Renata Pocztaruk, architect and CEO of ArqExpress: “It was essential to understand the market”

ArqExpress

In 2015, Rio Grande do Sul architect Renata Pocztaruk was caught up in a common problem in the world of decoration: twelve months trying to finalize a client's project, with no result and with rising costs. It was from there that she came up with the idea of setting a final budget with the home owner and set a deadline of a single day to finish the job. The client loved the result and, from this experience, the largest architecture and decoration company in Brazil was born: ArqExpress. With 5 years in the market, the company has its own offices in Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, has 100 partners distributed in 20 Brazilian cities and serves the entire national territory remotely. Even with the pandemic, the company saw its sales grow by more than 300% and the forecast is for growth from 400% to 2021. There are more than 4 thousand projects delivered in Brazil. Renata explains that ArqExpress is not an architecture marketplace, where the person places an order and the platform finds an architect from the market. In the company, architects are trained and undergo a mentoring process to join the platform. In quarantine alone, they trained more than 100 architects and more than 20 cities prepared to serve clients. “We created a mentoring system for professionals and started by making a general introduction about one of the services [consultancy] and talking about the market, management, marketing and customer service”, he explains.

Renata, how to create big business amid turbulent “waves”?

“A great idea arises from a problem to be solved” - I believe that the phrase in our manifesto clarifies that question. In the biggest problems we find the best opportunities and we always need to look at “the customer's pain”, what bothers us, what bothers the customer, can also be the path to success.

Using the pandemic as a reference for our business, people needed to stay inside their homes, looking daily at things that bothered them, but that at other times were not a priority, that is, they were never solved! So we found a way to publicize a service that has been studied for five years, which is to show the importance of living well in order to have quality of life.

When we created the ArqExpress, consumers thought they couldn't afford an architect to organize the house and live better. Thus, we studied a way to serve everyone. So understanding the pain, understanding why and developing products and services that can solve the problem is the best way to grow in difficult times and in the midst of turbulent waves!

Was this aspect fundamental to the consolidation of ArqExpress?

It was essential to understand the market, the needs, to find out who the customer was, the profile of this consumer, and thus to develop a service that serves the customer within the amount he can pay.

Getting out of the obvious, delivering a new solution, more practical and within the client's budget was the point that made us consolidate the house. We position ourselves looking at the client's pocket as the focus of the door and as an office, a business that needs to be profitable, from the door in!

Planning and implementing processes was the biggest innovation for the moment in the architecture segment.

What are the main pillars of the company?

Price, deadline and quality!

And what are your biggest differentials in your vision?

Our biggest differential is to deliver a process with a beginning, middle and end. The customer enters the process knowing how much to spend and when we deliver, the result is exactly the same as agreed.

How is the architecture and decoration market going through this moment of instability in our country?

People are valuing the profession. While the country is unstable, people are at home and want to live better. That money that went to the beach house, the trip, is being spent on the main house.

Does being a leader in this sector become a major competitive factor?

I believe that more than being the leader is to be the reference for clients and professionals in the area. The revolution that is happening in the profession and the new space that we have created in the market, makes more and more professionals grow happily and more customers live better, with more quality!

Your company was able to innovate by doing projects in up to 1 day. How did it happen?

It happened through the pain of seeing endless projects, lasting for months and without having a final delivery. Customers were dissatisfied with the term, with the amount that was charged, the account did not close. So, I rethought my work. The client's pain, of not believing in architects anymore, who had a reputation for spending more and endless works also led to rethinking this activity.

The projects in one day took place when a client had been decorating the apartment for twelve months and did not finish. One day, I called and offered to finish the job in a day and he accepted. I set up the entire apartment, with decor and loose furniture. When it worked, I thought: ready! Here is ArqExpress.

How important is innovation for ArqExpress?

ArqExpress is faster, easier, more innovative and express. Using technology to improve people's quality of life, delivering architecture to everyone, are our main innovations.

How does the process for affiliating ArqExpress architects work?

At ArqExpress we have professional development work. We created a mentoring system for professionals and started by giving a general introduction about one of the services [consulting] and talking about the market, management, marketing and service. After this mentoring, the professionals go through an internship at ArqExpress, serving our customers with our team. After this stage, we selected the ones that stood out the most so that they can, in fact, do the mentoring seeking their growth, understanding and application of our method!

Therefore, our process is based on didactics and practice, the professional needs to be able to attend within our process!

What are the requirements for these architects who want to be affiliated?

We demand project quality, deadline and price within budget! We work with suppliers that use price combined with quality, a standard process in all stages!

How do you intend to keep ArqExpress on the road to success for years to come?

We will grow our service arm on geographic issues, thus being able to serve all regions. We will invest in the classroom and in online becoming omnichannel!

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