Should My Business Be On Houzz? | A David Creation

Posted by | February 22, 2013 | Marketing Advice | 99 Comments

Updated 9/29/2016: This blog was originally written in early 2013 when Houzz was still pretty new to homeowners and the building industry. They also just started their advertising platforms. As you can see, there are quite a bit of comments about people’s experience with advertising on Houzz. To save you some time, please note that advertising on Houzz is not for everyone. I think for the small service businesses, Houzz will most likely disappoint you. You will not get a good ROI if you invest in Houzz Pro+. It will also depend on how much competition is already advertising in your market, the reviews they have and overall portfolio. 

I think if you are a larger company or are looking at branding in a lot of different areas (have a bigger budget) investing in Houzz Pro+ has some value. I have a number of my clients (annual revenue over $1M) that typically invest $250-500 a month with Houzz. This is a long term decision for these guys to make sure they are seen more and more in their market, on and offline. 

Below is my original 2013 post. 

Pinterest and Houzz Intro

In 2009, a little website called Pinterest popped up. Pinterest is a social media site that allows people to “collect and organize” things (pictures) they love. The buzz words for Pinterest are “pin,” “repin” and “boards.” This site has grown popular for the female audience, nearly 80-90% of its users (as of late 2012). My wife uses Pinterest almost daily to get ideas for decorating, organizing, gluten-free recipes and more. It was not long after I started testing out Pinterest when I heard of another social site called

What Is Houzz?

When I first stumbled upon Houzz, my first thought was, “ is the Pinterest for the design and remodeling industry.” Instead of “pinning” a picture to your board, like you do in Pinterest, a user will add the photo to an “Ideabook.” So one might create Ideabooks that are called “Cabinet Ideas” or “Nursery Room” etc. A person will find a color that he or she likes and slide it into the proper Ideabook. The credit for that photo always goes back to the company that uploaded it.

A year ago, most remodelers, painters, designers and architects did not know what was! Today, almost all of them do and so do a growing number of homeowners. Houzz is an internal search engine for the design and home building market. A homeowners can type in keywords such as “cabinets,” “green walls for bedroom,” “murals for kid’s room,” “hardware ideas for modern kitchen” etc. Then pictures that have been properly labeled with keywords and descriptions begin to show up in the search results. It is a very cool idea!

The other thing Houzz does is allow homeowners and other professionals to look to hire a pro. Houzz has created a business directory for a growing number of metropolitan cities. Houzz business profiles also allow your customers to post a review about your company.

Example of a photo of a painter who uploaded this photo of a project recently…and it has been added to over 6,000 ideabooks and counting.

So Should My Business Be On Houzz?

Yes and No! It takes a lot of effort to get involved with Houzz. If you are an interior designer, a design build firm or an architect, I think Houzz is crucial for your business. If you are a painting contractor, Houzz is also a good idea but will require a bit of a time commitment. One has to take good quality photos, have a plan for uploading those photos on a regular basis (not just once), has to enter keywords for the best photos and get involved in using all the other features Houzz has to offer.

Houzz has rolled out special advertising opportunities as well. I’d recommend building up your portfolio with a good amount of photos and then start looking at the cost of ads. You can also spend time answering questions people have about their home. This is a good way to engage with people and help brand your company.

This is a very brief blog article on Houzz. There is lots more to know! Curious though, who is using Houzz now? Any results from your efforts?

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


  • Dave says:

    I’m on Houzz. I really only got my profile optimized this winter so while I haven’t seen significant leads and/or traffic, I’m not going to make a judgement yet (landscape design being seasonal and all). It’s been a useful tool for helping design clients zero in on what they want. As an example, there are so many styles of outdoor fireplace that it’s hard to nail it the first time out. I asked my client to pick 5-10 photos they like on Houzz, make an ideabook, and tell me what they did and didn’t like in each. It really helped me design their fireplace.

    I don’t know if I’ll do the paid ads. For what I do, it’s hard to imagine the ROI would make sense.

    • Jared A. says:

      I’d love to hear an update about your experience on Houzz. We are in a similar situation, landscape design/install considering the Pro+ program. I appreciate your help,

  • David says:


    Hey Dave…it has been awhile! Thanks for the feedback. I would advise against doing the paid advertising right now as well. The best thing you can do is just keep updating your profile with quality photos, answering people’s questions, sharing other photos, …you know… using it as a social media site. If you out perform your competition, you’ll be listed high on the search results without paying.

    But… Houzz will want to make some money, so at some point, organic search in Houzz will probably be slightly lower than the sponsored pictures. It is not a bad price right now to get more exposure for certain industries. I had a contractor in the DC area sign up a couple months ago… it was about $350 for two markets…it has doubled if not more in 2 months…so if he signed up today, $700+ a month

    • Lisa says:

      I signed up and I can’t get out of contract. I will have to get a lawyer to help get out of the contract they have.

      • David Chism says:

        Yes, you can’t get out of Houzz contracts. They are 12 month terms. However, I believe you can negotiate 6 month agreements but it cost more. You can also negotiate a lower rate sometimes if you explain that you are not getting a lot out of the advertising. Again, Houzz is not a strong lead generating site. It can help with name recognition though.

        • Aaron says:

          Hi David,

          I’m starting a design platform business which won’t trap builders into advertising contracts. Instead it will take a small percentage of actual work recieved from the site. Do you think this will interest contractors? Something like 3-5% of construction budget.


          Aaron DeWoskin

        • Shawn says:

          Hi David,
          Thanks for so thoughtful writing.
          I wish I could read this before signing up Houzz Pro+ program. We are just a year old company and sell our textile products on various e-commerce portals. After setting up our profile on Houzz we got a call for Pro+ program. Over the phone call with Houzz we were told that we can have it for trial for a month and we thought to give it a try in $400/month. Since this communication was verbal we did not have any written proof that we were being told to try for one month first then proceed ahead. Even while during signing the contract we asked that it is showing for 12 month program then their sale Rep said that payment will be deducted monthly and we can hold the program in whichever month we want because we are not paying in full in advance.

          Now after one month trial they are not letting us go and want us to pay $400 for whole year. We started our program in Oct’16 and want to cancel it as it is very expensive for our small business. Could there be a way out of it ?
          Please suggest.

      • Michael says:

        Our firm tried to cancel after 6-months of paying for the Pro account with not a single lead – no phone calls, no emails, no prospect of any kind. We had no luck getting out of our contract. Houzz was unwilling to recognize or address that we were receiving ZERO VALUE from their paid service. We followed all of the recommendations from Houzz for our photos, descriptions, tags, etc. We are an established and well-qualified design firm. We were bound by contract to continue paying their premium fee and still, after a full year, NO LEADS; no emails, no phone calls, nothing. It was a complete waste of our hard-earned money.

  • james forman says:

    Hi David –

    Saw your article and thought it might be good to consult you. We are a high end furniture company who have been on Houzz for about 3 months and have received 4 sales just of of our profile.

