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Administering the Regular Services of the Architect

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Unit IV. The Project

1. The Project: An Overview

Architectural work varies in complexities and in the creative skill required to successfully meet the requirements of the client within
the constraints of the technical, functional, economic and aesthetic and other considerations. These considerations imply that each
design project can be determined by its own merits.
The following groups of buildings are attempts to classify design projects in accordance with the degree of complexity of each
project, based on these groupings, corresponding graduated scale of charges is prescribed to be able to determine the fair
remuneration of the Architect.
The architects fee includes the normal structural, electrical, plumbing/sanitary, and mechanical engineering services and is
determined by getting the percentage indicated in the Schedule of Minimum Basic Fees for specific groups and multiplying it with
the Project Construction Cost.
The schedule of charges herein indicated are to be considered as the Minimum Basic Fee since the Architects Charges also take
into consideration his professional standing in the community.
1.1 Range of Projects: Complex and Simple
Group 1
Structures of simplest utilization, character which are without complication of design or details and require a minimum of finish,
structural, mechanical and electrical design.
Armories Parking Structures
Bakeries Printing Plants
Farm Structures Public Markets
Freight Facilities Service Garages
Hangars Simple Loft-type Structure
Industrial Buildings Warehouses
Manufacturing/ Industrial Plants And other similar utilization type buildings
Packaging and Processing Plants


P 50 Million and Less 6 percent
Over P 50 million to P 100 Million P 3,000,000 plus 5% of excess of P 50 Million
Over P 100 million to P 200 Million P 5,500,000 plus 4% of excess of P 100 Million
Over P 200 million to P 500 Million P 9,500,000 plus 3% of excess of P 200 Million
Over P 500 million to P 1 Billion P 18,500,000 plus 2% of excess of P 500 Million
Over P 1 Billion P 28,500,000 plus 1% of excess of P 1 Billion

Group 2
Structures of moderate complexity of design requiring a moderate amount of structural, mechanical and electrical design and
Art Galleries Nursing Homes
Banks, Exchange and Others Office Buildings
Financial Institutions Park, Playground and Open Air
Bowing Alleys Recreational Facilities
Churches and Religious Facilities Police Stations
City Halls Post Office
College Buildings Private Clubs
Convents, Monasteries and Seminaries Publishing Plants
Correctional and Detention Institutions Race Tracks
Court Houses Restaurants
Dormitories Retails Stores

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Exhibition Halls and Display Structures School

Fire Stations Shopping Centers
Laundries and Cleaning Facilities Specialty Shops
Libraries Supermarkets
Motels and Apartels Welfare Buildings
Multi-storey Apartments


P 50 Million and Less 7 percent
Over P 50 million to P 100 Million P 3,500,000 plus 6% of excess of P 50 Million
Over P 100 million to P 200 Million P 6,500,000 plus 5% of excess of P 100 Million
Over P 200 million to P 500 Million P 11,500,000 plus 4% of excess of P 200 Million
Over P 500 million to P 1 Billion P 23,500,000 plus 3% of excess of P 500 Million
Over P 1 Billion P 38,500,000 plus 2% of excess of P 1 Billion

Group 3
Structures of exceptional character and complexity of design requiring comparatively large amounts of structural, mechanical
and electrical design and research.
Aquariums Laboratories
Atomic Facilities Marinas
Auditoriums Medical Office Facilities and Clinics
Airports Mental Institutions
Breweries Mortuaries
Cold Storage Facilities Observatories
Communication Buildings Public Health Centers
Convention Halls Research Facilities
Gymnasiums Stadiums
Hospitals and Medical Buildings Theater and Similar Facilities
Hotels Veterinary Hospitals


P 50 Million and Less 8 percent
Over P 50 million to P 100 Million P 4,000,000 plus 7% of excess of P 50 Million
Over P 100 million to P 200 Million P 7,500,000 plus 6% of excess of P 100 Million
Over P 200 million to P 500 Million P 13,500,000 plus 5% of excess of P 200 Million
Over P 500 million to P 1 Billion P 28,500,000 plus 4% of excess of P 500 Million
Over P 1 Billion P 48,500,000 plus 3% of excess of P 1 Billion

Group 4
Residences (Single Detached or Duplex), small apartment houses and town houses.
Minimum Basic Fee: 10 % for Project Construction Cost

Group 5
Monumental buildings and other facilities requiring consummate design skill and much precise detailing.
Exposition and Fair Buildings Specialized decorative buildings
Mausoleums, Memorials Structures of similar nature or use
Minimum Basic Fee: 10 % for Project Construction Cost

