Are You Getting Paid For Your Design and Materials Services?

Here’s how to make your company stand out from the competition—and get paid what you’re worth

Some GCs just build, others run full-service design-build firms with architects and interior designers on staff, while the rest fall somewhere in between. If you can communicate exactly what you offer, you’ll be able to use design and materials services as selling points—and get paid fairly for them.

Consider your unique offerings. For your clients, do you…

  • Make recommendations on materials?
  • Curate and present a shortlist of materials options?
  • Introduce them to trusted vendors and arrange for trade discounts?
  • Take them shopping for materials?
  • Play any role in ordering, paying, receiving, storing, QCing, or handling logistics for materials?
  • Create 3D renderings or visualizations?
  • Design or fabricate anything for a custom installation?

If you do any of the above, remember that this is real work—and it adds value for your clients. You should get paid a fair price for it! 

Communicate and educate

As with many aspects of renovating, the first step to success is communication. Educate your clients as early and clearly as possible. Many homeowners are new to renovation and do not realize that these services exist, or that they have real value. 

You never want to lose a job because you’ve been outbid by another contractor who doesn’t offer the services the client needs. You’ll miss the business, and the homeowner will discover the cost of making uninformed choices—possibly when a pallet of materials they don’t like or don’t have space for lands at their front door. 

Pro Tips

  • Establish your offerings
    Think about all your design and materials services. Write them down and get comfortable explaining them.
  • Establish your prices
    Calculate how much time you put into these services, and put a price on them. Set limits (e.g., “The bid includes spending up to 1 hour with you at the tile store. Time beyond that we’ll bill at $100/hr.”)
  • Use your services as selling points
    Discuss your design and materials services when selling your firm to prospective clients. This will differentiate your company, and will allow you to bill a fair price for the work.
  • Discuss process along with value
    Make sure your clients know what to expect. A client educated in your process will have realistic expectations. They’ll more likely trust your expertise, be easier to work with and be happy with the outcome.

If you have any questions about selling your design and materials services, call or email your Sweeten account manager any time. We’re here to help!

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