Before starting a construction project, any competent architect or builder understands how important it is to have a positive working relationship with the client. However, one of the most difficult responsibilities that professionals in the building business must deal with is managing client expectations throughout the extensive process of building or designing a structure, whether it's a house, an office, or an industrial facility.
Because of this, it's essential to comprehend client expectations up front and make sure you can manage or fulfill them. A great way to do this is by including an architecture client questionnaire in your onboarding process that will help you anticipate future needs and draft better fee proposals.
To help you create your own questionnaire, let's dive into the basic information you must know and some questions to include.
Note: With Bonsai's custom client forms, you can design professional, branded questionnaires to get the input you need from your clients. You can fully customize it to fit each client as well as project site to ensure a unique and well-designed form. Claim your free trial today!
A client questionnaire is a set of questions you must ask each of your prospective clients, to clarify their needs and goals regarding the design or construction project. It can include personal questions to determine their budget or how they intend to use the space, as well as specific project-related questions such as any particular architectural style or material preference. You can make these questions part of your client phone calls, or you can ask them to fill out a physical document such as a written format.
Drafting your construction or design proposal can take up a lot of (unpaid) time. From doing the proper research, meeting with the client and calculating estimates, this process is usually costly and exhausting. So before you begin drafting your proposal, it's good business to make sure your company is a suitable fit for the project and the project owner by starting your partnership with a clear client onboarding procedure. A client questionnaire is one of the best ways to solve this issue, because it will give you a clear insight as to how committed the customer is to your firm and their own project before making any commitment.
When creating your construction or design questionnaire, you should include questions that help you discover your client's budget and get a better understanding on what they are looking for. You may also be able to find signs or evidence that they might just want some design ideas without an actual intent of hiring you for the services.
These are just some of the probing questions that most design firms use to get a better idea on the long term plan clients have for their project. Feel free to add more questions you think will help guide you in the right direction.
In order to achieve design excellence, you want your new clients to give this questionnaire careful consideration, taking the time to answer these questions with as many descriptive words as possible. Consider adding an 'important note' section to remind them of the following:
More professionals in the architecture and construction industry are now choosing Bonsai's all-in-one product suite to efficiently handle their administrative tasks. We offer a variety of freelance forms to help with lead capture, client feedback, and client questionnaires. You can fully customize every field to include free-form or multiple-choice responses to capture your client's input in the best possible way.
But that's not all! Here are some other tools that make Bonsai the go-to product for many independent workers and small business owners.
Free architecture proposal templates especially designed for your profession and completely customizable. Send it as an online document and receive a notification when your prospective client receives and accepts your project proposal.
Free legally reviewed architect contract templates that have been used by thousands of other professionals in your industry. They include a legally-binding e-signature option to help you streamline the formalities and get your project started as soon as possible.
Time and task tracking software to help you stay on top of your deadlines and monitor employee performance. Our reports can automatically be downloaded in the form of an invoice to make billing your clients a bliss.
Tax and accounting software that will ensure your business finances stay under control and you keep track of all of your expenses and income. We also help you identify and maximize tax write-offs for a smooth tax season.
Apply for the best online architect business checking account to easily receive payments and save for vacations, payroll, or anything else you see fit.
Get all these tools and many more with Bonsai. We help you save time so you can focus on your passion, not your paperwork. Start your 14-day free trial and see for yourself!