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Realtors can build better client relationships on Houzz

Houzz.com has rolled out new Realtor member benefits, and I’m in love because it’s consumer-oriented and aims to improve the client relationship.

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houzz

houzz

Houzz: flirting with the pretty faces on the web

At first, it was that flirting glance. It was the longing stares and fluttering of the eyelashes that you give to things that you are lusting after… Maybe you thought it was just a fling, when it was really much much more than that. This is actually a relationship. They pulled you in with fancy photos and the savior fare … things some people just wouldn’t understand, and you thought that you were done at that… but you weren’t. Now they want more. They are ready to offer you more. They want a commitment. They want more more. More. Are you ready for what they are rolling out? This is Houzz.com’s realtor portfolio program. And get excited, because it’s free!

According to Houzz.com Director of Business Development, Katherine Nannizzi, based on a survey of over one hundred thousand Houzz.com users, “[they] learned that about 10% of Houzz home owners, and 50% of Houzz renters are planning to buy in the next two years, and another 10% are planning to build a custom home. Therefore, agents expose themselves to a new potential client base in addition to engaging with their current client base.”

This new program that Houzz.com has just released caught my attention because it is not only free to Realtors but it is also a wonderful way to collaborate with these clients who are looking to become home buyers or build that custom home in the next couple of years. You may recall when it was just becoming an idea to utilize Houzz.com as a tool along with programs and apps such as Pinterest, and that it was just being realized that there was an easier way to collaborate with clients and Realtors.

This way was to create a full system for realtors to be able to maximize collaboration with their clients through their own portfolio program which was not the same thing as the Pro+ monetized program that was released just over a month ago through Houzz. What’s even more exciting about this is if someone has been utilizing Houzz as a private individual and not as a realtor or other type of contractor, they can actually very simply switch their profile over to being a Realtor professional just by editing their profile to become a professional setting. Easy.

Make Your Online Profile Smokin’ Hot

Only a month after rolling out their program for Pro+, Houzz.com realized that Realtors could utilize the system and a whole other way. Only 816 Realtors have signed up for the program in the last three weeks since this program was initialized. Being a tech savvy agent is fantastic and having apps such as Houzz that will allow for collaboration between the Realtor, the client, and the contractors is fabulous beyond words.

Creating the profile has never been more simple. All you have to do is change the status to update the professional page, and invite your clients to look at your portfolio page. The next step to utilizing this amazing tool is to utilize the review system. Similar to the Zillow.com review system, the Trulia.com review system or even House.com’s review system, Houzz will allow for professionals to request a review from current and past clients, but also colleagues, and even other contractors. Building up reviews from will solidify rankings within the Houzz.com Realtor Professional’s search in each hyper-local market.

They know how to talk a good game

With over 20 articles professionally written daily to give service to the clients as a wonderful cool Houzz is able to create a virtual concierge service to luxury client very easily for the Realtor who is utilizing this free tool. Clearly, there was a need for architects and builders to have an avenue to outreach to the consumer and Houzz has very easily transitioned into their approach to work directly with the Realtor through their beautiful aesthetic and ease of use; it was only a natural transition that ultimately they would have this Realtor program available.

The beauty of their program isn’t just maintained through the nearly two million luxury builder and architect photos uploaded, but because the brand has chosen to have the Houzz experience remain beautiful with endemic advertising with is handpicked by their team. Not just anyone can advertise on Houzz.com and not every agent in the free world is using the system either. Just the savvy ones so far who know their market.

Oh, please, take me with you…

The concept is incredibly tote-able. Think about it this way: your client can actually use their mobile device to examine properties in their portfolio through Houzz.com’s virtual library and immediately connect with you, their realtor. This is so powerful. When you used to have to possibly funnel information out of someone, now it is wireless. It is everywhere and it is an amazing way to help the creativity keep on flowing, especially if you are dealing with a client who maybe is lacking in the creativity department.

