Burning Down The Houzz - Some Things Sure Can Sweep Me Off My Feet

Houzz is social media for built environment professionals

If you’re an interior designer, residential architect or design build contractor and you don’t know Houzz than you’re missing out on an opportunity to show your chops and use a marketing channel that is specific to your services.

How Houzz Got Its Start

Adi Tatarko, 39, and her husband, Alon Cohen, 40, were in the technology and finance fields when in 2009 they started Houzz as a way to communicate their interior design ideas to architects. They were renovating they’re 1955 ranch style home in Palo Alto, California that had never seen an updated and needed an easy online way of communicating their perception of home. Much of their search was devoted to refining their ideas of home and design and in the process they developed an online platform to gather images of spaces they liked. As part of their selection process, they requested images be uploaded from San Francisco, Bay Area architects and as word spread through the internet, images were being uploaded by designers from throughout the country.  Built environment companies began using Houzz as a way of communicating ideas.

The concept for Houzz is simple. Users are two types of people. One group is looking at ideas and service providers that can help them build or renovate a home. The second group is made up of interior designers, architects, design-build companies and anyone who provides products or services that are used in the construction of buildings. This group uses Houzz to network and share ideas and create portfolios that show off their capabilities.  All users of Houzz create “Idea Books”, sort of an online folder where images of favorite designs are kept as inspiration for forthcoming projects.

Like many of the best very best websites created today, Houzz is a social media platform with a defined community. The site is structured in a magazine-like format, where design concepts that push boundaries are posted and discussions ensue. It’s a directed many to many philosophy that keeps its focus on buildings but allows for sharing and dialogue. Anyone can contribute to the site and unlike Linked in which is silo structure or Facebook which is defined by friendships and not a professional network.  Recent articles posted on Houzz included:

  • Architect or Zombie by Jody Brown which had the great line “And yes, architects do seem like they never sleep, and they're pale and weary and angsty and smell oddly of Arabica beans and disappointment.”

  • Art House on the Edge Makes a Statement About ‘Place’ Gravity-defying installation in San Diego features a cottage dangling from a university roof, challenging the notion of home.

  • Architect's Toolbox: Tell a Home's Story With Trim Trim speaks worlds about your home's style. Make sure yours is speaking the right language by understanding the five basic styles

Why participate on Houzz?

In June 2012, there were 1,323, 350 Home Improvement Professionals on Houzz with over 538,282 home design photographs and 240,300 products. (This was written some years ago. currently, there are over 46 million users from throughout the world) Over a million viewers using Houzz are interested in what you do. These people want to like you and keep an image of your work in their “Idea Books”. They’re seeking ideas, your ideas and that want to talk about your work and your designs with their friends. Viewers are going to post you photos to their Facebook page and tweet about you. You will be shared with other like-minded people in the design trades as well as people looking for services providers to make their vision a reality. All of this adds up to a greater and greater audience of people who are choosing to be fans of your work. Houzz is an ideal platform if you want to be seen as a thought leader and rise above the din of every other firm in your area. It’s a photographic friendly environment, which means that your work can be seen at its very best.

Architects, Interior Designers, Design-Build Contractors, Landscape Designers and those who work within the built environment have been slow to use the internet as a communications tool to promote their services. Much too often the payoff to any marketing initiative is a static, brochure-style website that hasn’t been updated in years. Houzz is easy to use the platform that will allow you access to customers and an easy way to promote your services.

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.

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