Welcome to ArchiPal, a new disruptive platform that will change how professional services are delivered in construction. Tired of long hours and low pay? Weary of pricing work for clients which never turns into a real project? Not getting the experience you need? Millions of people in the UK and beyond need good design and a construction professional to keep them right on projects big and small. ArchiPal will make these services accessible and affordable to all. The ArchiPal fixed price model for Products gives clients certainty over spending and giving you the knowledge that you will get paid for what you do.
What is ArchiPal?
ArchiPal is an online platform that allows you to sell your knowledge and products directly to your clients in an efficient and effective way, often remotely. The platform connects you with clients who need things doing. Following a client request the packages of work (the Products) are offered to Architects in an geographical area and you, the seller, choose to accept the work for the price given based on your availability and expertise. It might be a way for you to generate additional income during the week or at weekends, or to work hours entirely to suit you. From these transactions or product sales ArchiPal takes a percentage fee. For you the ArchiPal platform takes out the hassles, high fees, and low conversion rates of the standard construction service delivery model. The ArchiPal Platform provides you with a place where you can showcase your work and highlight what you can offer through a virtual display of fixed price products. Some of these services will be standard architectural activities from the ArchiPal suite of products and some will be bespoke products developed by you depending on your professional specialisation. These products can be shared over multiple media sites and other online locations. The platform will also give you insights into who your clients are, how they’re finding you, and how to develop long term relationships. It will also show revenue flows and activity breakdown by time.
If you want to expand your digital footprint direct to clients and deliver on line design and other architectural products and services ArchiPal is your base for:
- Setting up your own online store
- Getting new work of the type you want
- Working flexibly to suit your circumstances
- Developing professional networks
- Creating and selling design solutions
- Interacting with your customers
- Building a following of fellow professionals and clients
Is ArchiPal only products based?
No. There is much more to the platform than products alone, although we expect that most activity will be based on standard products and services. There are different routes of activity in the ArchiPal environment involving all stages of the Architectural journey. ArchiPal is also an enabler for experience and professional development. In development will be a mentorship facility where experienced practitioners and those with an academic background can assist Students and learners to get the knowledge and experience they need. These services can be viewed on the ‘learning and development products’ tab and are accessed in the same way.
Who can join ArchiPal?
The ArchiPal platform hosts professionals and consultants in the construction sector. You must be a qualified professional with Chartered or recognised practice status such as RIAS, RIBA, RICS, CIAT among others. You must have the appropriate insurances required to practice in the UK. It is also necessary that you only offer products that you are qualified and experienced to deliver. ArchiPal will check your registrations and professional status before approving your application and the products that you have selected. This is to ensure that products are delivered by those who are qualified to do so.
What sort of work could I get?
ArchiPal products are aimed at the small to medium scale domestic and retail market. For homes this might be work associated with loft extensions, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, energy efficiency retrofit, interior design, garden makeovers and conservatories. In this there are basic drawings, planning applications, warrant applications, procurement, and site supervision. In the retail environment this might include shopfront redesign, internal design alterations and revision of services. Many clients know where they want to go, but not sure about where to start. Architects and construction professionals have a significant role to play in giving good advice and services to homeowners of all kinds through the right advice and design. Saving money and getting the right work done by the right people is at the core of our philosophy.
How does insurance work?
This is a very common question – many Architects ask about liability and where does it sit. The situation is that Sellers provide the Architectural and construction related service to the clients – ‘The Products’. You, the seller, has the PI Insurance to practice as required by your registration board or professional body. The contract is between the seller and the client. ArchiPal as a business has the required insurances to operate as a technology platform, and all that goes with it. But ArchiPal will not be liable for technical errors in design and specification or any other area of seller activity. As a service, ArchiPal will offer insurance to Sellers as part of the service to Sellers at a special rate.
What does the ArchiPal service cost me?
ArchiPal takes a percentage fee from each product sold and delivered.
What do I get for that fee?
ArchiPal is the platform to handle all of transactions and interactions with the client, as well digital technical information. This includes:
- Your Sellers online store
- Links and access to marketing and promotion
- Work allocation and task management
- Diary management for project interactions
- Formatted standard reports for easy completion
- Recordings of client meetings
- Site record information
- Fee income and business records
- Networks and related ArchiPal links
How much time do I have to do the work?
This will depend on what the Client wants. Most Products will be described with a 4-week delivery time. If you accept the Product and its timescale, you will be expected to deliver the product within the agreed time. To get work done quickly the Client can elect to pay more on the fixed price scale. This covers you for the diary disruption that you have to do to fit the work in at short notice.
What do ‘deliverables’ mean?
The deliverables in a Product are what you as Seller agree to pass to the client within the agreed timescale. For most products this will be a mixture of video files, pdf documents, images, BIM files, and Zoom meeting recordings. All products have fixed tangible deliverables. While Sellers will be delivering Architectural and other Professional services, they will be doing it through the medium of these product deliverables. This is important as it affects how insurance is assessed and risk is managed.
Are there different types of Sellers membership?
Yes – Gold Silver and Bronze. They reflect the different levels of service or capability that the ArchiPal platform can give you. Which option you select will depend on your experience, your requirement for marketing and how much you want to work.
What if I accept work that I then can’t do?
When you accept to deliver a product you commit to completing the deliverables within the time specified. However, we know things can go wrong, such as illness, bereavement and other issues. In that case you must notify the client and then ArchiPal. ArchiPal will then work with you and the Client to reach a solution, including forwarding on the work to another ArchiPal in the area to take it forward.
Give me an example of typical ArchiPal transactions?
On a small domestic project such as an extension costing £35,000, the products selected by the client might be a series of discrete activities that follow the ArchiPal product headings of Design, Build, Repair, Improve. So first they might buy ‘Feasibility Study’ for £XX under the design icon. This goes to the ArchiPal team who review the work. ArchiPal matches this work with our Sellers. You get notified of the work and if you have time, you accept. You then work through the product deliverables and once they are complete you get paid.
Where does design liability sit with ArchiPal Products?
Design liability rests with the seller. ArchiPal is the enabler or broker for the work. The contract is between the Client and the Seller, with ArchiPal providing the interface.
Will I need ‘Follow on Cover’ as an ArchiPal Seller?
Yes, as the design liability remains with the Seller/Designer, much as it does with Sole practitioners.
Can I get ArchiPal Insurance?
No, because you work direct with the Client. However, as ArchiPal Products are known to our specialist insurer, they can provide very competitive quotes for your individual PI insurance and Follow on Cover as above. To progress this follow Link….
What products can and can’t I sell?
You can sell any design or building related product on ArchiPal if you are qualified to do so. For insurance reasons this means that you are selling products – tangible thigs such as reports, drawings, plans and photographs. Increasingly there will be digital offerings of walkthroughs and visualisations. We’ve set up a page of example products for you to see things from a client or customer’s perspective. When you start you will probably download standard ArchiPal products (Link here) but you may also develop your own, which are likely to be variations on existing ArchiPal products. Such Products might be specialist surveys such as laser scanning or advanced energy modelling. In any event any products will be validated by Archipal before they are enabled on your store. Make sure products are permitted before you go too far in writing material for them. See the entry Permitted products on ArchiPal
Terms and Conditions
Once you are familiar with the business model, and are happy to progress the development of your store, you should read our terms and conditions for Sellers – it gives some of the more legal detail about what you as a Seller can do within the ArchiPal framework.
Getting Set up on ArchiPal
Setting up a shop on ArchiPal is a series of simple steps:
- Create an ArchiPal Sellers Account (link)
- Supply the required professional registration information to ArchiPal
- Once accepted by ArchiPal set up your online store with text and images about yourself and your work
- Set up your bank and financial information
- Upload standard ArchiPal products that you can deliver
- Or create new products that you can deliver
- These products are then confirmed by ArchiPal and validated on your store
- Share your products with worldwide links and networks
Your ArchiPal Profile
To start, visit ArchiPal.io/profile to set up your profile on ArchiPal. All you need to get started selling your product is a username (which you can change any time you like, as long as it isn’t already taken by another user).
