Gutierrez believes your home is more than just the space you occupy. It affects everything you do — his clients are proof of that. “One thing we’ve discovered is that our clientele tends to be people that we would define as high achievers,” he says. “People that have ambitions in their personal life and in their work life. Just like an athlete needs the best pair of running shoes or the right track and post-workout meal, we’ve realized that the high achievers we work with feed off of the spaces that they live and work in and sleep in and bathe in. These spaces really need to perform so that clients can perform at their best too.” To help clients better visualize the final outcome of his work, Gutierrez likes to take them through a vision exercise. He asks them to envision themselves in the finished space and describe what it feels like. “This helps them and me connect to their heart’s desire and the feeling they’re after. I like to say it’s not the stuff that we want. It’s how the stuff makes us feel,” Gutierrez says.
Gutierrez pushes the client to imagine the final project and every detail in it, and asks them to describe it. He nudges: “Please describe how we exceeded your expectations. What things did we do right? What impressed you about our processes or the finished product?” Asking these questions before embarking on the project helps him better understand what his client values.
“It’s not all about the finished product. I want the entire process to be an enriching experience for my clients. How long do they plan to live in the space? Do they like to entertain or do they like to be more of a family unit on their own? All these different things come together to determine what the solutions are that we’re going to present,” Gutierrez says. And in order to do this, listening is key. “Once you start listening, I believe that they start to trust that you have their best interests at heart and you’re not just trying to impose a style or a look or some ideal that’s coming from somewhere else,” Gutierrez says. “For us, it really boils down to listening and really focusing on what they need, what they want, what they’re saying and inviting them to participate throughout the process, which builds that trust.”