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Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast Digital Marketing Podcast Hosted by Greg Bray and Kevin Weitzel

89 Understanding Houzz for Home Builders - Liza Hausman

This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast Liza Hausman from Houzz joins Greg and Kevin to explain the purposes of Houzz and the many tools it has for home builders.

Liza describes why people come to Houzz. She says, “Well, on the consumer side, people find design inspiration. They come to find and hire professionals to help them with their construction or design projects. Also, we have an Ecommerce side of the business and they come to shop for products and materials to complete their projects. Both pros and homeowners come to find products.”

She continues, “The other side of this community is the professional side, and pros come because we have an all-in-one solution that really helps them not just market their business but end-to-end manage their business and projects and client collaboration with the goal of, not only getting in touch with more potential clients, but winning more business, running their business more efficiently, and just providing a great experience overall.”

Listen to this episode to learn how easy it is on Houzz to not only increase your online presence but also how Houzz can help support home builders through the entire home buying process.

About the Guest:

Liza Hausman is Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz, an innovative residential building and design platform and community. Houzz has transformed the process of home remodeling and design by applying mobile, visual, and other technologies that are driving design in today's digital age. Ms. Hausman is a frequent speaker at industry events across the country, from High Point Market to IBS/KBIS to the AIA annual convention. In her role at Houzz, Ms. Hausman is focused exclusively on the trade community, from remodelers, architects, interior designers, and luxury builders to brands and manufacturers.

Ms. Hausman has experience spanning advertising, consulting, marketing and social strategy for Fortune 500 brands and a host of innovative startups and shares her expertise on topics ranging from brand-building to the economic and structural trends that are changing the home design and construction industries. Liza graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. During her many years at Houzz, she's brought in architects as well as interior and landscape designers to create a special home for herself and her husband, two children and dog Suki in Palo Alto, California.

Transcript

Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello, everybody, and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine,

Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse.

Greg Bray: We are excited today to welcome to the show Liza Hausman, the Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz.

Welcome, Liza. Thanks for joining us today.

Liza Hausman: Thanks for having me, Greg and Kevin.

Greg Bray: So, Liza for those who haven't met you yet, why don't you start us off with that short introduction, help us to get to know you better.

Liza Hausman: I've been at Houzz for 10 years now, a just over 10 years. Had my anniversary a little while ago. When I started Houzz was about [00:01:00] 12 people, so we've grown quite a bit. I think we're over 2000 folks now around the world. More than 65 million people use Houzz every month to find inspiration for their homes. We have more than two and a half million professionals around the world that use Houzz to showcase their work and build their businesses.

It's just been a wild ride. I spend the majority of my time focusing on our professional community and really making sure we're building the best products for them.

Kevin Weitzel: That's a lot of business, lot of business. Liza, I need to know something about you personally, not home building industry related, that somebody can learn about you on our podcast.

Liza Hausman: Let's see. I think probably the best thing is that I sing and play guitar in a cover band.

Kevin Weitzel: Oh, what are you covering? Not like missing persons or anything, are you?

Liza Hausman: So, we don't actually have a missing person song, but it is rock all through the ages. So, Beatles to Tom Petty to Muse, everything under the sun is in there.

Greg Bray: Do you have a gig coming up we can promote?

Liza Hausman: I [00:02:00] don't at this time, but I'll get back to you when I do.

Greg Bray: Okay. All right. No, that sounds like a lot of fun. Have you been doing that for a long time?

Liza Hausman: For about five years. Yep.

Kevin Weitzel: What's the name of the cover band? Let's get some press while we can.

Liza Hausman: That's a great question. So, the reason it's a good question is actually sing in two. One is called Nobody's Girlfriend and the other is newer and needs a name. So, I'm working on that. If you have a good band name ideas, please send them my way.

Greg Bray: I think bands can just go with Needs a Name and you're all set. There you go. Well, Liza, I was intrigued when you said person 12 at Houzz. Is that what you said?

Liza Hausman: Yeah, something like that.

Greg Bray: That is an amazing journey to go from twelve to thousands. Tell us more about how you got started, well, not just with Houzz specifically, but even in the home builder industry.

Liza Hausman: Yeah, it's a great question. So, the first startup I ever joined in the nineties was actually like a Home Depot online. So, person number three at that company. It was a great [00:03:00] experience, basically building Ecommerce in the home improvement space, along with content in a very early in the AOL days Ecommerce company. So, that was my first taste, and loved the industry.

