Houzz (“howzz”) is the place over 20 million people find and save beautiful home and garden photos, compiling the features, styles, colors, and patterns they want to create their perfect home.
That platform is truly a social network with huge sales potential, in that it allows users to collaborate with friends and family as well as other users – including the professionals who design, install, and sell the elements that go into their dream homes. When they’re ready to turn that dream into reality, they can then search designers or contractors in their local areas – or right in the idea-books they’ve been creating all along.
Any company offering home and property design, build, repair, improvements or products should carefully consider adding Houzz to their marketing strategies. Especially hot are bathroom and kitchen-related products and services.
Some other somewhat surprising categories show up when you sign up for Houzz pro account, and it’s not hard to see how you might use Houzz for those, too. Some of the options include:
According to the 2013 Houzz and Home report, 48% of homeowners surveyed are planning to remodel or build an addition or custom home within the next two years. A full 84% said they plan to decorate or redecorate. And any homeowner will tell you that plan or no plan, there is a constant need for maintenance and repairs.
We know this – people search online for everything, and reviews are becoming more and more important in the decision-making process. Houzz allows you to showcase projects, reviews, and conversations that help homeowners choose you for their project.
Categories and profiles are indexed by Google. Go ahead and try a search for something like bathroom vanity ideas. Wouldn’t you like some of that exposure?
More specifically, here are some practices that will help new customers discover you:
Homeowners will find your profile, your projects, idea-books and images by searching keywords. So, do your keyword research and spend plenty of time writing great descriptions for everything you add to Houzz.
Free advertising? Yes, please? Submit your best projects to editors and see your exposure and traffic soar. Budget-friendly projects for small to medium-sized homes are much sought-after, so if that sounds like you, check out all the guidelines and send your project in!
Community interaction greatly increases your exposure on Houzz. Not just because Houzz favors active profiles, but because it increases your chances of getting found incidentally by users.
One way to stay active socially is to follow others. Look for complimentary businesses in your local area, or competitors outside your local area. You never know what networking opportunities may arise!
Houzz users can post questions on any of your images or on your profile. Make sure you keep an eye open for them and answer them promptly! Oftentimes, people ask questions regarding things like what color paint you used, how large the garden is, or where to buy that fabulous sofa, etc.
Even if answering the question is unlikely to result in a direct sale for you, answer it anyway! People looking at your profile and photos will see if you are helpful and courteous – or just looking to make a sale.
As with other social networks, there are business owners who simply don’t answer questions asked by their fans. Puzzling, right? Well, if you see unanswered questions – those that have been waiting for a few days or more, go ahead and answer (jumping in on someone else’s question before they have a chance to respond is kind of rude).
Of, if you can expand on an answer, feel free. To find places where you might helpfully step in, search photos for your area of expertise and see which questions you might answer.
Homeowners and others as questions when they have a particularly tough design dilemma, or if they want some feedback on design options. Browse until you find one that looks interesting to you. When you respond you can include a link to one of your images – so if, for instance, you wanted to suggest a bright red accent tile that you sell, you could link to the photo in your answer.
Don’t worry about only participating in discussions that are within your service area. The beauty of Houzz is that people from all over will see your answer, so even if the original poster isn’t near you, someone else who stumbles up on it may be!
You can also create your own discussions. Everyone loves a makeover – so showcase yours in a discussion!
Ask a question to find out what your customers want and what are their challenges and priorities and give people a chance to see your products or the results of your services.
Looking to make connections with other professionals on Houzz? This is the place to connect, ask for help and opinions and collaborate freely – non-professional users are not able to see these discussions.
You can use ideabooks to showcase your style, even if you haven’t actually done that type of work yourself – yet. Don’t worry about advertising for the competition. If you’re in a service industry, being local is key. If you’re selling products, you should have your own great images to share.
You can create ideabooks to share color schemes, concepts and other ideas with clients. Make the ebook private and invite only your client to collaborate when you’re ready for them to see. They can then comment on your images – allowing for real-time feedback and project planning.
Do you create helpful ebooks? Only Houzz contributors can post actual stories and guides, but you can make your own unofficial guides by creating a public idea book with beautiful images and descriptive text.
If you’d like more details about Houzz, how homeowners are using it, how to set up profiles, projects and how to engage on Houzz, please download our new 54-page ebook, ‘Houzz Marketing A to Zz.’