How to Make Sure My Projects Get Funded & Approved
It’s the dream of many architects to come up with a design others would want to buy. But once you wake up from your dream, reality sets in. You begin to realize one of the major difficulties in architecture. Designs are not patented in the same way as innovations—and it’s not common for someone to buy the rights to your design. It works the other way around.
As an architect or developer, you’re commissioned by a client to produce what they need—and then, you use your expertise to do it in a unique yet practical way. So, how can you make sure that you’re not wasting time on proposals and project ideas—but at the same time—land an investor’s attention, funding, and approval?
That’s the million-dollar question!
Whether you’re a new or seasoned architect, this simple guide will help you rethink your strategy and realize your need to stand out by leveraging 3D architectural visualization and renders.
The Right People – the Right Funding
First, you must target the right people. What kind of investor does your particular project require?
Don’t assume anyone will give you 100% of the project costs: project runners are expected to put quite a bit of their own money (or funds borrowed from a bank) into the project as well. Depending on the funding source, your own line of credit can be up to—or more than—50% of the costs. So, are you seeking a simple or prime investor?
Here’s an equation for you to think about:
The right people + the right proposal = the right funding
It’s that simple: you must target the right investors with the right proposals in order to gain the most out of your funding opportunities.
What’s not so simple: engaging the right investors, creating the right proposals, and remaining fresh and consistent—ready to make quick changes—each time.
Before we delve into a few powerful solutions to help you target and attract the right investors, let’s take a step back and (first) focus on the most important person here: you.
The Law of Attraction – You Attract What You Are
- Can my sketches, models, and presentation skills (alone) help me win an investor who is willing to fund that much money?
- Does my online presence and architecture reputation attract the prime investors I’m looking for?
- Are my project ideas even worth proposing anymore?
If you find yourself answering “no” or “I’m unsure” to at least one of these questions, then it’s highly likely you will never get the funding and approval you want.
You need to discover what an architect investor wants. Next, you need to learn how to convey the designs and ideas that are in your head into the most powerful visuals that the top successful architects and developers are now using — 3D architectural visualizations and renders.
Second, you must learn what engages the right people
Don’t work harder — work smarter! This means that you need to:
Step #1: Immerse yourself in the investor’s ecosystem. Learn about the investor as an individual or firm. Take your research and knowledge about that architecture investor and blend it well into your proposal. Make it personal. Study the previous and current architectural projects they’ve invested in and find what ultimately triggered an approval.
Remember: not every design is meant for every investor. Yes, your ideas are worth it…but it’s only targeting a specific type of prime investors. Again, work smarter—not harder.
Step #2: Engage the investor. Always explain your own investment made into the project idea…then, clearly illustrate what they (the investors) will gain in return. And don’t forget to connect with their emotions and convictions, such as the sustainability and environmental benefits of your project that will connect with their own goals for social responsibility, etc. You’re going to need the best exterior and interior visuals — period.
Step #3: Demonstrate a project that they can feel. If you never evoke their emotions, you’ll never grasp their attention. Once you’ve lost their attention, you’ve lost their funding…and any future approvals. Sketches and models alone do “little-to-nothing” in stimulating architecture sensations for these investors. They need to see (and feel) those dimensions, height, textures, any environmental sustainabilities, and realism — which only come through powerful high-quality 3D architectural visualizations and renders.
Reputation is Everything! Put Your Best Foot Forward
“To put it bluntly, nobody will give you money before you’ve earned your status,” explains architecture historian and researcher Anu Marji.
And many other architects, engineers, and construction firms share that same testimony. Even your architect design mentor may say that you must work on other projects, perhaps for a few years, before you will be able to convince prime investors that you have great, funding-worth ideas that will also bring money into their pockets.
But, is this always true? Is this the only strategy?
Not at all! You can firmly and quickly build your status and reputation through 3D architecture visualizations — and get instant approvals from prime investors. And here’s how:
Your Online Presence and Portfolio are Everything!
The truth is — presenting prime investors with mere sketches and physical models will never be enough for them to intensely experience the exterior and interior of your architectural vision and invest their money.
If you choose to use 3D rendering software for your project, you’ll eventually build a large portfolio of designs that you can also use as high-quality marketing material. As an architect designer, you can easily share it on your official website and social media platforms.
Quickly, you’re building a reputation as a trustworthy architecture firm that places the requests of the investors (and clients) first and immediately impacts their interest to learn more about your ideas.