 Personally, I've been through two home renovations and a major landscape project. Grew up in a family that really appreciated great design, and so, when Houzz came along, it was really a natural transition and a place that kind of married a lot of my passions.

Greg Bray: Very cool. So, there's some of us that don't know a lot about Houzz, specifically. For those who may not have heard about it, just give us that overview. What is Houzz? What's it for? Why do people love it? Some of that background.

Absolutely. So, the Houzz community, I think is unique because it is a community.

So, it's made up of millions of homeowners, of design enthusiasts, of industry professionals. We have more than 65 categories of industry pros from home builders to fence builders to interior designers that use the platform. We're all around the world. It's [00:04:00] amazing the type of design that you can find, not just that's happening in North America, but from other countries as well, and we're able to bring that globally.

Why do people come to Houzz? Well, on the consumer side, people find design inspiration. They come to find and hire professionals to help them with their construction or design projects. Also, we have an Ecommerce side of the business and they come to shop for products and materials to complete their projects. Both pros and homeowners come to find products.

The other side of this community is the professional side, and pros come because we have an all in one solution that really helps them not just market their business, but end to end manage their business and projects and client collaboration with the goal of, not only getting in touch with more potential clients, but winning more business, running their business more efficiently, and just providing a great experience overall.

Kevin Weitzel: So, you're not just an image factory. You guys have outstanding photographers, or at least have a good screening process [00:05:00] for your imagery, cause it's amazing. So, you're not just a platform where people can just post Hey, here's how I set up this living room, or here's the fireplace mantle that I installed. This is more along the lines of how to network to find people that can do those things, and are those products items that you can purchase directly on Houzz?

Liza Hausman: Gosh, so many great questions baked into there. So, one...

Kevin Weitzel: Sorry.

Liza Hausman: No, this is good because I can dispel some of the myths. So, the photos that you see on Houzz all come from professionals who post their project portfolios.

So, these are professional photos that home builders, and interior designers, and architects, and more, have added and put on Houzz as part of their whole business profile, so that if you're coming to the site and you're looking for a home builder, you can not only see their name and their location, but you can read information about them. You can view their completed projects.

So, it's not lots of homeowners posting random photos of their projects. It's really all professionals [00:06:00] and professional quality work that's there, and that's why it's such a good experience from an inspiration standpoint. It really helps, not just homeowners get ideas, but it helps them communicate them to professionals, right, because people who don't have a design or construction background, don't really have the vocabulary to say, oh, I want a tray ceiling, but they can point to an image and say, I like this. This is the direction, this is the style I like. Can you help me? So, that's been a big way to facilitate that.

Kevin Weitzel: I have to express a little bit of my own ignorance, and Greg knows that I'm more of the knuckle dragger of the two of us, but I find that when I look at stuff on Houzz, I see like a, you know, like a mid-century modern lamp in an image, and I want that lamp, but I don't know how to find it. Is that something that Houzz helps me with?

Liza Hausman: It does. Yes, absolutely. So, because we do have an Ecommerce side of the platform, and we do sell home improvement products, and you can think about it, people have projects at different phases. You've got people taking on major construction remodeling, or hiring an interior designer for a [00:07:00] project, and then you have somebody that says, I need a lamp for my living room. I need to find something, and how am I going to find something I like. So, we do give them suggestions based on the photos that they're looking at. So, if you see a photo and you like the lamp, it will show you similar items that are available to purchase if you're a homeowner and just try to make that process easier again, for those style updates. Whether it's beds or throw pillows or lamps, you can find all of that on Houzz.

Greg Bray: So, that's a part that probably a lot of people don't know about, it's not just about the whole image, it's about a piece of the image, or a particular item or product that's in there. Are those being tagged by the pros that are uploading them, or is that something you guys are identifying programmatically with software or some other way?

Liza Hausman: It's all programmatic, so all tech driven, and we really are a tech company at heart. One of the real big growth areas for us on the commerce side is really our trade program. We help both builders and designers source products for [00:08:00] projects. Not everybody lives near a great supplier or has access to as many products that they want.

So, a big part of what we do is actually help builders and designers source products at a discount and really help them with the whole process. They can actually send us a spreadsheet and say, here are the specifications of what I need, and we've got folks that will go find those products, put together recommendations for them, help them with that purchase process, and then also help them with the shipping. We even have a service to stage products and ship them to a job site when they're needed. That's kind of a big part, and I think relevant, for builders who are listening.