    About 3 weeks ago we received a call from Houzz to begin advertising, they made it seem like we were getting a good deal as they would be advertising our products in 4 different markets for $600 a month which to us is a lot of money. We havent started yet because we need to have a professional photoshoot done to display all of our items in actual house settings because currently all of our photos are just of the products themselves. Well we 3 weeks after we talked to the advertising team we just got another call today from Houzz this time they are rolling out a “secret beta” test where retailers can begin selling items directly off of their website and Houzz will collect 15% of each sale. I was told when you go search the “all products” if we pay for this feature our products will come up higher in the search results so basically if we do not go with this feature our products will not come up higher in the search results which seems a little fishy to us.

    So 2 calls in a month both wanting us to pay. Is it worth a high end furniture company paying to advertise in 4 markets for $600 a month? Is it worth participating in their “secret beta” test and begin selling our products off of their website for 15% of each sale?

    • MH Construction says:

      I’m a General Contractor advertising on Houzz for 4250 a month in my market. Its a big waste of money. If you get sales already with out advertising leave it at that. You will regred the $600 a month you wasted.

      • Elle says:

        Hi MH Construction: Good advice. Houzz has called us at least 15 times to determine our interest in advertising. Most of our customers do not have the amazing design and layout that one sees on Houzz but most of our customers have really nice homes. We have been around for over 40 years and have over 85% repeat business but we could use more leads. What is the client base here? Might you be located in Pennsylvania? We are in south eastern PA and that amount seems outrageous. Do you get good leads? We find that folks who call from Angies list have called 10-15 other contractors. Our clientele is very focused on wanting quality regardless of price and some of these web trollers, want the best for the cheapest. I may sound bitter but it is what it seems.
        Any advice?

        • Jeremy says:

          Precisely why I haven’t advertised on Angies List! Just setting up houzz so we’ll see what happens…. Does seem like it could be a good way for people to find ideas, I’ve created ideabooks for specific features….

          • David Chism says:

            Houzz is a good platform. It is a social network and takes quite a bit of time to connect on there as there is a lot of folks on Houzz: crowded space. So work hard at it!

          • Michael says:

            David, With all due respect, it’s not always simply a matter of “work hard at it”. There are a significant amount of people who are paying for the Houzz Pro account with little or no return on the investment of their hard-earned money. We are one of them. We did work hard at it and followed the suggestions by Houzz for photography, descriptions of projects, tags, and more. Still, NO leads generated for us at all – not a single one – and we are a well-qualified design firm. This is after a full year of paying for Houzz premium Pro account. We feel Houzz was not upfront with their introduction to us as to the value we could realistically receive from our invest with them. For our firm, it was a complete waste of our money.

          • David Chism says:

            I am sorry to hear about your experience. I would never suggest that a company puts all their eggs in one basket or thinks that 1 place would work wonders. Angie’s List is similar. I can have 1 contractor who gets tons of leads on there and 1 that does not get any. It depends on market saturation, reviews and so forth. I have had several contractors that really like Houzz and it is worth the investment for them.

            If you put a small billboard up, let’s say at a minor league baseball stadium for $600 a month, do you think you’ll get calls from that billboard to pay for that ad? You might get a few. Yet I don’t think it is all that different that Houzz –except Houzz is far more geared to renovating a home. I would say both are branding focused. You have to have people see your name, what you do, what people think about you in your target market and/or community. I have guys that do billboards around town. It is crazy expensive! It also is not something I recommend for most contractors because of the cost. If you are trying to track leads from people who said I saw a billboard, it does not work (same as the stadium example). Yet as you are consistent with your marketing: houzz, community events, email blast, blogging, luncheons, educational seminars, flyers, etc…and you do this religiously, you’ll get leads. I think there still is a place to invest some energy in Houzz (for many types of contracting companies: not all. I have one design build firm that has been with Houzz for several years spending $300-350 a month…religiously. He only does his core market. He does not care if he gets a call directly from Houzz. He does it so that his customers and/or people who are thinking about him in his area go to Houzz (and they do) they see him. They see his reviews. They see his work…it builds trust. It is an indirect approach.

            Not for everyone…don’t know your business, and I am sorry Houzz didn’t work with you. That sucks! I don’t personally like their sales team either.

      • Aaron says:

        Dear MH,

        I got on this thread to research how contractors feel about advertising on Houzz. It looks to be an imperfect system. I’m an architect who is starting a design platform built to have more direct client interaction with designers. In order to make it viable, I will also rely on contractor reference fees, based on actual construction budgets. Something like 3-5%. Do you think companies like yours would be interested in this? Seems more fair than just paying for monthly advertisement space.



  • peter says:

    I’ve been a paid advertiser on Houzz for 5 months now.. I am being charged 500 USD per month for ads showing in three of their designated area blocks. Our photos are quite attractive, many reviews and marketing effort is fine, but the results are deeply disappointing.. Essentially, every month, our Houzz professional ad package only generates 60 promoted click throughs to the home website – so it ends up that we are paying roughly 9 USD per click — which is way too much and terrible ROI .

    Our experience with ad placements on blogs has been much more reqarding and I quite regret the 1 year contract I signed with Houzz.. Definitely will not renew and I feel they have misrepresented the reach of their website

    • MH Construction says:

      I have the same problem but fortunately only $250 per month. The website is only for self-promotion. Its almost impossible to get a good lead from them. Its a great side for home owners looking for ideas but a terrible site to advertise on.

      • Alex gonzalez says:

        I signed up with the 4 months ago and only 1 lead (which was a bad lead.) I have told them I want to cancel and they won’t allow me to. They operate like a low class gym. They keep telling me they have no way to cancel the program. Terrible business people.

        • David Chism says:

          Just about any company out there will want a contract. That is not unethical to have a contract with a minimum agreement: 3 months, 6 months, 1 year etc. To not have a contract would be or more unethical. Now, if something is not working…it would be nice if a company would have a way out of the contract. That is something you need to discuss at the beginning though…not after the fact. I work with folks like Houzz, Yelp and Angie’s List all the time. Before I sign contracts, I try to make sure we discuss a way out. Sometimes I get them to commit!

          Houzz is not a lead generation platform for most industries. It is a social media platform that involves a lot of commitment and work from businesses to build their brand. Houzz is doing a great job out there for many industries…and it is not for everyone. I would suggest utilizing the time you have with them this year to engage with people, interact..answer questions, writer articles…build your brand! Houzz will help get your name across their network.

          • Doug Wathen says:


            I have been on Houzz for about 4 months and only one call, which did not pay off. I have spent a lot of time taking pictures and updating my account with no results. I will call them at least once a week and talk to the rep just to take up their time. If everyone who is dissatisified would call at least once a week then it may put them out of business.

    • Elle says:

      Thank you for this. We have been called several times about Houzz and they claim that their contractors are through the moon about the jobs they generate from their site. Have you seen any NEW RELEVANT leads from this site or just click throughs?

    • Michael says:

      Peter, We also feel Houzz misrepresented the reach of their website. They have a good sales team that make it seem like the investment is a “no-brainer” – the reality is, it was a complete waste of our money. I will NOT be recommending Houzz to anyone.

      • Sam says:

        HI Michael, I just sat on a sales call presentation with a sales rep from HOUZZ earlier today and i was informed about all the “great” exposure and lead generating they will provide my business. Once they told me its a year commitment I declined without even hearing what the cost was. As a business owner I learned never to commit to lengthy contract except for a property lease. In fact, I learned that the hard way after signing up for an ad campaign with yelp for a year which I am getting out of without severe financial loss. Good luck to everyone with their marketing.

