The Critical Role of Building Designers in Property Development

The Critical Role of Building Designers in Property Development  

Picture of Stephen Atcheler
Stephen Atcheler


Developers and builders envision what they hope to accomplish with the property. For example, the developer may imagine turning an old building into prime office space. Or a builder might wish to build a community recreation center.

However, the developers and builders lack all the tools necessary to create an attractive, sustainable, functional, financially feasible, and desirable space. Creating a space with all those qualities requires a professional building designer to be part of the team.

Why Spend Money on Design?

Why Spend Money on Building Designers

Consider any product, even something as simple as a lamp. Studies show that every dollar spent on user experience design yields $100 in return. Companies that employ industrial designers also save money because 95 percent of production costs occur at the design stage.

Investments in design also yield benefits to property developers. For a building to be successful, the concepts of place and space must work together to create a desirable environment. In other words, renters aren’t simply happy that the building is well-located and fulfills its function. They want it to evoke certain emotions, such as a sense of refuge or efficiency. Developers need good building design to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. They also need to build without overspending. A building designer can help achieve both goals.

What Do Building Designers Do?

The building designer talks with the developer and builder to understand their vision for the property. Then they prepare sketches and drawings that meet those requirements and comply with local regulations. They can also provide time, budget, and machinery costs for each proposed design. They also are responsible for ensuring their designs will produce a safe structure that won’t collapse.

A good building designer will also keep up with trends such as lighting, ergonomics, and green building options that can further improve a building’s competitiveness.

How to Find a Good Building Designer

Building designers are professionals. Some have college degrees in architecture or similar fields. Others opt for certification through professional groups and vocational schools instead of the degree. They also have detailed construction industry knowledge and typically complete an apprenticeship before their first job.

In some markets, finding a competent building designer is difficult. Demand exceeds supply. You’ll probably have to pay a premium even if you’re lucky enough to find one.

Virtual Building Design

One solution is to hire a virtual building designer. Building designers do most of their work using computer software, so virtual building design is possible.

The virtual building design is also desirable for property developers in many countries. You can hire a professional building designer who lives and works in a country with low-labor costs while saving a lot of money. For example, consider outsourcing to the Philippines. A building designer earns about $17,000 in the Philippines instead of about $89,000 in the United States. As another example, a building designer in the Philippines makes about 14,000 GBP, while one working in the United Kingdom would earn about 40,000 GBP.

Property developers who hire building designers in the Philippines will receive the same quality work they’d receive from those in their own country. The Filipino government has several programs that provide incentives for its citizens to continue their education at four-year colleges or vocational schools. It also has an excellent infrastructure to support outsourcing, which plays a significant role in the country’s economy.

Property developers in Asia-Pacific countries are on a similar time schedule to the Philippines, so communication is accessible. However, communication is also easy for property developers in the United Kingdom and North America. Because Filipinos are keen to work with foreign companies, they’ll adjust their work hours to overlap those in the Western Hemisphere.

English is an official language. Indeed, the Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world. Because of its colonization history, culturally, the Philippines is similar to Western Hemisphere nations.

Managing Outsourcing

Outsourcing Managing

You may wonder how your property development firm in North America or Singapore could recruit a building designer in the Philippines. And, even if you did manage to recruit one, how would you work with them as part of your construction team?

The answer is that you work with us. We are an offshore real estate staffing solutions firm in the Philippines. We have a network of real estate and property development professionals from which we recruit. We’ll give you a shortlist of qualified candidates to interview. You choose the best one for your team. We’ll set them up with a workstation in our office, working with other building designers.

Then we advise you on task management software and a management plan to help ensure your relationship succeeds. We even provide coaching for both you and your new team member.

You can gain the competitive advantage of a well-designed building. You can save money on construction costs and appeal to a broader range of tenants. Contact us to learn how virtual building design can work for you.

About the Author

Meet Stephen Atcheler, the Managing Director of a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Company. Stephen has been working in the industry since 2013 and has a wealth of experience in making outsourcing work for real estate businesses. He fell in love with real estate at a young age and has been working in the field since 2005. Stephen's passion for real estate and helping other business owners thrive led him to start his own real estate business in 2012, and eventually, to establish a real estate virtual assistant company to take it to the next level. Stephen's wealth of experience and knowledge in real estate and outsourcing make him the perfect person to guide you in setting up your own virtual assistant team. Feel free to reach out to him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

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