Kevin Weitzel: Is that relatively new because I did not know you did that?

Liza Hausman: You know, it's hard because there are so many things that we do. I would say there's probably the majority of them people still don't know that we do that. So, I'm glad we have the opportunity to let you know that we do, but yes, it's often I think the consumer side is what folks know most, and I guess part of our challenge[00:09:00] to get the word out that these types of services are available.

Greg Bray: Just to go on a little bit of a tangent from an SEO standpoint, we've been looking at some of the technologies where people can basically take images apart and understand what's going on in images and trying to talk to builders about how they need better imagery and everything along those lines.

We're not that far away from someone doing a search that says, I want a home like this one, and it's an image, right? Then they get this search result back of matching plans or things that are like the one that had the image, as opposed to typing in four bedroom, three bath, just kind the imagery. It sounds like you guys are way in the forefront of using some of that type of technology along those lines.

Liza Hausman: Absolutely, and we actually use that to try to help connect homeowners with the right pros. So, if you're browsing photos and saving photos you like, we use our technology to recommend other photos similar in style, that the things that you want so that you don't have to work so hard. Similarly, when homeowners are looking to be connected with a [00:10:00] professional, they can go about it in a few different ways on Houzz. They can browse profiles in their area, and really dig in and learn about pros.

Or if they're not sure what type of pro they need, and that happens often, they say, oh, I need to remodel my kitchen. I don't know who to hire. We help connect them with the right pros, but also use our image technology to ask them to tell us, hey, which of these photos do you like, which is in the style that you're looking for, so that we can make sure that we're surfacing the professionals that are going to be the best fit there.

Kevin Weitzel: Now, when somebody's doing a search like that, and they're looking at imagery and I want to see a house like this. Are you guys utilizing AI, some sort of algorithm to figure that stuff out, or is it literally just comparatives of, they're clicking on red items, they're clicking on contemporary items?

Liza Hausman: Yeah. I think both are going on. We have many, many filters that they can use. So, if they do know the style or other aspects of the image and the type of home or [00:11:00] space that they're looking at to let them search. Then we do use a technology to know like, other people who saved this photo also liked these photos, or also just looking at the makeup of the photo and knowing what's in it and the style, et cetera, and all the other characteristics we know about it to bring back relevant results, so it's always a mix.

Kevin Weitzel: Not to have you open up the kimono too much, but is that homegrown, or are you using strategic partners to make those activities happen?

Liza Hausman: Homegrown. Most of what we do is homegrown and it's because to really provide a great user experience, everything has to be fully integrated.

The Ecommerce, the photos, the find professionals, the directory, everything that we have needs to work together and be smart, and so we found that building it ourselves has allowed us to have the best experience for people coming to Houzz.

Greg Bray: See, we've already learned something today, Kevin, that we didn't know.

Kevin Weitzel: I've learned much. Always learn this. I always pick up tidbits, so...

Greg Bray: Yeah. No, we're not done yet. Don't [00:12:00] worry. You're not off the hot seat yet because...

Kevin Weitzel: Liza's like there's more, wait. I got more here.

Liza Hausman: Wait.

Greg Bray: Liza, I think that one of my perceptions has been is that Houzz is very aimed at the custom builder, remodeler on the pro side. Is that a correct understanding of kind of the key audiences cause you've mentioned people like, the fence installer or something like that, which is not necessarily what comes to my mind, so help us understand who are these pros that use it the most?

Liza Hausman: Sure. So, residential construction and design pros. That could include specialty contractors. So, yes, architects, custom home builders, remodelers, interior designers are all core categories on our platform, but we have painters, we have tile companies, we have cabinet companies, so, really everyone involved with the project, whether it's a subcontractor, specialty contractor, et cetera is part of that Houzz community, and [00:13:00] part of our directory experience, and the types of pros that you can find when you come to Houzz. There's, again, 65 categories that we cover.

Greg Bray: So, what's involved in a pro getting up and running? How hard is that?

Liza Hausman: It's super easy. It's super easy for a few reasons. One, it's free to create a business profile on Houzz, and so that's the easiest way to get started. Just go to house.com/pro and sign up for a free profile, but there's a lot more to it and a lot more available to folks. You guys have been focusing on the photos and that consumer experience. I think, again, that's what we're known for most, most construction pros are familiar with Houzz marketing services, right?

