1. Architects are smart! We go to school, take an extremely difficult test to get our license, master codes, master building types and master construction techniques. You can talk to us about anything related to real estate investments: site acquisition, construction costs and code compliance to name a few. We are not perfect, but we make a living by giving you the best and most accurate advice possible and can get sued for giving you bad advice. We also need to take 18 credits of continuing education every year so we are on top of our game. So, having an intelligent voice on your team can't hurt.
2. Architects are creative! We can solve problems in unique and unusual ways. We go to school for 5 years to learn how to solve problems. We can solve complex layout, circulation, structural, cost and site problems before they become serious and cost you money. We can help you through conflicts with sellers and contractors by giving you a unique perspective. We can also design a building that will look great, feel comfortable and attract top paying tenants or buyers. So, having a creative problem solver on your team can come in handy.
3. Architects save you time! With state of the art programs like REVIT, we can design a building quickly and efficiently so you can see what your getting into from the start. We even have cost analysis software that will tell you if the project is worth investing in or not so you don't waste time on money wasters. We are trained to interpret zoning and code regulations quickly and efficiently to save you a trip down to the County Hall. We work closely with expeditors who can get the paperwork through the building departments quickly and accurately. So, having a time saver on your team will give you more time to do what you enjoy most.
4. Architects save money! We usually charge a small percentage of the construction cost but almost always save that amount and then some in the design and construction process. I met with a client recently who wanted to knock down walls and build unnecessary things but after I put aside his ideas and shared my professional opinion, I was able to save him enough money to pay my architectural fees ten times over! Since the cost of construction and vacancy costs are so high, using an architect to keep change-orders to a minimum and to prepare renderings for marketing purposes can be very useful. So, having a clever miser on your team will certainly make you happy!
5. Architects aim to please! Our next check is always dependent on whether the client is satisfied or not. We are people pleasers by heart. We are constantly trying to figure out what will make you happy. We are not mind readers, so you will have to tell us clearly and concisely what it is that you want. So, having someone on your team that wants to make you happy will make you glad.
William Gati, AIA, is the president of Architecture Studio, Kew Gardens, N.Y.