Part 3 of a Genesis Free Thinking Blog series
Pool Design article by Brian Van Bower, SWD Master, Genesis Ambassador & Co-Founder
In seminars, classrooms and casual conversations, whenever I discuss working with the broad range of clients who come our way I always start by saying that I don’t look up or down to anyone: Wealthy and not-so-wealthy people all respond to respect, good humor and a straightforward, truthful approach to doing business. For me, it’s a matter of certainty that human dignity and human nature are not the exclusive turf of any group, no matter how one tries to categorize people along those lines. We have worked for former premiers of countries as well as a local building official, all having some similarities in their desires and in their lifestyles.
That does not mean, however, that we should ignore some of the differences that come into play with clients at disparate economic levels. In fact, recognizing that wealthy people and their projects often require a greater level of attention than will the work we do with the rest of humanity is extremely useful. The key to success on all levels, I believe, is being comfortable in your own skin regardless of the economic status of a given client.
As an example, I’m currently working on a design for a very well-to-do couple in the US who want their project to include an almost unbelievable range and number of features: two pools, both with spas and both with multiple additional elements including fountain features, perimeter-overflow details, and all-glass-tile interiors. There is a 90’ long second floor pool on the guest house that has clear walls at each end, clear panels in the pool floor, an all-tile interior, overflows on all sides and appears to cascade to the ground level at each end.
Again, it’s all about the fundamentals – paying attention to detail, providing a range of material options, being responsive and having respect for the process – and it’s no different in this case from those of projects at a fraction of the cost. What is different is that these clients are going to require multiple meetings, near-constant attention, accommodation of a steady flow of changes and almost daily answers to a bevy of questions, from a large team of designers and contractors.
I’ve known from the start that this project would continue for a long time and that I’d be engaged in it up to my eyeballs every step of the way, right up to completion.
Furthermore, this project means that I need to be completely comfortable talking, among other things, about tile installations that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve known people in this industry to get tongue-tied in discussing those kinds of costs – and I also know that if the conversation were about my own resources being spent that way, I’d do more than stutter. But when I’m working with these clients, I understand that affordability is relative and that these clients don’t have a problem with spending large sums of money for beautiful materials and special details.
In other words, their comfort translates to mine in making extremely expensive products available to them.
Brian Van Bower, SWD Master, Genesis Ambassador & Co-Founder
Aquatic Consultants Inc.
13775 SW 145 CT. Suite A
Miami FL 33186
T (305) 383-7266
F (305) 383-7266
Skype: bvanbower and andy.kaner