Technology opens up opportunities for the trade

Developed to help homeowners put together ideas, trades and other professionals can now benefit from being registered on Houzz.co.uk. Professionals in its community share what they’ve learnt from the experience, how it’s changed their approach and how that might impact the way home renovation pros work in the future.

After being forced to halt face to face meetings, being able to communicate remotely was vital this year. This was also an opportunity for many professionals to test out new communication methods. Brian O’Tuama, an architect on Houzz, explains, “I suppose what last year has taught us most is that we can carry out initial consultations with prospective clients, and conduct some design review meetings with existing clients, using technology platforms. We’ve had many such meetings over the lockdown period and, in the case of prospective clients, have found it so much easier to begin to get to know one another when we can see one another.”
  Technology has also allowed professionals to speed up business processes and delight their clients in the process. Houzz allows for smooth, remote communications, easy and attractive moodboard creation and a live budget feature that can save countless hours.

Flexibility is key
With ever-changing circumstances, professionals on Houzz have found that being flexible and able to quickly adapt to be major assets last year. When working on projects during a pandemic, things are never straightforward and multiple curveballs are thrown at you. As a result, many pros feel like they are having to be much more organised.
  “I think when you’re faced with so much uncertainty, it does make you quite resilient and forces you to be very organised,” says interior designer Fiona Duke.
  “When working on a project, making sure you have options and alternatives is key, especially in this new climate. At times, suppliers have really struggled with lead times, so you need to manage client expectations and ensure you communicate this and manage it accordingly”, Fiona says, “Your scheduling has to be detailed, and you have to plan ahead to accommodate these changes – sourcing and ordering items far earlier than before in order to keep projects on track.”

Communication increased
Where meeting in person was difficult and delays likely, many homeowners reported that they found it helpful to utilise online tools for communication as well as shopping, invoicing, payments and contract approvals. Communicating (and over-communicating) was a key tool used by professionals on Houzz to reassure their clients and keep projects moving forward.
  Micheal Brett of Milestone Builders said, “Houzz Pro allowed us to communicate effectively with our clients and ensured critical touch-points weren’t missed.”

Over 1,400 decorators have already created a profile on Houzz.co.uk, where consumers, interior designers and other trades can then link up or request their services. Simply visit www.houzz.co.uk/getStartedPro and sign up today – It’s free!

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