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Negotiating architectural visualization project or price with Architectural Visualization studio as a client can be intimidating, especially if you are not experienced. We’ve explained below some useful information on how you can secure a reasonable price without sacrificing any quality by understanding what architectural visualization project is exactly and how price is formed.

What is an architectural visualization project?

The architectural visualization project is the 3D graphical representation of architecture and premises. Ideas, materials, and light combined into a 3D space and processed by a software often called – rendering.

In today’s world, visualizing structures and buildings is to check-prove them if they will sit well within the environment and suggested design.

In a consumer world, we are used to paying the price on services without asking the right questions. To successfully negotiate the right price for the CGI project you need to prepare yourself a bit in advance. An architectural visualization project is a group of services comprised under one name. Such projects can involve the use of static renderings, animation footage, or hybrid loop animations and even consider the Inflation rate and your local CPI. You need to identify your needs to build up your expectations appropriately.

Knowing these four important subjects may get you on the right path to pricing your architectural visualization project:

– What are the average industry prices for projects similar to yours?
– What size your project is?
– What REAL deadline your project is facing?
– At what design stage your project is?

Let’s dive in and see what hides under these four questions.

No one likes the first dates, first steps, cold calls or cold emails. It doesn’t matter if you are an Architectural Visualization studio or Buyer, both sides suffer from the same effects when not prepared with the right questions.
Clients do tend to feel more vulnerable when asking for prices. They always think that the seller tricks them into a swirl of complex technical terms and make them pay more than necessary.

Getting the right price is not always an easy task!

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Architectural Visualizations and Design agency TALLBOX is sought after for its distinctive ethos as multidisciplinary encompassing, Interior Design CGIs, Architectural Renderings, and Real Estate marketing strategies.

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My study shows that:

73% of the clients using architectural visualization services think that their price is too high. They abandon the sale and look for cheaper options skipping the important negotiation step.

Well, I have something that will save you from being tricked into the wrong price category, especially in the architectural visualization services industry.

architectural visualization price guide

1. Rules of negotiating architectural and interior visualization project prices with Architectural Visualization studio.

If you are about to approach Architectural Visualization studio, knowing the essential aspects of the visualization industry can make you the best client and save you money.

Prepare your homework

  • What size is your project? Let’s play two scenarios.
    First: Imagine if you think you know the volume of the work that you are submitting. You have your prices agreed. Later on the process, there is a need to increase or change of scope of the project, so therefore the rate shall increase. This will not make you surprised as you will be aware of the situation.
    Second: The same rules apply but with the difference that you know the size and scope and all possible alterations that have to be made to your project. You would expect the price to be different than stated in any fixed price list, right.
  • What is your deadline? Having expectations of the length for your project or at least an approximately realistic deadline is another significant factor for pricing. Having unrealistic expectations may lead to additional charges, alterations of the agreements between both parties, and sometimes unknown consequences.
  • How complicated is your project? Being aware of the complexity of your architectural or design project is the best homework you can do.
    This will lead not only to the right price for your 3D renderings but will make you the best client in the expert’s eyes. Architectural Visualizers love informed clients with raised awareness and realistic expectations.
  • At what design stage is your project? An important part that you should NOT skip. If your project is at an immensely progressed stage, you have most of the essential details as agreed concepts, plans, and information, the architectural visualization project quotation you should expect it should be nearly at the realistic end price.
    On the other side, if your project is not solved e.g., at the beginning with multiple unknown factors, respectively, you should get an architectural visualization quotation with approximate figures.
  • What are the average industry prices? Doing some research won’t hurt you. Here I did an article on What is an Architectural Visualizer and seven places to find one? Which might guide you.
    At TALLBOX we think comparing and asking for quotes won’t hurt anyone, actually, might improve someone’s services.
    Rule of thumb is always to mention that you are comparing services or quotes for your architectural visualization project. This sentence will make architectural visualizers to provide their best and most vast quote. On the other side, do not expect that someone will break their profit just because you have a beautiful building.

If you follow and prepare your homework, surely, you will get the most accurate price for your 3D renderings.

