April 25, 2011 at 3:12 am #169080Alan Ray, RLAParticipant
Well said Craig.
I hope some of the younger LAs’ will take heed to your wisdom.
And to Christie: to those of us self employed, there is no such thing as a small side job……April 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm #169079Craig AnthonyParticipant
And you wonder why some LAs are crying about it being a low paying profession and why some engineers and architects don’t respect us.April 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm #169078Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
You have to have the reputation and portfolio to get $150 per hour. She just can’t claim it. And if she has no portfolio she has to get the work to build it – no design sale = no portfolio. If she is asking, she’s not there yet.
The other side of the coin is all the landscape architects who can’t get land any jobs that they bid on. They complain that contractors, engineers, and architects are taking there work.
If someone will get no work by having high rates, they need to lower them. If you can get higher rates, you need to charge them. The notion that the letters RLA after our names sets our fees is totally unrealistic. It is client base, geographic location, reputation, and portfolio of built work that gets your rate whether you are self taught or have a Phd.
You have to know where you are on all of those counts in order to sell your rate. It does not just happen by decree.April 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm #169077Gary CarawayParticipant
I have done a few jobs on the side for friends but, have always kept it casual. I would like to use a more formal approach like this in the future to lay out expectations before hand. I can never seem to avoid the “never ending project”. Would I have to have an official company (such as an LLC) for a contract like this to stand up?April 27, 2011 at 4:28 am #169076Craig AnthonyParticipant
I have to disagree with you on this one. You can have the greatest portfolio in the world, but if you can’t sell yourself you have a snowball’s chance in hell of closing a real job.
In my opinion selling is the most important skill. I witness a guy that was training me at a high-end design build company sell an $85,000 front yard package with a crappy sketch that he did on-site. I carried the company portfolio around during the entire appointment and he never used it. He didn’t even have a standard contract with him and we walked away with a check for $28,000 for a down payment. He didn’t have a BLA or any other credentials. He did it by selling himself and being confident. He was confident because he was prepared and he believed in himself. He had absolutely no drawing ability, but beautiful landscapes were produced from his amateurish scribbles. I knew it wasn’t a fluke because this guy sold $2,000,000 worth of landscape work per year back in the early nineties. He made people feel comfortable with him, projected confidence and was willing to ask the tough question, “So are you ready to get started?”
I realize that it takes some time to acquire the ability to read a prospect and to know what motivates them to buy, but one thing I learned from the crappy sketch guy is that you have to ask for the sale. And to ask for it like you’re asking for a glass of water no matter what the price is. It’s no big deal.
You’ll never know if you can get a higher rate until you ask for it. Ask for what you feel you’re worth and be bold about it.April 27, 2011 at 11:51 am #169075Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
I don’t see anything in your post that disagrees with me. You are making my point. It is not the degree or letters after your name that gets you the rate.It is your ability to sell your worth.
You, me, or Christi can’t decide our worth. All we can do is hold out for an amount and find if others agree with our assessment of our worth. I agree that it is easy to fall into the trap of under representing your value, but that is a whole lot different than declaring a value based simply on having a degree or a stamp.
When Christi has no idea what to charge for a side job, one can deduce that it is unlikely she has experience selling design and will not be competitive at a top rate. Gaining the experience only starts with a sale.
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