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Administering the Regular Services of the Architect
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Group 6: Repetitive Construction of Buildings

When the design of the Architect is used again for the repetitive construction of similar structures, without amending the
drawing and specifications, the Architects fee is computed as follows:
First Structure Minimum Basic Fee
Second Structure 80% of Basic Fee
Third Structure 60% of Basic Fee
Succeeding Structure 40% of Basic Fee

Group 7: Housing Projects

When the design of the Architect is engaged to undertake a HOUSING PROJECT involving the construction of several
residential units on a single site with the use of one basic plan and specifications, the MINIMUM FEE chargeable hereunder
shall conform to the following:
First Structure 10% of the Construction Cost of one unit as Basic Fee
From Two to Ten Units Fee of 1 units plus 60% of Basic Fee for each additional unit
Eleven Units and above Fee for 10 units plus 30% of Basic Fee for each additional unit

Group 8:
Projects involving extensive detail such as furniture design, built-in equipment, special fittings, screens, counters, interiors and
other detailed parts or appurtenances of buildings or structures and landscaping designs.
Minimum Basic Fee: 15 % for Project Construction Cost

Group 9:
For alterations and additions of existing structures belonging to Groups 1 to 5 enumerated above, compensation of services
should be increased by 50% or a total of 150% of the Basic Fee.

Group 10:
Where the Architect is engaged to render opinion or give advice, clarifications or explanation on technical matters pertaining to
his profession, the Minimum Fee chargeable hereunder shall not be less than Two Hundred Pesos (P200.00*) per hour subject
to increase depending on the extent and coverage of service required. When rendering service as an expert witness, the
Architects fee shall not be less than Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00*) per appearance irrespective of whether the scheduled
hearing took place or not.
* All references to fixed amount shall refer to the value of the Peso as of November 1979 Adjustment of the price shall be
made at the time of the contract.

2. Project Initiation: Acquisition

2.1 The Decision to Build: 204a Full-Time Supervision
The Principals
For the past 50 years, the design and building process is undertaken by four principal members, namely:
A. The Owner or employer who has the decision to build as to purpose, size, cost and location. He orders the
implementation of the project;
B. The ARCHITECT and his ENGINEER CONSULTANTS who render design services as to space, function, stability,
environment, aesthetics, and limited inspection work;
C. The CONTRACTOR who performs and delivers the construction work through his men, materials and equipment.
D. The individual SUPERVISOR or group of individuals who assist on the supervision and delivery of the works.

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Full-Time Supervision
Up to the early 50s when projects were manageable in size, the Architect was assisted by a construction inspector,
traditionally called Clerk-of-Works. As projects become more complex, there is a need for a construction supervision group
who will do the full-time inspection at the jobsite. The Architect based on their performance and hired by the Owner normally
recommends the Construction Supervision Group. He is responsible both to the Owner and the Architect.
The fundamental functions and primary responsibilities of the construction supervision group are:
1. Quality Control of Work
2. Evaluation and Construction Works
3. Keeping or Records, Reports and Contract Documents
Other Functions of the Construction Supervisory Group
1. Conduct regular coordination meetings with the Owner, the Architect-Engineer-Consultant, the Contractor, and such other
parties as may be required, or their designated representatives.
2. Attend conferences called by the Owner or the Architect-Engineer-Consultant.
3. Accompany the Owner, the Architect-Engineer-Consultant or their representative and government inspectors during their
visits to the project.
Limitation of Authority
1. The Construction Supervision Group shall not enter into the field of responsibility of the Contractors project
2. He shall not make decisions on matters that are the sole responsibility of the Architect and or Design Engineer.
Legal Responsibility
The Construction Supervision Group is responsible to the Owner on administrative matters. On technical matters he is
responsible to the Architect and the Design Engineers. He does not have any legal responsibility as far as the present Civil
Code is concerned. It is still the Architect and the Design Engineer who are responsible for their design works while the
Contractor is responsible for his construction work.
Full-Time inspectors must be at least a college graduate who has a degree in Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Civil
Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Sanitary Engineering or Electrical Engineering. He must have some experience in
designing and very knowledgeable in building materials and in construction.
The Construction Supervision Group is usually recommended by the Architect and is paid by the Owner either on a salary
basis or on an agreed flat rate per month. Overtime work is paid on a higher rate.
The Architect as Full-Time Supervisor
1. When requested by the Owner, the Architect can also perform full-time supervisory services. As the Architect of the
project, he is in a better position to interpret his drawings and documents for compliance by the Contractor. He can
assign his staff to undertake the full-time supervisory work.
2. The services of the Architect as full-time supervisor can be compensated for by any of the following methods:
a. Percentage Fee Method. Fee of 1% to 1 % of the Project Construction Cost
b. Multiple of Direct Personnel Expense Method

