Maybe you have a local architect that you’ve worked with before to build a branch. Or maybe your friend over at the credit union down the street recommended the architect that just updated their branch network. Why wouldn’t you hire them to build your headquarters?
Well, just to name a few reasons:
- A headquarters initiative requires an actual HQ expert with provable experience in building headquarters for other financial institutions. An architect who focuses on branches doesn’t have the same skills as an architect who spends their time transforming headquarters.
- A general architect who is not specialized in the banking industry will be able to build a headquarters, but without understanding the science behind how your business grows and how that relates to the space, your HQ won’t be one that will last your financial institution a full 10-year lifespan.
- Headquarters are huge investments, much larger than a branch. This means you can’t afford for anything to go wrong, and hiring a ‘discount architect’ is the first step toward wasting money in the long run.
We have seen many HQ projects fail under a general, local architect’s watch; we've even had to step in and fix a few projects before they reached catastrophic failure.
Other architectural firms building your HQ will ask you what you want and take a few educated estimates (aka guesses) based on your plan for growth—then create a beautiful design. It will look great in the drawings, the budget will appear safe, and their presentation will sound nice, but once the project starts you will start to notice the timeline slip further and further away from your original promised date, the set budget will quickly be depleted, and you will probably have to go back to the board to ask for more money and time.
Scary, right? Unfortunately, this nightmare situation is taken from real projects. Don’t let this happen to you! Hiring a firm that has experts in building and transforming headquarters for financial institutions is your solution.
How do you ensure they’re experts? Ask about their strategy and vet it out thoroughly.