New report unearths candid insights into what clients really want

What keeps clients up at night? What additional services would they like to see architectural practices provide?

The answers to these questions along with other candid insights are contained in a landmark new report released today by the Australian Institute of Architects.

The Stronger Insights for Stronger Practices – 2021 Client Feedback Report is a collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects in the UK, supported by Lysaght, that will give Australian architects evidence-based data to better shape their value proposition.

It provides architects with a valuable resource especially at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact practice.

CEO Julia Cambage said the insights directly from clients contained in the report would have otherwise been hard to obtain.

“In the Stronger Insights for Stronger Practices – 2021 Client Feedback Report we’ve asked real clients about their experiences of working with architects on projects,” Ms Cambage said.

“Growth comes from the ability to foster a culture of continual improvement; however, practice is reporting hesitancy from clients in providing robust feedback within a one-on-one setting. By facilitating this body of work on behalf of the profession we are able to bypass this concern.”

The report provides data that demonstrates the client’s perspective on topics such as selection criteria and service expectations, value proposition, performance, and design review. This data is critical in supporting the executive leadership of architectural practices to make decisions around the practice’s investment in skills, resourcing, and business strategy.

Key findings include:

  • Effective communication was the factor clients ranked number #1 in importance in their relationship with an architect 
  • Over 61% of clients believed that a fixed price agreement was the preferred form of fee structure.  
  • 35.9% of clients indicated they would consider using a dedicated engineering service provided by an architectural practice
  • 60% of survey respondents said that they expect, and value architects that act ethically and challenge them if a project’s objectives are not maintained.
  • Clients want to learn more about modern methods of construction 
  • 3/4 of respondents believe using the service of an architectural practice represents good value. 

The Institute and Lysaght are proud to share the details of “Stronger Insights – Client Feedback Report” through a series of launch events.

Events were held in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart and a virtual national event to launch this report. The events drew upon key findings from the report with local clients providing their relevant opinions and experiences. The Institute and our member would like to thank Lysaght for supporting this work.


Melbourne’s event will be held on the 22nd October – please contact the chapter directly to reserve your space. 


Our members have provided the following feedback about the report and Lysaght’s support-


“This survey is a very useful and valuable tool for architects in understanding what their clients are looking for, the perceived strengths of architectural services, and areas for improvement.”


“Great products, happy to specify them.”


“Thank you for supporting these important discussions.”


 “Great to see that industry wishes to support events that will help us be a better profession!”


“This was a very positive event that will help architects to better respond to their clients and produce better architecture.”


“Fantastic to see industry partners getting involved with practice research. What a huge step forward for the profession!”


“Yes, thank you Lysaght; all industries / professions improve when an honest magnifying glass is held to them and having this type of feedback (and face to face follow up sessions) can only help provide insight both ways i.e between clients and the profession.”


“This is a really significant piece of research – long overdue in my opinion – and it’s impressive that Lysaght has supported both the report and the associated events around the findings.”


“Great event – should be more industry sponsorship of worthy talks such as this as it can only lead to more work for everyone and more engagement with products.”


A couple of photos from our events

Thank you to our report partner