Outsourcing Architectural Services: Complete Guide

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Architectural firms have plenty to gain from outsourcing, but some still refuse to take the @plunge. At Better Pros, we know that intelligently outsourcing architectural services can bring you tremendous benefits.

  • When you do it right, you get:
  • Top-shelf specialists that can go toe-to-toe with the best the American market has on offer.
  • Much more affordable rates without a drop in quality.
  • Professionals who speak your language fluently and have the same cultural norms, so things won’t get lost in translation.
  • Better communication, and timezones that match yours.
  • Reducing labor costs by as much as 50% in one week.
  • More clients, more projects, higher profits.

But, we’ve emphasized doing things the right way, because not all architectural outsourcing services are created equal. So, if you want to succeed, you’ll need to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • Otherwise, you risk:
  • Getting underwhelming results.
  • Suffering miscommunication issues that set your projects back months.
  • Spending your time juggling time zones and last-minute 2 am meetings.
  • Losing money, time, and projects.
  • And, probably worst of all: looking bad in front of your valued clients.

So, in this guide, we’ll show you how to overcome these obstacles and make the most out of outsourcing. By helping you avoid these common pitfalls, we can help you boost your productivity and profits threefold in as little as 90 days.

Let’s get started!

What is Outsourcing, Anyway?

Outsourcing is when a company hires a third-party contractor to perform tasks. This can include anything from simple jobs right up to high-level operations or services.

  • Some of the most common types of outsourcing practices are:
  • Professional outsourcing.
  • Manufacturing outsourcing.
  • Professional outsourcing
  • Process outsourcing.
  • Operational outsourcing.
Outsourcing architectural services

While many companies outsource locally, our globalized world and the increased ease of communication bring new opportunities to the table. As a result, more and more companies (and even governments!) are hiring professionals from all over the world. This is known as offshoring or the relocation of business processes to another area of the world.

And yes, while primarily the reason is cutting costs, it’s also because the international market can offer an equivalent level of talent — or better!

Offshoring comes in two different “flavors,” so to speak. You’ve got.

  • Farshore, or “wow, that’s pretty far” outsourcing. This entails outsourcing services and processes to professionals or companies in far-off areas of the world. Think about architectural drafting and design services in India or Bangladesh, for instance.
  • Nearshore, or “that’s a skip and a hop away!” outsourcing. This is when you outsource architectural services to Latin America or other areas of North America. While the professionals are in another country, they’re not so far away that they’re waking up when you’re hitting the hay.

So, what do you stand to gain from outsourcing architectural services, exactly? Let’s take a look.

Why Should You Outsource Architectural Services

There are many reasons to outsource architectural work, especially to nearshore professionals.

Here are some ways we can help you gain an edge over your competitors.

Yes, You’ll Save Plenty of Money

One of the main benefits of outsourcing is cost-cutting. How, exactly? Because, first of all, professionals abroad tend to charge less for equivalent services. Second, you don’t have to pay taxes, vacation time, sick days, insurance, or social contributions anymore. Third, there’s no infrastructure cost; each professional brings their own gear, know-how, and connections to the table. So, you can say goodbye to costly offices and maintenance costs.

But there are also additional advantages to keep in mind. For instance, even the best workers have plenty of downtime — which you actually pay for! With outsourcing, you only pay for the real hours worked, not the idle moments that usually happen during office hours.

In addition, if things are slower, then you don’t have to pay for your workers if they’re not active at the moment. You can call them when you need them, and they’ll only charge you for real, valuable work.

Or what happens if you suddenly have an influx of new projects? It can take time, effort, and valuable human hours to fill in those new positions. In the best-case scenario, it can take weeks or months. With the right architecture services outsourcing agency, though, you could potentially fill all of those positions in under a week.

When you tally all of these up, you can grow at half the cost, but triple the rate — if you play your cards right.

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You Can Save Time Too

Yes, the old adage is still true: time is money. When you hire remote professionals, you can delegate all types of tasks, from the most mundane to the highly complex. That frees you up to take care of the mission-critical, time-sensitive things on your to-do list.

But the time-saving benefits go even beyond even that. For instance, renders and visualizations can strain your resources, especially when you start getting more projects than you can handle. In addition, if you couple that with the fact that most studios don’t have in-house render specialists, costs can skyrocket fast. If a project catches you unprepared and you have to go on a hiring spree, your pockets are going to feel it.

