By Renée Biery

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Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!







Pricing your services involves much more than figuring out the dollars and cents. It also involves how to price your services based on the value you bring to each and every project.

I think this is something that is often lacking and tends to get skipped over. 

To do this, it starts with the basics – you need to understand the value you bring to a project. You may be saying yeah, I schedule meetings, I attend them, and yes, of course, that is valuable, but it is something you need to understand, so what if you go to these meetings? So what if you answer a few questions along the way? Why does that matter to the client? That is the level of questions you need to be answering for yourself.

Now, I know everyone listening will be at a different place in their career. Some of you are new, and some have had years of experience. You can’t price the same way if you are new as someone who is experienced. You want to price for your value and not focus on the dollars and cents. That will come once you establish the value you bring. So you need to define your value, your worth.

Let’s start with defining your value for yourself.

Unless you believe you are bringing value to a project, you won’t be able to explain that and convince a client that you do, in fact, bring value, and they truly do need you to usher them through a very complex construction project with a successful conclusion.

This can be done more easily than you think. 

First, you need to evaluate your skills, your experience, and your unique offerings.

This is basically a self-assessment that you need to do so that you understand what you are bringing and so, therefore, you can explain it to others. 

Even though I have done this for decades, I still do this periodically to make sure my rates match my growing portfolio. 

Focus on the fact that you have experience, even if it is in your own home. Because through this, you can empathize with living through a construction project. You can appreciate how dealing with contractors can be tricky. You can understand how schedules need to be maintained and, more importantly, adhered to so that you stay on track. You also know surprises can come up and how to work through them. Do you understand that is the value you will be sharing with your clients?

Maybe you don’t have 20-30 years of experience. That’s ok. Be honest and transparent about it. But it doesn’t negate the fact that you can successfully manage a construction project from start to finish for a client. 

I’m going to give you a little tough love – if you don’t believe in yourself and the value you bring to a project, how do you expect a client to believe in you? Or an industry partner?

It also goes to decision-making and the creative process that transforms a challenging space or even non-challenging space. These are values that an interior designer can bring to a construction project. We are unique in our broader industry because we understand how clients truly live in spaces that truly will support their needs, based solely and specifically on their family dynamics, and we know how to deliver it at an elevated level because of our experience. 

There are so many different ways to evaluate your skills. Whether it’s from your family being in construction or your previous career. 

So after you make this list of your values, skillsets, and experience, is knowing how to communicate that value to clients. There will be different strategies depending on the client you are talking to. You’re not going to pitch the same skills to a dual working family as you would to a stay-at-home mother. 

The next thing to be prepared for are questions or pushback. 

Common ones are: “Can I manage this on my own?” Or, “I did bathroom gut a few years ago, and I seemed to be fine.” 

Preparing for and having responses for these types of questions will be important not only to always answer concerns a client may have but to show your expertise and professionalism, knowing they will be coming no matter what. Such as “Can I do it myself? What if I help you?”

For seasoned professionals, you can say that’s not how my business is structured. But you will need to explain to them why. Because if you skip over the why, they will think you just want more fees, and that’s not the answer.

Of course, we do want those fees, but the reason your business isn’t structured that way is because there is a through line from the design to the implementation. If you’re not a part of the implementation, your design can get lost during the translation of a construction project.

Another step you can take to show your value is building out testimonials from your clients. 

This could be critical not only to boost your confidence in your own abilities but to assure potential clients that you have successful past projects.

I want you all to understand that you add incredible value to managing a client’s construction project. 

Take that time to do the self-assessment, determine your value, determine how you’re going to pitch it to clients and industry partners, and then start building your fees from there. Taking this extra step will leave you so much more confident in the fees that you present and your ability to sell your value.

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