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The Construction Team

1. The Owner who orders for the implementation of a project.
2. The Architect and his Engineer-Consultants who render design services and limited inspection work.
3. The Contractor who performs the construction work; and
4. The individual or group of individuals called Clerk-of-Works, Resident Inspector or Works Engineer, who is hired by the
Owner to do the full-time inspection work. He assists in the Construction Phase of the Project and is responsible to the
Architect on technical matters.
5. The individual or firm called the Construction Manager who assists on the supervision and delivery of work. The
Construction Manager may have a group of full-time inspectors in his staff or hire the necessary inspectors for the owner.
The functions of the full-time inspectors are therefore included under the responsibility of the Construction Manager.

2.2 Selection of the Design Team

Selection of the Architect: 208-a
Methods of Selection
Three basic methods of selection are available to a client seeking the services of an Architect:
1. Direct Selection is most often used by an individual person undertaking a relatively small project.
In this method, the client selects his architect on the basis of:
a. Reputation
b. Personal Acquaintance or recommendation of a friend
c. Recommendation of a former client
d. Recommendation of another architect.
Usually selection is made after information interviews and is most often based on the personal desires of and evaluation
of the client.
2. Committees representing institutions, corporations or public agencies most often employ Comparative Selection.
This is perhaps the most common method of selecting an Architect. In essence, one Architect is compared with others
and the client makes a selection based upon his judgment of which firm is most qualified for the successful execution of
his project.
Usually a system is established whereby architectural firms must first qualify for an interview by submitting information
describing their firms. The client reviews these submissions and determines that perhaps six or seven might best serve
his needs. Representative of these firms are then asked to present personally the qualifications of their organizations at
an interview session.
a. The Architect is usually given the opportunity to explain his background and particular qualifications for the project
under consideration and his approach to the proposed project. He is then asked to respond to questions from the
selection committee.
b. It is customary for the following information to be solicited from the Architect:
1. Date of organization of the firm.
2. References from former clients and from some financial institutions.
3. Number of technical staff members.
4. Ability to undertake the project under consideration with due recognition of other work in the office.
5. A list of similar projects built in recent years covering points as:
a. Project Cost
b. Efficiency factors such as square foot or cubic foot costs, per pupil costs for schools, per car costs for
parking garages, or other per patient costs for hospitals.
c. Unique solutions to prior commissions.
d. Names of consultants normally used for services not provided by the Architect himself.
c. The selection committee established by the Client may consist of experienced laymen; it may have on it
representatives of other professions or the construction industry and it may include other concerned persons with
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related expertise, including Architects and Engineers. The Architect should attempt to ascertain the composition of
the selection of committee so that this presentation can be given at the appropriate technical level. He should also
learn in advance the general scope of the project and the location of the site. This information should be readily
available from the prospective Client.
d. After the selection committee has interviewed each of the applicants, checked references and possibly visited actual
buildings designed by each architect, it forms its opinion of the most capable firm and then undertakes the
negotiations of the Owner-Architect Agreement and the compensation to be paid for architectural services.
e. The client in order to be prepared for this negotiation may undertake an inquiry into the methods of compensation
used for similar projects.
f. The architect should be prepared to discuss the nature of the compensation. Throughout each discussion the client
must remember that he is purchasing professional services, that the cost of these professional services is very minor
compared to the total cost of his contemplated project. The Client is buying personal; services and expertise and
should not be misled by the lure of the lowest compensation amount.
g. It is important for the Architect to be aware of the Standards of Ethical Practice, concerning solicitation of a client
when another Architect has been retained for a project.
h. The Client while obviously interested in retaining a firm, which has done similar types of projects, should be aware
that many firms have done outstanding projects in their first attempt in a field in which they have had little or no
experience. Similarly, many young and or small firms have been known to do outstanding work and should be given
serious consideration.
i. Some other factors, which should be considered for retaining an Architect, include his ability to establish realistic
construction costs and his success in producing a design within that framework; his ability to maintain an appropriate
time schedule and his success in administering construction contracts.
j. Of interest to some clients is the number of technical employees who will be assigned to their projects.
3. Design Competitions are most frequently used for civic or monumental projects and prestigious private buildings.
In the Philippines, the large majority of the Architects belong to the UAP, therefore they will abide by the UAPs rules for
design competitions as embodied in UAP Document 209. It is important for the client contemplating a design competition
to read the document.
a. Design competitions are based on the process whereby various architectural firms submit solutions to a particular
problem and are judged on the comparative excellence of their submissions as evidence of their imagination and
skill. The design competitions have both advantage and disadvantages and the Client must decide if the effort on
the part of both the Client and competitor is worthwhile.
b. Some competitions have resulted in the construction of outstanding buildings; some have produced disastrous
results. The Client contemplating by this means should discuss this matter with other organizations who have
conducted similar competitions so that he is well aware of the pros and cons. This method is usually the most
extensive and time consuming and, for these reasons, its use is generally limited to very large or historically
important or civic or commercial projects.
c. If a Client is considering conducting a design competition, he should first seek the assistance of the UAP or one of its
local components. One of the first steps will be the selection of a registered Architect as the Professional Advisor.
d. At least a majority of the jury is composed of practicing Architects and the jury examines the rates and competition
drawings. The drawings are as few in numbers and as small in scale as will express the general design of the
e. The Client may wish to combine methods of selection; for instance, a design competition could be held between
several equally qualified firms that have been chosen through comparative selection procedures. In such a case, the
Client would be well advised to actually engage these firms for an appropriate level of compensation in order for
them to actively pursue the initial studies upon which a final selection would be made.

