How can you tell if you are getting what you should out of your architect?

How can you tell if you are getting what you should out of your architect?
There are literally hundreds of things that an architect does for you behind the scenes, but distilling it down, as a benchmark for success, what 5 key things should your architect have achieved for you before you start popping the champaigne?  
#1 Improved your life – A big ask there for sure, but think about it – your surroundings have a profound impact on how you live and how you feel every day. Good design can deliver HUGE benefits to your lifestyle. And of course let you provide the best for your family, employees and customers.
#2 Respected the environment – Every project has unique opportunities and challenges but good design always has a positive rather than a negative impact on its environment, in every sense of the word. A good architect will design sensitively to respect and enhance your site, your neighbourhood, and to meet your energy efficiency and other sustainability goals.
#3 Let you build with confidence – There are many unregistered “architectural designers” out there, and some of them are even quite good, but only a genuine Registered Architect has met stringent qualifications, skills and experience requirements. With thousands of dollars to lose if things go wrong, and thousands to gain if the design work is better than average, entrusting your financial future (and peace of mind) to the lowest bidder may not make a lot of sense.
#4 Let you really understand what you are getting –  Traditional freehand sketching to convey a concept still very much has a place, but the best architects don’t just stop there. These days integrated 3D design visualisation technology, in skilful hands,  lets you see and understand what you are getting all the way through as the design evolves, at whatever level of detail you require, and before it is too late to change! Compelling images help communicate and market your proposal to others as well.
#5 Maximize value, minimize cost – Good design improves your return on investment. Ask any real estate agent – the same budget can simply achieve that much more for you and your bottom line when coupled with above average design. Your mileage may vary, but we understand a house this practice designed in Halswell, Christchurch recently sold for around 5 times the build cost, even allowing for land values.