        • Aaron says:

          Hi Sam,

          I’m starting up a design platfom more geared towards a smooth client and designer transaction where the site actually brokers small design project fees, ala cart or by full package. On this site, I think a finders fee based on the percentage of the construction budget would be more fair. This way firms only pay when they get work from the site. Would your company be interested in this kind of exposure? I’m just testing the waters right now. Your feedback would be appreciated.



  • David Chism says:


    1. What industry are you in? Painting, Remodeling, Landscaping? The cost you are being charged seems reasonable based on what I’ve heard others are being charged for 2-3 areas.

    2. Houzz is definitely not a lead generating machine. It is a place for homeowners to begin to get ideas for their next home project. They might be in the very early stages of a home remodel/project. I would hope it would not be a major lead generation with leads everyday and here is why? Because if that happened, ever business would be on there tomorrow (because they’d hear about how cool it is). Then it would get overpopulated like Angie’s List, Adwords, Yelp etc.

    3. I would like the advertising cost to come down a bit…that would be my wish. I don’t think they will do that anytime soon, because they are getting the prices they want from what it seems. They’ve actually been raising prices, not lowering them. It is a good place to get your brand out there with very little competition (depending on your industry). If you work with Architects, Designers, etc…then this too is a good place to be. Without advertising it is VERY difficult to keep your name front and center.

    4. Bottom line though, if you are getting great leads and profitable ones else where…then maybe it is best to move off of Houzz to that other source(s). I had a bath/kitchen contractor wait probably 5-6 months before he got a lead off of Houzz. He ended up getting about 3 I believe in a month (recently). He sold at least one and is very happy. Before that…I’ll tell you, it was hard to continue paying that monthly fee.

    5. I also think it builds credibility. If people are in the research mode and you have a good ad profile and photos on houzz (and reviews) then they go to Google and see your other listings…you’ll have an upper hand.

    • Jim Bailey says:

      I would like to comment on the site HOUZZ. Every website that you go on and ask about what Houzz has done to help grow business or even get your brand out there. I see negative responses, this is not from word of mouth, it’s from actual business owner trying to sell a product or project getting nothing. Yes I understand it not a lead machine, But it is an adverisiting site that producing your business nothing not even a call to ask for advice. If you should purchase a full or half page advertisement in a news paper someone will call. This site(HOUZZ) is just collecting money because it has a name. You have to many negative response from business owner that’s participate in making your company successful, why not listen to your customers and make changes to what your offering and how you offer to assist small and large business owners that are reaching out to you site for help. Their (Business owner) helping pay your employees’ and keep your lights on HOUZZ. You guys signing business owner(s) up to receive something that they are thinking that will help grow there business and given them contracts on services. Houzz want let you out of it when they don’t produce. That shows that the Houzz brand is corrupt and don’t care about small or large business owners. The bad reviews should get you to get up and go back to the drawing board with a way to help the small and large business owner that are putting trust and believe in your product so that you can make money and we do that so that we can make money as well. They tell you that you can’t close the account and will still be charged even if you don’t pay and suggest you leave the website up because you will be still charged because of the contract you signed for 12 months will still have to paid regardless if you unsubscribe it is a sure scam. This needs to be revisited by the president and its boards to do what they say when they sale you and that’s is with the publication and setup that this site will help generate business or tell business owner exactly what they will receive for the monthly payment and don’t feed them(business owners) a dreams and lies. I can buy a Home and Garden magazine for much cheaper and possible run a an ad in the magazine and get one call. Houzz don’t do this, its marketing team, sales team, and customer service is strictly about them selling one time to make one dollar. No long term relationship with small and large business owners in a continue effort to keep the business owner coming back. I will be screaming to everyone I know not use or even reach out to I will let them know how they don’t care if a small business is suffering to pay them (Houzz) when they are not producing and still keep there trucks and staff running for their own company. And if Houzz don’t care about us then I don’t care about Houzz. . To anyone reading please do not tie yourself or business up into this DO NOT DO it go to Yodle, Yelp, Facebook, and twitter and do your advertising you can add pictures and get response from people for your next job and its FREE. Please do not sign a contract with this business, because they will not let you out of it and continue to charge you after you have decided to not use them (Houzz) any longer. And also, any other real service you use you can cancel or discontinue using but HOUZZ make different contracts where you can’t get out. Changing you credit info immediately and ask them to send you an email with you contract and then reply to them that you would like to unsubscribe services for your records. Wish there was more I could help you with but if you haven’t signed on the dotted line then your safe….HOUZZ IS CONSIDERED A SCAM to me.

      • Aaron says:

        Hi Jim,

        I’m putting together a design platform business that connects clients and designers in a more efficiency and communicative manner. The contractor ad space on my site will be free or next to free, with a reference fee based on 3-5% of total project budget. So you only pay if you get work. Does this interest you? I’m just putting out some feelers right now. Your feedback would be appreciated.



  • Great points here Dave. I have seen firms do well, and not do so well. It’s unfortunate for peter – but 5 months is still a short time in the marketing world , and spring has sprung, I’d be curious what the results are now, and also by the end of the summer. Unfortunately, if you’re not present in some of these websites, people will hold it against you.

    • David Chism says:

      Hey Dale. Thanks for stopping by. I agree. I’d love to hear if things are picking up for Peter. I’d like to know his industry too. Not all who advertise on Houzz willies a return. More an more consumers are hearing about Houzz! So I wouldn’t be quick to leave.

      Hope all is well with you. Thanks again for your comment!

  • Dennis Gavin says:

    David – been a paid advertiser for over a year. Not real happy with the results. This contract I scaled down to one category and two areas at what was a “discounted” price. Still too expensive for what I am getting. Leas quality in general is poor. People not leaving phone numbers, not responding to emails. Very disappointing.
    But I have to admit, I am not thrilled with any marketing. IT is all so spotty.

    • David Chism says:

      Dennis, I first wrote this post in Feb 2013 when advertising was in the beginning stages. So getting close to 2 years later, I agree with you. Advertising on Houzz is still not a bad option if you get the cost down to be pretty reasonable. I had a design-build firm not renew this year. He’s been in it for 2 years. He has not sold a single job from the leads he has received. Now, he does want bigger jobs (over 100k) and most leads he got in Houzz were under 100k. This makes perfect sense. It is VERY difficult for someone to spend over $100k on a remodel looking at photos and reading a few reviews online. It takes far more work than that to gain a customer online.

      I look at Houzz strictly as a place to maintain a good reputation. It is a place to get clients to leave a review and for folks doing their research. It is still a good idea to focus heavily on your existing client base. Those are the real gold mines for growing your business. Houzz is a tool. It actually works well for a number of my clients. I have a bath & kitchen company who is happy with results and upped his contract. For one of my painters, I kept the ad pricing the same but expanded the zone/market areas.

      Marketing/Advertising for a builder should really be about building a firm foundation (no pun intended). Focusing on doing an incredible job for each lead/customer you receive: start to finish. Turn customers into raving fans. Engage with those customers on an ongoing business…invest where they hangout. You’ll do fine!

