As a 20-something grad student, home building really isn’t on the top of my “Things I Know About” list. In terms of housing, I’m really more in the “what’s the cheapest apartment that I won’t die in” phase of my life. Despite my lack of knowledge of all things hardwood, granite, and stainless steel, I’ll admit I was excited when I was asked to check out Houzz for this blog post. I’d been told, “It’s like Pinterest for houses!” so naturally, I was intrigued.

I logged in with my email, made up a password, and voila, I was presented with about a million options. I could choose whether I wanted to remodel or build, I could choose what I wanted to remodel, and what my style preferences were. Once I had all of my ridiculously high aspirations plugged into my profile, Houzz generated a ton of results: beautiful, high definition pictures of kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms that all matched my style selections.

Houzz homepage

It was a virtual cornucopia of “house candy.” There were exposed bricks, subway tiles, butcher block islands, and bright kitchens. Thousand and thousands of results popped up, and the interesting thing is that they’re all real places. Next to each picture or collection of pictures was the contact information for the builder or contractor who had done the work.

I could even filter results to see only beautiful homes in Grand Rapids! No matter what I threw at Houzz, it managed to find me something. I searched “patio Grand Haven” and sure enough, I got 10,796 results of patios done by builders in Grand Haven.

houzz patio grand haven

I’m not even thinking about houses, let alone looking for them, but I was geeking out in a big way. After about 20 minutes, I already had at least 50 pictures of unattainable kitchens saved to my ideabook. Houzz is seriously that addictive.

But more than that, it’s a tool for people building houses, renovating, adding on, or redecorating. And it’s a collaborative tool. Your Ideabooks – collections of pictures and ideas that you like and assign a title – are completely shareable, which in fact, is the precise reason Houzz was created.

The founders of Houzz, Adi and Alon, created the site when they started their own remodeling project, and realized cutting out pictures from stacks and stacks of magazines was unorganized, inefficient, and unhelpful. They wanted to have an organized way to convey to their builder exactly what they were looking for in their remodel, and so Houzz was born.

houzz creators

Houzz creators Ali and Adon. Photo credit: Houzz

Now, Houzz functions as a collaborative site where people can put together boards (Ideabooks) of pictures that visually display exactly what they’re looking for in their remodel or home build. Then, they can share their ideabook with their builder or architect.

What’s more, Houzz allows its users to ask questions, and have those questions answered by experts on Houzz: home improvement contractors, architects, builders, and developers, who can offer solid, and helpful advice. The advice, discussion, and question features all function kind of like a forum, where people can create threads, and other users can respond to their comments with helpful suggestions and advice. Houzz has created a community just for people who want to build or renovate their homes.

Let’s stop for a second to figure out what my point is with all of this.

Why am I going on and on about Houzz, and why was I assigned to check it out in the first place?

Well, we’re a digital marketing company, so we’re always looking for methods to help our clients produce more high quality leads. And since we deal with home improvement contractors and builders often, it’s important to us that we’re keeping up on trends that will help clients become authorities in their industry, and generate more qualified leads.

And that’s what Houzz is: an amazing, comprehensive tool that helps home service professionals like home improvement contractors, builders, and developers gain authority and generate qualified, warm leads.

Not convinced? Here’s how Houzz will help you:

First of all, it’s free.

We’re just going to let that one sit there.

Yes, it is completely free to have a Houzz account, and to list your business on the Houzz website. It’s also free to post pictures of your projects, participate in discussion boards, connect with people in the area, and get your name out there! It’s essentially a social networking site created exclusively for people who are geeked about houses.

Individuals looking for a renovation or remodel can search professionals in their area, and then their results are ranked by proximity, as well as review scores. Because oh yeah, Houzz is another great place to get reviews.

If you’re a home improvement contractor or developer, you need to be on Houzz. It’s free, it puts you right in front of your ideal audience, and it’s a great way to showcase your projects, as well as the great reviews you’ve gotten from previous clients.

But how do you make Houzz work for you? Read Part 2 to find out!

If you’re still not sure that marketing your building, developing, or home improvement website online will help you generate real leads, check out this Home Services Digital Marketing Guide. It lays out, step-by-step, why digital marketing is important for your company, and how to do it right.

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Want to talk to someone? If digital marketing still doesn’t make sense, or you want to take a deeper look at your company’s potential for digital growth, get in touch.