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2.3 Seeking the Project

Marketing Architectural Services
Selling professional service is a matter or communication, and this is the process by which ideas are exchanged. In the past
years professionals got a number of clients obtained through personal friendship and contract. However in recent years, the
number of clients has multiplied and more and more they are corporate or committee in nature. This means that the selection
of professionals becomes a group decision based on analytical processes, rather than individual patronage.
To cope with the consequences of all this, modern society has developed a whole range of new techniques of communication,
marketing, advertising, promotion, public relations, merchandising, propaganda, and publicity. These are the terms and tools.
There are four basic levels involved in communication.
a. Recognition of the need: if the client who wants a customized house first calls in a builder. It is obvious that architects
have incomplete communication.
b. Class Identification: when the local school board or highway department sends out invitation for professional services
proposals, who will be on the list? Professionals must be sure their firm is counted in when all the firms.
c. Competitive Preference: The client will say one office looks better and one is cheaper, etc. So from a dozen firms under
consideration, the choice is narrowed to two or three. Here salesmanship is important. A critical challenge to the
professionals communication program at this stage is how an individual firm can have an identity different from or
superior to its competitors.
d. Selection: How one professional firm wins a commission over its closets competitors is an equally complex and
sometimes capricious process. It involves information, personality, strategy and some luck, all of which are elements of
communication. The key is salesmanship.
Marketing vs. Sales
Marketing deals with what you sell. Sales deals with how you sell it. There is a distinct difference between these two. The
distinction begins with the difference between a product and a service. A product, in the sense of, for example an automobile,
is a predetermined object, which one buys or does not buy according to how the features it offers, apply to ones needs.
In the product world, marketing determines what is to be sold, and selling is a clearly distinct function, which tries to persuade
as many people as possible that the established model is just what they want.
A service on the other hand, is frequently marketed and sold at the same time. The customer who wants a bridge or bui lding
designed is originally more concerned with the process by which the engineer or architect will design it than with the end result.
Considerations such as the firms professional response to the program of the project, its approach to project management, and
ability to meet budgets and schedules, and the personal chemistry between buyer & seller are the elements being purchased.

As the skillful design firm adapts what it can do to the particular needs of the assignment at hand, and puts together a
persuasive proposal demonstrating why its approach is just right for this particular project, it is marketing and selling
In this context it has been demonstrated time and again that firms which offer a truly remarkable service will have lots of good
assignments whether they are doing any active selling or not. Conversely, it has been equally demonstrated that firms, which
learn to sell but dont have much to offer will have very much less if no clients at all.
Image of the Profession
Every business has an image from the moment it opens its doors. The founders of a given business can, by their approach,
endeavor to shape their initial image. A new professional firm may, for example, wish to be known for design, or for
highways, or for comprehensive service, or any one of numerous special qualifications or talents. It is up to the principals to
decide what image they want, and in this context, there is no such thing as an image being good or bad. In practice, every
professional will be concerned with two different images. First, is the image of the profession as a whole. Second, is the
image of his own practice.

