Let’s Talk Fee: Why We’re Worth the Money

For this month’s blog post, we’re pulling back the curtain to explain what our clients truly get when they hire Banko Design.

Occasionally, when we engage with new clients on RFPs, we’re given the following feedback: We love your proposal and suggested scope, but your fees are on the higher end versus the other groups we’ve solicited.

And we respond with a smile, “That’s not the first time we’ve heard that feedback. We know our fees are higher than most. Here’s why!”

Some potential clients come to us after being burned by an interior designer or interior decorator. Often, the client feels they’ve overpaid for interior design services from a group that overpromises and underdelivers, and now, they’re stuck with a subpar property that doesn’t meet ROI expectations, which is a major bummer.

We also understand that budgets can be tight – especially with all the other craziness going on in the market right now. We always try to work with our clients to find a happy medium and we pride ourselves on providing incredible interior design at a great value.

However, selling our services short is not the Banko Design way. We want our clients to feel GREAT about their decision to hire us from day one. We appreciate the monetary investment they’ve made in great design and we know we need to earn their trust while executing their vision and exceeding their expectations along the way.

What You’re Really Paying For When You Engage A (Great) Interior Design Firm

When we talk “Interior Design Services,” we think it’s helpful to break down this concept as tangibles vs. intangibles on the project. Tangibles are the deliverables listed in our proposals that our clients actually see during various milestones of the project, i.e. Design and FF&E presentations, physical fabric and finish selections, contract documents, answers to RFQs, etc.

However, it’s important to remember that clients don’t just pay us to “pick out pretty fabrics.” Intangibles are what goes on behind the scenes to make those deliverables happen within the agreed timelines. While the intangibles are harder to see and therefore hard to communicate to prospective clients, the intangibles are crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful project from start to finish.

So, what do we consider to be critical intangibles at Banko Design? We’re happy you asked! Every project with Banko Design’s name on it features in depth front-end research, superior project management, and architectural level quality control. While this combination isn’t our secret sauce (which may or may not be stored in a safe somewhere), these factors are why we believe the majority of our business is from repeat clients.

In-Depth Front-End Research – We see interior design as a very collaborative process. Part of our kick-off is devoted to learning about our clients including their vision and goals for the project, their likes and dislikes, and what has worked well on past projects. Additionally, we firmly believe that our projects should have a strong sense of place. We conduct thorough research before pulling or presenting any design elements to be sure we’re in line with the project’s demographics, history, and local vernacular.

Superior Project Management – Banko Design hires only the best and brightest interior designers and interior architects. On every project, our interior design team is with our clients every step of the way to ensure they receive all the information in a timely fashion. We staff every project appropriately because we think our designers work best when they’re able to fully devote themselves to a project without the stress of overwork and aggressive deadlines. We invest in resources and our staff so that we can continue to push the envelope, and we grow our staff strategically to keep up with both the work we’re contracted to complete and projects on the horizon. The fees our clients pay ensure that we can continue to sustainably grow while maintaining our special boutique culture here at Banko Design.

Architectural Level Quality Control – Banko Design is comprised of both interior designers and interior architects. We often brag that we “play nice in the sandbox.” By this we mean that we love partnering with all consultants on projects, and they love us too! This mutual admiration is due in part to the quality of our documentation. We draw at an architectural level so that there’s no confusion when it comes time to build. We have highly qualified staff specifically dedicated to reviewing all project deliverables and providing redlines as necessary. We take a “measure twice, cut once” approach to design and think this method saves everyone time, money, and headache along the way.

We find that talking about money is often a taboo subject in the interior design world, but it shouldn’t have to be. We promise we’re not getting rich off interior design services – the interior design industry runs on notoriously slim margins – but we’re also not ashamed to ask for appropriate compensation of our time and to set our team up for success now and in the future. Our goal is always to partner with our clients long-term. We’ve been able to develop impressive portfolios with many of our clients because they appreciate the value our team brings to the table.

Have a project that you want to discuss with us? We’re attending:

Meet up with us at an upcoming conference, or email our Business Development team to discuss! business_development@bankodesign.com

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Banko Design is a full-service interior design and FF&E procurement firm for the senior living, multifamily and boutique hospitality markets. Our talented team of designers and purchasing agents work with developers and operators to program, design, document, procure and install stunning spaces at any price point.