Method (Articulate Value & Influence Design Method)...
…which creates marketing messages that emotionally connect with their potential clients.
This A.V.I.D. Method has been developed by trial & error in the real world since 2009.
And it’s the only method specific to the single-family residential market for Architects on the planet.
It’s enabled me & my Architect students to:
✅ Work with celebrity clients on their new home like Mark Owen from the pop band Take That...
✅ Work on jobs that have been featured on the TV Show Grand Designs…
✅ Work on homes worth as much as $18.75 million…
And the secret to this is something I learned when I was struggling to get decent projects for my practice.
I had hit a brick wall and decided to study how past Architects managed to do it.
And who better than Sir Norman Foster himself.
He got started in the high-tech industrial market.
Which is a super-competitive market against far bigger and more established firms.
Sir Norman Foster didn’t go and try and ‘logically’ educate potential clients.
Instead, he described what his target clients’ businesses would be like AFTER they built one of these buildings.
And once I applied this same principle to Custom Residential it completely changed the game for me.
Describing a potential client’s life AFTER they have built their new home is what gets their attention.
✅ It instantly creates trust & respect because we are describing what they really want...
✅ It creates an air of 'exclusivity' & ‘uniqueness’ around our services which clients pay more for...
✅ Defines who our target clients should be & where to find them…
However, it must be done in a certain sequence.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you on a special Case Study recording.
Where I show you how the A.V.I.D. Method works.
As well as how it creates my students’ marketing for them which saves a bunch of time.
This Case Study also shows you loads of examples of our students' marketing that is working like crazy in the Custom Resi market:
So, if you're sick and tired of being treated like a commodity...
And you want to finally work with appreciative clients who value what you do…
…get paid the fees that you deserve & have a great income for a change…
…and work on fulfilling creative jobs without sacrificing time with your family…
Then let’s get the A.V.I.D. Method working for your practice.