High-quality architecture outsourcing services can help with that. For instance, we make sure our BetterPros have the necessary skills to create professional-quality renders and visualizations. The end result is that you get top-shelf professional services that you pay for only when you need to.

This removes any unnecessary idle time, so you know that you’re only paying your outsourced workers for the time they are actually working.

No Time Zone Juggling

Sure, you’ve probably done your fair share of Google searches; things like “CAD drafting services India” or “outsource drafting Philippines” are probably par for the course. But one thing you need to take into account is that working in different time zones can make your life a living hell.

Just think about it. The average time difference between the US and India is 11 hours and 30 minutes. That means that somebody on that Zoom call is not going to be looking fresh-faced. It’s either going to be them or you.

But what’s worse, is that it slows down communication to a crawl. Since they’re working while you’re sleeping, and vice versa, there’s very little time overlap, if any. And in truth, that’s going to mean plenty of late nights and stress for you.

The good news is that an architectural outsourcing service like Better Pros can make all the difference here. Since we’re in Latin America, we work in far more compatible time zones. So, less juggling time zones, and more getting to collaborate with each other in real-time.

And even not having the time zones match perfectly can bring you additional benefits. How? Let’s say, for example, that you’re a Miami-based architecture studio working 9-5 EDT. A BetterPro in Buenos Aires will be GMT -03, so just one hour ahead.

Now, let’s imagine a situation where you need a project finished by the next day. By the time you close up shop at 5, your BA-based BetterPro will be working on your project for at least one more hour, full-steam ahead. Or, in other words, you’ll have effectively extended your office hours.

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Pre-Vetted Professionals

We believe in putting you in touch with excellent, best-in-class professionals. When outsourcing, you don’t have to lower your standards or risk losing face with clients. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for rates, and you don’t really need to. Better Pros can give you access to the top 3% of professionals that you wouldn’t have found if you’d narrowed your search to the United States alone.

Also, we put you in touch with professionals with vastly different skill sets, depending on your requirements. This opens up the playing field, allowing you to take on projects that you wouldn’t have dreamed of before!

  • At Better Pros, we take the guesswork out of the equation. We screen our professionals thoroughly so you don’t have to. We make sure they’ve got:
  • The right education. Many South American universities are excellent, especially if they offer technology courses. We take a look into that for you.
  • More than 3 years of experience as an architect. Each professional provides a detailed portfolio of their past work.
  • Experience with US-based companies — they should knot the Imperial system, legal issues, and documentation like the back of their hand.
  • A thorough portfolio of varied, high-quality work.
  • Excellent communication skills in English.

We believe in putting you in touch with excellent, best-in-class professionals. When outsourcing, you don’t have to lower your standards or risk losing face with clients. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for rates, and you don’t really need to. Better Pros can give you access to the top 3% of professionals that you wouldn’t have found if you’d narrowed your search to the United States alone.

Also, we put you in touch with professionals with vastly different skill sets, depending on your requirements. This opens up the playing field, allowing you to take on projects that you wouldn’t have dreamed of before!

No Language or Culture Barriers

If there’s one thing we put special emphasis on when it comes to architecture services outsourcing, it’s language. Communication is key, and when it comes to the precision and importance of architecture, there can be absolutely no second-guessing.

Most of our BetterPros speak English so fluently you won’t believe it’s their second language. So, you would be able to communicate with them as if they were any other team member. Plus, they’ll be available to talk via whichever app or text messaging service you choose.

This is of vital importance, so we make sure that to make the cut, a BetterPro has to really know their stuff in English. If they can’t communicate with you, no matter how good of an architect they are, then it’s a no-go.

Plus, Latin American cultures are very close to the US. Our cultural references, norms, holidays, etc. are very similar to each other. That immediately creates a sense of bonding and understanding. With farshore outsourcing, sometimes the cultural gap is too strong to bridge.

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Some of the Projects We Can Help With

Better Pros can help you with every part of the production ecosystem. You can source drafting services, full-time staff architects, all the way up to project managers, and team leaders. Whatever you need, we can help make it happen.

