I got a call from someone who didn’t know where to begin with his addition project (even though he kept swearing that it was so simple and he knew physically what he wanted done). He was complaining how frustrating it was to start a project shelling out a lot of money not knowing what things cost. I told him about my Needs Analysis and he said, “Yes, that’s what I need!” He went on saying things like, “So it’ll cost me $2500 (hey this is NYC) to know how much the project will cost? I explained that its much more than that, its the starting point of a project that he can use with me or another architect, and I also explained how I’ve done it for other clients who’ve used it to their advantage when buying and selling property – you can tell prospective buyers that you have a PROFESSIONAL report on what can be built and what it will cost.
I couldn’t tell how close he was to saying yes, but the call ended when he said he’ll talk to his wife and get back to me. That’s been the kiss of death lately. Exactly zero percent of people who’ve said that to me have called back, much less hired me. Should I write this off as just not the right client for me or is there more I can do to close the deal on the phone?
I know it is New York but have you considered a lower price? Right now you are getting 0%. If you cut it in half and still get none then it could just be wrong clients. If you grab just one you are already ahead, granted you can do it for that price
I get that constantly – I’m also in NYC (Staten Island). I price the Needs and Options Analysis usually below $ i1k for small residential properties. The actual zoning, code and DOB research doesn’t take a lot of time (after over 20 years I built up some speed), but since I don;t have an assistant to actually write it an format it takes some time. It’s not the price per se, but the fact that you are actually daring to charge for your services. There is a mentality out there that this information should be given away. And when there are tons of other architects that will do just that, its hard to land an LCC. I recently did one for a small mixed use building. $750 (way too low, as I spent about 5 hours on the zoning alone) and produced a value based proposal, giving 3 service levels for 3 different fees, and never heard from the guy again. I ran my fee by a local trusted colleague and one in Manhattan who has a 30 person firm, and both said that the $65,0000 mid range fee was more than fair. Just gotta keep on plugging away in what is still a weal market for small projects.