We're the number one site and app for connecting homeowners with professionals. We talked about builders, creating profiles to showcase their work. The profiles on Houzz are pretty robust. I always refer to it as a 360 degree view of a company. So, instead of a real [00:14:00] lightweight view, you're reading a business description that really gets into the personality and approach, and you're meeting the team and the working style, and they're able to have direct community interaction in our discussions boards.

So, there's a lot of opportunities to participate. We launched our subscription advertising program about nine years ago. That's been running for a long time, and that's, where most of the awareness is. It's had a huge impact helping builders and remodelers, build their businesses around the world.

Two years ago we realized we could do even more to support the business growth of all of these pros who've been using us for marketing for so many years, and really to help their marketing be even more powerful, and win the best projects. We realized that when builders and remodelers are meeting with a potential client, they're not just selling their finished product, but they're selling the whole process.

When you go through a, certainly with a custom home build, it's a year or multi-year process for many folks. There's a lot of moving pieces, and so the experience that the builder or remodeler provides [00:15:00] to their clients from the first conversation through to that punch list, is just as important as the beautiful pictures of the finished projects and what they're able to build. So, we launched this end to end solution to help builders, not only build their brands, and again, that's been super successful for many years, and find quality customers, but also give them tools to follow up on the new business leads. So, giving them CRM tools, communication tools, things that are going to help them close better business and press perspective clients, and also manage their projects with easy to use tools for estimating, collaborating, and even building 3D models.

Kevin Weitzel: That sounds way, way more professional than just popping an ad on Craig's List.

Liza Hausman: That's a big part of the idea, right? The marketing started as a way that really helped builders and remodelers look very professional to potential clients. Now, we're trying to give them even more tools that give them invoices and estimates with their logo on it, and give them a [00:16:00] client dashboard with their logo on it. So, every touch point with that client or potential client feels super professional, even though it was super easy for them to do.

Greg Bray: So, Liza, in interest of full disclosure, Blue Tangerine just joined the Houzz agency program a few weeks back, and we've been doing some of the training there on the tools, so I've seen a little bit, and there was a lot more there than I thought there was, honestly. I was very impressed by the level of business management software, if you will, that's in the background for a builder to use. So, are you guys able to start to see then, as you've got more builders using some of these tools to manage their leads and their projects and things, how does Houzz fit into that buyer journey then for these builders, and how's it helping them with their sales?

Liza Hausman: Yeah, it's a great question. I think some interesting background is, as we were working on these tools, we actually ran a homeowner survey and we asked homeowners who had recently completed a home build or a major remodeling project, or [00:17:00] we're in the midst of one, what's the one thing that would have most improved your experience, right? What's the one thing that your builder or remodeler could have done to improve this? Number one was communication, and giving them better insight into scheduling changes, and what's going on with the project, better visibility into financials, and overall professionalism, and just making information more accessible.

Those are the things that we're solving for, and those are really end-to-end things. So, when you think about these tools, the goal, in terms of both the consumer's journey and the pros journey, which is something that they're doing together, it really fits into the entire journey. So, if you think about it from the client's perspective, they come to Houzz to find home builders to consider. Then they look at all that rich information on the profile for the vetting process to figure out, all right here's some options. Who should I contact?

Then the goal is to give home builders those tools that will make them the first choice and really stand out, and compete, not on the lowest cost bid, but on what they can really bring [00:18:00] to that homeowner. So, again, from that client dashboard that's accessible 24/7, to easy to read estimates and invoices, services like e-signatures and online payments, and then it comes full circle.

So, if the client has a great experience, they're going to write that pro a great review on Houzz, which then again feeds the nice virtuous cycle and refer that pro to to friends and family and other folks looking. Even looking at it through a marketing lens, having these tools really makes this pro more likely to be able to win the better projects and continue for their business to rise.

Greg Bray: I'm glad you mentioned reviews cause I think that's one area of Houzz that I see a lot of builders taking advantage of who have a profile, where they're also able to take those reviews and also put them on your own website as well, or link to them so that you can have that third-party validation that this isn't just, Kevin, the brother of the builder, writing this a review, but it's someone who actually worked with them and got some type of validation. Do you guys [00:19:00] do a lot of validation on reviews, or how's that process work?