  • We have BetterPros who can help with:
  • Design Development (DDS)
  • Construction Development (CDS)
  • Scan to BIM
  • Revit architect
  • CDS for submittals
  • Visualization Designer
  • US-code architects
  • Isometrics from models for presentations
  • CAD conversions support
  • As built conversion from scanning or measurement
  • Client presentations
  • Project management
  • Detailing for CDS
  • Schematic Design (SDS)
  • Models
  • Plank corrections from City Hall
  • Render Architect

Also, we know that there are enough types of architectural projects to make your head spin. But don’t worry, because we’ve got your back!

  • Here are the Residential projects we cover:
  • Housing
  • Remodels
  • Multifamily
  • Affordable
  • Luxury
  • Mixed-use
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  • Got something Big-Scale lined up?
  • Healthcare
  • Schools
  • Industrial Facilities
  • Hospitality
  • And more — so just ask!
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  • Building something Commercial? Not a problem. We’ll help with:
  • Retail (stores)
  • Grocery Stores
  • Offices
  • Warehouses
  • In the Landscape business? Here’s where we can help you succeed.
  • Residential
  • Hospitality
  • Golf Courts

What Types of Software Do We Use?

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Software plays a huge role in an architect’s work. And, since we make sure our BetterPros are accredited by the best Latin American universities, they’re up-to-date with the latest and greatest technologies. Plus, we provide regular webinars and seminars to get them to expand their software repertoire and knowledge.

  • Some of the technologies we use are:
  • Revit
  • AutoCAD
  • ArchiCAD
  • Vectorworks
  • Twinmotion
  • Rhinoceros
  • SketchUp
  • Grasshopper
  • 3DS Max
  • Lumion
  • Dynamo
  • V-Ray

But don’t be shy about asking if you don’t see your chosen software on the list. Our BetterPros are always ready to go the extra mile.

Don’t Take Our Word For It

We don’t really like to toot our own horn, but there’s nothing that speaks louder than results, right? We have a proven track record of success in helping our clients reach new professional heights, get new projects, boost their earnings, and cut back on unnecessary spending.

So, when it comes to being the best architectural outsourcing service, we let our clients do the talking for us:

Ready to get more projects, boost your profits, and halve your labor costs?

Outsourcing Architectural Services: What to Avoid

Now that we’ve covered what high-quality architectural services can do for you, it’s time to dive deep into the bad and the ugly. What happens to those poor architectural studios that try their hand at outsourcing to Asia, or hiring off of LinkedIn?

We know you don’t like spoilers, but we’ll go ahead anyway: typically, they tend to face disastrous results.

Now, this isn’t to say that farshore freelancing will always be a losing proposition. But, you face clear risks that you have to know about.

To give you a hand, we thought we’d compile a list of the reasons why farshore outsourcing can lead to the worst outcomes imaginable. Then, it’s going to be up to you to make an informed decision between “maybe it’s worth the risk” and “hey, I’m gonna bet on quality.”

You know which side of the street we’re on! So, without any more preambles, here’s why farshore outsourcing can lead to some ugly issues down the line.

You Save Money, But at What Cost?

Sure, professionals in India or the Philippines typically have some of the lowest rates imaginable. And you may be thinking to yourself “how bad can things be?” while thinking about saving an extra buck or two.

But the reality is that you may be looking at bottom-of-the-barrel “talent” instead of the high-quality professionals you need and deserve. Unprepared and untrained professionals may be able to sell themselves well, but you may not be able to tell the difference until it’s too late.

The result is that you lose time and money while trying to make up for their mistakes. In fact, you may have to end up hiring another, more qualified professional altogether. And you can chalk that up as a reprocessing expenditure, where they have to come in at a late date to take care of a do-over.

Trust us: cheap can be extremely expensive in the long run.

You can Damage Your Reputation

It’s not all about losing money. Sometimes, looking cheap can be one of the worst slaps in the face your business can suffer. At some point, your clients will be able to tell you’re not offering the same quality they’re used to, and they’ll start asking questions.

It will be up to you whether you want to be upfront and say “Yeah, I’ve been outsourcing to somebody in the Philippines and they didn’t even have proof that they’re a real architect.” But, as they say, results speak for themselves, and you can’t fool somebody who knows their stuff.

In the end, word gets out that your studio is cutting corners, and suddenly you start getting fewer projects. And the ones you do are lower quality and on a smaller scale than before. You definitely don’t want this to happen to you. Losing your reputation is more than just saving face; it’s your business’s whole potential for growth and success.

