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Initial Meeting with Client
At our first meeting I take the opportunity to learn a little about you and your goals as we start to define the project. As we view the room or premises which needs furnishing, and establish how many pieces need to be sourced, we will talk about your style and period preferences. Properly understanding your taste and preference is crucial as we are aiming to find the perfect pieces for you and my first priority is to give you the confidence that I am perceptive to what you like.
By the end of the meeting we will have discussed a budget, broken the project into phases if necessary, identify which items will preferably be located first, as well as any time limitations and deadlines.
At this point I would need the client to put an agreed amount of money into my client account which would cover the first phase of the project. I hold these funds in a client account so that they are legally ring fenced from my personal or business funds and I provide full statements as to the status of their funds on a monthly basis.
Where appropriate, I personally view the items; photograph and report back to the client and buy the antiques on their behalf.
During the early stages of a project I prefer to refer back to the client for a go-
I organize all the logistics regarding the antiques, including restoration, alteration and delivery
Some of my clients enjoy coming with me to auctions, large antiques fairs or to some of the more interesting antiques buying opportunities and I am delighted to have them along. It gives the client a chance to see the huge choice of goods available, whilst at the same time having someone with them with some antiques knowledge to check the goods over and ensure they are paying a good price for the things they choose. It also demonstrates the transparency of my business practice and how I strive for the lowest possible price on their behalf at all times.
After the first month I like to meet again with the client to discuss the goods purchased and the costs to ensure all expectations are being properly met before moving forward with the project.
Projects are undertaken on an agreed cost or daily rate basis specifically to avoid the conflict of interest inherent in a commission related fee structure. Instead the emphasis is always on identifying and acquiring the right pieces at the best possible prices.
I prepare a proposal of potential items for the first phase which are currently available in the marketplace. Where possible, I would offer items in a range of price brackets. These form the basis for a second meeting, and would bring into focus other costs such a delivery, restoration as well as how much time each item would take to source, so that we could decide on the very best route forward for the project.
We are also able to check the costs against furnishing with a modern alternative, both in terms of style and value.
We then agree which parts of the schedule to go forward with, or to revise the search criteria.