With changing landscapes, architects have become an indispensable part of the realty industry. While they are a core component of many building firms, architects and architect firms face a lot of challenges to stay afloat. Astro strategist Hirav Shah dissects various issues concerning them and helps them by giving clear-cut timelines and plans of action to survive amidst high levels of competition.
An architect is a person who plans, designs and coordinates the construction of buildings or spaces. An architect provides services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings.
While the requirements of architects vary from place to place, an architect plays a key role in the public and private safety and has to be well-trained in his craft. This requires them to take up advanced education and internship at a reputed firm so they get the license to practice. Education in premier institutes helps architects to get a foothold in the industry, as this enables networking and gaining practical knowledge as the course progresses.
But it’s not just the design that is expected from an architect. An architect must have professional, technical and environmental knowledge, know design and construction management and an understanding of businesses. An architect accepts commission from a client and in turn they are expected to come up with feasibility reports, building audits, design a building or several buildings, structures and spaces among them.
However, being an architect is not a stand-alone job. It requires an architect to coordinate a design team comprising structural, mechanical and electrical engineers and other specialists who are hired either by the client or architect, to make sure a project is completed in total and on time.
During the initial stages, an architect may not have the final plan to undertake designing. Following a lot of meetings and offering different proposals, the architect then comes up with a design plan that will satiate the client. This then becomes the guide for the architect to complete a project.
Foresight is a prerequisite as designing buildings is complex and demands great understanding of the nitty gritties. The design itself has to be both imaginative and pragmatic. Various factors influence the work of architects such as place, time, finance, culture, available crafts and technology in which design takes place, the precise extent and nature of expectations often vary.
And in today’s time, an architect must also factor in environmental concerns. The job entails the architect to use aspects of mathematics and architecture, new or current architectural theory or references to architectural history. Planning of construction costs is also part of the work of these consultants. An architect’s job involves BIM or building information modelling, CAD and cloud-based technologies.
Despite all this work, an architect will have to report back to the client, who could have reservations or recommendations introducing a further variable into the design, as per Wiki.
Today, there is more demand for architects than in the past, due to more and more population living in urban spaces.
Still, architects have their share of unsold inventory and challenges with estimated revenues:
1) Combating the stereotypes
Stereotypes can be double-edged swords. Builders or clients with similar, preconceived ideas can be a deterrent to the best of architects. Also, in terms of work, repeating ideas can work in some cases, but can lead to loss of name among professional circles. This could also lead to lesser pay and more hard work.
2) Finding the right materials for great designs
The work of architects has become way too easy with technology. However, with high usage of technology, great innovation is expected out of architects. This naturally leads to another problem and this is sourcing materials. Great designs require excellent materials and this means pouring over documents, features and research material to suit the requirement. All this leads to a lot of cost and man hours. At times, the architects put builders directly on to manufacturers so that they work out what is required. On the whole, it gives the architect better convenience, speed and tech-based intelligence for getting work done.
3) Sustaining an income and finding further projects
When recession occurs, most architects find themselves at crossroads. While the established ones manage to find work, the new or less established architect offices face the brunt.
To overcome the hassles of economic downturn, architects can use their skills for blogging, podcasting and webinars. Alternatively, they can also publish e-books. In short, running an architecture firm means lots of courage, time and workflow.
4) Software versus hand sketching
No matter how good the technology is, and no matter how many apps flood the market, hand sketching remains vital for the sector. Established architects continue to rely on hand sketching to get the minute details right. So, it’s important to practice hand sketching using traditional paper and pencil. This means better quality of work and more word of mouth publicity.
5) Good design versus poor construction
One problem that is common in the sector these days is that of poor construction. Of late, there is a preference for low-cost materials and higher speed over design quality. All the hard work done by an architect or architect firm is wasted due to poor construction. It then becomes the responsibility of the architect to help the builder understand the importance of good design. This helps in developing the aesthetic value of the building, quality of life and even means higher revenues.
6) Knowledge sharing
The millennials and baby boomers come brimming with ideas to work. However, old knowledge is no longer passed on to this segment. It is important that there must be a symbiotic existence between the old and new to make sure the firm is able to deliver what the client wants. Else, it leads to unsold inventory and lower estimated revenues.
7) Staying updated with software and hardware development
Software development is happening at an extraordinary rate. Architects constantly get updates in the form of software, apps and tools of drawing, measuring and project management. Staying up-to-date means better sales and more clients. Else, the obvious result would be unsold inventory and fluctuations in estimated revenues as designs don’t suit modern needs. The same goes with hardware upgrading.
8) Maintaining work-life balance
While this sounds more of a social pointer, it is of vital importance for an architect’s firm. Since the workforce is expected to be highly productive, periods of rest are of vital importance. To prevent employees from having mental exhaustion, it is important that the firm takes the right steps at the right time. Once rested, they are bound to come up with fresh ideas.
9) Writing documents
An architect’s job is multi-faceted. It is not just about knowing the subject or sketching. It is vital for an architect to put across their ideas in simple, understandable knowledge, while sticking to their core ideas. Lack of such abilities will reduce the chances of an architectural firm making fast strides.
10) Dealing with politics
Smaller buildings or large, well-designed structures, politics come into play at every stage of a project. While many architects prefer to stay away from such hassles, any project taken up in public spaces means going through political red tape. Similarly, constructing large complexes, buildings, communities need approvals and political permissions. Right from building memorials to housing societies, public architecture is dependent on politics.
11) Work on their involvement right from the beginning
Designs happen virtually these days. But actualising those designs is the real task. With public-private partnerships (PPP) and Design & Construct (D&C), contractors and subcontractors are involved quite early in the project. So, an architect or an architect firm has to ascertain its part in the whole game and make its mark from the very beginning. Once they come up with a sturdy and flexible design, they can go about the procurement process.
In a business where projects come with word of mouth publicity, it is important to gain the trust of customers from word go. This results in patience with rising challenges, referral to new clients and repeat clients. The idea is to have budgets and work schedules in place so that the firm can function smoothly. Every project comes with a fixed budget, so the architect or firm must instil confidence that every penny or rupee will be put to good use.
The above mentioned pointers determine the unsold inventory and hiccups in estimated revenues for architects. Any one feature going awry can lead to challenges to an established architect or an architect firm.
How does astro strategist Hirav Shah help overcome unsold inventory and estimated revenues issues:
Unsold inventory is a huge problem for the realty industry. Similarly, estimated revenues can determine the lifeline of an architect firm. When social, economic and political conditions influence markets, they can lead to fluctuations in estimated revenues. This could lead to downsizing of firms and laying off of competent staff.
Similarly, bland buildings or spaces seldom sell and this could lead to unsold inventory. Just like builders of various forms of realty, architects too have their share of problems that need good guidance and plan of action.
Astro strategist Hirav Shah happens to be an online business consultant who knows the nuances of the real estate industry. In fact, real estate, unsold inventory and estimated revenues are his forte and he provides timely advice to various architects, big, medium and small.
Hirav Shah feels that one wrong decision can destroy years of hard work and take a firm back by many years. To avoid such complications and to make sure the architects and their firms have a longer lifeline, astro strategist Hirav Shah digs out from his reality knowledge and corporate know-how to suggest a time-line for his clients.
That’s not all, he also checks the personal astrological charts of his clients to come to a conclusion about the best periods of peak performance. He then mixes practical knowledge with astrological insights and creates an ideal package that will help architects to excel in their business. Astro strategist does not shy away from suggesting when to divest and when to invest, thus improving the chances of time-bound business.