Houzz party: For the first time, Houzz will have a presence at the 2014 PSP Expo. The Houzz booth at the 2014 NAHB Intl. Builders’ Show buzzed with activity, including in-booth seminars.
PHOTO COURTESY HOUZZ Houzz party: For the first time, Houzz will have a presence at the 2014 PSP Expo. The Houzz booth at the 2014 NAHB Intl. Builders’ Show buzzed with activity, including in-booth seminars.

This is Houzz’s first time at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, and it looks like it will make a big splash.

The popular home improvement website and app is known to many industry professionals, who use it to connect with consumers searching for experts to assist with home and yard projects. But for others, this Expo appearance will be an introduction to a valuable business tool.

At the 2014 Expo, the hub of Houzz activity will be Booth 3808, a 2,000-square-foot space with three areas: The expert area is equipped with computers, so staff members can answer questions, help a visitor set up a Houzz profile or make changes to an existing one, or craft a customized website using the company’s free Site Designer. The lounge area is a place to relax and charge mobile devices. Finally, there’s the presentation area, with seating for in-booth seminars.

In fact, the Houzz team will lead seminars Wednesday, Nov. 5, through Friday, Nov. 7, with the two in-booth seminars held several times during that period. Plus, there’s another Houzz seminar that is part of the PSP Conference.

Presenters will be David Mayer, director of community, and Liza Hausman, vice president of community and marketing. Here are the sessions being offered:

“Three Tips to Maximize Your Exposure on Houzz” offers ways to propel you to the top of search results on Houzz, where 20 million consumers go every month to find professionals for their home projects. Knowing that a common goal of building/design professionals is to grow their brands and reputations locally, sometimes even nationally, one tip would be to add photos and key words so your company appears when homeowners are searching for building/design experts — for example, words such as “outdoor room” and “pavers.” Sessions: Wednesday, 2-3 p.m.; Thursday, 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.; and Friday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Landscaping Trends in 2014” will reveal the results of the Spring Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey, showing the most popular outdoor projects, and what’s motivating homeowners to undertake them. This is the first year for the study, says Liza Hausman. The survey was sent to more than 4,500 Houzz users to discover what they’re actually doing to their outdoor spaces. Front or back yard, features added, priorities — what were they up to? Hausman says trends that emerged included energy-efficient lighting and the growing of edible plants. Sessions: Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.; Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; and Friday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“What Your Clients Want: Insights from the Largest-Ever Consumer Study of Home Renovation and Landscaping” is based on Houzz’s annual study of nearly 200,000 homeowners. It is the third year for the survey, and this session will cover consumer behavior, the impact of the economy and housing market by region, and more. The most important insight, Hausman says, will be the ways in which people renovate their outdoor spaces. As part of the PSP Conference, the session will be held in Room N310G on Wednesday, 1:30-2:30 p.m

Taking a leap

Life doesn’t always take us where we think it will. Just ask Liza Hausman.

As a rhetoric major at University of California, Berkeley, she expected to go on to law school. Then Hausman wrote a thesis on a Nike ad campaign geared toward women. “I called it the feminine version of ‘Just do it.’It [aimed] to make women feel empowered,” she recalls. At one point in the campaign, an image of Marilyn Monroe was juxtaposed with a lean girl jumping rope. It showed two views of femininity, and the power of that ad campaign impressed Hausman so much, she developed an interest in marketing.

After obtaining an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Hausman directed marketing at companies such as HomeWarehouse.com, ComedyWorld, QuinStreet Inc. and Gigya. She’s been vice president of community and marketing at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Houzz for three years.

She says she also travels “a fair amount. ... I will be going to New York and Boston, then Chicago and North Carolina soon. I speak at events or work with industry partners, like this Expo.” The goal is to help make them successful on Houzz.

A native Californian, Hausman grew up in Los Angeles. She and husband Jeffrey Hausman, CEO of a tech start-up, have a 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.

In her spare time, Hausman likes to read, play tennis and entertain. “We just went through a major backyard makeover … and, yes, we found the landscape designer on Houzz,” she says. By adding a large outdoor room and landscape features such as a patio, fountain, fire table and spa, it was transformed into lush environs where everyone congregates.

As Hausman notes, the hot tub has become “a big family facilitator. No devices — we just talk about the day.”