The Real Deal New York

Marc Kushner offers blueprint for linking developers, architects

Find An Architect relies on virtual technology to reduce fears of clients seeking design firm
By Lucia De Stefani | June 24, 2014 06:00PM

As of today, you can add design expertise to the growing list of goods and services real estate developers can procure on the web.

Architizer, an online community for the architecture community, on Tuesday launched Find An Architect, a service aimed at connecting real estate developers, investors, and private owners with architecture firms, both local and global.

“Architecture is still filled with mystery and finding an architect can become incredibly daunting,” said Marc Kushner, CEO of Architizer and an alum of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. “This is a way to create transparency and open up the industry and turn it back to a client-facing profession.”

Similar projects have taken off in the past, albeit on a more limited scale. Porch, Houzz, and Sweeten are all portals that help potential clients decorate and remodel their homes and gardens.

Find An Architect, however, solely targets commercial, institutional, and ground-up residential developments.

It works like this: would-be clients submit a project to be posted anonymously on the website. Firms that have some interest in the project then submit their applications through the online portal. Architizer vets the applications and, within a week, provide the client with a list of qualified submissions, based on level of experience, previous works, and geographical location. The client then selects a firm from that list.

Not surprisingly, only companies that have registered on Architizer’s website are eligible to participate to the Find An Architect marketplace. There are no initial fees for clients during the Find An Architect beta, which should run for the summer, Kusher said. After that, developers and other clients will be charged less than $1,000 to use the site, although different fee structures will be in place for residential, commercial and institutional projects. Architecture firms will be charged $95 for each entry.

Architizer started the Find An Architect project in Collaboration With The Wall Street Journal, WSJ Magazine, Dwell and brokerage CORE.