Liza Hausman: We do. We do. So, reviews do go through an approval process, and we certainly remove anything inappropriate, and we also make sure the reviews are objective. So, we do reject reviews if you've got somebody screaming crazy things, or they comment on things that are personal, that aren't about the quality or experience. If they're saying something disparaging personally, that also gets removed. So, they do get screened. So, we put a lot of effort into just really building a good ecosystem where pros can feel good about the reviews coming through.

Then one of the nice things is we also give pros the ability to respond to reviews right below the review. So, if I'm coming and I'm reading review about you, Greg, I can also see that you, Greg, have responded to the review. So, if it's a positive review, they can thank the homeowner and mention something personal and how much they enjoyed it. That's a great way to brand yourself.

If they happen to get, a not so perfect review, it also gives them the opportunity to tell their side of the story. Again, [00:20:00] it provides a good level of confidence, and I think it's one of the reasons builders like our review system.

Kevin Weitzel: So, let me get this straight, if I go out and I have a fantastic date with a gal and I say, wow, man, my date with Susie was fantastic. It was romantic. She swept me off my feet. It was a match made in heaven. Oh, by the way, she installed my sink and it was an amazing job. That's not the kind of review?

Liza Hausman: That's coming down. That's coming down Kevin.

Kevin Weitzel: That's too much personal information.

Liza Hausman: And Susie is thanking us for that.

Kevin Weitzel: I know. See the plug that she just got from me. All she had to do was install a sink. It was amazing.

Greg Bray: That's why they have 2000 employees Kevin,because they're checking all that stuff. Right? There's a lot of work there for sure. Oh well, Liza, just for builders who maybe haven't taken a chance with setting up a profile, what are some tips, or what are some of the mistakes some of them make that don't take full advantage of what's there on the platform?

Liza Hausman: Yeah, I think there's a number of [00:21:00] things. One, put yourself in your customer's shoes. I always say to folks, you know what questions people have when you sit down with them, or when you have that first meeting or call, so make sure you're answering those on your profile. Everybody is used to finding a lot of information online these days. Our survey even showed that homeowners, even when they get referrals, go and check a pro's online presence out, even when they get a personal referral, the majority of homeowners still go and check them out online.

So, the online presence matters. Make sure you're providing that information proactively. When it comes to your profile, make sure it's robust, that you're getting professional photography of your finished projects. You're not gonna look good versus your competition if they've got professional photography and you don't. It's totally affordable and definitely worthwhile.

Think about what differentiates you when you write your business description, answer those homeowners questions, and make sure you're not writing, we're licensed GC. That's one good piece of information, but it's certainly not going to [00:22:00] differentiate you from the other businesses that folks may be checking out. So, really give some thought to what makes your business unique and be sure to include it.

Greg Bray: Is there a builder that's too big to be on Houzz?

Liza Hausman: Nobody's too big. We certainly are more focused, when you talk about builders, on custom residential. If you're a big production builder, we certainly have them on Houzz, but it's a different buying process, right? You're not hiring somebody to build you a home, you're going to go through a real estate agent and buy, but certainly the community builders do have a presence on Houzz and their teams typically use Houzz to identify trends and figure out what they're going to do in future models of their homes.

Greg Bray: Is there a particular category of images that are more popular, like kitchens versus backyards versus what's the most popular kind of image type?

Liza Hausman: It's really important to have breadth. So, you should include anything that you do if you want to bring in those types of projects. By far kitchens and bathrooms are the most common remodeling [00:23:00] projects and popular spaces of the house. I think it's less about which type of space and more about having a diversity of images. Some of the surprising things we find, and we also hear from pros is that somebody's favorite image from a pro's portfolio might be a detailed shot, a detailed closeup of how they solved the problem. It could be a creative banquette location or a great shelving unit, but often homeowners will say, oh, that pro's really innovative. They are able to really solve the problem that I have with this particular space or give me the solution I needed for my family.

So, being able to not just put up their photos, but if builders can actually write a little description on any photo they upload and explain, Hey, what were we trying to do here? Hey, the homeowner wanted this, and so this is why we built it this way, this is why we designed it this way, or this is how we approached putting in a floor that would survive 10 dogs and 6 children. Whatever what's in your head and whatever approach you [00:24:00] had to solve the problem, it's a really super to include that and can also really help build their standout.

