Getting Your Money’s Worth
How do professionals determine their fee structures? How are fee variances decided for specific categories of work? And, how can you relate those fees to “value received” when that service is intangible?
Your interior design professional has several billable categories, with various and appropriate rates for each category. Your designer will determine which services your project requires, will assign costs accordingly and will fully explain.
Some categories such as administrative services or research reflect lower rates, while consultation and design time are higher. The former involves straightforward task work, while the latter requires specific qualifications, expertise, talent and experience.
Depending on the particular designer you engage, the range of rates is usually a good indicator of the level of reasonability you can expect in other project areas, as well as financial.
When you buy professional services, whether the services are for design, legal assistance, or accounting (to name just three of many), you are paying for multiple levels of expertise. That expertise is the result of higher education in that field followed by appropriate licensing and/or certification and practical experience. Added to those qualifications and compliances are the actual talents, skills, and specific affinity for design that the particular professional brings to the table.
When determining fees and rates, your professional has several things to consider, not the least of which is the economic condition of the specific marketplace. Is that marketplace able to buy the services? If fees and rates are not in keeping with the market’s reasonable ability to purchase, the services cannot be sold.
Every professional must choose between achieving a healthy volume at rates slightly below the market indicators, and being content with limited volume at higher than average rates.
There also are simple informal industry trends that need to be realistic or the market will not support the venue. Many professionals rely on those standards in setting their fees and rates.
Unique risk factors exist in how some professional services are offered. For instance, consultation alone, without follow-through oversight, presents greater risk to both parties. It is safe to assume that the higher the risk, the higher the cost will be.
A wise professional will develop a fees and rates schedule that is fair and equitable for both parties, is appropriate for the specific market and is comprehensive.
Everyone knows there’s no free lunch, but when lunch arrives, we want quality!
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
RED goes with everything! Read my blog and find out why.
Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo