House eye candy – not just for you
I have to admit. This may get a little saucy for some of you. Who else has difficulty pulling a perfect description of what your client is looking for your of them while they are trying to describe their ideal home? Yeah, it isn’t always easy. Most of our clients, unless they are architects or designers or glued to HGTV (heaven forbid) would know what true Cape Cod is or what the difference is between a Federal and a Colonial style home, which is why, when a couple of weeks ago, when I was talking with an architect friend of mine and he asked me if I had been using Houzz.com, I asked him to repeat himself, because I had heard of it but hadn’t even visited the site, so I immediately got excited.
He whipped out his iPad and showed me; I blushed a bit. It was quite impressive. It was like house porn. Houzz.com… really??? Where have you been my whole real estate career?! I mean, seriously! You can’t stop looking at these gorgeous, angled, sumptuous, curvy, shapely, sexy… ahem… homes, kitchens, gardens and well, all things design.
The best way to describe Houzz.com is that it is like a virtual gallery of images posted by architects, interior designers and builders who are hoping to get feedback and potential business from their featured imagery. The great thing about Houzz.com is that it is like Pinterest, only for all things related to home design- from fixtures to finishes and everything in between and they will also feature great articles about home design (which I love). It is perfect for people who are looking to design a new home, or who are looking to update what they already have. Simply put, house eye-candy.
Applying this to your clients
Then I started thinking… and we all know how this can be dangerous – and I even have a friend who made a shirt for me that says “I think in cartoon.” ‘Tis true. My thought was this: Houzz.com can be wonderful when assigned as “homework” for the client who needs some guidance in the ways of pinpointing the styles that they like.
Get your client to go home – or better yet, sit down with them so you can hear their feedback about why they are picking each image that they find alluring- check out the website and start an idea book. You could even get your client to start a Pinterest board titled “Ideal Home” or they can just email the image straight to you and you can archive it for your individual client.
Some interior designers use this idea-tion process of “client homework” by telling their clients to pull images from their favorite magazines such as Elle Decor or House Beautiful, but this is so much more easily accessible- for everyone involved! This is like my new best friend in the house hunt for the picky client (and it can totally be yours too)! Hooray! It was a virtual high-five moment for me, figuring out how to integrate all of these awesome new sites and tools that we have at our fingertips.
Now that we have all of these tools and everyone is all excited about using Pinterest and if you haven’t been utilizing Houzz.com, you totally can for your clients who didn’t know how to articulate to you what they love and lust after in terms of their ideal home, now you can pull it out of them through the sexy photos and have them share these with you as their own design boards.
You no longer have to be clueless or “back to the drawing board” when it comes to deciphering what it is they are seeking in their perfect home! You can see the what they are drawn to and pull from that. Now that is pretty sexy, isn’t it?