Nail That Pitch — Get Instant Approvals
So far, you’ve learned that you need to target the right investors, evoke their emotions through the best architectural visualizations, and how to quickly build your status/portfolio. Now, let’s talk about getting “instant approvals” from such investors. How do 3D architectural visualizations help you nail that perfect pitch and instantly boost your reputation?
As discussed in our article, “What Investors Want”, the most epic way to put your best foot forward in winning a prime investor is through high-quality 3D renders. It allows you to:
- Take investor on virtual tours (beyond what sketches and models can do)
- Properly present them with landscape renders
- Incorporate details in your designs
- Make necessary changes more efficiently
One of the most impactful keys to secure investor approval—showing them that you can easily make timely changes.
Your Ability to Make Changes is Everything!
…and you must prove that you can do that.
During your pitch, they will have questions. Answering them is a cinch, but making changes is the tough part. This is especially true when you have little-to-no resources or assets, to begin with. Well, that’s why I strongly recommend you acquire an experienced 3D visualization studio that specializes in architectural renders. 3D studios have the appropriate software, equipment, workflow, and quicker ability to send new renders as needed. If you’re serious about getting instant approvals, then take this time to invest in your portfolio and build the quality of your pitch.
Imagine being able to focus more on your architectural designs and project ideas—without the stress and time involved with perfecting the best 3D architectural visualizations and renders. Finding a 3D studio is going to be your key to creating successful pitching and approvals.
Gain an Architect Mentor — Stay Balanced
You could say that an architect isn’t born, but made — not in the classroom or the studio, but behind a desk at a real architect firm, where success and failure impact real clients and happens in real-time. For someone starting out, it’s about finding a balance between detailed plans and time constraints, creative vision and technical knowledge, and design and documentation. It’s about understanding the intricate details, knowing what questions to ask, and discovering how a building comes together before the investor or contractor ever sees the plans.
Undoubtedly, you really do need a design mentor to help guide this path.
“Live with positive focus. While it is easy to get fixated on the negative aspects of shortcomings based on the critical training we go through in architecture school, learn to separate criticism of the design from your personal ego,” Senior Architect and Marketing Director of Motley Design Group, Taz Looman, explains in her ‘How to Build Confidence as an Architect’ series.
“Be authentic and use your voice. Surround yourself with people who will reinforce your positive focus and value quality.”
Remember, small-quality ideas may only gain small funding. Quality is everything.
High-quality ideas and architectural visuals are those that are seen—and felt—by the investors. And this includes you and your own confidence. If you are starting to doubt your own architecture projects and ideas, it may not be from rejections alone. Your feelings of failure may also exist because of your own loss of connection to your project ideas. So, don’t skimp on high-quality visuals for your high-quality ideas.
It is your low-quality workflow that produces the final question, “Are my ideas even worth it anymore?” We’ve all been there—including your mentor. So, don’t do this alone.
And what makes a good design mentor? Aside from a network of investors that can be shared—simply put—a good design mentor links the big picture to the small details.
Fortunately, 3D architectural visualizations are a constant reminder (to you) of your vision, your creativity, your purpose as an architectural designer…and gives you that emotional journey surrounding those small details. Alongside your mentor, your portfolio of 3D architectural designs and projects help reinforce that positive focus and give you that advantage to always reflect on how you can improve and grow. 3D architectural visualizations are going to give you (and your mentor) a scalable approach to stepping back and help you redefine your ideas more clearly.
Long Story Short…
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then 3D renders are worth a million!
No matter what angle you look at it from, high-quality 3D architectural visualization is a must. There’s no way around it—it’s the golden ticket that (not only) supports your high-quality project pitches, but builds your reputation as a star architect firm…and investors must be able to see this—and deeply experience it—in you and your proposals. They must see your skills, vision, workflow, and be confident that you are the key to their future profits.
Always freshly immerse yourself in each investor’s past and present projects, and let your high-quality 3D architectural visualizations immerse the investor in your designs and project ideas.
As a newly- or well-developed architect, engineering, or construction firm, you’re already faced with a myriad of business tasks and wondering where in the heck do you even start when it comes to leveraging prime investors and 3D architectural visualizations. We’ve got you covered with an all-in-one solution through our 3D rendering services and bull’s-eye industry experience. Contact Faraday 3D today to schedule a one-on-one session where we can learn more about your goals and help translate your vision.
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