Google Reviews: How Architecture Firms Can Attract More Clients

May 28, 2023

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

My family and I recently moved about 7 miles across town. It’s not too far away from where we used to live but it’s far enough that we need to build a new list of favorites.

  • Favorite grocery stores

  • Favorite restaurants

  • Favorite dog groomer

  • Favorite parks

You get the picture. How did we go about finding new favorites?

We started with Google, of course. The typical:

  • “Grocery stores near me”

  • “Restaurants near me”

  • “Groomers near me”

  • “Parks near me”

And at this point, our brains are pretty trained to filter through options quickly based on a number of factors like location, number of reviews, average score of reviews, etc.

It turns out most people do something similar. Searching online and reading reviews has become a regular part of the evaluation process whether you’re buying a new computer or hiring a plumber.

Or looking for an architect.

If you’re not prioritizing reviews (or barely have any reviews), then you’re missing low hanging fruit and putting your firm’s reputation at risk. Why?

  1. If one person posts a bad review, then it could dramatically reduce your review score.

  2. You’ll get overlooked by research-focused clients, who are typically high-quality.

  3. It may appear that you’re not very busy or active (or “good enough” to hire).

But here’s the good news:

Most architects are sleeping on Google reviews.

Don’t believe me? Search for “architects near me” real quick.

When I ran my practice in Michigan, I was able to become the most-reviewed and highest-rated option in less than 6 months. And that meant that most people would contact me first before exploring other options.

If I search “architects near me” in Charlotte, a city of nearly 1 million people with plenty of architecture firms, it looks something like this:

Even New York City doesn’t have much competition. Take a look:

This means that it’s relatively easy for your firm to take command of your local or regional searches to grab the low hanging fruit. A high average score with a healthy number of reviews means that your firm will get prioritized whenever someone searches for an architect in your area.

Convinced? Here’s how to do it:

01 // Verify your firm on Google

This is the first step and it gives you the ability to manage your firm on Google so you can add images, descriptions, and (most importantly) request reviews from clients.

Google is always changing this process, but you can find the best option by reading Google’s own post - How to verify your business on Google.

In the past, it required a verification code to be sent via snail mail but now there are options for verifying online through your phone, text, or even email. The request doesn’t take too long but it typically takes about a week for the request for verification to be approved.

Start now so that you can begin capturing reviews next week.

02 // Make reviews irresistible

After you’ve verified your firm, you can go to your business profile (in Google) and find your sharable review link by clicking on the “Ask for reviews” link in Google Search.

From there, you just have to get clients to leave reviews. Easier said than done, right?

Here’s a few ways to get more client reviews:

  1. Just ask: Seriously, sometimes it’s just as simple as asking. I’ve found this to be most effective with the clients that regularly reiterate their appreciation.

  2. Discount their final invoice: Offer to discount their final invoice by $50-$500 (this ranges from one firm to the next depending on your clientele). I personally used this method to get the majority of my reviews. I would call my client and say something like, “I’m putting together your final invoice right now and I’m wondering if you’d be open to a discount. Would you be willing to leave me a review if I send you a link? I’d be happy to discount your final invoice by $100 if you’re open to it.” 100% success rate 🙂

  3. Offer an incentive: Whether it’s firm swag (like a t-shirt or sweatshirt) or gift cards to local coffee shops or restaurants - incentives can be effective. Offer an incentive in exchange for leaving a review. Note that because this option is a bit more hands-off, it will likely have the lowest conversion.

03 // Reach out to former clients

If you really want to accelerate your reviews, then don’t forget about all of your past clients. Gather their emails and have a principal or project manager reach out with a simple message.

"Hi {first name}!

Hope that you’re continuing to enjoy {completed project}. We’ve recently started prioritizing Google reviews and I’m wondering if you’d be willing to spare 5 minutes to leave us a review?

You can do so here {add link} - we’d be incredibly thankful!

Let me know what you think.

Talk soon! - {your name}"

And if you want to make it more attractive, then add an incentive!


Google reviews are an easy way to build reputation and pipeline in your local or regional area. They’re typically overlooked by architecture firms, which makes it easier to become competitive in your area. To get started:

  1. Verify your firm on Google.

  2. Make review irresistible.

  3. Reach out to former clients.

In 6-12 months, you can expect a lot more inquiries from prospective clients 🙂

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