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Houzz launches trade program

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 10.30.44 AMPalo Alto, Calif.—Houzz has launched the Houzz Trade Program to provide industry professionals with multiple ways to profit from purchasing and recommending products in the Houzz Marketplace. The Houzz Marketplace offers everything from items for major remodeling projects and custom home builds, such as bathtubs and fixtures, to furniture and decor products. All professionals working in the home improvement industry, including designers, architects, contractors and more, can apply to the program. The Houzz Trade Program is integrated with existing Houzz tools including ideabooks and Sketch.

Some of the benefits of the Houzz Trade Program include:

  • Trade-only pricing with discounts up to 50% on hundreds of thousands of products including top brands, European products and Houzz exclusives, plus earn Houzz credit on regular priced items
  • The opportunity to earn up to 10% in credit when clients purchase any of the 8 million retail-priced products
  • A dedicated trade support team to help facilitate and expedite orders
  • Free shipping on most trade-discounted orders over $49

Some of the vendors providing discounts to Houzz pros enrolled in the Trade Program include Baldwin, Emerson, Feiss, Flos, Kraus, Missoni Home, Safavieh and Swarovski.

Houzz has also arranged pre-approval into the Trade Program for members of several industry trade associations, including the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the Interior Design Society (IDS).

To learn more about the Houzz Trade Program and to enroll, visit houzz.com/trade-program.

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Technology: Houzz programs support retailers, suppliers

May 22/29, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 25

By Lindsay Baillie

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 10.30.44 AMHouzz, a visual-based, online platform focused on home renovation and design, is working to provide flooring retailers a space to develop name recognition in their local markets. The goal is to help retailers reach new customers and network with other flooring/home remodeling professionals.

“Houzz is the largest platform for home remodeling and design,” said Kathleen Hegedus, industry marketing representative for Houzz. “We have more than 40 million people using this site and app every month to get inspiration, get smart about home improvement and ultimately find the right professionals for their projects. Whether that’s a small or large project, we have something for everyone.”

The company offers free and easy-to-use profiles to flooring professionals. It also provides additional local advertising programs that flooring retailers can use to drive extra exposure in their local markets and also gain new business. “We’re happy to talk with any local installer or retailer about the options that are available to them,” Hegedus said.

Houzz also has several co-op programs with manufacturers, including Armstrong, Mohawk and Shaw. In fact, Houzz acknowledges manufacturers and retailers with its “Best of Houzz” awards, which celebrate the best design, customer service and photography on the website.

Houzz strives to add value for its partners by regularly creating new features and enhancements. One example is Idea Books, which allows retailers to connect and communicate with prospective clients. “It also keeps a lot of that inspiration and communication in a single place, which can be beneficial for flooring professionals to stay organized as they share those ideas with their prospective clients,” Hegedus explained.

Looking to the future, Hegedus said Houzz is focused on making improvements by testing new features with its customer base. “We look forward to even more co-op and national partnerships down the road.”

Flooring professionals interested in opening an account can go to Houzz.com/pro to sign up.

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Shaw Floors dazzles Houzz user

Houzz100Kitchen_AfterDalton—Shaw Floors marked its 100th flooring query on Houzz with a surprise for one homeowner who had posted a query on remodeling her kitchen. The company, which launched its presence on the home design site back in 2013, answered a query from Houzz user Theresa Wells by offering to provide 1,000 square feet of flooring at no cost.

“Houzz is a priority for our digital marketing team as we continue to see the platform grow with users who are actively researching, dreaming and executing home remodels,” said Todd Callaway, director of digital content, Shaw Floors. “We wanted to celebrate our continued presence on the home design platform in a fun, unexpected way.”

Shaw Floors worked with Wells to choose a style within the EPIC Plus collection of engineered hardwood to finish off her kitchen remodel. The final selected style was Yukon Maple 6 3/8” in color Timberwolf.

According to Houzz, the home design platform has 40 million unique monthly users. Shaw Floors regularly engages with Houzz community members who are seeking advice on projects, materials and remodels. As a total flooring solutions provider, Shaw Floors provides information to users looking to learn more about the differences in flooring before making a final purchase.

“We know the universe of inspiration is deep and diverse,” said Callaway. “With flooring being a major investment, we aim to provide consumers who are in the thick of research with helpful information so they can feel confident in their selection.”

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Emser Tile opens Tampa branch, receives Houzz ‘Best of Design’ award

Emser LogoLos AngelesEmser Tile has opened its 71st branch location in Tampa, Fla. this weekmarking the company’s fifth location in Florida. Emser continues to grow their presence throughout North America, expanding their footprint in the Midwest and along the East Coast.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, next year marks the company’s 50th anniversary. In the past year, Emser Tile has opened locations in Pompano and Miami, Fla., Columbus, Ohio, Lyndhurst, N.J., and Detroit. Additionally, Emser has distribution centers in California, Texas, and one set to open in Virginia in Spring 2017, marking a total of 75 sales and service locations in North America.

