architectural services to offer

Architectural services to offer – ideas for niching and upselling

The scope of services you, as an architect offer, will define your revenue more than anything else.

Previously we have suggested finding a specific niche to target. That will help you get to more clients and better money faster without worrying if your hourly rates are OK.

Getting strategic with the scope of services you offer is actually the cornerstone of architectural profit planning

You don’t necessarily have to do all the work yourself (you won’t be able to anyway) – delegate to virtual assistants, freelancers or partner up with other professionals.

PlanMan has a convenient co-consultants module that allows you to manage deliverables and communicate with other professionals right in your project management tool. That lets you quickly onboard anyone that will help you sell more services to your clients – thus increasing your bottom line.

Let’s go over some of the architectural services that you can consider offering to your clients.

Baseline services everyone expects from an architect

These overlap with the general architecture project phases and are present in pretty much any project you are working on.

Project inception and programming

No designs are developed at this point. In most cases, project inception is when you sit down and talk to the client to understand their needs and get on the same page.

Narrow down everything they are talking about to create a vision for the project.

Schematic design

This stage is when you produce the basic design of the building. Both sketching and some detailed drawing is involved. You will have to create at least the general drawings for floor plans, site plans, and finishes.

Design development

The most “architect” stage of your project work. You produce the full building design refined with all measurements and materials, wrapped into detailed floor plans.

Construction documentation & permitting

Use the design you’ve developed to create construction documents for regulator approvals and the actual building of the project.

Additional services you can upsell to your client

Now to the best part  – architectural services you can use as upsells. 

Don’t be shy to pitch additional services – that is where a lot of architects make the most of their money.

If you showcase authority and reliability, your clients will accept most of your suggestions. 

After all, additional architecture services all serve one goal: to improve your customers’ experience.

Construction Administration

This is sometimes included as a basic architectural service, but the most successful architects we’ve worked with – have moved construction administration into the upsell territory.

Architects act as client representatives and construction supervisors rather than building managers. Most clients don’t know how to follow the construction process properly so these services make sense because they need a trusted point of contact.

One of the ways to create an additional change out of this is to offer part-time construction site presence in your basic contract, with an option to upgrade it to full-time construction site presence for an extra fee.

Code and regulation analysis

This is a useful additional service for larger commercial projects. Basically, you would get the full regulatory background for the project to the client – land use plans, accessibility and energy standards, building codes that apply to the area and everything else that would ensure you have no legal surprises down the road.

Sustainable design services

If your client is conscious of sustainable development or needs it for public image/branding/reputation purposes, you can charge a premium for these services.

Sustainable design services use several programs and frameworks like LEED, BREAM, and WELL – these systems help certify the project as one focused on eco-friendliness and sustainability. A lot goes into consideration here, from materials used to energy expenditure and carbon footprint.

Needless to say, there’s a learning curve with sustainability certification, but it’s a trend you can’t afford to miss (and a possible way to niche your service!)

Energy efficiency assessments

You can offer energy efficiency assessment reports to your clients, whether as part of sustainability design or as a separate architectural service.

These reports reflect things like heating, insulation, lighting, construction materials, window thickness and a lot more. 

Future energy savings may be of interest to certain client types, so you can test the waters and suggest that additional service eventually.

Bidding/price discussion representation

From our experience, we know that clients are always happy to pay extra for the architect’s involvement in the bidding process.

People that don’t spend too much time in construction and don’t have enough experience always want a second opinion on all their expenses. 

You, as an architect, on the other hand, have a better understanding of how much things should cost – so you can offer an additional service representing your client in price discussions.

3D/VR renders and demos

If you decide to include 3D and VR modelling by default – more power to you, that can be your main selling point. 

However, if your basic services include only 2D renders, 3D/VR models are a great upsell to offer. If you’re not that tech-savvy – outsource these types of modelling to a freelance architect and impress your clients.

Feasibility studies

This makes sense for commercial projects – a feasibility study analyses how likely the project is to achieve the client’s goals.

Once you establish yourself as an architect, offering feasibility studies as an additional service will make a lot of sense. Your clients would be happy to bounce ideas off of you and get your input on whether the project is worth the investment – you can pack your feedback and advice into a feasibility study you charge for.

Electrical schematics, cabinetry, interior design

This is exactly when you’re best off onboarding more professionals as part of your team in PlanMan. Electricians, HVAC engineers, and interior designers can all expand the scope of your services and help you earn more.

Contract preparation

Project owners normally need a lot of contracts with different parties, entities, and contractors, and navigating that space that gets confusing and risky. 

You can help address that pain by offering additional services and preparing quality, correct, and enforceable contracts for all your clients’ needs. 

As you get more and more experience, you will be accumulating contract templates that make sense for your location – or team up with a lawyer to re-sell their services with a markup!

Whichever way you decide to go, there is always more money to be made selling additional architectural services!

We’re happy to offer the tools you need to get your income as an architect to the next level – sign up for a free trial of PlanMan today and see what it has to offer!