I’m a residential architect looking to start on my own with a small and flexible studio (with today’s tech I can put together a team when and if needed without having a fixed structure). My focus/expertise is designing modern vacation homes for overseas clients. Without tracking record how can I sell my value to clients? Should I focus on the end-user or in the realtor? (Every single business passes through a realtor) Also, to stay small I need to find different sources of incomes (other than exchanging money for time). Can a “store” of floor plans or a collection of pre-made designs (For those who don't have the time to invest in a custom design tailored to their site and program) be a good source of income? Does it bring value to the business or the opposite? I’m truly open to ideas to generate great revenue and that don’t need my work constantly, allowing myself to focus on premium projects and on a better time management to balance work-family-friends.

It sounds like you have the foundation for a solid business.
Things to consider as you get it rolling:
* Regarding your customer focus - is it more efficient to build a good relationship with a real estate broker/agent who represents many or cast a wide net in hopes to catch some good end-users? Finding a real estate agent/broker who can be a champion for your designs could be incredibly valuable.
* Great to think of different revenue streams. If you invest your time and energy to develop a portfolio of good core designs, that could serve as the basis for “semi-custom” work. I would guess you would still need to do some work as the end-user in these cases has different preferences, but you can define how much change the project can include.
* Otherwise, a portfolio of pre-made designs would likely work better with a developer, who would incorporate that work into their sales efforts for a collection of homes. So those are separate from end-user or realtor relationships.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.

Answered 3 years ago

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