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A good real estate development starts with the right architect. An architect is concerned not only with the concept but also the planning as well as designing of a building or any real estate development. A degree in architecture equips one with the knowledge of the building and operational codes that are to be adhered for every architectural design.

An architect is trained such that he/she transforms a user’s needs and demands into design and eventually into physical form. This implies that he/she should have complete training that will aid in the building of safe and healthy construction for people and the communities. Architects have to obtain licenses to practice architecture as their building designs and planning decisions play a vital role in the safety and security of the public.

Architects specialize in different fields among architecture i.e., land, land development, buildings, office parks, residential, landscape and the like. This specialization is a result of the increasingly fragmented, demanding and concentrated world. Thus, it is difficult for a single architect to be aware of the know-how of each of these fields and to accommodate the distinct demands of different clients.

An architect plays a very significant role in a project from its conception to its construction. The final physical form of a building or any real estate development is designed by an architect who obviously considers the desires and needs of the client. As such, it is important to choose an architect who is well qualified as well as experienced in the specialized field of your choice. An architect who has been in business for at least 5-10 years must have developed a strong foundation of relevant concepts. He/she must possess the skills, knowledge and experience needed for a decent and fascinating project. This indicates that it is essential to review an architect’s qualifications prior to selection; his/her degree, experience and license – all should be checked before one hands over the project. An important point to note is that he/she should be experienced for five plus years in the particular field of the development project and not just as a general architect.

Having said the significance of educational qualifications, it is time to review an architect’s affiliations and accreditations. An achieved architect should also be affiliated with a reliable institution, for instance, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Royal Institute of British Architects and the like. Affiliation with such institutes demonstrates an architect’s credibility and popularity in the industry. An architect who is affiliated and accredited by similar professional architectural organizations has certainly passed their comprehensive requirements. This is a strong recognition and a proof of their achievement. However, mere affiliation is not the only consideration before choosing an architect. Other relevant factors and elements should also be considered so that the ultimate decision is made bearing all concerns in mind.

Geographical area of specialty is also an important element. Some architects are specialized and well-aware of certain area(s), and as such their scope is quite limited to those areas. Although he/she may excel in architecture and the particular area(s), this does not ensure that he/she will be able to deliver equivalent results in the area of the project’s requirement. Thus, this aspect should also be kept in mind.

Certain other conditions are also relevant as they ascertain whether a project will be successful and simultaneously whether the relationship between the client and the architect is sound and pleasant. A good architect should possess good communication skills and should be responsive of the client’s questions and/or queries. This is a very important factor, which ensures the completion of the project on time and on good terms. For your relationship with the architect to be successful, the architect you ultimately select should, by all means, follow up on calls and emails and should keep his/her word on different aspects related to the project.

An architect’s connections are a reflection of his/her success and achievement as well as political and negotiation skills. One who is well connected and has contacts like city planners and those in political processes is most certainly preferred as opposed to his/her counterparts with relatively few connections and contacts. Yet another factor is an architect’s membership of local clubs as the Kiwanis, Toastmasters, Knights of Columbus, Rotary etc. An associated member is most certainly a better candidate.

Each one of the above mentioned factors are important considerations for an investor or a customer prior to choosing a suitable architect. At first, it might seem difficult to find architects with all qualifications but there are ways. You can talk to developers, other popular architects, city planning and building departments, local economic developments, chambers of commerce etc and ask for references. Similar references cal also be obtained from experienced customers, sellers and buyers. The advent and popularity of the Internet has opened previously unknown avenues for obtaining information. The Internet can be a source of information, details and contact about reputable, qualified and experienced architects. The websites of architectural professional organizations may also list prominent architects in different regions.

A good architect is the key to any real estate development. Once a solid relationship and understanding has been established with the right architects(s), the entire process of idea generation, conceptualization through to final construction becomes simpler and satisfying. A good architect is aware of all reasonable specifications and is filled with ideas that form successful real estate development strategies. Thus, it is absolutely imperative to choose the right architect – one who is aware, experienced and reputable.

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