2. Allow the other side to name a price

As a smart client, you should allow the other hand to name its price first. Provide all gathered and prepared information for a quote and wait.

This way, you have the advance to counter with an offer that is lower or different than what you would have offered initially.
Setting up an “anchor price” as a starting point is not the best way to approach an architectural visualizer.

Revealing your dreamed low price can put off or, even worse, might not give you the change to negotiate the right price for the right and best service.

Starting with an unrealistic low price sets up the expectations of your chosen architectural visualization project provider at the very bottom. Instantly indicated that you might not be their best client or that you don’t know your project.

Some of the industry mentors that teach on a “Price negotiating” mentioned that setting up a lower price drives seller’s expectations low and always end up providing inadequate service to their clients.

3. Be smart

For architectural visualization studios, services are the main source of income and the classic model of negotiation does not work.

Do not throw low prices from the beginning, then wait for the high cost and meet in the middle.

Visualizing architecture or interiors, it’s not straightforward. It is a complex task that involves a lot to take in consideration.

If your project is small and requires only a few (2-3 visuals), it may be in the range of £450 / $635 up to £800 / $1130 per visual which comes to a total of £1350 / $1906 up to £2400 / $3388.
But if your project is large (8 to 10 visuals) and requires a significant amount of CGI visuals to be done, you may negotiate a better price per visual for example in the range of 400 up to 650 per visual which in total is £3200 / $4518 up to £6500 / $9177 or a set amount for the whole project. In most cases, the bigger project is equal to better prices. 

GBP / USD prices according to the date of the writing of the information

3.1 Adjust according to Inflation and CPI (word for the arch. viz studios)

GOOD PRACTICE:

At TALLBOX we think It is a good practice to adjust the rates of your architectural visualization services annually in alight at least with the inflation rate in your country or region. For example, if an architectural rendering project costs you to produce £450 / $635 per image this year, next year with an inflation rate on average 1.5% will cost you to produce £457 / $645

The inflation rate is not the only cause for price adjustment. Overall the CPI (Consumer Price Index) plays a big role yearly. You can read here what is exactly CPI (Wiki). At TALLBOX our rule of thumb is at the beginning of each financial year to look at four key factors:

– Inflation rate globally and locally
– Real Estate market trends
– Architectural sector trends
– TALLBOX’ business factors and Client orientation trends

Based on the data gathered we’ve estimated that on average a 4,5% – 10% price adjustment is needed. The range of price adjustment varies based on the service and client demand. For example, the architectural visualization services received an 11% increase year on year for the past 5 years.

Being not smart by placing a low price, actually drives the seller to think only for the money and the value provided to them. They will focus on getting the highest price possible by providing as little as possible quality service.

Nearly 80% of all architectural visualizers are aware of this cheap buyer tactic. Therefore they consider this as a being a jerk.

The situation is even worst, as the seller will try you to pay their counteroffer, which acts as a satisfaction to them and signs of a weak buyer/client.

Being smart means leveraging your relationship to the best possible outcome for both parties. By paying a reasonable price doesn’t make you lose money, actually, it will bring you more value for your money, as you will become a more likable client.

4. Know your limits

Make sure, you are a fair player. By being reasonable and let your seller get something out of the deal.
As mentioned above, knowing the seller’s price in advance give you a powerful advantage, even when you are the one that pays in the end.

You will know when the price is real when you hear “That is my limit, can’t go any lower.” As an exchange of service needs two sides of a deal, you should be prepared and allow the seller to make some money.

5. Get extras

This is the moment when you get value for your money. If you feel that the offer provided is not bringing you enough value, maybe is time to ask for extras or bonus.

For instance, if you are offered a price for five 3D renderings, ask for one additional rendering.

Whatever you ask for as extras, it is important to ask during the negotiations. Often, these extras are triggered automatically in the seller’s mind, when you are trying to walk away from the provided offer.

In return as an instinct to save the deal, the seller offers to provide value to their product in the form of something additionally for no price or at a highly discounted price.

