If you’ve seen one, then you’ve… well, you’ve seen one. Each home owner is as unique as the home they own. Our clients are no exception. Right down to whether the toothpaste goes in the drawer, in the medicine cabinet or stays out on the counter (don’t get me started on “cap on” or “cap off”), they all have their own distinguishing differences.
And just as we, the architects, cater our services to each project, we also customize the way we deliver our services to best serve each home owner. However, when we step back and look at how home owners approach their renovation or construction projects, we start to see the similarities. And in my experience, there are three types of home owners. And just as we, the architects, cater our services to each project, we also customize the way we deliver our services as needed to best serve each of these home owners. See if you identify with one or more of the following types of home owners with whom we typically work.
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The first type of home owner has been known to say, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” They like to do their homework, shop for the best value, and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
For this client we do our best work when we can present a full array of options and then openly discuss, in specific detail, the pros and cons of each. We know that this type of home owner benefits from guidance in understanding the process, but they will tell us which choice is the best fit for them.
This home owner is like the driver of a car and the architect is their GPS navigation system. The owner knows where they want to end up, but it’s the architect who gives them route options and informed directions to get to the final destination.
The second type of home owner knows what they want and knows who to hire to get it done. They especially appreciate it if they can go on vacation or a business trip and the work is done when they return. You might think this home owner sounds flippant and disinterested in the changes to their home; however that’s not the case at all. Our clients who fit this description are very aware of their own personal and business responsibilities and goals. At the same time, they expect others to use the best of their expertise to get the job done.
When working with this type of client, we might as well wear rubber bracelets that say, “WWTCD?” reminding us to always think about, “What would the client do?” Our job is to learn their objectives in exquisite detail, so that we can function as their advocate. This client does not want to be distracted by minute details. Rather, they rely on us to quickly narrow the decisions that have to be made and keep the momentum of the project moving forward.
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The third type of home owner finds themselves somewhere in the middle. This is likely the first time to work with an architect and understandably, they feel like they don’t know where to start. They have probably been researching, tearing photos from home magazines, and perusing floor plans online for months or years. They have a strong desire to “get it right” and they are confident in their decision to partner with a professional to show them the way on their journey. This home owner wants to know how the process of design and construction works and which decisions need to be made. However they are also happy knowing that the professionals have the work under control.
In this instance, we are like mountain guides; giving our clients the equipment, encouragement, and the vision to make it to the top. Working with this third type of home owner allows our collaborative skills to shine. Our clients who identify with this category welcome us into their homes as we get to know each other. They delight with child-like excitement when we reach the design that is a perfect fit. And just so you are aware, it is not unusual to exchange high-fives and celebrate when we “get it right.”
So, do you see yourself in any of the home owners “profiles” I described? Do you identify with more than one, perhaps? Life would be too predictable if we only worked with one type of client, which is why we relish the unique renovation, remodel, and new construction challenges that each of our home owners brings to us. Give us a call if you’ve got a humdinger of a project to throw our way. We have a pretty good record of knocking them out of the park.