A Real Estate Professional's Guide to Using Houzz | BoomTown
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A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Using Houzz

Have you ever felt like Facebook isn’t exactly your cup of tea? Or that there has to be a better community out there in the big wide social world for your brand? Well there is. And if you haven’t already, you need to jump on the Houzz train.

As of last year, Houzz has 350 million unique monthly users and counting. As the leading platform for home remodeling and design research, Houzz holds the keys to an amazing wealth of data, insight and knowledge about your audience.

The beauty of Houzz lives in the ability to have global conversations and hyper-localized networking all at the same time.  Even better? Their team makes it easy and free for real estate professionals. 

Better yet, their mobile app is about to become your best friend for delivering top notch value and service for your clients especially when you’re on-the-go.

We are going to review exactly how to begin your relationship with Houzz all the way down to best practices, and recruiting reviews. Follow along below: 

  1. Creating Your Account
  2. Lead Generation
  3. Follow-Up Plans
  4. Promoting Brand Awareness
  5. Community Building
  6. Social Sharing
  7. Pulling It All Together
  8. Houzz Best Practices
  9. Choosing the Right Technology

Step 1. Create A Real Estate Professional Houzz Account

Head on over to this page right here to get the ball rolling. There are already over 1 million professionals on Houzz, but this number includes a range of home professionals in different categories.

Since much of Houzz’s appeal comes from high quality images, you have an opportunity to stand out through your listings and regional style. It is important to note, the images you use must be from your own listings. This allows real estate professionals to advertise their listings and seller potential in a distinct way.

For example, Cheri Riley, Founding Partner of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, focuses on high end listings in and around the Atlanta area. She manages to showcase all that Atlanta has to offer, all the while representing her listings. Take a look here.  

Read Cheri Riley’s Post: 5 Reasons I Love Houzz and Use it For My Clients 

Once you complete your profile make sure to NOT  forget to include your website address and contact information. This is the easiest way for potential customers to explore your consumer website and learn more about you.

After you’ve researched other real estate professional’s profiles and finished creating your own profile, don’t forget to review Houzz Best Practices. We’ve also included a few profile and participation “Houzz-keeping Tips” at the end of this article.

But now, it’s time to create a plan around your profile.

Step 2. Generate Real Estate Leads on Houzz

If you read our post about Generating Need Before Lead, Houzz is the perfect example of putting this practice into play. In this situation you may not be paying for attention, but you definitely have to earn it.

According to Houzz, 15 percent of Houzz users are planning to buy a home in the next two years. And 10 percent of users are planning to build a custom home in that time frame. Talk about opportunity.

Your Houzz credibility is built upon a foundation of quality content  and how you organize this content. Begin piecing together your foundation with the Houzz elements below:

Projects: Do you have a stunning listing you would like to showcase? Create a project along with a area specific title and file your photos straight into this space. Each project should highlight both your listing pre- and post-sale, along with shedding light into the type of listings you represent. Your projects need to have high quality photos which you own the rights to, attention to detail in the descriptions, and tagging to make sure these photos stay relevant in Houzz searches. Example here.

Ideabooks: Similar to Projects, Ideabooks showcase your brand and what type of properties you work with. These are more for brand awareness, but also help to generate leads as they provide a taste into what you can help your future clients search for and find. Ideabooks can range from “Atlanta Outdoor Spaces” to “Denver Rooftop Garden Ideas.” These ideabooks create ample room for creativity and can help you in the field when you are trying to help a client understand what they could do with a space. Example here.

Discussions: Questions oftentimes arise when consumers want to know certain products or paint colors in your photos, and this is where you can definitely provide value quickly and easily if you are one to pay attention to detail in your listings. Another opportunity to start a conversation is in Discussions. Homeowners are oftentimes looking for how to sell their home, what fixes will provide the most value, etc. And you can be there to answer their questions. Search for the discussions without any answers as well in order to be the first one to help out. View discussions here.

Keywords: You’ll quickly find most people search Houzz for specific things such as “small backyard design” or “farm kitchen remodel.” The way you can make sure your photos appear in these searches is to list your keywords when uploading photos to a new project.  First you will enter keywords for the entire project, and then specifically for each image. Don’t go overboard with keywords. Instead be straightforward and use the most practical descriptive words for your images. For a longer list of appropriate keyword usage, check out this article.

Tagging: The handy little green tags found on images around Houzz provide the ultimate answers to home remodeling questions. We suggest tagging as many things as you can including paint colors, types of materials, furniture, local vendors (scroll down to our “Community Building” section for these steps), etc. Your job may not be interior designer, but if you are the facilitator for enough of these value deliveries, users will take note.  

Through presenting the best of your listings, creating Ideabooks tailored to your audience, and using tagging and keywords you are forming the basis for future conversations.

Quality real estate professionals are detail oriented. And this space demands details. Connect the dots and you have officially begun to provide the need in order to generate your leads.

Step 3. Follow-Up With Your Houzz Leads 

Pre-purchase users on Houzz are focused on what they want in a future or current property. And in the section above we described how you can provide this information, both visually and in discussions. Once you have attracted any leads via Houzz immediately place them on a personalized follow-up plan if they are not ready to buy right now.

How to Build Follow-Up Plans for Social Media Leads [Emails Included]

It is important to remember 15 percent of Houzz users are looking to buy a home in the next two years. If you use a preset follow-up plan this is only a matter of signing them up, and consistently keeping your brand top of mind until they are ready to purchase. Make the choice a no brainer. 

