Trust is the cornerstone of your architecture business

Table of Contents

I'll never forget that moment

When I realized how trust could change my career as an architect.


In my beginnings with Bamboo Architecture I got a project with a promising customer.

I was very excited because it was a very important client. A big fish.

Our first meeting went very well and everything seemed to go smoothly.

But as the project progressed, I discovered that I had underestimated the power of trust.

Although I put my whole heart into this project, things did not go well with the client.

We had trouble understanding each other, missed deadlines and costs started to rise.


Despite my best efforts, there was a trust gap between us.

I could see the client's hesitation. She had many questions and was getting frustrated.

Our initial enthusiasm had turned to uncertainty.

I knew I had to act fast to regain her trust.

This experience taught me something crucial about the architectural profession.

Trust is the cornerstone of your architectural business.


In this article, I'll share what I've learned about building trust with clients, partners, and others.

I'll talk about:

  • Understanding your clients
  • Talking effectively
  • Keeping your promises
  • Showing off your best work
  • Proving you're an expert
  • Being honest and clear


I will use stories, practical tips and steps you can follow.

By the end, you'll know how trust can improve your architecture business.

It's time to be an architect that people trust.

Let’s begin.


Understanding Your Audience

We need to start by getting to know our audience better.

I learned this lesson the hard way in the early days of my career.

I had a client who really liked classic designs, but I loved modern architecture.

I thought I could convince them to go with my style, but it didn't work out.

We didn't understand each other, and trust started to disappear.

It wasn't until I started really listening to my clients that things got better.


To understand your audience, do some research.

Find out about their lifestyle, and what kind of spaces they like.

Learn about their dreams and what they want for their projects.

When you meet with them, be curious and try to understand their ideas, not just share your own.


Once you know what they like, tailor your designs to match their vision.

I found that when I used their ideas, even if they were different from mine, trust grew between us.


Here's a practical tip: Create a profile of your ideal client for each project.

Include things like what they like, what they want, and what their goals are.

Keep this profile in mind as you work on the project to make sure you're on the same page.

Understanding your audience isn't just about design.

It's about building a strong connection based on respect.


🎓 Wondering why your designs aren't resonating with everyone? Get the answers with the Audience – Buyer Persona Sprint. Discover how to create detailed buyer personas to understand and connect with your ideal clients. By knowing who you're designing for, you can tailor your projects and communications to meet their specific needs and desires, making your work irresistible.


Effective Communication

Effective communication is crucial for presenting ideas, negotiating contracts and building relationships with customers.

Use simple words and phrases. Avoid complex words or jargon, like Environment, Sustainability or Common Data Environment…


You need to speak clearly to team up with others and communicate effectively to share your ideas, close deals and build strong relationships with your customers.

Always think of yourself as talking to your grandmother.


Here's a practical tip: Talk (and listen) to your customers.

Understand how they feel and what worries them.

This helps you meet their needs and show them you care about their ideas.

That's why having regular feedback sessions is important.

These meetings give customers a chance to share their thoughts and questions.

It shows that you care about what they think and that you're ready to help.


You can communicate to your customers in many ways:

  • through messaging
  • through emails
  • on the phone
  • in person


No matter how you do it, keep it simple.

Use words they understand and show that you are interested in their ideas.

This will help you build lasting trust.

So try to have regular feedback sessions with your clients.

You will both appreciate it.


🎓 Talk to your customers in the most effective way with the Marketing challenges. They will help you fosters a sense of collaboration and partnership and transform client-architect your relationships from transactional to meaningful.


Reliability: Delivering on Promises

When we make promises, like finishing projects on time and within budget, it's super important to stick to them.

While leading Bamboo, I learned that delivering on promises was a big deal.

It's not just about meeting deadlines and budgets. It's doing even better than expected.


It reminds me a project that had a very tight schedule.

I really wanted to impress the client, so I promised to finish the project even earlier than they asked.

But then, unexpected problems showed up, and it became really tough to keep my promise.

I was feeling super stressed, and the trust the client had in me started to fade away.

To get that trust back, I had to make a tough choice.

I talked to the client honestly, explained all the issues, and gave them a new schedule that I knew I could stick to.

It wasn't easy, but the client appreciated my honesty and the fact that I was committed to solving the problems.

It worked.


Here's a practical tip: Always set realistic expectations right from the beginning.

When you talk to clients about project timelines and budgets, think about possible issues and add some extra time and money, just in case.

This way, you can always keep your promises and even surprise your clients by finishing ahead of time or spending less.

Another way to build trust is by going the extra mile.


Do things like:

  • Offering different design ideas
  • Keeping clients updated regularly
  • Do it consistently, not just once in a while


These extra efforts show that you're really dedicated to making your clients happy.

Clients need to know that they can trust us to do what we say, every time.


🎓 Deliver on your promises and even surpass them with the Sales challenges. They will help surprise your clients with small, thoughtful touches during the project.


Building a Strong Portfolio

Think of your portfolio as a tool to build trust.

I've learned just how important it is in my career.

It's not just a bunch of old projects piled on top of each other.

It's the playbook that shows what you can do, your style, and how good you are.


A brief anecdote:

When I was just starting, my portfolio was a mix of projects without any clear theme or story.

It didn't show how skilled I was or what made my designs unique.

This confused potential clients.

So, I decided to change things. I saw my portfolio as a way to tell a story.

I picked the best projects, added great pictures, and wrote detailed descriptions.

I even showed how things looked before and after I worked on them.

And I got some nice words from clients to prove I was good at what I did.


