I have been asked to do a design and build for a new customer by a friends new company
The work involves the design and build of a raised stand stone paved area,, stone walls and steps, plus other paving and planting.
The raised patio area is where the other company comes in and they would build the handrails and glasswork.
After sitting down, to do the quote I received an email that said---
("I usually ask for 10% of the invoice price for my time and introduction")
AS the price just for my work comes to nearly £9000, and would go up by around 15% as the job went on.
I thought that 10% was way over the top for a one-hour site meeting and two telephone calls.
Not sure, if I want to continue with the job now, but feel I’ve put quite a bit of time and effort in and it would be a nice job for the portfolio.
Any thoughts how I can go around the 10% charge. Or should I just walk away..
have you actually 100% got the job? or is it that you are just putting your quote in, if you are just quoteing for the job you may not get it, and paying 10% of £9000=£900 to give your mate for a job that you may not get, i my opinion you have been reccomended for the work, not been sold the work
This is a different situation to one that a designer finds when passing work to builders and I think many points are confusing this issue for James.
The nature of a finder's fee is significantly different to that of a commission fee that a designer may or may not ask for from a builder.
Any landscapers that use MyBuilder or RatedPeople or any of these type of websites pay finders fees to the website operators who act as agents selling access to the work. The principle in this case is no different. 10% is certainly a high figure for simply passing a name on, and the fact that this wasn't apparent before James started work on plans would be a cause for concern. Absolutely accept the work though and negotiate a better rate - for this kind of referral 2.5% would be much fairer, that's around £225 for your £9K project and should more than satisfy the guy who gave you the lead.
I for one disagree with the SGD position: that receiving a commission from a build company for access to a good quality project (and subsequent portfolio work - remember that many builders benefit immensely from the inclusion of professionally designed work in their portfolio which contrasts significantly from work that has clearly lacked professional design input) along with thorough and precise drawings supplied, and with designer support throughout the project, is wrong. While I understand the SGD's requirement for a very useful code of practice, and indeed the requirement to protect the public from being ripped off by unscrupulous builders and designers alike, the idea that it an exchange of a commission fee is 'unethical' strikes me as sanctimonious to be perfectly frank, and I am sure that there are many agree with me who will so far (on this thread and in others) not have said so in fear of populist rebuke.
I also fail to recognise it as an issue of transparency: either builders and designers are open about the exchange of fees, or it is considered to be lumped as part of project overhead, which in effect it is, and rarely have I come across contractors who itemise a breakdown of all of their overheads costs to clients.
I wanted to write some of this in response to Gary's thread from earlier in the year (which I missed) about whether it was possible to earn a living as a designer, but replies have been closed it seems. To me the "conflict of interests" is a myth but I am as usual perfectly open to be corrected.
James - I'd negotiate a better % and go for the work.
I certainly would not be agreeing to pay any form of "referral" fee until you have secured the work. It is a difficult situation, especially if you are friends this person, which if you are makes the whole 'asking for a fee' thing even more strange.
I have had plenty of potential clients referred to me by friends and not one of the friends has asked me for a fee if I then secure the work, I just buy them a pint or two next time I see them. I for one wouldn't dream of asking one of my friends for a referral fee if I recommend them to any of my clients, I regularly provide clients with details of friends who are plumbers or sparky's if they need them, surely it's just called "friendship" ?
I could understand it if the company had approached you with no prior connection and made it clear from the outset that there was a fee for their introduction but this situation seems quite underhand to me, despite the person being a friend - how good a friend are they?
The very least you should do is negotiate a better percentage, 10% is way over the top for this kind of service from a professional company and in my opinion grossly over the top from a friend.....
Just do as he asks, i don't like it either but what can you do? At the end of the day you would never have had the chance to quote for the work without his introduction, your in his back yard so play to his rules.
The best you can do is tell him you are worried your price might be uncompetitive with his 10% so you may both loose out. Then try to negotiate a lower fee.