Pretty much everyone comes in contact with a doctor, lawyer, teacher or policeman…but most people could go through an entire lifetime without ever working with an architect. So how do you find one? More importantly…how do you find a GOOD one? I have been known to get bombarded by internet companies trying to convince me that I need to pay them in order to advertise, to which I quickly explain to them that 98% of my business comes from word of mouth. Ask your friends if they know any good architects. Ask them what type of experience they had with him/her. Ask them what separates them from other architects/architecture firms.
I always explain to people during my initial free consultation that nothing trumps getting a great feeling from a potential architect. Remember, designing and constructing a building from scratch is not an easy endeavor…nor is it a quick one. You could potentially be working with this person for a year if not several years. It is important that you not only trust their expertise, but also that you feel comfortable with them on a personal level. I offer free consolations because it gives me a chance to understand what the client is trying to accomplish while also giving the client a taste of who I am personally. This is the single-most important meeting I have with clients so I never rush them. I’ve been known to have initial meetings that last over 8 hours. One time I went to meet a couple and didn’t come home for 8 hours and my wife thought they kidnapped me! But alas, I am very passionate about architecture and am always willing to do whatever I can to give potential clients a sense of confidence in terms of what I bring to the table.
While most of my clients find me by word of mouth (see my testimonial page HERE) some find me by driving past one of my signs in front of a project that I designed under construction. This is a good way to find an architect. If you are driving and like the building being constructed, look for a sign for the architect and give him a call. I’ve always looked at my buildings as “billboards” advertising my services…at least while they are being constructed.
Lastly I have been known on occasion to get clients simply from the internet. Run a search for architects and see what comes up. Check out their websites and see if they intrigue you. Chances are within 10 seconds you will know if it is someone worth pursuing or not.