As 2019 draws to a close, we’re setting our eyes on the future, and we can’t wait to jump into the new decade. From celebrating 25 years of business to building deeper relationships with our clients, there’s a lot of excitement to come.
Twenty-five years ago, Dan Keiser’s office was a basement. He was Keiser Design Group’s lone employee—and he played the part of owner, founder, designer, project manager, and any other role that came up. But he had a vision: an architectural firm that was truly relationship-focused. It wasn’t about creating award-winning designs or making millions of dollars; it was about walking alongside clients, inviting them to be co-visionaries of a project, and ultimately designing a home or commercial building that met all the client’s needs.
These are the values that continue to fuel KDG as we celebrate 25 years of turning people’s visions into reality. We’ve got some exciting celebrations planned for the coming year, and as always, we’re continuing to improve and challenge ourselves to serve our clients even better.
Reminiscing on the Past
Sitting in his basement 25 years ago, Dan Keiser knew that being an architectural firm was not just about the design process. Sure, the design process is important, but the relationships matter more. KDG’s goal has always been about getting to know clients, meeting with them to uncover the dream behind their vision, and putting together a plan that maximizes their budget and holds true to their core wishes.
KDG’s goal has always been about getting to know clients, meeting with them to uncover the dream behind their vision
“As we move into the new year, we’re excited to celebrate this milestone for our company,” says Dan. “One of the things we’re most looking forward to is reconnecting with some of our early clients.” In 2020, the KDG team will get back together with several original clients to hear from them about their early experiences with the company. Many of the projects that come KDG’s way are referrals, and sometimes those referrals come five or ten years after the initial project was completed. That has a lot to do with the core relationships KDG strives to build with each client. Throughout 2020, the KDG team will interview some of the past clients who believed in them from the start— the people who helped the business grow from a one-man office to a group full of talented architects and experts.
As with all companies, KDG has seen its share of talent growth over the past 25 years, which makes the future even more exciting as the team looks forward to the new projects and designs they will create together. While excellence has always been a top priority at KDG, the staff has grown to understand clients’ wishes and needs better than ever before—which means initial drawings and designs have improved tremendously, and that is a tribute to all the team members who are dedicated to getting their clients’ visions right from the beginning.
Jumping into the Future
In KDG’s early years, Dan Keiser used to touch every part of a project—which kept his schedule full and often made getting to know clients more difficult. But it was always his goal to sit down with clients and learn more about the motivation for their vision—their likes, dislikes, and must-haves. Now, there are entire teams and systems designated to specific processes, which means Dan gets to devote himself specifically to learning about clients and establishing long-term relationships with them.
KDG’s vision would not be possible without the partners who buy into it—the clients and contractors who want to build solid relationships and work together toward a common goal.
Thanks to the help of strong project managers and designers, KDG’s customers get the attention and investment they deserve from their architects. “In the past few years, I’ve been able to shift from a main role in executing our plans to a main role in developing the vision behind them, which means I get to spend a lot of time learning about our clients’ wants and needs before we jump in and start a project,” says Dan. Relationships are a crucial piece of KDG’s vision, not just in the beginning stages of a project, but also through design and construction. Taking the time to get to know clients and see through their eyes has always been a priority for the team. When the architect understands the client, it becomes even easier to design a space the client loves.
KDG’s vision would not be possible without the partners who buy into it—the clients and contractors who want to build solid relationships and work together toward a common goal. As KDG looks forward to 2020, growing this vision and sharing it with others is the primary objective.
Setting New Goals
In preparing for the year ahead, the KDG is asking itself three important questions:
- Where have we been?
- How did we get here?
- How can we improve?
KDG’s relationship-driven model has cultivated ongoing, valuable relationships with clients—and that remains the goal for 2020. By establishing effective lines of communication among an architect, builder, and client, KDG wants to implement its Integrated Project Delivery approach to make projects even more seamless for everyone involved. This approach relies on consistent and dedicated interaction with builders to make sure everyone stays on the same page and all the individual teams work together on behalf of the client to create a project that meets everyone’s expectations.
We want to be more intentional about growing our relationships with everyone around us.
“We want to be more intentional about growing our relationships with everyone around us: contractors, local clients, and even adjacent communities we may not have reached yet,” says Dan. This continued focus on relationships will ensure that everyone who works with KDG feels valued and cared for. Throughout 2020, KDG will continue to refine its communication process with both clients and partners to ensure that everyone they work with will know what to expect through every step of a project. This emphasis on transparency and authenticity is a key step in ensuring successful projects for years to come.
2020 and Beyond
As the new year approaches, KDG is celebrating all their completed projects over the past 25 years—from the unique residences to the long-awaited churches to the specialized daycare centers. Every client has given KDG the rare opportunity to share in a vision and bring it to life. It is a humbling, rewarding process to walk with clients through these projects.
“We’re not taking for granted what we’ve been able to do and how we got here,” says Dan. “What we do on a daily basis really impacts lives—people live in the spaces we’ve created. That’s a lot of fun for us to remember.” The beginning of this new decade will be one of celebration for the KDG team, and we can’t wait to get started.