How To Treat Your Designer Right

Hey,

To all of us who have houses (rent/bought) we all want the best for it, the place where we

English: Maquette (1:100) of a vacation house ...
English: Maquette (1:100) of a vacation house designed in 1951 by the dutch architect and interior designer Gerrit Rietveld Nederlands: Maquette (1:100) van het vakantiehuisje uit 1951 van Gerrit Rietveld (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

live does speak a lot about who we are, and i also mean the college students who live in dorms. your house or your living space is an extension of your personality. it speaks a lot about you as a person. so given a chance who wouldn’t love to hire a professional to make it look awesome, make this space that we call an extension of our personalities resemble one of those that can be featured in some home design magazine of sorts.

now in order to achieve this breathtaking result, one may think of hiring a professional (read:interior designer/decorator) to make this dream a reality. Now you may see ‘n’ number of sites explaining/guiding you, as to what is the best way to know the most about the designer you are planning to hire. how to understand their fee structure, their way of handling the projects and all in all how to get the most out of this professional who is gonna handle your space, your home in the budget you provide them and they agree on. they will tell you every way in which you can make your every penny count in this endeavor.

But, having been through most of these sites on my own and being a designer myself what baffles me is that people ignore the very fact about how to treat your designer right

Now just like you, your designer is no wizard he/she is very much human. so if you are hiring 1 please bare in mind some of these points.

1. A designer is a human being

2. They have more creative ideas than you, as dealing with home renovations/repairs/budgets etc is part and parcel of their everyday job. that is what you are hiring them for in the 1st place

3. Discuss every minute detail about your requirements with them. say you want a large master bathroom but the 1 you have currently is not big enough, let them know what you want very precisely, the more you share about all your needs related to your house the better the service they can provide . This way they can give u a clear idea whether what you are asking for is feasible or not

4. The more you speak and the more clearly you do the easier it is for them to form a design. Always remember it is your house and you are letting a complete stranger do it up for you. he/she has no clue of your requirements till u don’t let them know. its like ordering food outside and not letting the steward know of your food allergies, if you get sick on eating such food whose fault will it be.

5.I once had this client who wanted to knock of most of the walls in her house, break her full kitchen and remake her 3 1/2 BHK from scratch. now off course its very much possible. whats the problem in that . none except the fact that she wanted it done in a budget of 3,00,000-6,00,000 Rs. now in that much money, realistically speaking what i can manage are just 2 of her bathrooms, max. when i gave her the real costing she was no more interested in my services. moral of the story: please do have a realistic budget, having a budget is just as important as having a realistic 1. try and do some research on your own if you have no idea what so ever, about cost of interior jobs.

6. The Time: if you plan to get your house renovated and designed in the best possible manner, you have to take into account the amount of time that would be spent on the same. Now designers don’t live in harry potter universe where a wand can do miracles. we are simple folks who just like you will require realistic time in order to give you the best return for your money.

7. Ask questions: very important, the more you interact with your designer regarding design details, budget etc the easier it is for the designer to come up with the best possible solution for your house.

8. if you feel you want to, do go material shopping with them. but word of advice, just like too much interference of anyone in your work will put you off, the same rules apply to us. u have trusted us with your house and have approved of the designs then you must know that the materials we will be using for your space will be the one which will suit your design needs the best.

9. DO NOT think that every designer out there is just waiting to rip you off your money. remember just like any other business, designing business also depends on customer satisfaction and your comments at the end of the day regarding our work can make or break our careers. so your happiness matters the most to any designer out there who wants to stay in the business for long.

10. yes it is a fact, even the most tightly held budget will break once the work starts, it would be very advisable that you keep your budget a little flexible for your own good. by this i dont mean that a budget of 20,00,000 rs. should extend to 40,00,000 that would be wrong on the part of the designer.

11. just like the budget a good designer will also keep you flexible when it comes to duration of the project. this is done so that the designer can take care of any and every possible delay that may come in the way of completion of the project.

so these are the few very important points to keep in mind when hiring an interior designer. hope they help you in TREATING YOUR DESIGNER RIGHT.

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3 thoughts on “How To Treat Your Designer Right

  1. Welcome to the world of reality. I think that the main reason that Interior Designer fail is a lack of real life experience. This won’t be due to a lack of quality in your work, but in the way that you sell yourself. If you know what to say to a client and generally how to manage their expectations, then you are already one step ahead of the game. You just need the experience to do that.

    Always remember that your clients are the One who will shell out his/her money and taking out money from anyone’s pocket, is not that easy. Everyone wants the “Best in Less”. Don’t you?

    Few keys points always remember while interacting with your client:

    1. “What makes you unique in your Interior Designing field”. Usually people talk about what’s true but not necessarily what’s different. How you are different from others? Do you really believe you are better at what you do than most of your competitors? If you do believe that, act like it. Get out there and make credible claims, price your work accordingly, and then deliver with solid Interior designing presentation to your client.

    2. Always tell your client what they don’t know about interiors because there are millions of books available on store which gives details like how to design your house. So you have to be perfect in your art and try to win your clients based on your knowledge and experience which they don’t have. This will impress your client.

    3. Make sure you have your own registered company and office. When anyone approaches you, you can ask them to meet you in your office instead of at their place or at any public place. That will leave a big impression and if your client have a budget of two lakhs in his head then that will automatically increase to 4 lakhs.

    4. Always remember if you try something new, you will reach new people, and that increases your chances that someone new will check you out. Print a flyer. Make sure your flyer looks professional, and that it lists your phone number, an email address and your website address. Add few specifications and benefits of hiring an interior designer. Try to point those points in your broacher which normal people are not aware. That will impress the client and they will have confidence in you.

    5. Your Portfolio: If you are really new, you may not have any commercial work to show. How do you counter this? Well, it is a tricky problem. Clients like to see examples of your work, and if you don’t have any on your site, they probably won’t take a second look. Once you have your Portfolio ready, go get 500 business cards printed from a decent printer. Make sure they are decent cards, and not branded with the printer’s logo and name on one side. If you look cheap, then you are cheap. Look professional and that is what you will come across as being.

    6. In first meeting, understand their requirements completely. You no need to discuss about the money. Let your client discuss about it. Always remember your first goal is to get the contract. So let your client talk and try to gain their confidence.

    7. In second meeting, based on their requirement make small presentation and pricing details after current market research. This way you can negotiate on budget as well and your small presentations already gave them an idea that you are the best. So now you have to judge the prospect. Do they look interested? Bored? Annoyed? Body language is a key in selling face to face.

    8. Lastly comes the money. It’s not necessary that you discuss about the money in first or two meetings. Always remember, its clients who will give you business and it’s their money. So you have to be patient. First win their confidence that you will make their dream house. Once you have all of the information needed and the client is 90% sure that they’re going to get their house designed, you are ready to give them a quote or negotiate on budget.

    9. Do your market research based on your client’s requirement first and then decide what will be the approximate budget. Now you have the figure in your head. The trick here is to present it so that it doesn’t sound like loads of money that will hit the client all at once. Always expect private clients to haggle and bid with you. Some freelancers inflate their prices by 10% or 15% so that when someone haggles, they can reduce the price by that amount without actually losing out and the client thinks they got a great deal.

    10. It is very important to follow up well after you have met with your client. It is just a common courtesy, and you can have a happy customer for life. Being a freelancer is all about helping people get what they want. If you do that, you will ultimately get what you want.

    ALWAYS REMEMBER:
    Don’t be disheartened if the first handful of prospects say ‘thanks but no thanks.’ You can also expect a couple of them to get a little rude. But, as long as you keep up your appreciative demeanor at all times, you’ll be fine.

  2. Though I agree as to what u have written but ur post is pretty much away from what I have tried to put up. I am not trying to say as to what or how a designer should work but on the contrary I am saying it to the clients or people who r planning to get a designer for their home as to what to expect and how should they treat their designer. Thx for ur comments though.

  3. No doubt, In any profession respect is most important criteria because you are a professional but not a mason. As per your article, you are absolutely right that designer’s are the best person who can give better idea how to design house because pros go beyond cosmetic concerns to ensure that a space feels harmonious through and through, from its floor plan and architectural envelope to the last nailhead, tassel and tuft. This is what people don’t understand. Mostly people are more concern about the money than to listen to their designer…

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