The Tampa branch opening comes on the heels of Emser Tile winning a Houzz “Best of Design” award, the leading platform for home remodeling and design, for the second consecutive year. The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography.

Emser was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

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Hallmark Floors wins Best of Houzz 2017

Ontario, Calif.–Hallmark Floors of Southern California has won Best of Design and Best of Customer Service on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The innovative flooring company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: design, customer service and photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. A “Best of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We are very grateful to be placed in both the Design and Customer Service categories this year,” said Sylvia Bulanek, head of marketing for Hallmark Floors. “It is an honor to be recognized alongside the other talented Best of Houzz professionals.”

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Mohawk’s Houzz marketing program available to aligned retailers

mohawkCalhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Flooring is providing a new marketing program for its aligned retailers in 2017 through a new program on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. As part of Mohawk’s Houzz Pro+ Local Marketing Program, its retailers will have access to Houzz’s technology and marketing capabilities to reach a localized community of homeowners actively renovating or redecorating their homes and searching for professionals, vendors and retailers.

As part of this program, Houzz will provide Mohawk aligned retailers with a suite of marketing services designed to heighten awareness and increase exposure among this targeted in-market demographic. Retailers participating in the program will benefit from enhanced directory placement, local photo stream exposure and other discounted services unique to Houzz, with full support from both Mohawk Flooring and Houzz.
“We’re excited about this new program with Houzz, which will provide our aligned retailers with access to Houzz’s proprietary platform, giving them the tools they need to reach such an important demographic,” said Mollie Surratt, Mohawk’s senior director of public relations, content and social media. “Houzz’s technology is designed to help homeowners find vendors and retailers, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide our retailers with a program that will get them in front of homeowners looking to purchase new flooring.”

Mohawk will be unveiling the new program at the company’s upcoming Solutions Convention in December in Dallas, Texas.

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Digital Marketing: Putting social media to work for your business

Expert advice on helping dealers take the virtual plunge

November 7/14, 2016: Volume 31, Number 11

Achieving success at retail in today’s high-tech marketing, media-rich world requires a departure from traditional consumer-outreach thinking. Experts the world over agree that a solid social media strategy should be at the core of any marketing program.

That begs the question: What’s the best way to get started? It might sound elementary, but the first order of business is to get to know your audience. Experts say a retailer’s customer demographic will shed light on where they are spending time online. Facebook, for example, is the most popular social media platform for women ages 34 to 54.

Next, review the various social media platforms to see what might work best for your needs. The possibilities on social media are growing and evolving, with new platforms launching frequently (see graphic). Among the most popular are Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn. Before deciding on a platform that best suits their needs, objectives and, yes, capabilities, retail business owners and operators should consider how much time they can devote to social media. Many experts agree that about an hour a day should be spent on each social network (at least when first starting out). Next, retailers need to consider the audience and demographics. For instance, which social networks are used most by your customers?

Many online marketing proponents believe Facebook tends to deliver the greatest results given its widespread use across varied demographics. According to Christine Whittemore, chief simplifier and digital marketing specialist at Simple Marketing Now, it’s helpful to start with Facebook as most dealers are already familiar with this social network on a personal level. “I’m hopeful that someone has done some experimenting and is somewhat familiar with one of the networks,” she said. “It really helps to understand the network from a personal point of view before getting involved with business perspective.”

Starting off small with Facebook makes sense, experts say, as consumers often search that platform in much the same way that they look for a regular webpage. At the same time, marketing advisors and professionals only recommend posting something on Facebook that has a purpose. In the case of floor covering dealers that means attracting new customers and retaining customers that dealers have already sold.

On the flip side, many retailers remain hesitant to get involved with social media because of seemingly inevitable negativity, particularly with customer reviews. Most dealers know all it takes is one unhappy customer sounding off on a social network or review site to potentially affect other consumers. However, business owners should take these reviews as opportunities to turn negatives into positives.

“More frequently, consumers who are thinking of replacing a floor are looking online for answers: what to buy and where to buy it,” notes Paul Friedrichsen, owner of BrandBiz, a marketing and branding consultancy. “That means she’s probably paying close attention to online reviews. In fact, research says 70% of online customers rely on reviews before making a purchase. So, if you’re not listed on a review site then you’re not in the game. Even worse, if you are online but your reviews are lousy, you’re already losing.”

Ultimately, presence on the top social networks is key, particularly visually based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Posting original, engaging content on Facebook is paramount, along with short, attention-grabbing blurbs on Twitter. Business listings on Google+, Yelp and Angie’s List will help with search rankings and garnering customer reviews. Houzz—which allows users to express their creativity—is another network rising in popularity in recent years. It works like Pinterest in that it is based on inspirational photos, which falls right in line with the home furnishings/fashion industry. Once a dealer has selected a platform—or group of platforms—the next move is allotting a budget for online marketing initiatives. One of the best things about social media, experts say, is it offers an advertising vehicle for a very low price. You can actually choose to spend nothing, but experts suggest working with a budget—it can be as little as $35 a week—to get additional exposure. “It’s the cheapest media money you will ever spend,” Friederichsen said. “You could spend $10 on Facebook to boost a post or ad and get 1,000 people to look at it. The return on investment for this doesn’t compare to anything you’ll spend in mass media.”