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The Business Development Process

There is a distinct step-by-step sequence by which professional services are offered, considered, and commissioned. From
the professionals standpoint this business development process can be divided into eight steps.
1. Market Research - determining what kind of work you want to do and where to get it.
This has two simple objectives:
a. Determining what kind of work you want to do.
b. Learning how to find those who sponsor the work. According to Professor Theodore Levitt of Harvard Business
School, there are four phases in life expectancy of products or services in the marketplace and knowledge of their
cycle can be critically important to the trimming of marketing strategy.
6. Market Development. The phase when a new service is first brought to or required by the market, but before
there is a proven demand. Volume is low, and creeps ahead very slowly. There is generally very little
competition. And example is when the first condominium was introduced in the Philippines.
7. Market Growth. The take-off stage when demand begins to accelerate and the size of the total market expand
rapidly. In hotels, it was caused by tourism and world conventions. In school buildings, it was caused by a baby
boom. This is the most advantageous time to be in a market from a marketing standpoint. At the same time
there is the sharpest increase in demand and the fewest competitors.
8. Market Maturity. Eventually demand begins to level off as the market need becomes satisfied and continuing
volume is matched to national growth or replacement requirements. At this stage many forms have jumped on
the bandwagon and there is more and more competition for a static market. As a general rule, by the time one
sees example of a new project type rising across the landscape, that market cycle is well into maturity and it is
late to cash in big.
9. Market Decline. Eventually every service fulfills the demand or loses appeal or relevance. This is particularly
true of the project and building type markets of interest to engineers and architect, because of our societys
habit of solving national priorities one at a time, ex. The governments highway program, the renewal of
hospitals, etc., at this market stage there is more competition from firms that are geared up, but there is less and
less work to go around.
The process of conducting market research is to establish:
a. What market or project types will be investigated?
b. What territory (local, nationwide) will be studied?
c. Who are the sources that can be contacted for information?
2. List Building - identifying those with whom you want to be in touch.
Once a firm has selected the market it wants to pursue, the next step is to identify those who commission professional
services for this work. At this stage the objective is to prepare a list of likely prospects to be contacted later in search of
leads. The yellow pages or the local phone directories are one source of list building. The Architect can write a least a
hundred companies by inquiring if they have proposed projects and need the services of an architect.
3. Bird-dogging beating the bushes to find the live one.
The sales activity known as bird-dogging implies finding and pointing. Non-professionals who sometimes do the job on
the payroll of an architect or engineer organizations do this. Bird-dogging is intelligence gathering, not sales. The bird
dog seeks information for the hunter, and when the dog finds a target, it only points the direction for the hunter to aim.
The bird-dogging of potential clients for a design firm is exactly the same. The job is to find information, not to sell.
Thus, in practice, it cannot be emphasized too strongly that bird-dogging calls should not be used as sales calls. It is wise
that bird-dogs do not carry brochures when they make calls. This allows a request for a brochure to be answered later, by
mail or messenger or return visit, accompanied by a tailored sales letter aimed at the particular opportunity that has been
Bird-dogging, then begins with the list, which ideally contains:
a. The names of the organizations, institutions or companies in a given territory that may use the particular service one
is interested in providing.
b. An evaluation of the list in order of priority of contact.
c. The names and address of the executives in each organization who considers professionals and receives proposals.

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And from these contacts the professional will want to find out:
d. Whether the organization uses professional services such as the firm offers; and
e. Are any specific projects in prospect in the foreseeable future?
4. Strategy Research learning enough about each quarry to determine your choice of selling weapons.
Finding the range before firing. There is nothing in the process of selling quite so exciting as the moment when one
uncovers a genuine prospect that has an active project underway and is seeking the professional services it offers.
Often, this moment arrives by mail from one of the organizations the professional has been bird-dogging. The letter will
outline a scope of service required, and will ask if the firm wants to be considered. A questionnaire may be attached, to
be completed and returned by those who want to stay in the running.
If the professional firm is really lucky, it may encounter a live project before it has competitors and while the field is
relatively clear. Dont start the hard sell yet! This is a time for strategy research. If you are going to sell yourself
effectively later, now is the time to learn five things.
a. Who is the prospective client?
b. What is the program?
c. What is the site?
d. How will professionals be selected?
e. What is the timetable?
There are two important timetables.
1. The Project Timetable.
2. The Timetable for selection of professional
Knowing these timetables may open up valuable opportunities for follow-up submittals. Personal contact, and other
effective techniques for salesmanship. When the timetable is not known, a great deal of effort can be wasted. And
so the best way to learn the timetable is to ask the prospect.
Strategy Judgments
After getting the answers, there are three important questions the selling professionals must ask themselves.
a. Do we want the job?
b. Have we any chance of getting it?
c. If we go after it, what is our best strategy to win it?
In practice, there is a tremendous cost in losing. Internally the energy that is spent putting together long-slot proposals
inflates the marketing budget and, more importantly, detracts from the kind of maximum energy that should be applied
towards the ones you really can win. Externally, it is never wise to let a client reject you because you have no business
trying to get the job.
There is no faster way to gain respect to ones professional judgment than to withdraw from consideration for a job, which
is not your cup of tea. In other words, write the prospect and tell the truth. The moral is always to put the best foot
Strategy Judgment Checklist
a. What is the real job?
b. What do we know about the prospect?
c. What do we know about the prospects project?
d. What is our view of the prospects objectives, problems, needs and alternative approaches to the project?
e. What does the prospect expects to hear from us?
f. What does the project need to hear from us?
g. What project team will be involved?
h. How will we present our approach?
i. What is the single most important message we want the client to know about us?
You have the chance to adopt virtually any sales strategy you choose. The correctness of your choice in terms of whether
you win or loose will depend, more than anything else, on the quality of your original strategy research. If you know
everything there is to know about the prospective client, the assignment, the competition, and the process of selection,
then it is time to start selling!

