May 28th, 2020: 4pm PDT

Chat Transcript:
From Melinda Slater:  04:02 PM
From Steve Blatz:  04:02 PM
From john feldman:  04:02 PM
Santa Monica, CA
From Bill Kumlin:  04:02 PM
Calgary, Alberta
From John Liu:  04:02 PM
From David Fridlund:  04:02 PM
Los Angeles
From sherif saad:  04:02 PM
From Gerard Cullinane:  04:02 PM
From Jefferson Schierbeek:  04:02 PM
Los Angeles
From Joseph Asmus:  04:02 PM
Washington State
From Linda Klenczar:  04:02 PM
Saline Michigan, USA
From Mike Watkins:  04:02 PM
Washington DC
From Graham Irwin:  04:02 PM
Fairfax, CA
From Stuart Parsons:  04:02 PM
Boston, MA
From Richard Rhodes:  04:02 PM
New York City
From Philip Meaders:  04:02 PM
irving Tx
From Eniko Plosz:  04:02 PM
From Agi Sterling:  04:02 PM
Sydney Australia
From Paramalingam Jeyalingam:  04:03 PM
Sydney Australia
From Bill Kumlin:  04:03 PM
calgary canada
From Anthony Farina:  04:03 PM
From Daniel Bernatek:  04:03 PM
Chicago IL
From Andrew Watson:  04:03 PM
From Ryan Giorgiutti:  04:03 PM
From Christine Storry:  04:03 PM
From bruce march:  04:03 PM
From max e buccioletti:  04:03 PM
perth wa
From Karen Marler:  04:03 PM
From Melinda Slater:  04:03 PM
From Jacob Aspinall:  04:03 PM
Brisbane, Australia!
From Tom Hines:  04:03 PM
Denton, Texas
From Patricia Hayess:  04:03 PM
Miami Florida Patricia Hayes
From bruce march:  04:06 PM
combination of hourly to percentage upset and per diem
From Philip Meaders:  04:06 PM
we try to avoid % construction as a fee
From john f:  04:11 PM
We have an interesting residential Landscape Architectural project opportunity presented to us by a developer/contractor on behalf of their Client.  They wanted to have us sub-contracted to them.  We want to avoid this in that:  1.  We prefer to contract directly with the property owner, 2. there are a number of liens and judgements on record against the developer/contractor.  Have you any advise in preparing the proposal (or contract) that minimizes our risk?
From Tom Hines:  04:12 PM
Tom Hines – Denton, Texas
From Linda Klenczar:  04:18 PM
I have  learned how to increase my fees by taking your excellent CEU.   Bundling and clear options.  You are so good at explaining this.
Linda Michgian
From Melinda Slater:  04:19 PM
I answered no to your question with regard to reducing my fees during COVID, but I have taken on smaller jobs that I might not have taken on before, to keep the stream of funds coming in.
From Helen Parer:  04:23 PM
well worth doing!!
From Graham Irwin:  04:24 PM
From Helen Parer:  04:26 PM
I meant your course on fee proposals was well worth doing
From john f:  04:27 PM
Thanks guys!  I appreciate this… I will reach out with more specifics.  I am fortunate that I have a private investigator as a best friend who runs background checks on our potential clients.
From Linda Klenczar:  04:32 PM
I have now reached the point of being an interior designer for 50 years.   My clients have been with me for nearly that entire time.  At least 45 years.  So I have had a terrible time trying to see how to increase my fees.  I am trying to get to my retirement, but my clients tell me I can’t retire…even though they have already done so.  Now I see with your guidance, that I can reduce what I do for that  slightly higher fee, but able to put my expenses into a lump sum to cover my costs for continuing in business.  I truly thank you.
From Graham Irwin:  04:38 PM
If % of construction is not you preferred route, what is your recommendation?
From Wayne Anderson:  04:39 PM
Most clients do not even know what an Architect does…
From Mike Watkins:  04:41 PM
I don’t see the results….
Nevermind.  Now I do.
From johanna seldes:  04:41 PM
Thank you very.
From Graham Irwin:  04:42 PM
From Eniko Plosz:  04:42 PM
You are amazing, thank you
From Dawn Bradfield:  04:42 PM
Thanks a mill!!
From bruce march:  04:42 PM
From Paramalingam Jeyalingam:  04:42 PM
thank you!
From Graham Irwin:  04:42 PM

Questions answered:

Name (Timestamp):
Question asked:

Steve (3:20):

We do mostly residential design in NYC.  Our fees are a percentage of the construction cost, which we estimate up front. What is the best way to adjust the fee once the actual construction cost is understood when the project has been fully drawn and bid?
Stephanie (6:20):
What specific recommendations can you offer that have been the most helpful in keeping your business going?

Giordana (11:59):

You will probably cover this on the CPD but I was wondering what is the best approach when clients push on the price, particularly during that when it’s more crucial to win the job.
POLL (16:37):
Have you changed your fees, payment terms or fee structure due to COVID-19? Click here for responses
Patricia (17:18):
I specialize in the marine industry.  I am hearing from other consultants, cruise lines are requiring vendors, contractors and design consultants to drastically cut fees (due to the drop in business from the virus).  We may want to cooperate (to continue the business relationship) but then, when things get back to normal and the companies are profitable, how do you return to the fee structure which was correct for the scope of work and your business (overhead/salaries/expenses). Maybe you have some ideas about a document which limits time for discounted fees but returns to normal billing down the road?
Christina (20:50):
How can you get used to doing proposals and have a good understanding of costs when you don’t have much exposure in the office? Is there a parallel training that can be done to catch up with the industry?
John (23:25):
We have an interesting residential Landscape Architectural project opportunity from a developer/contractor on behalf of their Client. They want us sub-contracted to them. We want to avoid this because: 1. We prefer to contract directly with the property owner, 2. there are a number of liens and judgements on record against the developer/contractor. Have you any advice in preparing the proposal (or contract) that minimizes our risk?
Anthony (27:13):
What time is a good time to present a three tier fee Structure option of services (e.g. basic, intermediate, premium) when you just have an enquiry? Especially for a client that may be new to Architectural services. Particularly in a market with plan drawers?
Stuart (31:58):
In the fee proposal letter that Ian outlined, a small note explains that the “Fees for design services range from x-x% of the final construction cost depending on the Design Professional’s level of involvement”. I am finding prospects are uncomfortable with a percentage of construction fee. This is challenging because of the risk in providing fixed fee pricing at an early stage. When and how do you find is the best way to propose the method of compensation for design phase services?
POLL (16:37):
Which problem(s) do you find the most challenging? Click here for responses
Graham (37:50):
If % of construction is not your preferred route, what is your recommendation?

Useful Links Referenced in the Q&A Session:

1. Which Fee Structure is best for Architects:
2. LEED Homes Command an 8% Premium over Conventional Homes:
3. Fee Proposal Fundamentals Online Training (free course):
4. Fee Proposal Workshop Online Training: (paid course):