I made my Google business website and it was great. Well done Google! It looked so good on my phone that I removed my Adelaide Residential Architect website and linked the Google business version to my maps location. All good for a month or two, then my numbers of views dropped by about 50%. I checked my lovely shiny new free Google business website and noticed that the Services Tab in the website no longer linked to anything. My services were still editable and visible to me but not to the rest of the world. How frustrating!What I do and how I do it was in my services information. Clients want to know these things and Google likes to index these things. If it isn’t there then it will not be indexed as much for relevant terms and I am less likely to be found. THIS IS BAD…
My business, instead of being one of the top local ones (visible as one of the 3 at the top of the page under the map) was now only visible when I zoomed into the map. Using the term “Architect” and using Google “non personal search” to get an accurate and non personalised view of how others may find me My little red location icon just wasn’t visible until I clicked and zoomed twice. By then other businesses not even related to Architecture or Home Design showed up. As an Architectural Business to Google I was now as relevant as “Marion Hair and beauty” and “Seablue Tai Massage”…. It was just like being on page 2. People weren’t going the extra click to find me. This glitch seems to have killed my numbers.
In November I contacted Google My Business Support. I got a reply from Deepika. If Deepika exists and isn’t just an automated reply then Deepika didn’t seem to have read my email as the reply asked for a valid email address associated with my business page as well as some screen shots of the problem. I replied that my email address was indeed my linked address and sent screenshots of the problem again. 2 days later I had another reply exactly the same as the first, so I reiterated the problem and sent the same email back. I then got an email survey asking me how I rated my interaction with the support team…. I gave a poor rating and explained why. No further communication has been received.
ONE MONTH LATER: The problem has now changed for the worse. Now the “Services” tab on my website has been deleted. When I edit my business information as the owner all of my services entries still exist, but this information has been completely removed from my website including the heading and link. It is also not visible when I check my business location on Google maps.
ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES & COSTS
As my Google maps, “Google My Business” Website no longer lists my Services and costs information and since I did go to the trouble of listing it before the website glitch erased it, I will reproduce it below for those interested in what an Architect does and what kind of costs one may be expected to pay for Architectural Services. I searched Google and other than scam advertising there really doesn’t seem to be much information available on this topic.
Advice ($89 per hour)
Advice (at hourly rates) on site or building selection, and design advice on existing client plans. Many clients bring existing plans from their builder to see if or if there are any obvious faults or omissions in the design, such as solar issues not being addressed.
Site Visit & Concept Design ($250 per visit)
Site visits are popular with clients that do not know how to proceed with a difficult home extension. I will check on local Planning requirements before attending and a “Concept Design” solution will be suggested. 2 hours time on site is included in the standard fee. This Fee is often waived if the prospective client decides to engage me for significant further services.
Measured Domestic Site Survey ($89 / Hour)
Measurement of the site is made. This includes any existing features such as services, buildings, outbuildings, trees, paths and garden beds. This will take from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the site.
Measured Drawings ($89 per hour)
The hand drawn “Site Survey” information is converted into a CAD database. Both plan and elevation information is used to create electronic representations of the existing site and buildings. Typically for a traditional domestic dwelling and block this will be 1.5 to 2 days work
Sketch Design ($89 per hour)
Sketch Design involves getting the concept onto paper. The Concept Design Solution discussed during the Site visit is overlain over the Measured drawings to see how it works and how it looks. The client will receive an electronic copy of the proposal and suggest changes. Typically for one round of client changes this will be 2 days work. Complex briefs or indecisive clients will extend this time-frame.
Planning Approval Documentation ($89/hour)
I append information to the Sketch Design drawings to comply to local Government Planning requirements. This usually will take another 1 to 2 days work. Clients wanting to push the boundaries of what the Local Planning officials normally accept will extend this time-frame.
Working Drawings ($89 per hour)
Once Planning approval has been given I append additional information to the drawings of how the building will comply with relevant regulations, building codes and standards. This involves including information of how the building will be made weatherproof and watertight, termite resistant and structurally sound. I coordinate the Engagement of a Structural Engineer. The Engineer is at additional cost to the client and will usually be around $2800 for a $200k extension, up to $7k for a large and complex $700k extension. My time for working drawings is around 6 days for a typical (100sqm) extension.Development approval involves the Working drawings and Engineers documents being certified and then stamped approved by the Local Council as a compliant, approved set of drawings. I coordinate the Engagement of a Private Certifier for my client. I provide a standard specification and print out and post 4 sets of drawings. This takes around half a days work.
Development Approval ($89 per hour)
Development approval involves the Working drawings and Engineers documents being certified and then stamped approved by the Local Council as a compliant, approved set of drawings. I coordinate the Engagement of a Private Certifier for my client. I provide a standard specification and print out and post 4 sets of drawings. This takes around half a days work.
Tender and Builder Selection ($80 per hour)
Once the Client has D.A. documents they can either shop their drawings around and find a builder themselves or they can utilise my skills to do so. I will select 3 builders and set up a tender process. I will administer the Tender and supply additional information as requested. I will analyse the Tenders with the Client once we have them and make suggestions based on the analysis. Typically around 1 days work .
Contract Administration ($80 per hour)
I supply the service of being an independent person ensuring that the Building contract is adhered to by all parties and the building is built as per plans. I supply a more suitable contract than the standard HIA contract. I will then administer the contract between the Client and builder during the entire build process. This involves answering Builders requests for information and supplying Architects instructions. I will perform regular inspections of the building site to determine that the builders claims for part payment are valid. I issue certificates and control the money flow from Client to builder. Practical completion, Defects period, final inspection and ultimate release of retention monies to the builder are all part of this process. Typically Contract Administration will take around 4 hours a week for the process of the build. If a builder is unresponsive, ignores advice and makes unauthorized changes to the building design, then this figure will increase.