  • We approached working with Houzz as an experiment and signed a contract with Houzz a year ago, purchasing a territory in NYC. We realized half way through the contract that our clients weren’t familiar with Houzz, and it was unlikely to produce anything for our $4000 plus cost. We attempted to renegotiate the cost of our contract unsuccessfully; we saw them as partners. I would advise everyone NOT to work with Houzz because they place all the risk of their paid advertising on the shoulders of the advertiser, which is unfair with new technologies like Houzz.

    • David Chism says:


      Thanks for sharing your experience about Houzz. I won’t disagree with you based on your experience, your customers etc. Houzz can work for certain companies. I am seeing some fruit for some, not all. They key is to really get the cost down (up front) to be reasonable. Yet I would almost make sure you have a strong portfolio, some good reviews to start before spending a penny. I would not spend a lot of money on Houzz (yet).

  • sam says:

    Hi guys, I am having a sit down meeting with Houzz tomorrow. They said I have amazing work and should post my pics online asap. I am not sure what to expect cost wise, but anything over $300 just wont be worth it for me. Everyone promises the world until the get the CC number, and then good luck. Ill try to keep you posted.

    • David Chism says:

      This is the time of year it is perhaps harder for Houzz to make a sale. So don’t sign a 1 year deal with them. They make it sound like you can get out of it. You can, but you’ll pay the rest of the year as a cancellation fee. I know a number of contractors doing fine on Houzz. The key really is to spend a lot of time engaging with people like a social network, have great photos, keyword those photos and get reviews. If you don’t have a fair amount of reviews or photos and you start advertising, you are wasting your money.

  • I am extremely disappointed in Houzz. Aside from a cumbersome site that wastes more time than all my other SM together, the leads have been terrible. Brain pickers, no response to replies to messages, low end clients that take as much info as possible and then go back to Houzz to finish the job (two of them breaching the contracts, leading me to legal matters). Even worse, they are competing with the design community by selling product at lower prices than we can buy at. Talk about biting the hand that feeds. Also impossible to contact directly, takes almost a week to hear back and it becomes an email nightmare. Not happy. I would like to terminate the advertising contract. Waste of money.

    • David Chism says:

      Barbara, I’m sorry you’ve been disappointed with Houzz. I have a few clients who won’t be renewing when their contracts are up. I do have a number of clients that have gotten a few decent leads / jobs. I also know at least 1 contractor crushing it on Houzz, and they love the leads! So each area is different. I also think it is a social network, so a contractor has to invest a lot of time answering questions, connecting with people etc. This is still no guarantee either. But it is worth a shot.

      I didn’t know they were selling their own products for cheap. That is a bummer, and I am sure they cannot keep that up too long: advertisers will complain.

  • David
    I am a professional container garden designer and have developed a product that reduces the weight in container garden pots. I had a client who highly recommended that I start selling my product “Packing Pearls” (Light weight filler for Pots) on Houzz. My product has been in Better Homes & Gardens and other garden magazines and has won awards for sustainability and is a proven product since 2010 but needs more exposure. I would love hear your thoughts on using Houzz to sell my product. Thanks in advance-Joanna

    • David Chism says:


      I think Houzz could be a possible or viable option for you. Houzz is a social network centered around great photos that stir up ideas with people for their home improvement projects. So you would need to invest a bit of time and effort taking great photos of your product and sharing them on Houzz. Then I’d suggest spending a bit of time just building your personal brand on Houzz: engaging with people. I am thinking Pinterest might be a great option for you too!

  • Ross says:


    Just did a short write up of our results (or lack thereof) after a year with Houzz advertising.

    • David Chism says:

      Ross, good blog post. Thanks for sharing. I am sorry that Houzz did not produce results. I have found that it is a little hit and miss. I have a contractor in St. Louis area I know getting around 50% of their leads from Houzz. They use Houzz as a social media hub, where they are uploading great photos, engaging, answering questions and so on. They also advertise on there. That, of course, is a lot of man hours!

      The rest of my folks advertising on Houzz do not see much fruit. They get a few leads a year off of it, but they are expensive leads because of the ad cost. What I have done for the guys I work with is negotiate a fairly low rate. If a painter/builder does not have a lot of competition on there, I like being on Houzz. But I agree with you…the overall PPC to Organic is crap. All my guys get more organic results than paid results, and I’m primarily concerned with the local traffic. The organic/nationwide is nice for branding, but 9/10 homeowners do not have second homes in our service areas.

      • emily says:

        Hi, I have a friend that works at Houzz and asked about this.

        When a photo is sponsored, it starts receiving more impressions, ie. views and clicks. Because it becomes more popular it will start showing up higher organically. Someone not paying or not featured in editorials will very seldom be featured on one of the first few most popular pages. So essentially, over time the pro will start to receive more organic impressions than sponsored just because the sponsored program opened that door.

      • Cheyenne says:

        Hi David, I think the main reason Houzz advertisers don’t receive a lot of business from their Houz advertising dollars is that you simply have too many listings and advertisers. It’s a very fun site to look through (and then go do it myself), but just recently I did a search for a particular item, I was given a list of over ONE MILLION listings for that one item!! Good grief! If I had the time and the patience to view 100 listings I’d be doing well!! What about that other 9,999,900 who are advertising. Who on earth would ever see those items!! You really need to limit the number of listings you take. I suspect many of them don’t pay, or don’t pay full price, if you got rid of those listings you would be making your advertisers and visitors/customers to your site much happier because potential buyers would have less to slog through to actually make a purchase. I usually leave your site thinking – “Oh my God, let me out of here”!! Houzz is are so successful, it is overwhelming!

  • Ajay says:

    Hi David,
    I have recently been tasked with the plan to try and optimize our presence on Pinterest and Houzz. I do not think I will be going in the direction of using the paid marketing on Houzz but was wondering what sort of simple things/ ideas I could do.
    We are a online furniture business so my thinking is I should focus on having our products listed highest on the shop tab. I have read the Houzz seller guidelines articles but there was not much I could update on my end. Please let me know of any tips or ideas I could use to try and tap into the vast network of Houzz. Thanks:)

    • David Chism says:


      Thanks for reaching out here. It would be pretty difficult to give you a lot of tips in a reply on this blog. I also work more with service contractors on their marketing strategy.

      The key is to have a great photos on your Houzz and Pinterest site. Then spend a good amount of time being available to your prospects: answering questions, engaging and helping the community. Don’t try to sell your products: just be helpful and an an expert! Be consistent at this one thing, and I believe you’ll see your Pinterest and Houzz reputation grow.

  • Pat Perry says:


    Hope you can help. I am a new business (home based) and will soon be selling decorative, one- of- a kind wreaths on my website and on Amazon. I will also pin on pinterest, and later Etsy. I was considering Houzz because the market I am looking at: interior designers,architects, and homeowners looking to decorate/accessorize their homes. The cost for Houzz from all the coments is extremely high. I wouldn’t be able to afford that, being new. What would you suggest. I trust your opinion and would love to hear back from you.

    • Michael says:


      I’m a marketing professional and highly suggest you do not use Houzz for your business. Pinterest will be releasing their new ad platform soon and that backed with some Facebook dark posting could really boost your traffic.

