Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Changing "Houzzing" Market

Article: “An Online Antidote to the Housing Bust”
Author: Nick Leiber
Graph Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577520414196790098.html#project%3DCAPITAL0712%26articleTabs%3Dinteractive

A Changing "Houzzing" Market

According to Nick Leiber’s article:
Houzz is an online directory that homeowners use to find architects, general contractors, and myriad other home-improvement pros for construction or remodeling projects. Combining elements of local review site,Angie’s List (homeowners can read reviews fellow homeowners post) and image-sharing network Pinterest (professionals can post photos of their work for homeowners to browse), Houzz has more than 60,000 professionals in the U.S. who actively manage their profiles, adding photos and answering questions. (Leiber)

By early 2007, the United States began to feel the onslaught of issues brought about by the burst of the thought-to-be invincible housing bubble. Despite the array of finger pointing that occured, the true blame could rest on numerous groups of people: the realtors, builders, lenders, borrowers, and sellers. Once the housing bubble popped, homeowners and home-improvement professionals were crippled.

(Graphs taken from The Wall Street Journal)

In 2009, Houzz offered a way to revitalize the housing market and add to the economy. Houzz targeted two of consumer’s largest fancies: curiosity and reliability. Houzz attracts users to sift throw over 800,000 photos, 350,000 home accessories, and thousands of home’s “ideabooks.” 

Houzz can create revenues off of their valuable database and easily maneuverable platform. 

  • Salespeople can pay Houzz to advertise their products. Possibly create a “Product of the Day” or “What’s Hot” filter on the main products page. Also, they could feature products depending on the filter for a price like Google Adwords. 

  • Houzz can charge professionals to have their profiles featured on the homepage so they get more hits which could lead to more clients. 

  • Houzz could begin to charge membership fees and have homeowners, designers, and home-improvement professionals to access Houzz.com. 

I do not believe that the competition that may occur from paying to have products featured could lead to any severe problems. There may, however, be a negative effect from having professionals profiles featured. If professionals all begin to fight over having their page featured, Houzz could raise fees for the feature and the chain reaction could turn off many professionals who do not have the funds to have their page featured. The bias given to the feature profile will begin to drown out the appeal of Houzz’s non-bias  profile advertising. If Houzz begins to charge a membership fee, it could risk losing online traffic which could directly affect advertising in a negative way which would lower connections and create a downward spiral for Houzz. 
I personally feel that Houzz is an asset to all homeowners. In today’s Information Age, knowledge is power and  homeowners can only benefit from getting more ideas for potential renovations and home developments. Houzz offers a new way for designers and home improvement professionals to connect with homeowners to find work. Houzz provides all the necessary tools for the national and global housing market to flourish with efficiency. 

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