What questions should I ask when interviewing an architecht?

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I recently engaged into negotiating the purchase of a lot in Miami that is zoned for building 2 multi-families fourplexes. The developer sold me 3 fourplexes a year ago and offered me this vacant lot to built additional 2 if I wanted. I've been very happy with the high cap rate of the fourplex as well as the 20% valuation of the properties in one year. I'm totally new to construction, the developer is a gentleman on his 70's and he retired last year and has no wish to engage into another construction project. He will introduce me to his architects and builders so they can walk me thru the whole process. I have no experience whatsoever in buying lands and constructions. I'm hoping any developers can give me tips on what I should be aware of and what questions should I ask when interviewing the architects/builders?

@Will Wu   Having been a contractor who worked exclusively with architects (a number of them were our clients too) there are three main areas of concern in selecting one to work with.

1st Do they design the kind of buildings you want built? Ideally you're looking for one who loves to design fourplexes.

2nd How close are they with their cost estimates? If you are an uber wealthy patron who wants a 'statement' building it's not so important but if you are a business person who wants an income property that actually throws off income it is important.

3rd How 'buildable' are their designs? We worked with one architect who designed award winning projects for our clients that were beautiful but they were the more complicated structurally than most buildings five times their size. Of course that made them much more expensive to build too. If we could have taken their elevation drawings to an engineer we could have built things that looked just the same but were much less complicated and expensive on the inside where no one could see.

Bonus: How often and how comfortable are they working with first time developers?

The first three questions really should be aimed at builders/developers who've worked with the architect before so maybe the best thing to ask the architect is for a list of the builders and developers they've worked with on similar type properties in the last five years.

Good hunting-

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