Using Houzz For Community Engagement And Attracting Clients

When today’s savvy homeowners have a question about a project, they turn to online communities for collective wisdom and insight. Houzz has a thriving community of more than 40 million homeowners and pros who come month after month to engage with one another — including professionals like you.

There are more than 4 million active discussions happening on Houzz. This is your chance to contribute to the conversation, offer your professional advice and establish yourself as an industry thought leader. Even if the person asking a particular question isn’t necessarily a prospective client, your participation can build a loyal following and attract the right attention.

People notice; we see it every day.

Get Involved

Online forums are an excellent opportunity to understand what today’s homeowners care about most, whether they’re excited about a new project or complaining about bad service. This is your chance to directly engage with them by answering their questions, responding to their comments and building their trust in your brand. Interacting with homeowners and the home design community will bring awareness to your brand and can help you find clients who are actively engaged in the home design process. Whenever you comment in a Houzz forum, it will show up on your profile.

“There is no harm in giving my opinion on a paint color or suggesting placing a lamp near a sofa. Anyone can do that, and I don’t consider that the value of working with a designer,” says Anne DeCocco of DeCocco Design in Raleigh, North Carolina. “That’s the key to me — a short, positive answer. No floor plans, no digital boards of products, no design work. Still, readers get the vibe that I’m a friendly, experienced designer who might be easy to work with. That’s a great marketing tool.”

Respond to Reviews

It’s well-known that client reviews are a great tool for showing off how you build relationships and conveying the quality and consistency of your work; they’re also a great opportunity to directly engage with the homeowner community. Responding to reviews gives you a chance to maintain your relationship with happy clients after the work is done, letting them know you appreciate their kind words and business. Even bad reviews can be a good brand-builder. On Houzz, we give professionals an opportunity to publicly respond to any negative feedback, so you can tell your side of the story and explain your business practices and process.

We know that the customer isn’t always right. Sometimes a client asks for things that aren’t reasonable or that conflict with your ethics or process. Responding to feedback will attract the type of clients who approach a professional partnership with level-headed logic. They’re the clients who might see a bad review, but will take the time to read your response and understand that sometimes things don’t work out perfectly and that there are reasons why.

“A calm response is best,” Ross Bowen of Ross NW Watergardens in Portland, Oregon, says. “Potential clients will see the review, your response, and then balance it against the rest of your reviews. Some online marketers believe you actually benefit from having a negative review or two. These lend authenticity to the rest of your reviews.”

Be Yourself

Getting used to holding conversations and offering advice online might take some getting used to, but remember to just be yourself and let your personality shine through. By being yourself, you can show the online community what it might be like to work with you. Are you friendly, transparent, knowledgeable, patient or professional? Or all of the above?

This story was written by the Houzz Industry Marketing team.