For homebuilders, drumming up clients isn’t always easy. Especially in this economy, finding people who are looking to remodel or build a new house, takes a fair bit of effort and searching. There are tools and services, however, that can make the search easier. The site Houzz.com lists both the homebuilders and the homeowners who are looking to have work done in a particular city, helping them to find and connect with each other. It’s like a social networking site specifically for contracting and construction projects. So how can a homebuilder looking for clients best use Houzz to their advantage? Here are a few tips.
Build a Portfolio. Houzz has two ways for a homebuilder to showcase what they’re capable of. One is the Projects section. Builders can create albums for projects they’ve taken on, or are currently working on, and post photos of the work they’ve done, complete with descriptions. The second way is the Ideabooks. These are like pinboards on Pinterest. Homeowners can browse photos on the site and add them to their Ideabooks to help inspire them and spark creativity for what they want done on their own homes. Homebuilders can use their Ideabooks to provide tips and suggestions for things clients might be interested in: e.g., “Tips For Lighting a Large Indoor Space” or “Creative Living Room Design Options.” Here they can also include photos of their work, as well as more in-depth descriptions, commentary, how-to tips and more. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which makes Houzz’s portfolio options better than a résumé for showcasing what a builder is capable of.
Build a Reputation. In addition to great opportunities for showing off a portfolio, Houzz also has discussion boards, which are great for showing off general knowledge. Homebuilders can establish their expertise by answering users’ questions, providing advice, tips, etc. Browsing the discussion boards for ways to be helpful is a good way for homebuilders to increase their visibility and cement themselves in the minds of potential customers as someone who knows what they’re talking about and can be of help in their own future projects.
Build Relationships. In addition to posting pictures and discussions, Houzz also gives users the option to follow the profiles of other users whom they want to connect with. For a homebuilder, that could mean clients, or it could mean other companies in adjacent fields, such as landscapers or interior designers. Reaching out to these other companies and connecting with them is a great way to form mutually beneficial relationships. The two companies can help to promote one another, recommend one another’s work to their clients and more, thus helping to increase both of their client lists.
Houzz is like Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn all rolled into one package and aimed specifically at building, remodeling and design professionals. It provides them with the tools they need to demonstrate what they’re capable of and connect with the people they’re looking for, both clients and business acquaintances. In short, for homebuilders, it’s the ultimate marketing tool.