How do we help you prevent this? By giving you access to pre-vetted, accredited architecture professionals from Latin America. We make sure they’ve got the goods before you even talk to them. In a way, we act as your external HR department; you tell us what you need, and we make sure to connect you with the right talents.

We end second-guessing, put you in good hands, and protect your reputation by helping you continue to deliver the quality results your clients expect.

“Professionals” Who Can’t Back It Up

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One of the main issues we’ve seen when outsourcing architectural services is that many people are just good at self-promotion. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve actually got the goods!

Sometimes, you may see people on online marketplaces or social media hyping themselves up and talking big game. You may look at their rates and think “Hey, where’s the harm in that?” and give them a shot.

And, occasionally, these professionals may even know how to use rendering programs or other software. They may offer things like CAD outsourcing services or Revit drafting services. Yet, they may not necessarily be architects or accredited professionals.

But if they don’t have the proper background, it’s hard for them to follow your directions; they may be OK at producing renders but may fall short in other areas. And this is what brings us to what amounts to “taking their word for it” when they show you a portfolio of their previous work.

How do you know, if you don’t have somebody to double-check for you, that what they pass off as their portfolio is really their work? While some professionals may be honest, one of the most frequent issues with outsourcing to Asia or other parts of the world is a lack of proven credentials.

Sadly, we’ve lost count of how many architectural firms and studios have fallen victim to this. The worst part is that these things are very hard to catch at first glance. In the end, you realize what’s going on too late, which leads to disappointed clients, missed deadlines, and a domino effect of negative consequences.

How do we make sure this won’t happen to you? By vouching for our professionals and their work. We go through a lengthy process of multiple interviews before we consider our BetterPros eligible for our talent pool. Then, when it’s time for you to choose, we pick the best possible candidates and help you choose the one that fits the bill.

Language and Culture Matter

Now, many professionals claim to be able to speak English fluently. And sure, they may be able to convince you, in a written exchange, that they can communicate competently.

But all that falls away when you try to have your first video meeting. Suddenly, they can hardly keep up with you during a normal conversation. They stammer, struggling to find words, and have to look up anything from measurements to simple words.

The result is that you lose time trying to communicate, and you also risk misunderstandings. And, in architecture, misunderstandings often mean costly—and potentially dangerous—mistakes. You don’t want to find your project has some structural mistake because the person you hired doesn’t know the difference between inches and centimeters.

Moreover, difficulties in communication can also cause a lack of team cohesion. Many times, you’re going to need somebody to fill a full-time position that requires a constant back-and-forth with your other team members. If the person is not fluent in English, you’re going to find that they’re the odd one out every single time. When you all have to pull in the same direction, that can cause significant setbacks.

And then there’s the matter of cultural differences. If you’re all observing different holidays, and have differing views, it’s harder to feel like the whole team is on the same page. This can compound the language differences until there’s a huge gap between your local and farshore team members.

The solution is simple. At Better Pros, we’ll connect you with professionals that speak excellent English. Aside from being outstanding architects, our BetterPros feel comfortable enough speaking English that you’ll swear they live in the US.

We understand that there can be no half-measures here, so we thoroughly screen our candidates to make sure that, no matter their portfolio, they can communicate well with you. Forget about suffering culture shock or missed opportunities, and let us handle the outsourcing of architectural services.

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Leave it to Better Pros

  • In the end, what you want from an architectural outsourcing service is reliability. And by reliability, we mean:
  • Getting professionals who can integrate with your team and work hand-in-hand with your company.
  • Delivering a result that you can be proud of — and not just have to say “it’s passable.”
  • Being there for you when you need them.
  • Being able to guarantee a high-quality service every single time.
  • Speaking your language and communicating fluently.
  • Not having to play a game of “time zone tag,” trying to find the best possible time before either you or your outsourced worker goes to bed.

Better Pros will be there for you every step of the way. We take care of the talent scouting and recruiting part. Then, you just have to interview a viable candidate or set of candidates from our talent pool, and you’ve got yourself one of the world’s top 3% architecture talents!

If you’re ready to start outsourcing architectural services the right way, cut your spending by 50% in less than a week, and triple your profits, then we’re your ideal partner.

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