Sunday, September 20, 2009

Special requests by Clients

Hi to all once more today,

Could not keep myself from blogging some more. I am really beginning to like this specially on a Sunday.
I like it when sometimes clients have some requests that defy the imagination, as in this instance when my client requested Charles Hefner Architect to design a living/sitting room to wrap around this special couch he had and wanted to use.

What you do not see in the pic above is that the Getty museum in Los Angeles can be viewed from this space and it is spectacular.

As Architects, we have to respond to the special requests of Owners because they something that is unusual or they want to see something that perhaps we have overlooked.  Maybe they have a certain
"something" they want emphasized and they really do not know how to do it or place it in their scheme of things.

This is a great opportunity for an Architect to take advantage of and create a very special space or creative anomaly if you will and move it towards the future of the project and this in turn makes it really a fun and positive experience for both the Architect and the Owner.

Lead Generation through the Internet

Hi to all,

This is my first post on this blog and I am very excited to do so. I do not know how this is going to work out but I feel confident that at the very least I will be able to put forth some of my thoughts and others "issues" out there for hopefully many to consider and think about what happens to an Architect out there when he/she is looking for where to gather leads and projects in this difficult environment.

Personally, I am a member of a company called Service Magic. Perhaps you have seen them on the WEB or from their adds on TV.

Although I really like the company and the leads they send me ( even though I pay for every one of them) I have to admit that there is a feeling or a lack of trust that is crawling around the edges on this one. In fact I have an email that they sent me awhile back for this same reason and it is as follows:

Dear Charles,

Thank you for your e-mail. My name is James and I will be assisting you today. I understand you are concerned because Derek Heagy told you he had been forced to respond to 12 Architects for his request.

Charles, I did research the request you were speaking of, #21871286. Charles, this request was matched to your company and three other service providers. Often a consumer will submit multiple requests for different projects and will think they are all calling about the same project, causing them to believe they have been matched to more than the four companies. However, that is not the case with this request. Derek only made the one request for his Hire an Architect to Design a Project request, so there were not multiple sets of service providers attempting to contact him for different projects. Something else that often occurs which will cause the consumer to believe they have been matched to more than 4 service providers is that each service provider will cal numerous times and leave voice mails in an effort to contact the consumer, and the consumer will mistakenly believe that each call is from a different service provider which can cause this mistaken belief. That may be what occurred in this instance, but the only way to know that for sure would be to ask the consumer if this is possibly what occurred. May I suggest that this might be a course of action you might use to ascertain the real reason this consumer felt they had been matched with more than 4 service providers.

Charles, we will never match an individual service request to more than four service providers. If someone tells you that this has happened to them, please take a moment to ask the consumer a couple of questions and you will find that one of the two above scenarios has occurred. Any time you have a question about this, or anything else to do with your ServiceMagic account, please contact us so that we can make sure that things have occurred the way they are supposed to. We are able to access the consumers request and see exactly how many service providers the lead was matched to and we would be happy to review any issues you might have to make sure there is not a problem.

Thank you again for your e-mail, Charles. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions, comments or concerns. You may reply to this email, call us at 877-947-3639, or start a live chat between 6 AM to 8 PM MST Monday through Friday.

Best Regards,

Now, keep in mind that this is a response that I received from a Service Magic E-mail Care Specialist in my response for "concerns" that I had regarding a potential client and the way he was contacted. He (the client) had told me that there were many "Architects" that were attempting to "sign the job" and "close the deal" with him. I could not believe this in my wildest dreams. Weather I was naive or whatever, this did not seem correct to me. That is why I contacted SM and this email is the response I got.

Charles Hefner Architect is a small Architectural firm and we have very small budgets for advertisements and Service Magic and we have an agreement budget of $450.00 per month for lead generation payments so everyone of them count strongly. I really emphasize this simply because money is hard to come by these days ( not minimizing other "days" by any means) and when this happens or seems to be happening, it is really hard to deal with.

Trust has everything to do with the relationship that Charles Hefner Architect has with Service Magic and we are relying on the good name and reputation of SM and other companies that create online lead generation.

Remember that this is a concern that is being created by information that Charles Hefner Architect has obtained by chance. These things can come by to haunt a company if they are not on the up and up. It is that simple. You cannot keep lying and then expect that it will not come to bite you back at some point.

I will keep everyone informed about these issues that we have and trust that Service Magic and other Internet companies will be aware of this and create a balanced, trusworthy and fair playing ground for all.

Charles Hefner
Charles Hefner Architect

Charles Hefner Architect