The whole idea of Houzz was actually started by husband and wife team who was in the process of remodeling their home. They found the process of keeping all of their information consolidated that they wanted to create a more efficient and effective way to convey their details to all of their contractors. They have obviously been able to do that… and then some. Through their second annual survey of over 100,000 people, Houzz was able to find out what homeowners actually want and renovation and design; this means that now you as the realtor can take those things and run with it for your client, the consumer. This ability to create community online and off-line is much more then the aesthetic collection of luxury images, it’s the actual luxury of the concierge service in digital form for the realtor and so many different facets of collaboration.

Imagine what we can do together

This new free tool through Houzz allows you to do many things: create idea books just for you; create idea books that are private to share with your client; be a part of the community and answer questions; be a part of your listing and be a luxury concierge to everyone in the community; understand what the client wants and where the drive is within your market.

Nannizzi shared her thoughts on how this program is going to help Realtors in the branding of their business. “Here are some ways that agents can now use Houzz to build their brands and relationships with clients and prospective clients:

  • to understand a client’s desired home style for a search — photos are more effective than words
  • to communicate a home’s potential — using Houzz to provide examples of what similar home look like post-renovation
  • to showcase their expertise – using personal ideabooks as mini-blogs where they share ideas for smart investments when buying or selling, and really localizing the content
  • to continue the relationship post-purchase – i.e. sending over ideabooks they create for specific clients with nursery ideas, or home office ideas
  • to engage with their Facebook and Twitter followers by sharing relevant Houzz editorial ideabooks on topics from staging to increasing curb appeal
  • to share their network of renovation and design professionals with clients
  • to link their Houzz profiles to their websites, blogs, facebook and twitter accounts, and vice versa (you can find buttons/badges to put on your website here)”

The relationship has evolved. Are you going to engage yourself with Houzz’s real estate professional’s free program to win hour clients more opportunities for creativity and connection? I sure have… We are in fact, getting intimate.

Genevieve Concannon is one of those multifaceted individuals who brings business savvy, creativity and conscientiousness to the table in real estate and social media.  Genevieve takes marketing and sustainability in a fresh direction- cultivating some fun and funky grass roots branding and marketing strategies that set her and Arbour Realtyapart from the masses. Always herself and ready to help others understand sustainability in building a home or a business, Genevieve brings a new way to look at marketing yourself in the world of real estate and green building- because she's lived it and breathed it and played in the sand piles with the big-boys.  If you weren't aware, Genevieve is a sustainability nerd, a ghost writer and the event hostess with the mostess in NoVa. 

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Business Marketing

How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

(MARKETING) Businesses are pulling ad spends from Facebook following “Stop Hate for Profit” social media campaign, and Snapchat and Pinterest are profiting from it.

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Phone in hand open to social media, coffee held in other hand.

In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.

But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?

According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.

As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia Page, senior vice president, product and operations at Vivendi-owned video platform Dailymotion said, “All the boycott did was open the marketplace so SMBs could spend more heavily. It freed-up inventory.”

Even CNBC reported that Wedbush analysts said in a note that Facebook will see “minimal financial impact from the boycotts.” They said about $100 million of “near term revenue is at risk.” And for Facebook, this represents less than 1% of the growth in Q3. However, despite what analysts say, there is still a chance for both Snapchat and Pinterest to hold their ground.

Yesterday, Snap reported their surprising Q3 results. Compared to the prior year, Snap’s revenue increased to $679 million, up 52% from 2019. Its net loss decreased from $227 million to $200 million compared to last year. Daily active users increased 18% year-over-year to 249 million. Also, Snap’s stock price soared more than 22% in after-hours trading. Take that Facebook!

In a prepared statement, Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said, “As brands and other organizations used this period of uncertainty as an opportunity to evaluate their advertising spend, we saw many brands look to align their marketing efforts with platforms who share their corporate values.” As in, hint, hint, Facebook’s summer boycott did positively affect their amazing Q3 results.

So, Snapchat and Pinterest have benefited from the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Snapchat’s results show promising optimism that maybe Pinterest might fare as well. But, of course, Facebook doesn’t think they will benefit much longer. Back in July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees, “[his] guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

Facebook isn’t worried, but I guess we will see soon enough. Pinterest is set to report its Q3 results on October 28th and Facebook on the 29th.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.

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Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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