      If you need any more info, send me an email, the company I work for puts together social media packages with killer analytics!

  • David Chism says:

    Pat, I would not start by advertising on Houzz (yet). Treat it like you would any other social network. Just get on Houzz and get involved. Build your personal brand without looking desperate or trying to sell. Leads and business will come. As you grow your business, you can look at Houzz down the road for ad cost.

  • Jerry says:

    I am considering paid advertising on I have had a free profile on the site for a long time now with very nice pictures. Our profile is found at

    I have them talked down to 350.00 per month, I am in a San Antonio market and I am still concerned that my ROI on a 4,200 investment will not be good. I don’t think there are that many custom cabinet contractors on Houzz if any at this time in my area. I wonder if I should pass on or move forward with them?

    • David Chism says:


      Houzz is still a “growing in popularity” site. I think it is here to stay!

      That being said, the exact ROI is drastically different for all the different types of contracting companies on Houzz. The ones that seem to do the best (also depends on the geo-market) are Design-Build, General Contractors, Hardscape Contractors first and foremost. I would say the designer / architect community also does well.

      Cabinetmakers, painters, plumbers, electricians, and so forth, they might not see a drastic improvement in leads coming directly from Houzz. YET, I would say, it is one (just one) good way to brand your company. If you spend time on Houzz interacting with the community and have a decent amount of ongoing customer reviews, it is a great place to get noticed.

      The advertising only helps local (not nationwide) folks find and discover your name a little easier. If you have the marketing dollars, I’d go for it. If the budget is tight and you really need leads, this is a very slow lead generation source.

    • Alex gonzalez says:

      Dont sign their contract! I have only 1 lead in almost 5 months and they won’t let me cancel. Not an ethical company.

  • Rich says:

    Where do I start? I am a cabinetmaker that specializes in custom closets. 8 full months into the Pro program, with a fully developed Houzz profile, with over 40 projects and 11 – 5 star reviews, and weekly updates. Results almost nil. Houzz sales offered the Pro Program as a way to build my business and be “successful” – it was oversold. A few months into it, spoke to the new account rep about the results and the “story” changed: Houzz Pro is now a “brand building” tool, not a lead generation tool. Houzz definition of “success” is “clicks” and “saves”. My definition of success is the phone ringing. ROI can only be measured by good leads, anything else, clicks, impressions, saves, or other “branding” is meaningless.

    After complaining that the sales person sold this as a way to get work and be successful, an additional advertising area was added to my account. No effect.

    Finally about “branding”, probably the most overused term in the marketing industry these days. Be careful. “Branding” campaigns are appropriate for national companies with large marketing budgets.

    Mr. Chism, your profile says you wish to help “small contracting business grow”. Take a stand and be clear, based in all the comments here, Houzz is a waste of money for small contractors. As you say “it takes a lot of effort to get involved with Houzz”, then . Small business contractors can’t afford to waste their time and effort on this – without clear demonstrable results. Please take the time to research and see if there are demonstrable results before promoting social media for contractor marketing

    The bottom line, is Houzz is a social sharing tool. Social users are not buyers. Therefore it makes no sense to spend time and money setting up social profiles on the faddish social site of the moment.

  • David Chism says:

    Rich, I appreciate you sharing your concerns about Houzz here. I will have to point out a few areas though that I disagree with you on:

    1. You stated “branding” is meaningless.” and it is only for large, nationwide companies. I think this is definitely not the case for a small business. If you do not build your brand, you will get crappy leads all day long. If you want leads, there are tons of those companies online. You know which ones I am talking about. You will get leads. The phone will ring, and you will be disappointed with most of those leads. Building a quality brand is key for a small business. I could not state this enough. If you are thinking that Houzz, Yelp, Angie’s List is the golden ticket: pay them money and leads will come, it won’t happen. There is not 1 referral source out there that will generate all your amazing (i.e. good leads) you want. It requires a lot more work: building your brand.

    Building your brand means everything you do in your company is marketing, and it should be good marketing: the way you answer your phone, how you communicate with a prospect, the quality of your work, your follow up process, asking for reviews, follow up down the road, your warranty etc.

    Building your brand means getting involved in the community. Sponsoring a blood drive, putting your name on 5k race bibs, doing charity work, silent auctions, giving out coffee at one of your customer’s non profit groups, passing out water bottles on a hot day during a race and the list goes on. This is building your brand, and it will only get stronger.

    2. You stated, “Mr. Chism, your profile says you wish to help “small contracting business grow”. Take a stand and be clear…”

    Building your brand is giving back to the people you are trying to serve and influence. Building your brand is being the expert in your industry: i.e. “content marketing.” I see that you have a blog on your site. Why are you blogging? Why do I blog? Do I think that by creating 1 incredible blog, my phone will ring off the hook? No! But in the 6 years of me speaking, writing blogs and educating my audience, I’ve built my brand and business. It takes blood, sweat and tears, Rich. I have taken a stand. Houzz is only a complete waste of money if you think it is the silver bullet. It is not for everyone, Rich. But I do recommend it for a few clients who have some ad dollars to spend if their audience is using Houzz. My customers are busy. Their phones are ringing off the hook. It is because they are kicking butt out there and doing the hard things: building their brand.

  • mili says:

    I’m waiting for a Mr. Rich response.

  • Suzanne says:

    I would really like to work with Houzz. I am a regular visitor to the site and as a Designer I can see and understand the value. I am having a problem right now because I recently set up as a seller. I am an artist who makes unique one of a kind indigo shibori products.; however at NO TIME was ther any information given about sellers fee’s to HOUZZ. Now that I am approved, I see things with regards to “reoccuring fees”- How can I accept this when I have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER and I AM UNABLE to find any information as to what this will cost me. HOUZZ already has my bank innfo and I still have no information- Where can I find it???????? HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST me????


    • David Chism says:


      I can understand your concern here. I am sorry you are having an issue with Houzz. They are not a scam company and are pretty easy to work with (from my experience).

      You can contact customer support and see if they can help you out. If you can’t get in touch with someone, shoot me an email. I’ll see if I can get in touch with one of my sales reps who might be able to help.

  • John David says:

    I am an experienced architect who has been contacted repeatedly by Houzz and it became obvious to me that the real reason they do this is to get otherwise unavailable high quality interior and exterior architectural photos downloaded to their website so they can use them to increase consumer traffic and eventually sell materials directly to them. They should be paying these professionals for access to their copyrighted images instead of charging them for amateurish advertising schemes. When you send them photos you lose all rights to them. Just try to get your photos back and you’ll see what I mean.

    • David Chism says:

      John David, I think you are right. I’ve had them take some of my clients best photos and use them in articles without notifying us. We find out after the fact. I am sure it is in the legal wording. The benefit on our end, of course, is it really increases traffic. The picture(s) that Houzz selected for this one client gets viewed thousands upon thousands of time each month. But I agree…Houzz is a for-profit organization. They are interested in their bottom line too.

  • Robert Armes says:

    I recently signed up, looking to start off with a small presence on Houzz, straight off I have met with resistance and big corporate hard lines. I thought you where down to earth business friendly but it appears to me houzz acts like e-bay who holds people hostage, then would pull the plug after I as a business owner puts a huge amount of time and effort into your platform. Doesn’t sound like an equitable fair deal to me, there is no shortage of other online venues for small business. Why would I invest my time and energy into Houzz?