Kevin Weitzel: I'm so utilitarian when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, that, honestly, for me, my personal rabbit hole is the hardscapes. You know the, what did somebody do with that limited space in the back of a townhouse that they have, or the you know walkway to the detached garage? I want to know how the people did that. That's my rabbit hole. It's crazy how many different ideas are out there.

Liza Hausman: Yeah, you're not the only one. I mean, small spaces is a hot, hot a topic. As you said, yards and outdoor spaces, especially during the pandemic, folks want to expand the space that they have to live in for their family, and that doesn't always consist of a remodel. Sometimes it's creating a great outdoor room or figuring out what they can do with that outdoor space to make it more livable. We're seeing all kinds of fun things now, you know, offices that are put in closets, that kind of open up with a desk as people are getting creative about how to live in their homes in the size [00:25:00] that they are.

Greg Bray: I think there's a real opportunity for builders to step back and realize that they can get their name in front of people, even who aren't ready to buy today, by sharing the great work that they've done. When that beautiful little cabinet cupboard project shows up, it might be a little while in the future before somebody is actually ready to shop, but now that brand has had an exposure of who they are and, oh, they did this good work and sometimes we're a little too focused on the lead today versus funnel building for next year. This can fit both, right?

Liza Hausman: That's a great point. That's a really great point and a big part of, I think, why our program has been successful and why it's different. Our research shows that homeowners start as much as a year in advance doing research before they start to reach out to pros, and so they're actually, by saving photos, actually gathering a short list of professional potential pros to hire. So, when [00:26:00] folks use our advertising program, are actually putting their photos in front of local homeowners in their area who are browsing Houzz. A lot of the ways that those connections happen is that homeowner who's early in their process, saves a bunch of photos that turn out to be a home builder in their area, and they've actually been, we call it nice stalking, they've been stalking that builder for a year, saving their photos until they've got their money saved up and everything ready to go.

Kevin Weitzel: So, I just want to point out, my girlfriend has been on me for not doing our flooring cause my townhouse flooring is baked. It is so bad. It needed to be replaced 10 years ago, to be honest with you. I'm finally doing it now. I like that you just loaded my lips with research. I've been researching for a year. It's not procrastination, Tina. It's not. It's research.

Liza Hausman: So true.

Greg Bray: Kevin, this is not a relationship health podcast.

Kevin Weitzel: I thought Liza was going to hit me up with some counseling stuff right there. I was like, I'm stepping up to the plate. Let me find [00:27:00] out how I can improve my relationship with Tina.

Liza Hausman: Just give her the Houzz app on an iPad and then she'll be busy for a while and she won't bug you.

Kevin Weitzel: With a credit card or without? That could get dangerous.

Liza Hausman: We have been called the most expensive free app out there by husbands.

Greg Bray: Okay. There you go. Can you sort by price, right? How much will this project cost me? Oh, wow. So, Liza, just a few more questions here as we wrap up, we appreciate your time today. So, can we go without getting into insider trading information, what's Houzz working on, that's coming next, especially as Ecommerce kind of is merging in with home building and some of those buy online and some of those things, are you guys playing in that field at all?

Liza Hausman: I think for us, the future is more focused on the tools that we're giving to pros, so that they can have that relationship and they can do a better job of selling.

I think probably the area that you're going to see even more investment in [00:28:00] is in our 3D tools that we provide to pros. So, we actually have a really easy to use floorplan tool that allows pros to quickly build a 2D floor plan. We have a whole bunch of 3d models that you can put in it. You can actually design an entire kitchen or bathroom, and then with one click you can walk your client through that in 3D.

It's super cool. Pros love it. They are able to use it to help homeowners pull the trigger on a project because when a homeowner can visualize what the space is going to look like, it's a lot easier for them to pull the trigger or upsell somebody on Hey, we really should move the wall. Here's what this is going to do for the project. So, we just continue to get more and more requests from our pro community to continue to enhance that tool. So, I think you'll see a lot more on the 3D front coming from us.

Kevin Weitzel: Full disclosure. Six years ago at IBS, I pitched floor plan tool to Houzz and you guys looked at me like I was on crack cocaine. [00:29:00]

Liza Hausman: Clearly we weren't ready for you, and you had a vison that we didn't at the time.

Kevin Weitzel: I was too early. I got it.

Liza Hausman: Yes. We give full credit to you.