6. Respond to e-mails

Some potential clients are afraid of answering the email, or maybe they feel obligated to respond by not been satisfied with the provider’s price. Often what happens, in reality, is when first-time clients enquire four or five 3d rendering prices from different studios, and in 80% of the cases, they stick with the lowest one. Our advice is to continue and spend a bit extra time responding to e-mails and negotiating with all Architectural Visualization studios to get the best price for their service. It is incredible what can be achieved when negotiations are done in the right attitude and transparency. After a negotiated submission of all proposals for 3d rendering prices, it’s a matter of preference and quality of the service.

7. Ask for a Discount as Long term partner

architectural visualization price discount
TALLBOX– Architectural visualization Price Discount Diagram

If you’ve been a visualization client for more than one project, it is a good idea to see what can be optimized. Ask your arch. viz provider if they can think of a way to discount a small percentage from your project. Having an open conversation between partners and the client-provider side is always a good idea.

Sometimes prices may be increased than discounted, but with the right planning and systems, everything is possible. With relationships lasting more than one project, an average of 5-7% is considered a good gesture. In cases where the subsequent project is larger and more complex discounts at these rates might not be possible. 

When it is possible to ask for a discount:

1. Similar past and future projects
Let’s say your subsequent order is roughly the same as the previous one; It has similar models, briefs, and the number of visualizations needed. This will streamline the process for making the visualization images, by recycling and utilization of already made assets from the previous project.

2. Repetitive project requirements
When your project requires multiple images with minor changes within each image. Let’s imagine the project’s scope is a visualization of a construction element with 15 different types of materials/colors. Once the model is created, lighting and perspectives are adjusted; the next step of making multiple renderings of the same object with different material can be streamlined to some degree which is a good indicator for a price reduction.

3. Subsequent large project
With subsequent large projects, most of the time there are many things that can be optimized. One of the factors that plays role in architectural visualization project prices is how unique the project should be. Even if the new project is larger in scale and time, but requires similar or typical models/textures or scope, this can be a premise for a small price discount.

When it might not be possible for a discount:

1. When a project is too small.
Each project in architectural visualization begins with the planning and modeling phase. Large or small all projects undergo these two stages and 40% of each architectural visualization image is the amount of work represented by these two stages.

2. Long-term projects with multiple revisions.
Long-term collaborations are great, but most of the time the maintenance of long-term visualization projects requires has the same stages as the new ones. Each milestone of the project must undergo a planning and brief stage.

3. Price is already too at bare bones. 
Let’s face it; 90% of the creative business undertake projects that are not profitable but important and pivotal for their portfolio, possible partnership, and something else. In many cases, these projects are quoted at an operational minimum which makes it impossible for further discounts. 

TIP:
Before asking for a discount on your visualizations, ask your visualization provider if your project might be pivotal or important for them. Talk openly about your budget and what are the possibilities to optimize their proposal. Not getting a price discount is not bad if all the agreements are set straight and upfront. Requiring further revisions of the project can be considered as a discount too.

 

Conclusion and key points on
How to negotiate architectural visualization project (price guide)


It is best to remember. Avoid negotiating hard on pricing when faced with tight deadlines or projects at the concept stage.
Nothing can affect the pricing for architectural visualization services that bad as super tight deadlines and unclear brief or project.
These three components eliminate the opportunity for you to negotiate the right price.

Notable: Despite everything, If you are left without options and have no opportunity to invest in a decent budget, try to prepare the project brief at the utmost quality and ask for a comfortable deadline for your project to be completed.