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5. Courting the art of making professional relationships.

All along the way, every selling pursuit involved courting the prospective client in order to develop rapport and confidence.
In practice, some firms initiate in high proportion or all of their marketing at the courting phase. These firms know of
certain active clients with whom they want to work, and they focus their business development effort or getting known by
these clients. Todays clients demonstrate a high degree of openness to new approaches and new faces.
Courting by definition, is the process of establishing a level of professional relationship that makes the client comfortable
with the idea of working with you, usually well before a decision is made on who will get the job.
Basic Courting Techniques
a. Be known
The routes to becoming known are simple. One way is to be introduced and this can be effective if the right person
makes the introduction. That person must have equal or greater credibility than by which you wish to be known.
Lacking an introduction, the easiest way to become known is to introduce yourself and then reappear regularly and
often enough so that your name, your face and face are remembered and recognized.
b. Be credible
Becoming credible involves both what is conveyed during the getting acquainted visit, and who does the conveying.
If the courting is done by a professional who is prepared to be the architect or engineer for the client, the credibility
conveyed will be quite different from what it might be if the caller is seen only as a sales representative or bird-dog.
c. Be useful
The last but not the least route to credibility is through civic or professional associations. If the client sees you
perform well at something even a wholly different activity you will gain stature in the clients eyes. This is why
professionals who are active on civic boards or in professional society affairs do so well when they seek work from
clients who are aware of these roles.
The final element of the courting process is being helpful. When courting reaches the stage where the prospect is
comfortable asking for advice or a favor, and the professional is comfortable giving or granting it, a nature
relationship has been established that will inevitably yield mutual benefits over the long run.
6. Communications on Paperwork preparing the forms and questionnaires.
After contact is made and a project of genuine interest is identified, the next step is to let the prospect know if the firm is
interested in being considered for the commission. How well this is done, normally by letter and or by completing a
questionnaire, is critically important.
It must be emphasized that the real purpose of the documents submitted at the stage of business development process is
to get an interview, not to get the job. Now is the time to communicate qualifications, not specific services.
Several generalizations can be made about the screening process:
a. Firms with previous specific experience in the building-type under construction always rise to the top first.
b. If all firms gave the same answer to a question, no matter how correct, the question becomes meaningless.
c. A stock brochure, by itself will not receive the same degree of attention as individually prepared materials.
d. Graphic elaborateness of the submission is seldom an important criterion, and can induce negative reactions.
Graphic quality, however, says how much about the firm, and can be very important.
e. Brevity with completeness is an appreciated value.
f. The genuineness of the firms interest in the assignment under the consideration is very important.
g. The covering letter is possibly the most important document of all.
Scope of Service
All professionals must learn today to define their services whenever they are selling, do not say normal architectural
services anymore. Since in point of fact there is no longer a normal professional services, and if there were, how can
one be sure that the clients definition of normal is the same as yours. A much better answer is:
Comprehensive architectural services including programming: Feasibility Analysis; Site Selection; Master Planning; Building
Design; Construction Documentation and Specification: Cost Estimating; Interior Space Planning and Design; Landscape
Design; Construction Supervision.