  • jay griffin says:

    David, great blog. Congratulations. I also have a company that helps local or regional companies brand and market their businesses and your response to Rich on June 10th is spot on. Recently we held a half day seminar for our clients on social media and Houzz was one of the social sites we covered. The bottomline take away we had for every client was that social media requires their engagement. Unlike SEM, SEO, or Web Development which you can turn 100% over to us “tech guys”, Social Media is all about the narrative as expressed in shareable content and experiences and that requires companies to commit themselves to daily and weekly engagement, their company’s purpose, and their brand. Houzz, in my opinion is a great platform for a business in the building trades to create a powerful narrative, develop shareable content , have social engagements, etc.,but it takes a lot of work and commitment–Especially around good photography and thinking about every customer interaction as publishable and adding to the story. It is a longer term strategy as the breadth of the content and engagement translates into more “referrals” or “in bound marketing” versus spending a lot of money on casting about to “buy” leads.

  • Dan says:

    Great post. Have read it all.
    I am in the middle of negotiations with a house account representative. She claims that the account manager that will be assigned to me will help create and tweak the profile and even upload photos for me. I got a price of 250 a month for one county that I am located in. They definitely sell it as a branding and also say that most of the leads will be from higher end clients with larger budgets. I have been an angie’s paying contractor now for 3 years and only one of those year did angies really give me a good return on my investment. I will be dumping angies this year and not renewing. I have an email from houzz that has a contract to sign, but I simply don’t have the time right now to build this profile. I just started my free profile a few weeks ago and haven’t had time to upload photos and the ones I do have aren’t all worthy of being on there. I have a decent nikon camera but it’s almost like you need a professional photographer to setup shoots on any higher end job and that’s another cost. I am already a busy contractor in my area, and have been in business for over 15 years. I think I will just update and work on my free profile for now and continue to update my website for SEO. They do have a good sales pitch for contractors, I just can’t see spending over 3000 for branding at this point when I’m busy almost all year anyways. Thanks again for this blog, it was incredibly helpful in my decision to not advertise with houzz.

  • Mark Wells says:

    Great Blog Post David. Good information all around. We have received a few leads in the short time we have been on Houzz with our free profile. What we have found so far is that the more our team engages in the Houzz community, the better results we receive. I concur that there is no silver bullet. It takes lots of work, content creation, photo creation, strategic positioning, timing, research, collaboration.. Yes blood sweat and tears. I think all marketers agree that if you spend $1 and get a return of $4, we’d do it all day long. My team and I will do more research before we spend on Houzz and hopefully our research will give us the insight we need to make a good decision about our ad spend.
    I believe this is a very good platform that is absolutely here to stay. Ross your analytics report was very insightful. Thank you both for sharing.

    • David Chism says:

      Well said, Mark! Thank you for chiming in here. I agree…the more you put into Houzz the better. Each industry on Houzz is different. The builders will probably get more exposure. It is one of the top search results in Houzz. Painting contractors actually are I believe #2 or 3 spot for people looking for that type of service. Then it goes down from there: kitchen/bath, hardscapes, electrical and so forth.

      Advertising on Houzz gives you more analytics and makes it easier for people to find you.

  • MH Construction says:

    I signed up with Houzz and paid them $3,000 for being a promoted pro (General contractor). It was the biggest waste of money ever. Please if you are a Contractor do not sign up for a paid spot. No leads ever came from it. It was almost impossible to get reviews from my customers to post on houzz because they ask them for so much personal details. Then they sent them an email on a daily bases to advertise the Houzz site and products they sell. Some of my long term customers got upset over it with me. Out of many reviews sent to Houzz only one was ever posted. The rest was refused because they where not comfortable given there full name, address etc to a site they do not know just to give a Contractor a review. The Houzz site is only about self-promotion and does not really do anything for Contractors. Its all about numbers so they can raise a lot of money to go public on the stock market.

  • Derek Bell says:

    Hello David,

    Great blog! I own a small window treatment company here in Nashville, TN. We specialize in blinds, shades, shutters, etc.
    I have been talking with a Houzz rep about a paid spot for a few hundred dollars a month. I have never really gotten on and played around with the site. From reading the blog it sounds like I really need to get on, post some pics, and get involved first rather than just paying up front. Does this sound about right? Also, have you seen much success with business owners in my industry on Houzz?

    • David Chism says:


      I would definitely spend time using Houzz before investing money. If you have the money set aside and want to help boost the brand, this could help. Yet I still think Houzz is more of a brand awareness platform. A lot of people are still getting on and using Houzz. It is still a young but growing social network. I spoke to a Houzz rep a week+ ago who said Houzz Corp. is investing more advertising dollars into promoting themselves more to homeowners. This is new and exciting. Yet the key on your end is not to pay too much or dive completely into this form of advertising. Spend the time engaging, posting photos, answering questions and getting reviews. That will be one of the best things you can do on Houzz right now.

      The advertising dollars will just help target who will see your company. It will be local spots. I do not know of anyone in your industry that is finding houzz to be fantastic. Most of my clients are painters, then bath/kitchen remodelers and design-build.

  • Serge says:

    I am still in my research stage for about 8 months now. First of all, thanks Dave for all the informative posts, very well written content.
    I own a mid size shop where we mostly build high end furniture, kitchens, vanities, foyer cabinets, built-ins etc. I had business profiles on most major social sites, including yelp, Houzz, google etc. I saw a few calls and lots of traffic from yelp, and after someone called and offered a paid advertisement with custom video and blocks i almost pulled the trigger but decided to do research. 3-4 weeks after that doomed call, i had no traffic from yelp, as if someone made my business hidden and invisible. And that’s what think happened. Same thing with Houzz, i never paid them and was getting traffic, messages/calls etc. Someone called, offered, i said no, boom, silence )))
    My verdict is, its all about money! They all want MONEY, and if you don’t give it to them, they wont owe you anything either. Small businesses cant afford $600-900 / mo on ads, so larger businesses will just eat up.
    If i advertise, i will go with a local magazine targeting high end clients.

    • David Chism says:


      There is a lot of truth in what you just posted. Thank you. I do tend to wonder what goes on behind the scenes of these Internet companies! I can’t tell you why the call volume would drop from Yelp and Houzz though. That is really strange.

      If I were you, I’d spent a lot of time and effort on “content marketing.” The main thing here is to do video and blogs about what it is you offer. Answer people’s questions they have about your product. I’d talk a lot about the price too. These are things people are searching for. This blog, for example is one of the top hits of my website. I am just writing about things that interest my clients and prospects. You can do the same, and I can guarantee your traffic to your site will go. Plus more people will feel comfortable with you because you provided answers to their questions: less tire kickers.

  • I have been building architectural Millwork for 35 years and it is just getting tougher to make money. Part of the problem is people just do not have as much to spend, that coupled with our throw away society and lack of knowledge on what real quality actually is. Seems that honor, integrity and common sense don not carry the weight they once did and its all about , i want it now and cheap. I used to be booked a year in advance now it is month to month. I have a free profile on Houzz and spoke with their representative and they dropped the price by 125 month so the cost is 300.00 for two areas . I am a small shop but am unsure of the one year contract and also from what i have read Houzz does not sound that great. Im just not sure what to do. I really need ROI that makes sense and would appreciate your input.

