Client habits

I noticed a common habit across the board with my clients. Almost all of them eventually ask for more renderings but never expect that you need to charge for them. In other words my last 4 or 5 clients have all asked me for additional views or renderings for PR images and when I said it’ll be a few hours of work and I have to charge, they almost all say forget it.

Seems that people have a tendency to expect that we ID folks can pump these things our for free. At least that’s my expereince. They want glossy nice 3D renderings but choke if I even try to charge just a few hundred bucks to do them.

It’s like they think we push one button and it’s all done. I have to explain we have to set up scenes, lighting, spec materials, raytrace, etc. Many think it’s like one mouse click and wah lah, a perfect photo-real rendering. I personally think $500 for a nice hi res image is not asking too much considerings it’ll be way more expensive actually making models, painting them, and hiring a professional photography studio. I guess I have to do a better job educating them that it’s not quick, easy, or FREE. You guys run into the same habit from clients expecting freebies?

The easy answer is No. The hard answer, Yes.

What does your agreement state ? Are they asking because you haven’t stated how many shots your going to give them ? Are you giving a fixed priced for X amount of shots, or charging hourly ? If it’s fixed price, for a fixed no. of shots then a simple * Extra shots charged in addition* at the bottom of your quote will sort that out. You can decide weather that’s a flat rate per image say $500 and make that clear, or on p/h basis.

Yes it’s up to you to educate them a little…don’t push them over the cliff though.

A few hundred bucks for an image that could potentially make them (and i have no idea of your client/market/relationship with) hundreds of thousands of dollars (think pre-marketing for arch vis etc.) is absolutely nothing.

Yeah some of my clients balk at a measly $500 when it makes them oodles in PR and save them in photography. I guess I run into a lot of cheapskate start-ups who don’t have a realistic view of what things cost at consultancies. One guy even said to me, it’s “easy” for you as a reason not to charge. Easy or not it’s still time and I still have to get paid for it.

Hard to predict teh views needed beforehand beacue the esign may have special features invented during the process so hard to set a certain number of views sometimes.

I used to do fixed bids but no more. I think that’s just way too risky cause things can get out of hand if the client gets fussy. Now I do hourly rate only but ofcourse you still have those that think you are taking too long to do something. I had a guy tell me that 1 hour for a photoreal rendering is too much time and it should only take me 15 to 20 minutes tops. Yeah right…takes more time to go pee and brush in the morning. Not to mention we need to justify purchsing and maintaining hardware and software to do this kind of work.

Clients have no understanding of computers. I think they assume that you just need to turn the model to make another view.

I’ve run into people expecting to get additional views or renders for little to no charge, and for the most part I stick to my guns of the flat hourly rate. One thing that has been helpful to me is to agree beforehand to an estimated hourly rate and an estimate of how many hours it will take to complete a determined number of designs / images. The more you can spell out and agree to on teh front-end, the more hassle it’ll eliminate down the road.

I also firmly think that it is important to set the precident by not budging on your rate or let yourself get railroaded into doing free work. Its the whole “if you give a mouse a cookie…” type of thing.

Now having said all that, let me now admit to being a glorious hypocrite in that I will do the occasional “freebie”. However I only do them with the idea that they are ultimately an investment and I only do it with clients that I have a good relationship with. By offering a freebie every once in a while, it helps them out and helps keep the relationship warm, which ultimately keeps them coming back and keeps the checks coming in.

Ok. it sounds like your more involved with visualising through the design development process, than producing a set of images of final CAD data…that’s a different kettle of fish, and yes charging by the hour for that type of work would be the way to go due to the unknown amount of change within the design process.

I worked in this type of role previously at an interior design consultancy, originally onboard as an Industrial Desinger, I was initially asked to render up a few finished interiors to show the client what their $XXXXXX kitchen would look like, to eventually being fully integrated into the design process where 3D was being used for independent, light, form, material studies etc etc

Out of interest, what type of work are you doing ?

I have run into the situation you describe many times. As others have stated there are things you can do to try to avoid this and there are times when the best thing to do is include it in your quote but not call it out as a deliverable so that if it is requested some of the time is already built in. Most often we will do the extra renderings and try to explain why we’d like more money but will not strain the relationship over it.

Silly them, you turn the camera not the model! Then you hit the render button.

Honestly though that’s how it works for me because most of my renderings are of environments and I set up all of the scenes and lighting while I work because they are part of the design. It’s a matter of setting up another camera and rendering, takes 2 minutes and the computer does the rest of the work. If a client asks for another view of something it’s cake for me, but it’s a failure on my part because I didn’t give them views of everything that matters to them.

It kind of makes me laugh when a client says, “Don’t spend too much time on this, only render a few views if that will save you time.” Then again the billable work for me is in the discovery, research, and design, not necessarily in the visualization. Creating animations is another story though.

I write an extra phase into the proposal for renderings. That way when they ask, I can say, “oh, then it’s ok to go ahead with Phase XXX?” Clients seem to like it since then they know up front that it’s going to be extra. Rarely are there any issues. Hope it works for you!