Boush Street Offices

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Best News comes from our CLIENTS

We had a pretty amazing week with some amazing meetings. It is always interesting to hear what our clients say about us regarding our work. Therefore it is always important to listen very closely. Compliments are what we strive for not just money to keep the bill collectors away. It has always been critical to listen to our clients and solve their design issues in the most creative and productive manner. That's how you get new clients, keep clients and even reach old clients who have decided to return.

Our client had stopped by (from North Carolina) to pick up some sets of drawings for one of his restaurants. We have done maybe 7 or 8 fast food renovations over the last couple years. This particular one had been lingering around because of multiple design changes they had decided to make. Unfortunately, they had decided to begin using another architect closer to their home base for their renovations. We understood......sad about it but understood. 

These are great people so we care about them and hoped that all their work was going well. Casual conversation led me to ask....."How's things going with the other work?" 

He said it had been tough. Training a new architect in the ways of fast food (apparently they hadn't done many). "So is there any way we can win back your business?" He responded that was why he was here. I've got one I need started by December, are you interested?

Of course we are! Great clients are not necessarily easy to come by. We always have to prove ourselves showing them we are on top of their needs and interests. They needed productivity, value and knowledge......something IONIC can certainly provide.

We start next week on the project.

Initially we received a call from this client to do some minor renovations for an interiors of a vacant furniture store. We had done work previously for them but nothing ever got built. I will say that all furniture sales clients are very difficult. They have certain criteria that are specific to their needs. Nothing wrong with architect just needs to get tuned into those needs.

Our last outing with this client didn't go so well. I feel it was because the contractor that referred us didn't do the best communication on our behalf. They didn't have our best interests in mind. Proper communication is always the key ingredient to a successful relationship.

Well we gave the interior proposal (mostly just code compliance stuff) but never heard back. A few phone calls asking various questions.....none really about the project at hand. This week they called again and asked about concepts for the exterior. Would I be interested? So, we met talked about an hour about their needs and goals for the renovation of this bland exterior building. They wanted it to pop, they wanted super cost efficient and they wanted all our ideas and concepts quickly.

They had A LOT of input on what they liked and what they didn't like. Perfect.....but not really easy.

So why did they come back to use? They said that the other architects didn't really have our technological capabilities. They were still too old fashioned and couldn't produce the interaction that they needed. IONIC could!

Challenge accepted and we are off and running for next week's presentation.

New clients that have never worked with IONIC initially do not understand how we are different. New clients that have never built a building or worked with any architects often do not understand how any of the process works. Nothing wrong with that. We share information along the way and can walk you through the necessary steps.

Unfortunately this one had a quick deadline for the initial architectural concept and site plan required for the city's modification of condition of use. We had basically 7 business days to come up with an exterior building model for this franchise daycare. We had to be quick, thorough and the design needed to blend into the neighborhood but yet stand out. It had to meet all the criteria of the daycare and still be cost effective. It was close to the navy base so we needed to consider sound attenuation requirements.

After some squiggles, doodles and a quick massing model we needle to meet with our client to share our ideas in order to proceed with the paperwork for the city submission. It was a working meeting to share our ideas and pick the colors. Little details could be changed later.

Our new clients shared with us that this wasn't at all what they expected..........but it was really nice. They surprised themselves with how much they liked it. It was unique and creative and met all the goals that they anticipated. Later the next day, they called asking a couple of questions and shared that they both really were impressed with the design that IONIC had developed for them.

And that was a quick study model......wait until they see the full blown renderings. That should knock their socks off!

"Creating places and spaces that enrich the lives of those who use them"
Always important


D. Eugene Thompson, AIA

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