If you are a building contractor, remodeler, landscape architect, home improvement specialist or a similar type home design specialist or decorator, you probably know about Houzz.
Similar to Angie’s List but for more design-oriented professionals, Houzz is one of the first place consumers who are in the market for a kitchen, bath remodeler or contactor will go to vet a company vying for their business.
According to Houzz, more than 65+ million users come to their website monthly with the goal of shopping visually for projects they are planning. And 88% of those are looking to hire a professional.
So if you are the type of contractor described above, setting your business up with a Houzz account is kind of a no-brainer. When you sign up you get a free listing, it allows you to show off your work with photo galleries and basic information and the like. A premium Houzz account starts at $65 a month with a lot of additional functionality such as proposal creation and even the ability to set up accounts for specific clients to view ideas, floor plans, etc. My favorite part of the premium Houzz account, however, is the exclusion of competitive listings on your own listing so you get to display your wares without displaying competitor’s distractions on your own listing. This is similar to the restaurant-oriented Yelp which features alternative restaurant suggestions right beside your own listing in the free version. With the premium version you can eliminate those distractions so if you can afford to lay out the cash, I’d go for it.
LEVERAGING YOUR HOUZZ LISTING
So while having a Houzz listing (free or premium) makes sense for home improvement contractors, remodelers and the like, there are other ways to leverage your Houzz listing on your OWN website. Houzz provide various widgets you can use to promote your affiliation and increase your credibility, such as this reviews widget:
You can also add badges and and graphics that showcase the fact you are listed on these major review sites to give your home improvement business additional credibility:
It’s sort of like to a Good Housekeeping seal that helps legitimize your business to consumers who may not know you and are unfamiliar with your work and reputation. Now if you do shoddy work or want to avoid feedback from clients you may want to think twice since putting yourself out there on any social media is sticking your neck out a bit. Because I won’t kid you — it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. Difficult clients and even unscrupulous competitors may leave you bad reviews but with Houzz reviews you at least get to respond so that people looking at your business will see how you deal effectively with problems. Because in ALL businesses, there’s ALWAYS someone who is hard to please. But it’s how you DEAL with these problems that’s key, and responding to complaints with genuinely helpful and measured responses will go a long way to casting your business in a favorable light.
When evaluating reviews it’s a good rule of thumb to take the two worst and two best reviews with a grain of salt. The truth will most likely reside in he middle!
And while a simple link from your website to your Houzz reviews may be sufficient, why not leverage your BEST reviews and put them directly on your website like we did here with high-end Tile retailer, Med Tile:
And note that we added a “More Reviews” button at the bottom so readers can go directly to the Houzz review section and see all the reviews first-hand in the context of the full Houzz listing.
Because buyers put a lot of stock in reviews to judge a business it’s important to participate in the process. Some contractors, remodelers etc think that if they don’t participate in sites like Houzz or other social media they will insulate themselves from criticism, unfair or otherwise. WRONG: People will find ways to post about your business whether you want them to or not using free directory sites, neighborhood Facebook groups, etc. Having your own Houzz account or social media sites where people can post reviews allows you, the business owner, to be aware of problems and respond. Learn from issues that inevitably arise and display contrition, post your side of the story and respond. The bright side, of course, is being able to bask in the glow of a job well done and then toot your own horn by amplifying any positive feedback by showcasing it on your own website, emails, social media and even print ads! In short, the rewards far outweigh the risks.