As the AIA’s recent study attests, architects are in desperate need of new specifying tools for their projects. The good news is, those tools are now emerging, with Architizer’s Source — the premier online marketplace for building products — leading the way. While the technology is evolving, though, some things never change, and that includes the habits of architects: Once they have knowledge of a particular product or material and its quality has been proven in a project, they will select it time and again.
Why are architects such creatures of habit? The answer is twofold: Firstly, they are typically shorter-staffed and have less time than ever before, so are less inclined to experiment with untested specifications that could raise problems and cost them valuable hours (and money) down the road. Secondly, they value reliability in both the building products and the people who make them. If they can create a pool of “go-to” manufacturers whose products they know and trust, they can create a highly efficient specifying process that benefits both them and their clients. Ultimately, everybody wins.
Via Truman Homes
The question is, how do you become one of those “go-to” guys? The key is a combination of good communication and brand visibility. As the editors at Interrupt assert, “Don’t make the mistake of thinking all architects are the same.” Before calling or meeting with architects identified as potential specifiers, learn as much as you can about them online. What typologies do they specialize in? Do they have a signature style or favored feature? What type of clientele are they designing for? Do they prioritize sustainability?
This research is invaluable, but it can still be a challenge for manufacturers to raise awareness of their great products and get the conversation started. Thankfully, these issues are addressed directly through Source, which includes custom-built chat for architects and building product manufacturers to connect continuously as the details of a project are ironed out. In terms of visibility, the platform helps bring your product to the eyes of architects in some of the most prestigious architectural firms currently practicing.
SHoP Architects, BIG, Studio Gang and REX are now using Source, to name just a few, and further key studios are joining all the time. Once your building material or product is on Source, it becomes a selection option for them, and the chance to build a lasting relationship with these firms increases significantly. While each of these firms is different and their needs must be addressed on a case-by-case basis, their propensity to lean toward reliable brands remains constant, and great reputations can be built on Source with repeated product selections over time.
While architectural trends are continually changing, creators of building materials and products can utilize Source to tap into the profession’s perennial habits when it comes to specifying — and the benefits should prove long-lasting.
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