Kevin Weitzel: They did. They looked at me like, what? Who needs that? I do have a sincere question.

Not that my my other question wasn't sincere, but my commentary tends to be a little bit more sarcastic than Greg would probably ever appreciate, but I do have a solid question. So many people use Houzz for inspiration, what does Liza use for inspiration, both professionally, personally? where are you looking, whether it be inside or outside of the industry?.

Liza Hausman: Gosh. Okay. So, like outside of renovating my home? Oh gosh, that's a really great question. I mean, I read a lot. I love to see what's going on in other countries, because sometimes I feel like how people do things and makes you think about your own life differently and what you're doing.

Then, I think, just spending a lot of time talking to our customers and the pros that use Houzz is really inspiring for me because you hear so many personal [00:30:00] stories. I have to tell you, my favorite thing about my job, is all the time I get to spend one-on-one with people hearing about their businesses, hearing about how the product helps the business, get their feedback. We produce videos telling their personal stories and everybody has such a unique and interesting story. I think it's absolutely my favorite thing, and so inspiring just to hear how entrepreneurial people are, and how they're building their businesses, and how they're making it work with their mother-in-law, who does the accounting in another state. I think it's just fascinating to see how work has evolved in our space.

Kevin Weitzel: What's in your long range site for trends that are coming up?

Liza Hausman: Gosh, that's a good question. You know, I think one of the most interesting things is just seeing people move out of cities to suburbs or rural areas.

I think some of the research we're seeing on that, I'll be very curious to see how, if that's sustained over time and how much it changes the type of homes that people buy and what they're [00:31:00] renovating.

Longevity in your home is probably a big one. I think we're going to see more and more people don't want to move necessarily, and there's some amazing retirement communities, but a lot of people are looking really to stay in their home for the long term. So, all of the renovations that people are making to enable them to do that, but to have it be beautiful and not look like an accessible home quote unquote.

I think that's where a ton of investment is going to come, and you're going to see tons of design innovation as well, so that we can all stay in our homes, happily, and comfortably for a long time.

Kevin Weitzel: I'm that person that looks at those secondary and tertiary markets, like the Wichita, Kansas, the Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Toledo, Ohio, where they have these old tudor homes that you could buy for a song, and for minimal amount of money, bring those right up to like perfect standard.

Could you do me a personal favor, and call the brass at HGTV, and tell them to stop remodeling every single home to be the same exact home over and over again, because people are wrecking [00:32:00] these old neighborhoods by HGTVing them.

Liza Hausman: They'd probably do more if it came from you. It's funny when you talk about trends, because I think one of the things that's unique about Houzz is it surfaces how much diversity there is. While there may be some underlying trends, it's really about doing what you like. I'm with you, if you've got a beautiful historic home, like show off the bones, don't trash it. I don't know.

I'm sure there are lots of people out there doing it the right way. I'm certainly not pointing any fingers, but I agree with you. Such a huge opportunity, and the housing stock that's out there right now really is older, and so folks are having to invest a lot to bring it up to be current, even the electrical, basic things you need to do in homes like that.

But yes, I think there's a lot more diversity in style than you might imagine, given what we see on Houzz and seeing what we see people save. While there are trends, there's still so much diversity and personal choice.

Greg Bray: Well, Liza, any last words of advice you didn't have a chance to [00:33:00] share that you wanted to make sure our listeners got today?

Liza Hausman: I would love folks to check out the newer tools that we have. We've really designed it to be affordable and easy to use. So, even if you've got a solution, it might be a way to consolidate multiple tools, or really streamline things. If you buy advertising on Houzz, all of these tools are included. So, it's really an incredible deal and we'd love feedback.

You can check everything out at Houzz.com/pro, but my email is liza@houzz.com, L I Z A, and I would love to hear from folks and hear what they think anytime or help them with anything, so just let me know.

Greg Bray: Well, Liza, thank you so much for being with us today.

Thank you for putting up with Kevin's sarcasm. Some of those questions were serious, so we appreciate it.

Kevin Weitzel: They were. I have serious questions. I just have an odd roundabout way to get to it.

Liza Hausman: We've learned so much about your relationships, your philosophy. Right? It's been great, both Kevin and Greg.

Greg Bray: Well, Liza, thanks [00:34:00] again for joining us. We really appreciate it, and thank you everybody for listening today to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine,

Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse. Thank you.

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