Houzz – Social Media for Home Service Professionals

With so many social media platforms to be on, it’s hard to know which one is right for your business. Not every platform is right for every business, but in order to create an online presence, your business needs to be able to showcase its products, services, and build credibility. Social media is a great tool for this.

You may already have your foot in the door if you’ve created and regularly update your Facebook page, but if you’re in the business of homes, whether its real estate, interior design, home building, renovations, or architecture, Houzz is the ideal place to flesh out a profile, showcase your work, and highlight your expertise.

Houzz was created in 2009 and people quickly signed up by the millions to access this platform that clearly filled a niche in the home building and renovations market. 35 million people each month sign in to get ideas, recommendations, advice, and inspiration for their home-related needs. With a profile on Houzz, these people all have access to your business, and can come to you for your services.

So if you are a roofer, contractor, tile installer, interior designer, kitchen cabinet maker, home renovator, or you work with homeowners in any capacity – you really should set up a free profile on Houzz.

Should you upgrade to the Houzz paid advertising programs?

Once you have a free profile on Houzz, be prepared to get contacted from their sales people. Houzz is a private business that needs to generate revenue, and one way they do that is by selling paid local marketing programs on their website.

As a web marketer for a variety of home service businesses in Edmonton, I listened to a couple of the sales pitches from Houzz and think the platform can work to increase the online presence of local Edmonton businesses. Before I pulled the trigger and signed a year long agreement, I decided to do some due diligence and search online for information and reviews on their advertising platform.

Here are some great opinion pieces by folks who have actually paid for advertising on the Houzz platform (results may vary for you):

This article outlines the cost and what you can expect to get from Houzz’s marketing package from Houzz itself. It includes banners, paid placements, and what kind of results to expect. Click to read it here.

Of course, Houzz is biased. If you asked them “Should my business be on Houzz?” You would get a resounding “Yes!”

Don’t just take their word for it. David Chism, a business professional with experience in interior design, graphic design, social media marketing, and business marketing says, “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.”

He lists a few reasons to support his opinion. You can read the full article here.

Kalen Kubik, a graphic designer and online marketer dives deep into the Houzz sales pitch and picks it apart, finding lots to be wary of. “All they could guarantee at the end were image impressions.” He concludes that their advertising plan is flawed because “there is no way to target qualified customers, adjust your campaign or really do anything but add more pictures for an entire year.”

Want to read Kalen’s full article? Click here

From one end of the spectrum to the other, the Reddit community offers a balance of opinions and results about paying for a Houzz marketing package.

From Rossboy14: “Not one message, call, or email. The conversion percentages are the lowest I have ever seen across every industry I have worked in.”

Spring_Chicken says, “I’ve never used Houzz myself (since I’m an accountant), but I have two clients I handle the bookkeeping for that both use them, and while the ROI hasn’t been phenomenal, they’ve both seen results. One does stair remodels and the other is an interior decorator.”

Visgal adds, “While it does create awareness and put your work out there, it also increases the amount of people who just want info from you (“What paint color is this?”, “Where did you get the light fixture?” “How much?”). Of course since it’s public, you want to answer, which takes time away from paying clients.”

All comments via Reddit. Read the entire thread here

From the articles I mentioned, the opinions are mixed as to whether paying for Houzz advertising is worth the investment, but maybe the problem isn’t with the package, but with the way businesses are using Houzz.

It’s one thing to set up an account, but setting it up well can make a huge difference. According to EntreArchitect.com, these four things that you can do on Houzz can have a big impact on your ROI:

  1. Make sure your profile is complete
  2. Upload LOTS of high-quality photos
  3. Write detailed descriptions for your photos
  4. Take advantage of their “Ideabook” tool

An article from Hardwood Floors Magazine outlines how to get the most out of your Houzz advertising spend. Here are their main points:

  1. You have access to Houzz webinars, tutorials, buttons, and badges. These help you develop your expertise in the platform and show users that you’re a professional.
  2. Using very specific keywords in your descriptions will help customers find you and increases the likelihood that your work will be displayed.
  3. You can earn trustworthiness by having your clients write reviews, and responding to them, thanking them for doing so.

The article concludes on a positive note saying, “Regardless of your size and brand awareness, Houzz is an effective tool. However, if you are a small shop, Houzz is a great way to utilize your time more efficiently online and save some marketing dollars: work smarter, not harder!”

You can find more tips for getting the most out of marketing your Houzz profile in this article, Houzz Marketing – Is it Right for Your Business?

So whats the verdict? Use Houzz or not?

After researching the pros and cons, I recommend that you should definitely set up a free profile on Houzz. It’s a great platform where their main goal from a marketing standpoint is to connect homeowners and home professionals together.

When you’re starting with your free profile, add all of your previous and current projects onto it. Start taking some great pictures of your work (Need a photographer? Check out Ellen V Photography – she takes great real estate related photos!) Add detailed descriptions about the products you use, the design style and inspiration, what the customer asked for, and encourage your clients to leave you reviews on Houzz.

Check out some local Edmonton businesses on Houzz:

Free listings

Paid listings

Need some help with Houzz or other social media networks? We can help – contact us today

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