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Many questionnaires ask firms, especially architectural firms, to identify outside consultants they regularly engage or
would use on the project at hand. It is wise not to be hasty answering this question.
Quite often, in both public and private work the client may have done some research that led it to blacklist certain
consultants whose performance it considers unsatisfactory. Were possible a good answer is to stay loose, possibly with a
general statement such as:
We employ outside consultants after detailed evaluation of their suitability to the particular project, including such factors as
prior experience in the building type, geographic location, current availability of personnel, etc. Among the consultants who
would be considered for the project are: (List several qualified firms in each consulting area) Final selection of consultants
will be made only after review with the client.
Assignment of Personnel
One question very often asked goes: Name the key personnel who would serve as project manager, project designer,
and job captain if your firm is selected, and give a biographical sketch of each
A major quandary occurs when a firm has what are obviously the right people on its staff, but they are not immediately
available for reassignment. In such cases, it is entirely proper to answer the question along these lines:
Key personnel are assigned on the basis of their experience in the project type and their availability at the time the
commission is awarded to us. Because we cannot be certain when this project might be awarded to us, if at all, we cannot
guarantee indefinitely that specific personnel will remain available for this assignment. Attached are biographies of two
project managers, two designers, and two job captains from whom we would hope assignments for this project could be
made. If we are selected for final consideration for this project we will then, of course, stipulate personnel to be assigned,
and if they are unsatisfactory to the client we will withdraw.
Personnel Biographies
In preparing biographies of key personnel for presentations, it is essential to tailor them to the assignment being sought.
To do this, resumes must be custom rewritten for every project submitted. The most effective formats presents the
information in outline format, both because it is easy for the reader to focus on desired information, and easier to insert
and edit custom sections. A composite of the outline format for biographies used by firms with a lot of experience in
marketing their people would include these elements.
Role in Proposed Project
Professional Memberships
Related Experience
Other activities that brings credibility to the assigned role
Biographies of this format should never be longer than one typewritten page. Dont oversell. If one person has a dozen
of relevant projects, choose only the best two or three so you dont make one person look superior than the other
The most frequently used influence system involves friends or contacts that intercede on ones behalf, more or less
personal reasons. The other formula for business development process for use of reference on fully professional term is:
a. Use reference whose judgment will be particularly respected by the prospective client.
b. Be sure they commit themselves to the project.
Two or three names are usually sufficient. If there is a choice, preference should go in approximately the following order
of priorities:
Satisfied Former Clients
Persons in the same field as the prospective client
Persons of stature in the community

