A funny thing happened the other day…
Let me start by saying, overall, I love Houzz. I use it daily to search for room photos that display a paint color or design style I’m considering for a client. Client’s often send me inspiration photos from Houzz in return.
Where else can you search for “contemporary living room with white trim and greige sofa” (for example) and come up with pages of relevant imagery? It’s the best source for concept photos I can find online period.
I also acquire new clients on Houzz. It is fantastic free advertising! And I love the fact that all contractors/designers/firms are displayed equally.
I answer questions on the “discussions” page. There are a huge variety of dilemmas posted daily, I sort through and answer a few that speak to me. I reply out of pure enjoyment and also to show potential clients that this is a vital business.
A recent webinar hosted by Houzz presented results from a poll of users. Sure enough, a large percentage of home owners view Houzz professionals’ discussion responses to get a feel for their personality and working style. Confirmed my thoughts! :)
After all, this is a very important partnership. Designers/contractors bring YOUR VISION to life.
So here is the funny thing- A fellow professional brought to my attention a response… A home owner was asking for an affordable designer to help rework an entrance. And she loves HGTV’s Candice Olson’s design style. Well so do I, and I felt I could offer her what she was looking for so I suggested my services and mentioned I had ideas… She wrote back and said, could you share those ideas? ha ha
The fellow professional read this and messaged me- Where is the line drawn regarding free advice? And it’s funny, because I have been thinking about this very issue lately.
It almost feels like Houzz discussions have ushered in a movement towards “free” or “extremely cheap design advice”. Websites are cropping up, $10 for 1 interior design question answered by a real professional.
Makes you think about the long standing creative services issue- that somehow design is not a tangible fee-based service. As you can imagine, I strongly disagree! Readers and designers, do you have thoughts? I would love to hear.
Have a great week, lots of trend info. for 2014 is being published- stay-tuned!
(you can view all of these room photos and more + their talented designers in my Houzz “ideabooks” page)