Have you been on Houzz.com? If you’ve somehow missed the meteoric rise of this Website that connects homeowners to remodelers, then immediately stop reading this and log on. Are you still here? Go to Houzz!
Once you’re done creating a profile and loading your best project photos, you might want to have a chat with whoever’s in charge of your online presence to find out why this wasn’t done sooner.
In the past year, Houzz’s monthly unique visitors increased by 450 percent to 12 million, according to company officials. It’s easy to see why. I’ve used the site for design inspiration in my own home a number of times, and have found it to be comprehensive, easy to navigate, and directly beneficial to pool builders and remodelers — unlike its frustrating older cousin, Pinterest.
Recently, Houzz raised $35 million in capital from a handful of investment groups, which it intends to spend on upgrades and international expansion, said Adi Tatarko, co-founder of the company. She added that she has no intention of branching out into real estate because she feels that the remodeling market is growing, yet is underserved. In fact, she predicts double-digit increases across the entire sector in 2013. That’s news we like to hear.
“The process [of finding a remodeling professional] doesn’t have to be so hard,” Tatarko told Reuters in late January. “It’s no longer just word-of-mouth and a referral from your Realtors or your neighbors.”
Her vision for the site also includes serving a broad range of homeowners rather than focusing solely on more affluent consumers.
“It’s no longer just custom, high-end projects. It’s across the board,” Tatarko said. “No matter who it is, people are always passionate about their homes.”
Officials at Houzz also said the site soon would begin accepting ads from architects and contractors, which answers the question of how they intend to obtain revenue.
Why am I telling you all this? Because in poking around on Houzz, I was shocked to see that while many pool professionals have a strong presence on the site, many others have listings, but no photos — or, worse yet, aren’t appearing on there at all.
For now, creating a profile is free and, judging by their FAQ section, if you run into problems, the team’s tech support is on top of their game. Currently, Houzz sits in that sweet spot right between big and huge. Get in; the water’s fine.