    Thank you,

  • Kesia says:

    I just want to thank everyone for posting their experiences and information. I love communities like this! Was thinking of paying for the Pro version of Houzz but its a lot of money for a business as small as ours . Really wanted some input from people who have paid for the Pro version. Thanks again, have a great day everyone!

  • Craig says:

    We have decided the paid version isn’t a good match for for us and have put more effort into adding content to our site. Having a profile is a plus, just work on getting the reviews and it will work you up the ranks. We had someone from Houzz come out and speak with our NARI chapter this year on “building a good profile”. It was quite informative.

  • Patty Mamone says:

    I happened upon this blog quite by accident, but it is by far one of the most informative marketing discussions I’ve ever read. Thank you.

  • Shannon says:

    I strongly advise against selling or associating with Houzz. I sold on Houzz for a bit and there are a few issues I ran into the entire time.
    1. It takes weeks to a month or more for photos/listings to go live for purchase.
    2. Their payment structure is out of whack. It takes far too long to be paid.
    3. Customer service is a game of passing the buck with no solution for sellers.

    I was also called by a rep questioning my pricing. I was shocked by this call and explained that when I was approached by Houzz it was suggested that I offer free shipping and add to the cost of the product. I don’t work for Houzz and found it very unprofessional for them to call questioning my pricing. I cancelled everything in my shop immediately. I don’t feel that Houzz has enough kinks worked out or experience to be doing what they do. Alos, when I first signed up to sell, I found another shop selling my handmade items. It makes me wonder why it takes over a month for one item to be available for purchase, yet other shops are selling my work. It seems if so many people review your item prior to making it available for purchase….someone would have caught this shop selling my (and other sites) items. Again, when I asked about this…the buck was passed.

    Just be careful. Your experience may be different. Personally, my experience was consistently bad.

    • Sandy says:

      I am also trying to list my items on HOUZZ but it takes forever to get approvel. Its 3 month and now they keep on rejecting photo’s without any reason. Its very hard because there is no-one or contact number to call to talk. Could you please send their customer support for vendors or seller who want to sell

  • Dave L says:

    I surely wish I would have scrutinized Houzz AND found this blog, prior to agreeing to a $250/month commitment. Upon it’s face, the monetary commitment doesn’t seem so bad, after paying $800/month for print advertising which has nearly fallen flat. Yet my beef with a monthly commitment, is I’ve recent found immense success with paid ads via my BUSINESS Facebook page, which is extraordinarily simple to use, analyze and monitor. Thus, I fell into the sentiment, “it’s worked so well via FB, let’s keep it going with Houzz!”. WRONG.

    It’s only been a couple months, so let me share a few beefs. We paint grind, repair and paint concrete, although we USED to perform decorative interior painting (I still occasionally perform some freelance in the off season of concrete painting). With this stated, during the categorization with Houzz, they placed me into the “Painting & Wallcovering” section, which I told them I didn’t want to be receiving a bunch of calls for wallpapering, drywall and other crap, yet they insisted it’d be the best way, as opposed to remodeling, concrete & masonry or remodeling (I should have went with my gut). Secondly, upon trying to launch photos, OUR project photos, they rejected them and instead insisted they needed “full room images”, which led to selecting from a library of stock photos, wth? Third, at no time during their pitch did they mention the extensive time that I’d have to dedicate to being on top of this branding bs. We’re small and while I feel I have a fairly well tuned hand in marketing, the fact is, I want to work in my field, not be stuck behind this terminal. Wth am I paying for?! Fourth, in attempting to use Houzz as a consumer, I did a search for “Concrete painting”, care to guess what photo came up? An interior, decorative project photo. Such bullcrap.

    Anyway, I love reading this feedback and I hope mine can help someone out.

  • David says:

    I tend to just go to Google and type a simple phrase “ complaints”. Then if there are an overwhelming amount of them that pretty much answers the question for you. You do not have to be Sherlock Holmes to do just a little investigating. is heavily in with VC’s. Once they invest it is usually a 5-7 year plan for an IPO. So the strategy is to maximize revenue to have the consumer and eventual IPO process go through.

    The bank will then collect 7.85% the VC’s can get 10 to 20x their investment back out. The Bank whoever does the IPO will pay the media to tell everyone this is the “future” and then the share price once you buy in will go the same way as GoPro.

    It is not just a scam to the small time business, or even people selling products online. It is a set up for every retail investor as well. This is most likely a business that is a “Pump and Dump”.

    These are just my opinions and that of the many complains on Google when you search “ complaints”. Before you invest with them. Take a step back. Do research. Understand and try and remove all emotion. Do not go with just one complaint board as that could have bias. See if there is an overwhelming direction of complaints. If there is, this does not mean it may not work for you. It still may. I would just collect all the facts before signing or spending anything.

    The reality is the best form of advertising you can ever, ever, ever have is patience and hard work. That turns into word-of-mouth advertising and is well…… free 🙂

    Good Luck.

  • Clint says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for this insightful post about Houzz. I am a web marketer and have pursuing some homebuilder clients. I am anticipating the time when they ask me if they really need their own website when they already have houzz. Is Houzz meant to replace their own website? What does a builder get from their own website that they can’t get from houzz? I’m curious how you / others would answer that question.

    Thank you!

    • David Chism says:

      I would not encourage folks to use Houzz for their website exclusively. I don’t think there is much SEO value in it for one thing. Also, you don’t want HOUZZ to own your content and website. I’m a fan of the customer owning his/her own content.

  • Tim says:

    I can’t believe that Houzz has such poor business structure. To charge someone $300, 600 a month is outrageous. And then to lock people in…! Not smart. They would make far more in ad revenues by charging a small fee on a pro featured monthly plan plus let people to their own ad campaigns per click where they chose their own budget.

  • Tonya says:

    Hi, I TOTALL AGREE. I wish I had seen this before I signed a 12 month contract with Houzz. I have seen little to no results as an Interior Decorator and Stager. At first I was proud to have my ad and pictures on Houzz. Then I realized that the sales ladies are sweet and slick. They’ll have you thinking that Houzz is something you absolutely have to do to grow your business. It’s not true. Please DO YOUR RESEARCH before signing a contract with Houzz to advertise your business. It has been a waste of money for me too. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be.

  • Elece Leverone says:

    As a product vendor selling on Houzz there has not been many sales. Just 2-3 in a 6 month time frame. Now I see that they have unilaterally lowered my pricing WITHOUT my consent. This could cost me business with my other retailers.
    I’m considering pulling off the site.

  • Matt Gray says:

    You all should look at this site: I see a lot of people complaining about the charges from Houzz and one of the comments above was right — it’s VC funded so they are pumping it up to dump it. This one is free because you’re supplying information for homeowners and architects.

    Sp8ce.Design is in this for the long-term and bootstrapped so you won’t have to worry about a short-term goal.

  • Interesting thread. As a general contractor on Houzz – where I have a free listing which I use exclusively (I do not have a stand-alone website and I don’t use any other social media), my own personal experience could not be in more stark contrast with what I’ve been reading here.