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The Covering Letter

The best-executed questionnaire and the best brochures mat receive scant attention if they are not accompanied by a
strong and effective covering letter. The letter of transmittal must emphasize the firms specific qualifications for the job,
and it must stress the firms real interest in the assignment.
Exhibits of Experience
In general, regardless of what is included in the standard brochure, it is helpful to include in the custom paperwork work
presentation one or several project examples that directly address the interest of the prospective client. Often they can
simply be attached as loose photographs with captions. In more elaborate presentations, they may be bound into a loose-
leaf binder containing the questionnaire and transmittal.
In practice, the elements that distinguish a proposed from a qualifications presentation are:
a. A clearly defined approach o the work or scope of services.
b. A price
c. A proposed design solution (sometimes)
Defining Services
In essence, a proposal outlines a scope of services and sets a price. When proposals are drafted solely to record a legal
agreement, they can be solely technical I nature. However, when a proposal is drafted before a commission has been
awarded, it is selling document and must be written to sell.
7. Interviews putting yourself across
Communicating in Person
At this stage in the selling process, facts are much less important than the personal interaction of the client and the
professional. Every professional can tell when he or she meets a client with whom they really like to work. The client
reads the professional in just the same way. This then is the purpose of the interview. To convince the client that working
with you will be an interesting and rewarding experience.
To prepare for an interview, learn as much as possible about the conditions order, which it will be held.
a. Who will be interviewing, how many people will be present; what are their names?
b. The physical setting, can slides be shown, will there be a screen or should the firm bring its own; are there easels for
charts; blackboards, chalks, etc,
c. The Timetable is this first or last interview of the day, how long will it last?
d. The Agenda, are there particular subjects the interviewers would like to see or hear about?
Informal Interview
A certain amount of SELF-CONFIDENCE is very helpful to get the client interested in the professional as an individual.
In informal interviews try to avoid making a direct presentation of your case at the outset. A direct presentation should be
avoided until the client has become interested in you.
To do this, start off the interview by asking questions to the client. Examples might be:
a. Has the program been translated into a detailed space analysis?
b. How was the size of the site determined?
c. Have you determined what zoning clearances will be needed?
d. When will the site be available (cleared for construction to start)?
e. How do you expect to finance the project?
f. Is financing available now, or there will be a wait after design while money is raised?
g. Have you determined a philosophy of how this building should function?
h. Have you considered how you will pick your builder?
i. How will you be organized to direct the project?
j. Who will be in charge of liaison between yourselves and the professionals you select?
The lucky professional who set such a dialogue will be scoring points faster than ever could be registered by a formal
presentation. Sometimes the professionals question will set off discussion that will use up most of the time allotted for the
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entire interview. Dont panic. This may be a high compliment, if time runs short, ask what the prospect would most like to
see or hear in the time remaining, and limit the presentation accordingly.
Formal Interviews
This requires an entirely different organization strategy. In the first place the setting tends to require a direct presentation
at the outset, leading, hopefully, to some dialogue at the end. Secondly, an interview committee involves a number of
different personalities, and the human connection is much harder to achieve. Finally, committees starts by looking for
reasons to discard a contender.
There are five basic questions, which should be answered in order to design an effective formal presentation.
a. What do we have to say to fulfill the formal selection criteria?
b. Who on our tem will best relate to the personalities of the clients?
c. How should our people project themselves in the presentation?
d. What media will make it easier for us to protect our style?
e. What is the one point we want the prospects to remember 10 minutes after we have left the room?
The last questions are the most important. What will be used to identify the different contenders will be comments like:
The firm that did the XYZ job
The firm that said they could start tomorrow
The one who quoted the lowest price
The firm who told us..
The First Five Minutes
What happens during the first few minutes in the interview room can be crucial to the success of a presentation? The
objective is to get the attention of the members of the committee so they will be alert for the meat of what is to be said.
The most important thing to convey in the first five minutes in some reason why the committee should care about the rest
of your presentation. Saying something like the following in the first minute or two may be very helpful:
Weve just completed a study of 32 projects similar to yours built across the country, and later in our presentation wed like
to share with you what we think weve; learned that will benefit your project.
The Question Period
The professional is advised to treat the questions seriously regardless how unimportant they may sound. At the same
time, it is good to avoid lengthy answers, which the committee may have heard several times already. If a question is
technical, it is wise to avoid being specific unless you are professionally committed to your ground. Also beware if the
question and answer dialogue causes the committee to ask questions of professional judgment.
The Exit
It is important to leave quickly and gracefully when time is up. In fact it is good practice for the professional top be the
timekeeper, and when the allotted time is over, offer to leave. If the committee wants to run overtime, it should be entirely
their doing.
But do not leave without covering these 3 points:
a. Ask when the committee expects to reach a decision.
b. Ask if the committee will have the opportunity to visit completed projects before reaching a decision, and urge them
to see some of the firms work.
c. Invite the committee to visit the firms offices.
8. Closing making the sale.
At this stage, the initiative is no longer in the professionals control. All the cards are now in the prospects hands.
However, the professional may, after the interview write a summary letter making a final, Strong pitch for the job.
The purpose of such letter a letter is three-fold. First, its serves an s a courteous : thank you for the interview. Second,
it allows the professional to restate briefly the particular strengths, which qualify the firm for the job. Lastly, it is a final
opportunity for the professional to demonstrate the genuine interest in the assignment.

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Visit to Project
Selection committees, which do visit completed work usually, are to schools on procedure. Some, in an apparent effort to
assure they learn the truth believe the visit should be made without the professional present, other welcome having the
professional serve as their host and escort.
Office Visits
If the committee agrees to visit the professionals firms office, the best rule is to be relaxed. A certain amount of tidying is
probably in order. The staff should continue working on whatever they are doing. The tour of the physical office should
be supplemented by a further presentation around a conference table of the firms organizational structure and the
methods by which the project under consideration will be handled.
Contract Proposals
At this point, generally one has survived the qualifications screening and has passed the chemistry test; the client is
prepared to work with you, but wants to know the hard terms and conditions before making a final commitment.
It is better to present a more sales oriented document. The basic requirements of such documents are that they should
begin with positive statements of what will be performed. One good approach, is to write a letter agreement to which is
attached a boilerplate statement of terms and conditions. Another is to draft a custom contract document for your firm
and submit subsequently a completely individual contract to each client when requested.
Selling the Fee
At the outset it must be emphasized that being low-bidder is not analogous to selling a fee. Dont cut your price just to win
the work. If you are worth what you must charge to be fair compensated for what you do, quote fairly, market the value of
your services as hard as you can and you will win plenty of work.

Architect Dennis C. de Villa, uap, csp

February 13, 2010

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