BoSP Recap – Fee Talk

Emma Brain , 9 September 2021

More than 300 architects registered for our recent BoSP webinar on fees with Kate Fitzgerald, Warwick Mihaly and Mick Moloney, and we’re still not sure if it was the topic or the presenters that generated all that interest!

In the spirit of all BoSP events, the presenters spoke generously about the way in which they manage fees within their practice. Each has a slightly different approach but are united in their belief that standard methods of fee creation no longer serve the profession or suit the market.

BoSP co-founder, Kate Fitzgerald, was motivated to develop this webinar, having listened to Dave Sharp’s interview with Ian Motley from Blue Turtle Consulting.

She was struck by the comment, “you don’t get the fee you deserve, you get the fee you negotiate”. Warwick Mihaly reminded the audience that negotiation doesn’t necessarily mean dropping the fee and that architects should be charging the maximum the market will pay us.

The webinar was peppered with thought-provoking observations and advice, making it essential listening for architects working in small to medium sized practice. It was great to see the number of comments and questions being shared in the chat from new practice directors through to people who have been in the profession a long time. For a topic typically discussed behind closed doors, it was refreshing to see the honesty with which people were sharing their experience and expertise.

Dave Sharp joined the conversation towards the end, offering excellent advice on how to manage client expectations during the engagement phase of a project. His basic premise was that architects need to get better at giving potential clients clear information from the outset, and in doing so “make it easier for bad leads to go away”. Or, as Warwick says, make it easier to “only work with legends”.

As Kate, Warwick, Mick and the audience seemed to agree, the profession is busy and while we should “make hay while the sun shines”, we should do so with caution. Now is the time to apply a close eye to the way in which we generate fee agreements and communicate expectations with clients. Because who knows what the future holds?

The webinar is now available to view through our Webinars on Demand Platform.

If you want to hear more from Kate, Warwick and Mick, they share a podcast called In Detail, which seeks to “lift the veil of silence” on running an architectural business.