5 Ways To Write Better Emails As An Architect

Sara Mandeed
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So here are my 5 Ways To Write Better Emails As An Architect.

Email has become the bane of modern existence. You spend hours designing 3D models and presenting them to your client, you’ll then spend hours creating 2D drawings based on those models, you’ll then spend hours creating the schedules and budgets for your projects, and all of that is before you get to the email stage.

I don’t know about you, but I’m rarely satisfied with the emails I send out. I’m not completely sure what the problem is, but I think it’s because I’m a relatively new architect. As most of you probably know already, getting the first years are the most difficult because you’ll be really busy getting a grasp of what the job is all about.

So, I’m sure if I was an experienced architect or the boss of my firm, I’d be sending out emails that are a hell of a lot better than the ones I send now.

For now though, I’ll have to settle for having a few tips and hopefully if you’re a newer architect you can heed my advice.

1. Get to the point!

When writing any email, there’s one question that you should always ask yourself: Is my email (or any part of my email) actually useful?

This is perhaps the most important email writing tip for architects. If you can’t boil down your point into one, clear sentence, then it’s probably not useful enough to read.

Think about what happens if your reader has to read paragraph after paragraph to figure out what you’re actually trying to say.

The first thing they’ll do is get bored and stop reading. The second thing they’ll do is not follow up with you on your request.

Write emails that have a clear purpose.

Tell someone what you’d like to say and then stop. Do not ramble on with parenthetical statements and afterthoughts. That’s what voice-to-mouth is for.

2. Keep it short

As an architect, you’re expected to be good at multitasking. After all, that’s what architecture is about: creating a new place and, in the process, making functional plans for everything in it.

So when arriving at an email, you might be tempted to add an extra 3 points to your email. ¦like that’ll help.

You’re not Martin Luther King. ¦You can’t make people read an email from beginning to end.

If you have to send a long, detailed email, start with the most important things first, then add the less important ones. ¦that will help the people who have to read the email.

Smartphones have freed people from the tyranny of the PC and reduced the need for long emails. However, you shouldn’t assume that people are opening emails on their phones.

Use links to your website and to videos. ¦It’ll help save people time, and it’ll save you time too.

Turn an email into a one pager if you have to.

Reply efficiently and consistently

Emails are an essential part of the architectural firm workflow. An email written quickly and properly can serve many functions: establishing contact with a vendor or client, confirming the details of a meeting, providing a link to a document, and, of course, confirming the details of a project.

Each architectural firm has its own way of structuring its email environment. Whereas some firms have their in-house email system separate from their vendor and client email, others may have a single email system for both. Regardless of how your firm is set up, you should always be responding quickly to emails while simultaneously meeting the project deadlines. Doing the steps below may help you become a better responder and more efficient communicator.

Be professional

Though email and Skype have played a huge part in reducing the boundaries between colleagues from different geographies, they aren’t replacements for physical interaction.

Doing business over emails or through voice calls is not only impersonal but bad for business.

It is always better to maintain a professional tone throughout your correspondence. This keeps it simple, clear and removes any ambiguity that may creep in to your message.

Whether it’s a happy holiday message, change of address, or a new employee, it is always better to put your business communication in writing, even if it is just a short email.

Check before sending

Finally, proof your work. Look at everything you’ve written and allow yourself time to see if you’ve made any spelling or grammar mistakes. Double-check if your formatting has worked correctly, especially if you’ve used unusual styles or fonts. If you’re not perfect, you need to find someone else to proof your work.

Join a local association such as the RIBA, and make the most of the opportunity to mix with other people in the same profession. Do talk to other architects and find out how they approach their work. A network of contacts helps in all areas of life, so use this opportunity to shamelessly promote yourself and make some new contacts.