Whittemore also encourages boosted posts. “You are basically paying Facebook for increased visibility. It’s a fabulous tool because you can target certain people in specific locations and you can do it for very small amounts of money.”

But don’t boost everything and anything, she noted. “Before you boost, see if the post gets some organic attention [with likes and comments]. If it’s a dud, don’t waste money on it. You want a mixture of updates—some about you and some about topics that are of interest to your customers. You have to test what works.” social-infographic2015

Creating a connection
At its core, social media is a helpful tool for building relationships with customers. It’s an opportunity to give them a behind-the-scenes view of your business or how “human” you are. It also enables dealers to highlight top-notch customer service and the quality of completed jobs. Experts recommend dealers share photos of their best installations.

“If you want to attract new customers or get the word out about your business, you may want to focus on what’s new in the store or talk about some events you are hosting,” Whittemore suggested. “Think ahead of time to decide what you are going to share and when. And if someone comments on your post, be sure to respond in a reasonable amount of time.”

Experts also suggests dealers get their customer service reps and sales teams involved with social media as well, as this helps with consistency. “It’s not a matter of showing up once; you have to be there all the time,” Whittemore stated. “It’s like joining local business organizations or attending chamber of commerce meetings—you have to go regularly to meet people and hand out business cards. Social networking serves the same purpose, except you’re doing it all online.”

 

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Armstrong Flooring, Houzz launch Premium Pro+ local marketing program

Armstrong Flooring BakerBros_Profile-HOUZZLancaster, Pa.—Armstrong Flooring and Houzz announced the launch of Houzz Pro+ for flooring retailers who are part of the company’s Elevate retail support program.

The Houzz Pro+ local marketing program allows Armstrong Flooring aligned retailers a unique opportunity to increase brand visibility among homeowners in their local areas seeking their products and services.

One of the major capabilities of Pro+ is geo-targeting, exposing a professional’s business profile and portfolio to homeowners in their local area. Retailers can specify what advertising messages reach the market and/or other geographic areas they wish to serve and are guaranteed to be exposed to the local target audience.

“Our goal with Pro+ is to deliver a service that helps professionals build their brands and increase their exposure to homeowners in their local area the way they want,” said Tom Cole, senior manager, Specialty Flooring Retail Strategy. “This gives them the ability to create a dynamic profile and take advantage of all the other wonderful benefits of Houzz.  We provide the tools our aligned retailers need to penetrate, and expand their reach more effectively within the target areas they want to service.”

“We jumped on the program immediately. Armstrong Flooring developed a great relationship with Houzz and has made it incredibly easy for us to join,” said Phil Koufidakis, president, Baker Brothers. “Houzz is a growing home improvement site, offering higher content than just contractor referrals.  It is very visual and very consumer friendly. Not only does it add greater visibility to our existing marketing efforts, but it also gives us the ability to tell customers to go to Houzz; select five rooms that they feel are fantastic so when we get together we can design their floor according to their tastes.”

Armstrong Flooring retailers move to the front when homeowners click the ‘Find the Local Pro’ tab on Houzz.  Houzz lists 20 pros on each results page; under Houzz Pro+, 10 of those spots are reserved for participating Armstrong Flooring retailers, and the retailer’s photos show up every fifth spot of a picture gallery.

“Say a potential customer is just browsing through the photo section to get ideas for their kitchen,” Cole said, “if you specified you want to be shown to people in that geographic area, Houzz will show your work in the photo stream just to those people looking at photos in your area. And, not only can you showcase one exceptional photo to attract a client, Pro+ allows you to have multiple photos of your portfolio displayed, which gives the viewer a more complete view of the work that you do.”

 

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Carpet One Floor & Home wins 'Best Of Design' on Houzz

C1FH_revbox_321PCManchester, NH–Carpet One Floor & Home has won “Best Of Design” on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. North America’s leading floor covering retailer was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. Carpet One Floor & Home’s photos are frequently viewed, saved, shared and included in conversations on Houzz. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We are committed to inspiring our customers as they create beautiful homes,” said Terri Daniels, vice president of public relations & communications for Carpet One Floor & Home. “Houzz is a great place for our customers to get inspired and learn what style they want for their home.”

 “Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Carpet One Floor & Home—voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

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DuChateau receives Best of Houzz 2015 award

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 12.13.17 PMSan Diego, Calif.—DuChateau Floors has been awarded Best of Houzz for Design for the second consecutive year by Houzz, one of the leading social media platforms for home remodeling and design.

“We’re delighted to recognize DuChateau among our ‘Best of’ professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing, Houzz.

“We couldn’t be happier with the win,” said Misael Tagle, co-founder, DuChateau. “It is a real honor, especially from a site we all love to use.”