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.
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 Houzz.com.
What Is Houzz?
When I first stumbled upon Houzz, my first thought was, “Houzz.com 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 Houzz.com 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.
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?