How to Do This: Create a “Houzz Email Follow-Up Plan” filled with e-alerts, market updates, local information, and Houzz content. Do not lose the one connection you initially created with these leads. Continue to share Ideabooks and articles particular to your Houzz audiences and personas.

You Have the Ideas, Now Let a Predictive CRM Do the Work. 

Step 4. Promote Your Brand’s Awareness

Keeping your brand top of mind both offline and online is vital to maintaining a full pipeline of leads in good economies and in bad. Sites such as Houzz maintain a steady flow of users ready to act and users ready to dream about their future plans.

And until the latter is ready to act upon their dreams, you need to keep your brand at the forefront of online daydreaming, browsing, planning, and searches. This is again why Houzz is a special resource for real estate agents. It taps into the pre-planning process before real estate customers decide to even start their search in some cases.

The strongest way you can maintain a solid brand presence on Houzz is to stay current and keep your content fresh. An excellent example of this is Cassie Daughtrey, Broker of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in Seattle. 

Check out Broker, Cassie Daughtrey’s Houzz Page Here

Content includes Ideabooks, Projects, discussion participation, and hopefully, new reviews on your profile. Brand awareness catalysts such as reviews are vital for your Houzz clout. Users are looking to you for value and advice, but they will confirm whether or not they want to work with you in most case because of reviews.

On Houzz you can receive reviews from customers, but also from local professionals in your area. This is huge considering the community building potential already built into place with the platform.  

Step 5. Build Your Houzz Community 

Again, over one million home remodeling professionals are active Houzz users. Use this network to your advantage! Through connecting with current favorites and reaching out to new vendors in the area, you can quickly build up a rapport.

These members will become your Houzz family tree of sorts for reviews, referrals, and discussions.

Fun Fact: Do you use a vendor or home staging professional in several of your photos? Make sure to use the Tagging feature for their services as well!

Leads are on average much easier to close when they are referrals and relying on a web of community vendors helps tremendously when you return the favor on and off of Houzz.

Step 6. How and When to Share on Social

Social sharing with Houzz and integrating your Houzz page into your consumer website and other social sites is easily done with this platform. A few ways to do so are:

  • Share public Ideabooks and content to your social channels using the particular share buttons.
  • Add a Houzz Facebook tab to your main page in order to lead people to your Houzz site.
  • Incorporate the Houzz button onto your own website for further sharing.
  • Pro Tip: Create Ideabooks or Projects with Before and After Images. This allows your followers on Houzz and other social sharing sites to see what can be done with potential fixer-uppers or in their own homes before selling.

With any of these tactics you are furthering brand awareness for your company and facilitating a seamless transition between social sites, your consumer website, and the Houzz platform.

If you are looking to polish your current social sites, look to the BoomTown Library for quick how-to videos!

What’s Your Status with Social? BoomTown’s Quick Videos Help You Stay Up to Date. 

Step 7. Pull It All Together to Win Leads and Listings

With all the potential Houzz has to offer, it may start to seem like a lot. But in reality, this platform does not take up a lot of time. Instead, it demands more attention to detail and the highest quality of content and photos you have to offer.

The benefits of doing so are HUGE. Fortunately, Houzz goes wherever you do due to the Houzz mobile app.

For example, use this app at open houses to show examples of furniture arrangements, outdoor design, or the property’s potential for a fixer-upper.

Again, once you have the foundation in place it is easier to begin networking through Houzz, showing off your curated Ideabooks and Projects to clients, and sharing everything along the way on other social sites.

If you are proactive, these practices result in future reviews and referrals for you and your Houzz network.

Step 8. Houzzkeeping Tips

It is important to remember this platform is not for the feint of heart. In other words, bad photos, poor wording, soliciting customers, and in general not putting your best foot forward in general will throw a red flag straight into the air with both Houzz and their users.

This community is widely used for its attention to detail and value delivery. If you look around the platform there are quite literally, over a million professionals attempting to help users.

And the most successful pros do so by following the Houzz Best Practices:

  • DO: Fill Out a Full Description on Your Profile
  • DO: Participate in Discussions When Useful and Pertinent.
  • DO: Share Your Ideabooks and Favorite Content on Social
  • DO: Actively Answer Questions posed to you or about your images.
  • DO: Be the value provider, not the one bothering people to “check out” what you have.
  • DO NOT: Make a profile and forget about it (too valuable to waste!).
  • DO NOT: Use other people’s listings and/or photos as your own. 
  • DO NOT: Insert Yourself Into Unrelated Conversations.
  • DO NOT: Solicit Users, this is against the entire premise of Houzz.
  • DO NOT: Forget to be creative and experiment, this is the place to do it!

Step 9. Choose the Right Tech Partners for Your Leads

Houzz makes it extremely easy for users, both professional and personal, to incorporate the site and app into every aspect of every day. And it is a standard you too should consider for how your clients view your content and value.

What makes Houzz so simple for users are the effortless transitions throughout the platform. And you should seek to replicate these transitions with your own consumer website, lead generation, follow-up, and communication in general.

BoomTown will be posting with Houzz on our blog in order to showcase the type of insights and content your customers are looking for these days.

Check back to see specifically what information users are looking for and how you could help them if you already do, or could create a Houzz account.

Let BoomTown know what creative spins you take on your Houzz account!

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