An organization issues an architect request for proposal (RFP) to find the best company to supply architectural services. In other words, a RFP is a request for a contractor to provide information related to the proposal for a construction contract. This form has a series of specifications and questions which is effectively a questionnaire outlining an architectural project.
This article will cover how to write a proposal for architectural services so you can land more clients.
Note: If you want to submit request for proposals today, try Bonsai's free templates. Our architect proposal template has all the key details to customize so you can land more business. Claim your 14-day free trial here.
An RFP seeks proposals from qualified firms or architectural services for a particular job. You can write an architect proposal by hand or customize a template on a document. Later in the article, we'll review what to include in an architectural services proposal. However, we'll go over the best (and fastest) way to start sending service requests.
Hands down, Bonsai is the best way to create proposals to send to potential companies. Our proposal templates are professionally designed, easy to edit, has a complete structure and best of all--cost nothing to use.
Whether you are an interior design architect, builder, or construction contractor, Bonsai has proposal templates for each role. Our software also has templates for invoices, contracts, and more is easy to set up. It takes the whole headache away from the proposal process.
Here's what information our templates include.
Although there are many distinct parts to an RFP, three stand out in terms of value and time savings: identifying your needs, choosing your communication plan, and developing the assessment criteria.
RFPs include all the relevant information like:
Here you'll include stats about your firm i.e. number of staff, registered architects on your team, honors and rewards, etc). Focus on the benefits your architectural services can deliver for building the project amongst your competitors.
Typically include references, a statement of conflict of interest, a brief overview of the projects, due date, and services to be performed. the architectural services scope of work includes planning and designing of buildings and spaces, as well as managing construction contracts on behalf of clients. These two are connected but separate activities that make up architectural services.
Keep it simple. Don't go so in-depth where your clients get confused or lost. Make it easy to understand so the clients know what they will be getting.
Write down the specific requirements about preferred systems, resources, tools, building materials, or products and how your firm meets them. A requirements for architecture is used to structure and arrange requirements so that they are elegant, stable, usable, and adaptable to changes.
Project deadline along with explicit dates and milestones (the contracts also discuss the date for when the client can move in). Here's an example of an architect project schedule you can use to reference.
RFPs gives questions you would like the answers to from potential vendors or materials to submit. Here are some examples of questions that would be in this section:
Contemplating these questions and answering them in your proposal will make it more helpful to the client to make their decision with whom to work with.
Pricing, fees or cost of the architectural services. Break down the cost of materials. Some architect consultants bill by the hour, typically between $125 and $250. Less frequently, architects may also bill by the square foot, or between $2 and $10.
Typically, between 5 and 20 percent of the project's overall cost goes toward the architect's fees. Be transparent and state an itemized list of your services.
Unique qualifications in the proposal. Having differentiated services is key to landing more projects with new clients. If you state in your proposal who you are more qualified than your competitors, you'll set yourself up for success.
Don't respond to request for proposals for the sake of applying. Make sure your firm or team of consultants matches the necessary requirements and can deliver on the project. Be honest and focus on if you can deliver on the services. Imagine landing big projects and not being able to deliver or complete the job. It would look bad on your business and essentially hurt your reputation.
When a company receives proposals from architecture companies looking to win new jobs, it may feel overwhelming. A request for qualified firms can help businesses narrow down their options. An RQF is a document that asks potential consultants or firms to detail their background, past projects, and experience providing a specific good or service.
The purpose of the document is to provide minimum qualifications before submitting proposals or bids. This also allows clients tor remove organizations or consultants who do not meet their list of conditions so they can make the final selection.
Most small firms partner with ther businesses for their proposals if they do not meet the minimum qualifications or requirements. Smalls companies do not have the bandwidth to take on most projects alone.
Manage all your proposals in one place with Bonsai. Our software can let you track winning proposals and templates so you can reuse them in the future. On top of making the proposal process easier, you'll get access to our full suite of online tools such as:
Recommended reading: Read how to improve your business development for architects with our software.
Ultimately, our software does all the work for you. Creating proposals take time and money, but Bonsai can alleviate these pains. A potential client will be impressed with your professional-looking documents and this will give you a leg up on the competition.
RFPs and RFQs simplify, and standardize the information collected from interested firms. These two documents create an oppuritnity for a potential client to connect individually with architectural companies and consutlants.
This allows clients to quickly see who is best fit for projects. if you want to show off your services in a request for proposals from clients, try Bonsai. Our templates make it easy to communicate or highlight what makes your firm different for a bid. Simply customize our pre-made template to create a winning proposal. Claim your 14-day free trial here.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?