Here's a practical tip: Make your portfolio not to just show off but to convince people.

Choose projects that match what your target clients like.

Use professional photos and designs to make your work look amazing.

And don't forget to include what clients say about you.

This shows that you can deliver top-quality results and understand what your clients want.

In a world where branding is important, your portfolio can make people trust you even before you talk to them.


🎓 Build your outstanding and powerful portfolio following the Product challenges. They will help you impresses potential clients but also serves as a powerful tool in building trust.


Demonstrating Expertise

Our client wanted to be environmentally friendly and have sustainable designs.

I knew something about it, but not enough to achieve her big goals.

So I did a lot of research, attended workshops and talked to sustainability experts.

It took me a few months to learn it all, but it was worth it.

I gained a lot of new knowledge that I was able to share with my clients.


By demonstrating how committed I was to learning and sharing what I knew, I not only met the client's objectives, but also got them to trust me.

They saw me as someone who really knew what I was doing and cared about their values.


Here's a practical tip: Be a leader in your field.

Stay updated with the latest trends in architecture, sustainability, and technology.

Share your ideas through:


Clients trust architects who know a lot and are up to date with the latest developments.

Showing my knowledge has helped me a lot in my career.

Not only will you build trust with clients, but you'll become the architect they look up to.

It's a great way to stand out in a competitive market.


Honesty and Transparency

Being honest is like the rock that trust is built on.

Clients really like it when architects admit their mistakes and try to fix them.

That's why being honest and open has been really important in my career as an architect.

I've seen that trust grows when we talk openly and honestly.


There was a time when I faced a problem during a project.

There were delays due to construction problems that I could not control.

At first, I was afraid to tell the client because I thought it might damage our relationship.

But then I realized that hiding the truth would make the trust disappear even more.

So I made a difficult decision.

I told the customer about the problems, explained why they had occurred and how we planned to fix them.

It was a tough talk, but the client liked that I was honest and really wanted to solve the problems together.

In the end, that strengthened our trust.


My advice: Always be honest and tell the truth.

When things go wrong, whether it's the design, the budget or anything else, talk about it with your clients.

Share ideas on how to solve problems and show that you are committed to solving them together.

Being honest and open is what makes you trustworthy.

Clients like it when professionals admit their mistakes and strive to make things right.


And remember that everyone makes mistakes. I've made mine too.

You can read about the 21 mistakes I made and every new architect will make.

By being upfront and open in your work, you show that you're honest and that you care about doing business the right way.


What did I learn?

I've learned many things in my career, but these are my top 3:


1) Be Reliable and Consistent

Reliability means always keeping your promises.

You said Friday at 12 noon, and Friday at 12 noon you deliver.

We should stick to project timelines and budgets.

When clients know they can trust you to do what you say, they feel confident in your ability to get the job done.


2) Be Honest and Open

Honesty means telling the truth about project problems, possible delays, and costs.

Architects should own up to their mistakes and work on solutions.

Being transparent in everything you do builds trust.

Clients like architects who are honest about the ups and downs of a project.


3) Take care of customers

Happy customers will talk nice things about you.

These testimonials show you are a great architect who can be trusted.

You win happy customers basically by doing 2 things:


1) Being responsive: answering quickly and well.

  • If someone calls, pick up.
  • If you get an email, reply.
  • If your phone rings, answer it.


Architects should be fast at replying to client questions and requests.

Being available and responsive shows you care about meeting client needs.


2) Solving Problems.

Architects should be good at finding and fixing issues that pop up during a project.

Problem-solving skills show you can handle problems and keep things going.

Clients like architects who can adapt and find answers when needed.


By focusing on these things, we can build and keep trust with clients and partners.

In the end, this leads to successful and long-lasting business relationships.

Isn't that what we're all looking for?



In my short but intense journey, I've seen how trust can change everything.

That's why I want to leave you with some final thoughts and a call to action.


Building trust doesn't happen overnight.

It's a step-by-step thing that needs dedication and a commitment to doing things right.


Day by day. Step by step. Brick by brick.


All the things we talked about are important for building and keeping trust:

  • Understand ideal clients needs
  • Improve how you talk to clients
  • Set reasonable expectations
  • Show off your best work
  • Always keep learning


By following these tips, you will be an architect with a ton of happy customers who trust you and want to work with you.


As you work on your architecture firm, remember that trust is about more than how things look.

It's making connections based on respect, understanding, and a real commitment to what your clients want.


Trust me, it's totally worth the effort.



Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you with:

1. If you're still looking for traction in your architecture business, subscribe to the Wisdom for the Modern Architect Newsletter. Every week you will get actionable ideas, mental models and resources to help you build a profitable business.

2. In case you want to level up your business, you can get Full Access to the Global Architect Roadmap, and unlock Challenge & Solutions with all the resources and tools, exclusively reserved for our paid members, by Upgrading your Membership.


See you around,


Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways we can help you with:



If you’re still seeking traction in your architecture business, subscribe to the Wisdom for the Modern Architect Newsletter. Every week, you will get actionable ideas, mental models, and resources to help you build a profitable business.


Ready to fast-track your success? Our Sprints are actionable, on-demand courses specifically crafted to equip you with the skills you need to earn more and grow your architecture business.


If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, consider our exclusive 1-on-1 consulting sessions. Get tailored advice, strategic insights, and hands-on support to overcome your unique challenges and achieve your goals.

Unlock your potential
Get full access to challenge & solutions, complete your Global Architect Roadmap, and unlock all the resources and tools, exclusively reserved for our paid members.

Send this article to someone you respect.


📄 Explore more articles