Click Connections to link to your Facebook and/or Twitter profiles. You can also pull in information from these accounts to style your profile page.
To edit your bio or name, simply click on the text (it’ll turn yellow as you hover over it with your cursor), and then start typing. Be sure to click Save changes once you’re done.
You can also choose a profile picture: a headshot or an easy-to-read logo would work well.
Your Full Name is what will show up on your customers’ credit card statements, so make sure it’s recognizable and connected to your product. That means your Full Name does not have to be your actual Full Name — it just needs to be part of your brand (so don’t use something like “asfdasfd,” which would cause alarm when seen on a credit card statement).
A Biography is a useful way to convey to clients your journey or timeline. Effective bios are less than 200 characters, but still give a clear picture of what you do.
But also spend time also describing your approach to Architecture, your passion and where you think you can make things better. There is plenty of room to describe how you work with clients and your personal take on things.
The Settings menu
Your Settings menu is where you enter information about your account. This will allow you to:
- Get paid
- Set your account’s language and default currency
- Change your password
- Change payment information
Archipal and VAT/Sales Taxes
Depending on what you’re selling and where, you may be subject to taxes. ArchiPal does not add sales tax on top of your product price for you. We leave it up to you to either build tax into your product price or add it as a variant.
ArchiPal takes a fee on every sale that flows through our system.
If you live in the United Kingdom and are concerned about VAT, see our Guide to United Kingdom Sales Tax for more information on enabling tax calculations in your settings.
We automatically charge EU VAT to your EU-based customers and remit it automatically to the VATMOSS, so you’re all set on that front. You don’t have to remit VAT, report it, or think about it.
ArchiPal will take funds from the client which is held in escrow until project deliverables have been completed. These funds are then paid into your Sellers account, minus the ArchiPal fee.
Your balance page will show you the full breakdown of your sales, refunds/chargebacks. If you want a full breakdown of the balance page, read this in depth article.
We have the option to be paid out directly for every individual sale through our integration with PayPal Connect. You can opt in for this by adding your PayPal email under Payments.
ArchiPal cares about your privacy and security of your content. That’s why the only personal information your clients see is:
- Your Full Name (this will appear on their bank statement)
- Your Support Email
- Your ArchiPal Username
- Any links you have set up to your Facebook or Twitter accounts
ArchiPal will hold your shop information and your professional registration documents for the purposes of validation; they will be deleted once that is done
For more links about security, go here. See XX for our data protection policy regarding the handling of Sellers information under the UK’s GDPR regulations.
Build a following
As you build your ArchiPal store, with standard or bespoke products, let your contacts know that you will be delivering work through the ArchiPal platform. We know that most customers or clients need to see products and offers many times before they progress toward a sale or a project. A following provides you with a ready-to-go customer base and can help you to promote your products via word-of-mouth, boosting both your sales and your online presence.
The most successful Sellers on ArchiPal, no matter what profession they are from, all have one thing in common: a following that they are constantly interacting with, soliciting feedback from, and sending offers to.
ArchiPal can help you build your following with the Following feature, which combines useful analytics and a customizable landing page so you can start sharing your work with the world.
Discover recommends your products to prospective customers that browse ArchiPal at discover.ArchiPal.io. Products purchased via Discover will be subject to an additional 2% fee. This applies even if the customer has purchased from you before. If they buy a product from you through the ArchiPal Discover search, or through a receipt link, or through any kind of referral aspect of the Discover feature, their purchase will be taxed the Discover fees.
You can create immediate or scheduled posts from your Posts tab. Send emails or make posts visible to your clients and your followers. Add a title and personalized message to your post. This might be a short article or photographs of a recently completed project, or your recent thoughts on addressing specific technical issues. You can also add a “call to action” button, as well as upload as many files as you like. You can choose to post immediately or schedule it to be published at a later time. You can edit or cancel your post at any time before it’s sent out. If a customer unsubscribes from your updates, you can verify this in your Customers tab. You can also re-subscribe them (according to their wishes) by clicking or un-clicking the box marked Receives posts in the Customer drawer.