    I discovered Houzz in the course of searching for pictures of renovation projects that I could show potential clients. When I realized that all these photos were uploaded to the site by people like me, I thought, why not? So I set to creating my (free) Houzz page one rainy Sunday afternoon in May 2014 when I had nothing better to do than laboriously upload a few hundred pictures of past projects. Unbelievably, on Day One, I got a project inquiry for a substantial house addition (which just happened to be two blocks from where I live in Toronto) which I priced in the $350K range. Ultimately I didn’t get that project, but from that point forward Houzz became an incredible lead generator for me. I would say I average 2-3 project inquiries a week, most of them serious – kitchens, bathrooms, whole-house renovations, additions, you name it. With a full book of many months of work, I have the luxury of rejecting most of these inquiries (too far from home, too small a job, too boringly similar to other projects I’ve already done, etc.). Out of 4400+ general contractors listed on Houzz in the Greater Toronto Area, I have never been listed lower than #12 – usually hovering around #5. I have been as high as #2 among non-Pro (that is, non-paying) listings for my area. I have been approached by one well-known home renovation TV show through my Houzz listing (I rejected that opportunity, I just don’t have the time!).

    All this, just for one self-employed dude (I subcontract a ton of my work).

    How did I get there? Just by following the formula Houzz itself promotes: Lots of pictures; lots of projects; lots of keywords; lots of client reviews; lots of participation in the discussion forums (I usually log in for about an hour every weekday evening, answering home renovation questions ranging from the mundane to the idiotic). I think its also helps that I am neither a super high-end builder nor a low-end handyman with a clapped-out pickup – either extreme would deter too many potential clients. Being in a renovation-mad city (Toronto) certainly helps too.

    Yes, Houzz salespeople have pestered me to sign up for a Pro account, but why on Earth would I? Sometimes I wonder why Houzz doesn’t massage their algorithms to push free-riding cheapskates like me lower down in the rankings – but then I realize it wouldn’t be in their own interest, since the lifeblood of the site is images – millions and millions of images. Even my own modest contributions are worth something to them.

  • dawn says:

    just been offered a complementary phone call from Houzz to get me higher up the list… 20 mins,,, i said i thought 20mins was a long time and said i did not have time at mo… glad i read these obviously the 20 mins would be a hard sell of a contract i am not in at mo… thanks guys

  • Janie says:

    I am not going to renew my “Pro” listing on HOUZZ —I did sign up for a year contract and it did not lead to any new jobs. The sales department is very adept at getting you to sign up for the “Pro” listing saying that my business would be given a higher priority –I did receive a few calls from potential clients but nothing materialized into a substantial job. I do like the HOUZZ platform and will continue to have my listing there, but I would not recommend anyone pay for a “Pro” listing—
    The sales team needs to rethink their approach to really promoting our services especially if they expect contractors, landscape architects, interior designers to pay for a “special ” listing—-Save your money–this has been an unfortunate loss of advertising money for me

  • PWV says:

    I find that Pinterest works better for me. Houzz, even though it seems it has a ton of photos, in my niche, it’s rather bland. With Pinterest, there are a ton more photos of the kinds of products I sell and it seems that Houzz doesn’t focus on them. And thus, my time is best spent where it works and that’s Pinterest at the moment.

  • Construction & Remodeling says:


    I am here to share my horrible experience with Houzz. A sales representative with Houzz called our construction and remodeling business, at our home-based office, once or twice a week for nearly six months, up until January this year. In the beginning, I advised the sales rep during several separate phone calls that we were not interested in paying for advertising through Houzz, now or in the future. Despite this, the same sales representative continued calling and calling and calling, not to mention the constant emails following up on the phone calls. At one point, the harassment was so bad, that I would pick up the phone and immediately hang up just to avoid tying up my business phone line.

    Finally, in mid-January this year, I was swamped while preparing 30+ 1099s, W-2s, W-3s, etc., when the phone rang and again showed Houzz on the caller ID. I answered with “Please stop calling my business. This is really bordering on harassment.” and hung up. Almost immediately after, we received an email from the same Houzz representative addressed to my husband and business partner, literally TELLING ON ME. Being a 50% owner of our construction company, and the member solely in charge of advertising, marketing, administrative, etc., I was pissed. I responded by again requesting that Houzz never contact our business again.

    After which, six months went by without the weekly harassing phone call and email. Then, just last week, my husband received a call from a different Houzz sales representative on his cell phone (not our office number). He was at a busy jobsite and could care less about what the representative had to say, and instructed her to call the office and not his cell phone. Instead of calling the office, the representative sent a meeting request to our company Outlook calendar and followed up with an email stating that my husband had agreed to a phone meeting, which he did not. I declined the meeting request. The rep then sent another meeting request. I declined again and deleted it off our calendar. Then, just yesterday, the rep sent another email stating that she was looking forward to the phone sales meeting the following day, to which I replied simply: “There will be no phone call tomorrow. We declined the meeting and calendar request you sent, and further have no interest in paying for advertising through Houzz at this time.” Pretty straightforward, right?

    The response that I received from the Houzz representative this morning was way out of line and incomprehensibly unprofessional. She stated: “I’m a little confused why you are coming off so firm in the email when all I did was schedule an appointment that you agreed to. Please don’t waste my time or other reps time if there is no interest in the program or intent in having the call. Also, you are not currently paying for anything with Houzz so not sure why that comment was made.” Please don’t waste YOUR time, Houzz??? After you have repeatedly harassed MY business with phones calls and emails, faked my husband’s approval for a meeting that he nor I consented to, ignored my return emails declining the meeting request, tried to exploit me, THE BUSINESS OWNER, to my husband because I dared hang up on you… You, Houzz, have some nerve. I will sing from the mountaintops about how negative my experience has been in dealing with the unprofessional, snake oil sales representatives at Houzz. By the way, Houzz, I’m still waiting for the supervisor’s name and contact information — which of course the sales representative failed to provide upon my request.

    Finally, my take away from all of this is that is by far the WORST, most unprofessional, scam of an “advertising” service that has ever contacted my business. I strongly advise against using Houzz for any service, based on how disgusting their behavior is toward the advertisers they hope will get suckered into their scam. should be sued out of existence.

  • This discussion is really helpful…thank you, David. I’m a residential interior designer in eastern Massachusetts who purchased the Houzz Pro advertising package two years ago. It developed a few lucrative leads for my business two years ago. Things have changed, so I am not renewing. The few sales leads I rec’d over the past year have been homeowners who want free advice and are not viable clients. Worse, international scammers are using Houzz with fictitious stories and fake Zillow addresses to try to get interior designers to cash their phony retainer checks. There are dozens of designers who reported the same scam on the Houzz discussion board, which I didn’t realize existed until my Houzz rep sent me a link. I am disappointed that Houzz refuses to warn their entire professionals list about these scams, and won’t do anything to try to stop this activity.

    • David Chism says:

      I agree Madeleine. Things on Houzz, for my top clients, are going down as well. I am not renewing a few of my contracts moving forward. I have had several going since almost day 1 that they started their advertising (PRO). I am not seeing an uptick in their leads – or the quality. When a direct Houzz lead comes through, they are real tire-kickers too.

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