Houzz appformattedfaeturedMost companies employ some sort of free social media marketing such as Facebook and Twitter. While those outlets are more heavily utilized, another beneficial, lesser-known website called Houzz may help members of the door and window industry market their products and services directly to homebuyers, homeowners and builders.

According to the Houzz website, business users can host their entire portfolio for free on the site. Prospective clients can browse the images and save the images, which are linked to the originating company, to “ideabooks” tailored to suit particular styles, such as modern, traditional or eclectic and various rooms in their houses. Users can also search products by metro area to narrow down options for upcoming projects.

A survey published on the Houzz website shows 40 percent of “browsing” users plan to build an addition or remodel within the next two years while 10 percent plan to build a custom home.

For companies currently displaying their portfolios on the site, the tool has proven to be useful.

“So far I’ve been getting a lot of good things from it,” says David Covert, manager of sales and marketing for Santa Ana, Calif.-based Southland Windows Inc. “I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback from people; we’re getting about 45 ideabook adds a day. We just started a profile about six weeks ago.”

“We are actually in the beginning stages with Houzz and are very excited about the potential it has. As a re-seller of higher end window and door products as well as a custom manufacturer of these it’s an excellent opportunity to showcase our work,” says Scott Arnold, president of Artistic Millwork in San Carlos, Calif.

The free profile offered by the site is attractive for companies looking for low-maintenance advertising options.

“I think we’re definitely getting exposure on there,” says Covert. “Eventually these ideas will culminate, it’s like planting a seed. We’ve been in business for 20 years and never really done any advertising. We’re busier now than we’ve been in years.”

“It became apparent a few months ago that clients had been posting photos from their projects,” says Arnold. “They had purchased materials from us and were getting our name out without our prompting.”

The time and effort put into the site compared to the results it garners is a no-brainer, Covert says.

“I personally spend about an hour a day, sometimes two hours, so it’s definitely something I’ve nurtured. It’s been really exciting to see the amount of response we’ve gotten on there. Our core customers happen to be in California, but we do a lot of work in Colorado. I definitely think it’s the new LinkedIn or Facebook. It allows homeowners to sit on their iPads and look at photos and say ‘this is what I want’ as opposed to cutting out old magazine photos.”

“We have since posted a few custom solutions that we have designed and built,” says Arnold. “That activity has resulted in hits to our website and obviously we feel this is a positive thing. As this month progresses and I have more time we will build our account on Houzz to include more products and projects.”

Covert adds that the site allows for better real-time project updates compared to the typical website portfolio.

Houzz app 1 - for DWMM“Our website is outdated; we’ve probably only got 30 pictures on our website; we have about 258 on Houzz. It’s kind of given us a living webpage. I’ve taken photos on a job and uploaded them the same day to Houzz, which is easier to do from the jobsite. I don’t have to go the traditional route of loading images through a webmaster onto our site.”

What are your thoughts on Houzz? Does your company currently have a profile? Email cneeley@glass.com and share your thoughts or post a comment here.

Casey Neeley is the assistant editor for DWM magazine.

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