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Houzz can be an excellent platform for promoting your hardscape or landscape business that offers the ability to reach hundreds, or even thousands, of local potential customers. For those who are unfamiliar, Houzz is a consumer-targeted home design website that offers homeowners a resource for home remodeling and design ideas, trends, companies and products. For the business owner, Houzz acts as a directory, portfolio and social platform, all rolled into one. As such, this platform allows you to publish details about your business and samples of your work, communicate with potential customers, and collaborate with homeowners and industry partners on projects.
• Create a profile: Go to Houzz.com/pro and create a free professional profile. Include all of your contact information. Email, phone number and website are a must. If you have a showroom or business office, include your address. Definitely include links to any social media platforms that your company uses, such as Facebook or Pinterest. You should also include a blurb about your business that describes the type of work that you do and includes any areas of specialty—such as permeable paver installation, outdoor kitchens, or rainwater harvesting systems.
• Upload a portfolio: Showcase your work in the best possible light. Make sure images are high resolution—at least 1000 pixels wide. When taking photos, be aware of what’s in the background. Remove any tools or work materials from the area. Consider “staging” the photo with potted plants, furniture groupings or props (with the homeowner’s permission, of course). Although the pavers on an empty patio may be beautifully installed, you want potential customers to be able to picture themselves actually living in that space. Also, pay attention to shadows. Often an excellent time to take photos is very early in the morning or near dusk, when shadows aren’t as much of an issue. Early evening, near dusk, also offers the opportunity to turn on any landscape or hardscape lighting, which can add ambience. When in doubt, hire a professional. The expense will more than likely be justified by increased business.
• Create tags for your images: Tags not only identify what’s in the photo, but help people to find the photo using search engines, like Google. Tags that will help people find your photos (which will lead them to your directory) include product names, project descriptions and project locations.
• Create and share “ideabooks” : One of the key advantages to Houzz is that the platform allows for the creation of ideabooks. Organize your photos by project ideas (such as walkways, fire pits or outdoor kitchens). This will help designers, builders and homeowners find your directory listing. Be sure and make your ideabooks public so people can share them. When collaborating with a designer or homeowner on a specific project, you can set that ideabook as “private,” if needed.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR HOUZZ PRESENCE
• Take advantage of Houzz resources: The Houzz Pro Center offers multiple resources to help you get started and optimize your Houzz presence.
• Encourage your customers to write reviews: Send your happy customers a link to the Houzz review page, which will lend credibility to your profile and help to build your brand. If you have ever collaborated with any industry professionals (builders, designers, architects, realtors, etc.), ask them to provide you with a review, as well.
• Offer your expertise: Regularly go to Houzz message boards and offer helpful advice to homeowner questions. Also, consider posing your own questions to spark conversations about trends or best practices.
• Regularly update your profile: Like any other social media platform, you can’t just set it up and hope people will find it. The more actively you update your profile, the more likely your company will be placed in front of the eyes of potential customers.
• Actively market your Houzz listing: Build a following by promoting your Houzz presence on your company literature, website and social media. Networking and creating a large community of followers will increase your brand reach. Houzz also has an integrated cross-platform social media interface that will allow your Houzz activity to post to other forms of social media. Take advantage of this option to increase your social media presence.