The New Matchmaking Platforms for Architects
BAM, Archidvisor, Archibien: The New Matchmaking Platforms for Architects
They are witnesses to the digitalization of the profession, promising visibility and new projects; the platforms connecting architects and contractors are flourishing.
What are these platforms, and what can we expect from them? Ooti provides an overview! Each time, the promise is the same: to offer a turnkey solution to project owners.
Along with this, there are multiple stakes involved. "By raising awareness among future project owners about the work of architects, we contribute to the creation of a favorable environment for architectural design," as stated on bam.archi. This is precisely the number one challenge of these platforms: to broaden architects' horizons to reach project owners who often wrongly believe that their services are reserved for an elite.
As a result, the playing field for these new players revolves around projects that often elude traditional designers: "the profiles are different from those of conventional projects. There is a desire for architecture, without always fully understanding what it entails," explains Antoine Prax, architect at the Parisian agency Gramme.
They are called Archidvisor, BAM or Archibien, to name a few, and we spoke with them.
Originally, it was the network that led architect Simon Jézéquel to structure what word of mouth could no longer satisfy: there was a need to connect his architect friends in search of projects with project owners eager to be accompanied in their construction projects. That's how "La Palette" was born in Brittany. After a few years, La Palette evolved into Archibien, with Simon partnering with Olivier to establish the startup in the Paris region. "We have built a pool of over 500 agencies, whose specificities and characteristics we know, and we match them with our project owners," explains Olivier Ménard, who is also an architect.
The difference is significant: in contrast to referral platforms with few filters and no real support, Archibien fosters connections based on understanding the project owners and potential contractors. We assess the project, its feasibility, and its budget beforehand. This is what we offer to architects: finding the project that suits them best.
The process is consistent each time: once a project is validated, the Archibien team organizes a mini competition among three agencies, from which a winner is selected. Is there a risk of potentially wasting time? "We charge the project owner for the competition and pay all participants!" To register, visit the following page: https://app.archibien.com/inscription/archi/
"The competition among construction professionals is becoming increasingly fierce, which implies a growing difficulty in standing out," explains Adrien Martin, the founder of Archidvisor.
The observation is clear: industry changes and digitalization are altering the relationships between designers and project owners. The young, graduated architect then realizes that agencies are not adapting well to the new challenges of showcasing expertise and comes up with an idea: offering free visibility to encourage activity.
"Our approach is to offer highly qualified leads." In other words, projects that align with the agency's specificities. "If an architect is specifically looking for projects for extensions, over 150,000 euros, within a 10-kilometer radius, we are capable of providing precisely that."
This hyper-segmentation is complemented by a range of tools such as an online payment module, simplified bidding management, and task automation made available for free. "This operating model allows us to assert that an agency gains more visibility through Archidvisor's referrals than on its own website. This package seems to convince architects: we have over 2200 agencies registered on our platform!"
Asked about the cost for architects, the entrepreneur doesn't hide the formula: "It's a win-win exchange. Registration and referral are entirely free. The remuneration usually starts with the contract with a project owner and typically ranges between 7 and 9% of the total amount." These fees are based on an observation: "they cover the costs of communication and more."
This position is shared by Mathias Boutier, founder of BAM: "the secret lies in project qualification." A promise of visibility and business contribution that the entrepreneur proudly claims with supporting figures: "every year, we manage around 3000 projects, ranging from apartment renovations to international competitions."
It's a vast playground that allows the Marketplace to showcase prominent names: "we handle significant budgets, such as a hotel project in Martinique with a budget of 50 million euros, or the wine cellar of Maison Laffitte Rothschild with a budget of around twenty million euros," explains Mathias. These projects pit the approximately 6000 agencies listed on the platform against each other, mostly French, but also European and American. "We capitalize on our flagship projects to expand our influence beyond the Hexagon."
Beyond mere matchmaking, BAM also offers ongoing support, as reflected in the development of applications. "For instance, we launched Aglo, an app designed for all architects, which facilitates the DCE phase by assisting in the drafting of CCTP (Cahier des Clauses Techniques Particulières). " explains Mathias.
An offer of services that should soon expand with the deployment of 'Aglo Carbone', designed to support the transition towards RE2020 (new French environmental regulation)."This module will calculate the Life Cycle Assessment (ACV) footprint and enable architects to facilitate the RE2020 certification process." This innovation is expected to find its audience easily, especially as the new version of the ecological regulation is scheduled for January 2022.
As the architectural landscape continues to evolve, these matchmaking platforms offer valuable opportunities for architects to broaden their clientele and stay ahead of the competition. For more information, visit bam.archi and aglo.ai.