Using Houzz to Sell Residential Design-Build Services
The design-build industry is booming. Engineering News Record predicts that 55 percent of construction projects will be design-build by 2015, compared to 35 percent design-bid-build. As the industry continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to find new ways to separate your company from the competition.
Some people think of Houzz as strictly a forum for interior design ideas, but the social media site goes beyond that. Houzz is a complete platform for all things home remodeling, building, and design, connecting consumers with the professionals who provide those services. Some 46 million unique visitors per month turn to Houzz for ideas and advice on everything from decorating a single room to building a custom home. If you’re in the design-build industry, and you don’t have a Houzz profile, you’re missing out on potential customers.
How to Create a Professional Houzz Profile
Most design-build contractors already have the tools they need to build a strong Houzz profile. Pictures are the most important component because Houzz is an extremely visual platform. You’ll want to post photos of projects that showcase your best work. Organize the photos into separate folders for each project (this is easy to do on Houzz). For remodeling projects, be sure to include before and after pictures. It’s important to use high-resolution - if not professional - photos. 1200 Pixels at the widest length and use a setting of 300 DPI. Poor-quality images will make your company look unprofessional and may be taken off the site for not adhering to Houzz standards.
You’ll also want to create idea books, which pull a collection of photos together to offer inspiration for design, remodeling, and building projects. Mix and match photographs of your work with work that inspires you and products or materials that you use in projects. The idea is not just to promote your work but to showcase your creativity. Create an idea book featuring the best examples of green building, ultra-modern exterior design or low-budget kitchen renovations that look expensive. This plays a part in being seen in the search feed when people look for design build services in your local area.
All professional design-build profiles should also include a description of your services and service location, contact information and a link to your website. Houzz will prompt you to fill in all of this information, so the process is intuitive. Research and use keywords in your descriptions for both your profile and your project portfolios.
Marketing Residential Design-Build Services with Houzz
Remember that Houzz is not a brochure; it’s a social media site. You can’t expect to gain business if you create a profile and just let it sit there. The key to building a business with Houzz is to participate in discussions and to interact with other users - keeping your name out there and establishing yourself as an expert in the design-build industry.
Here are some tips for using Houzz for marketing:
Follow other professionals: Just like Twitter, you can follow people on Houzz. Connect with other professionals, including design-build competitors, product manufacturers, and local subcontractors. They may just follow you back, which grows your presence. The bonus: You’ll stay up to date on project trends.
Participate in discussions: Houzz has thousands and thousands of discussion boards. Specialize in kitchen remodeling? Offer your opinion to the homeowner looking for advice on whether to reface or replace his cabinets. Build custom homes? Weigh in on the pros and cons of dual master suites. Just avoid being too promotional. Houzz users are looking for advice and inspiration, not sales pitches.
Monitor questions and comments: Check the site often to read any questions or comments users have posted, and reply to them promptly. Users will appreciate the personal interaction, and they’ll be more apt to remember your name.
Ask for reviews: Professional design-build profiles with lots of reviews rank higher in search results. Ask customers and colleagues who appreciate your work to post a review on the site.
About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production
My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Contact me for a free-of-charge consultation and marketing review. It takes about 40 minutes and you'll be provided a list of actionable improvements designed to solve your specific marketing problems.