Automated email workflows
Workflows allow you to create an automated series of messages that will be sent after the time of purchase (or after someone follows you) according to a specified schedule.
For example, if you were creating an online course and you wanted to send out learning materials to customers once a week for six weeks, you would create a single workflow for that class, and your customers would begin receiving those emails as soon as their purchase completed.
Adding Standard Products
Adding an ArchiPal product to your Shop only takes a few minutes. This is done by selecting a product that you are qualified to deliver from the Products tab on your dashboard; you will receive an approval message from the ArchiPal team that enables that selection. You can add as many products as you wish to your shop but it is useful if the description of your work and capabilities match the products in the shop. Only select ArchiPal products that you are happy to deliver in the way described, ie a virtual survey of feasibility study that may not involve going to site.
You can also amend the existing ArchiPal products to suit your expertise, or create new ones if your services are not covered. This is done by clicking on the Bespoke Products tab on your dashboard.
Graphics and images for your Shop
Your shop is your area on the site to show potential clients what you have done for others, and can do for them. Use images of projects, drawings and other graphics to communicate what you are about and where your expertise. Short video files may be good for this as well. There will be limits on file size, and 100mb is the current limit for Sellers. Remember different membership packages have different file size allowances and you will need to consider this when choosing.
Other selling options
Group Products: While ArchiPal offers fixed price products for individual design and specification services, we obviously want to have the Client use ArchiPal for the whole of the project. This is why some products are put all together, as a group. Individual Products. Many more specialist products, or ones done in isolation such as a condition survey, are listed individually. The range and extent of these products will grow as more Sellers join offering more services.
Checking How Your Store Looks
To see (almost) exactly what your customers will experience when look over your Archipal store, simply go to your Preview page. You can access this from your product’s Edit page, by clicking the diagonal arrow on the product’s cover image.
If you have a network of like-minded pals who you want to help sell your products and receive a commission, you can add them as Affiliates.
Note: They will need to have a ArchiPal account set up before they can start making sales for you.
Under Products, we have the Affiliated dashboard. Here your affiliates can see the products they’re affiliated for, see their sales, fees and revenue made. They can also copy the special affiliate link they can share with prospective customers from this
Data and reporting
Get live notifications on your phone
By using the ArchiPal Dashboard app for iOS, you can see all the sales you’re making in real time.
The Sales dashboard displays the views, sales, and conversion rates on your products and profile page, as well as the referral sources of your customers.
All your sales data (including customer emails, shipping addresses, etc) can be downloaded as a CSV from your Customer Tab. Download a free sample CSV.
On the Following dashboard you can track how many followers you have and where they’re following you from.
What ArchiPal does
ArchiPal provides support to your customers for any questions related to:
- Payments and receipts
- Other questions specific to our service
If your customer’s card won’t work on a purchase or they’re having difficulties downloading something, you can refer them to us. We leave purchase updates (e.g., changes to shipping info), refunds/cancellations (which can be handled through the Customers tab), and other questions specific to your product up to your discretion.
These requests should be rare, but it’s important to designate someone on your team to handle them and respond to customers in a timely manner.
On ArchiPal, you are in charge of refunding your customers. Decide on a refund policy, and communicate it in the bottom of your product descriptions.
To issue refunds, search for the buyer’s email from your Customers dashboard and click on it to open the customer drawer. You can either refund them in full by clicking the Refund fully button, or enter an amount in the box and click Issue partial refund. (Note: You cannot issue a partial refund for Membership products.)
Refunded purchases appear in your customer CSV with a “1” in the “Refunded” column.
A chargeback happens when someone pays for your product, then disputes that charge with their payment provider (PayPal or a credit card agency). Typically, chargebacks are used for fraud (when a card or account is compromised), but they can be issued at other times, too. Chargebacks are an unfortunate (but necessary) side effect of processing payments online. They happen only rarely, and ArchiPal is limited by regulatory laws and banking policies in how we can respond, but we always fight to get your money back for you. ArchiPal will cover all chargeback fees for you, but chargebacks are deducted automatically from your account just as a refund would be. You do not pay any fees for refunds or chargebacks.