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Treating Clients Like Team Members: 5 Questions With Mark Grisafe, Owner of M. Grisafe Architects

Treating Clients Like Team Members: 5 Questions With Mark Grisafe, Owner of M. Grisafe Architects

Mark Grisafe, Owner of M. Grisafe Architects, answers our 5 Questions about his business and why he prefers to involve his customers in the entire design process when he designs for business spaces or residences.

What are the primary service(s) or product(s) that your business provides?

My company, M. Grisafe Architects, provides architectural, interior, landscape and engineering services for both residential and commercial projects. This includes planning services, design and construction drawing services.

Who’s your perfect customer? Do you work with other business (B2B), or consumers (B2C), or both?

Most of our business is business to consumer (B2C). My favorite customers are the ones who take an interest in their project. We love collaborating with our customers and keeping them involved throughout the entire design process. Occasionally, we will do B2B work, taking on design and construction drawing work for other firms and other designers.

When did you start your company? Share a little about your professional history leading up to starting your company.

I started moonlighting in the late 1990s/early 2000s and then opened my own firm in 2005.  Before that I was working for other architects.

What are one or two things that you’ve learned the hard way?

I’ve learned to say, “I don’t know the answer to that, let me look into that and I’ll get back to you.”

I’ve also learned not to be dismissive of client input. Even though they may not be professional architectural designers, they are professionals in the area of their lives. When we make all of the design decisions, with no input from our clients, we’ve found that the clients are not as satisfied with the end result. This is why we prefer to work with our clients, rather than just for our clients on design projects. We truly treat them as members of our team.

What is one thing that most people don’t know about your business or industry that you wish they did?

I wish I was able find a compelling way to explain that by using an architect – one who is skilled in planning and design, who has a command of legal documentation, and who is knowledgeable about the construction process – clients can not only save time, but also money and legal headaches, and still end up with a superior project.

Where’s the best place for people to learn more about your company?

You can find out more about M. Grisafe Architects at our website:

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by Emily Lund // Co-founder and Managing Editor of Businessing Magazine. Content Strategist and multi-function copywriter at Modmacro℠, specializing in marketing communications for small businesses and non-profits.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.