Key points of How to negotiate architectural visualization project with Architecture Visualization studio (price guide)

  • Negotiating architectural visualization prices as a client can be intimidating, especially if you are not experienced; therefore, you should pay attention to a few aspects when negotiating.
  • Always ask yourself the four main questions:
    • What are the average industry prices
    • What size your project is
    • What is your deadline when you can submit your documents?
    • At what design stage your project is
  • Check or Ask if they adjusted the prices for the current year as per the inflation rate and CPI; This step will prevent unexpected price proposals
TALLBOX‘ formula for Architectural Visualization prices
  • By having answered those, you will make the negotiation easy, as the visualizing company will have more understanding about the project and its constraints.
  • Never throw a low price at the beginning of negotiating an architectural visualization project.
  • Know your limits and budget.
  • Be reasonable and ask the company if they could provide extra value for your architectural visualization project.
  • A small project (2 to 3 visuals) always cost more per image in the range of £450 / $635 up to £800 / $1130
  • With a project above (8 to 10 visuals) you will be able to achieve better price per visual in the range of £400 / $564 up to £650 / $918 per visual

In the end, You may want to compare what methods we use with our Architectural Visualization services as Architecture Visualization studio below: Our 3D Interior Visualization Method For High-Quality 3D Visualizations [Explained]

FAQ:

Due to the high volume of e-mails we’ve decided to make this section with one of the most popular questions on the topic.

Is architectural visualization a new service?

The architectural visualization term is a very new marketing name in comparison to architectural illustration for example. Visualizing architecture in 2D becomes possible around the ’70s with the release of an experimental at that time software called Sketchpad (a.k.a Robot Draftsman). Later in the years around 1988, a program called 3D Studio Prototype was invented and it was capable of visualizing models in three-dimensional space (3D). Years of further development of the software made possible architects and designers showcase their projects in 3D.

I have 3d rendering prices way more than my budget, what to do?

If all Architectural visualization studios have submitted prices above your project, then you should take that your project costs more than you anticipated, and perhaps it is good to find a way to either cancel some of the features and lower the amount of the images. Less work means fewer costs.

Can I split the work between two Architectural Visualization studios?

If the reason for splitting the work between two Architectural Visualization studios is the costs, it means that you have not negotiated everything, or your expectations are higher than they should be for the budget you have.
If you had arranged all the best, splitting the project between two studios may cause some further management problems on your side. If you have this as a real issue stopping you to approach your project, send us an e-mail at george@tallbox.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help with advice.

How to get a low 3d rendering price on my project and keep the high-quality approach?

It is not uncommon for clients to request this, or to pretend they have a better price. We do not advise on making a scene for the sake of the right manner and business.
Architectural Visualization studios make a living by providing 3D renderings, so if you try to beat the price and squeeze every penny, it is not clear what you will get in the end as a quality of the project or deadline. In some cases, you will be rejected, and later down the line, if you approach them, they might not respond to your requests or, even worse, mark you as a bad client.

Is architectural visualization the same as an architectural illustration?

Up-to-date most of the terms are mixed, and often they mean the same thing for many people. These two terms are very different. Architectural Visualization is the representation of architecture or interiors in 3D, while the architectural illustration is architectural representation in 2D as a sketch. We have written an article on that matter: https://www.tallboxdesign.com/architectural-rendering-vs-illustration/

Should I adjust my architectural visualization prices in alight with the Inflation rate?

At TALLBOX, we think It is a good practice to adjust the rates of your architectural visualization services annually in alight at least with the inflation rate in your country or region. For example, if an architectural rendering project costs you to produce £450 / $635 per image this year, next year with an inflation rate on average 1.5% will cost you to produce £457 / $645

How to adjust visualization prices in alight with the Inflation rate?

If an architectural rendering project costs you to produce £450 / $635 per image this year, next year with an inflation rate on average 1.5% will cost you to produce £457 / $645
The inflation rate is not the only cause for price adjustment. CPI (Consumer Price Index) plays a big role yearly, too.

Have questions about our service: Architecture visualization for property developments?

We are happy to provide you with free guidance and advice, simply drop us an e-mail or call us.

Get in Touch With Us!

George Nicola

VIRTUAL STAGING EXPERT / After eight years+ working in high-end design and property business I realised that we are missing a critical part of the property business. We were not providing enough value to these old and empty properties. Not every buyer would have the opportunity to see the potential of vacant property or in a bad state. The idea of Virtual Furniture Staging the property gives the buyer and seller an incredible chance in seconds of taking the critical decision.
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