At John McClain Design we’re always looking for ways to optimize our workload, especially in today’s business climate. One of our favorite time-saving go-tos is taking advantage of Houzz Pro software — it’s truly a program made in interior design heaven! In fact, the platform is integral to the lifecycle of our design projects. Here’s what the one-stop shop is all about and what it can do for your business:
The platform exquisitely showcases your hard work through high-quality images that potential clients come across. Honestly, it works for us day and night. So while I’m walking my dog, paying the bills or sleeping, Houzz Pro is out there interacting with clients for me. Plus the sponsored ads included with the plan generate leads based on project type and location, where with the simple click of a button clients can express their interest.
Our Houzz Pro marketing program also includes a premium profile page, complete with a highlight video and dedicated spot for customer reviews. Speaking of feedback … built-in insights and analytics tools break down profile views and stats by each photo, highlighting strengths and areas needing improvement.
Following Up on Leads
Follow-up is a cinch too! The lead management tool organizes prospects by source. Information like the title of the project, the client’s profile and when they were last contacted all appear in one nifty section. Dedicated icons also indicate whether a message was sent or if a meeting was scheduled. No more playing mental gymnastics about what happened to that one interior design prospect for our team at John McClain Design!
Injecting Fun & Building Rapport
One of our favorite features? Ideabooks! It’s where all the fun begins. Every client is added as a collaborator on an ideabook dedicated to each room they’re using our interior design services for — collectively called a Room Board. For instance, there might be one for a cozy bedroom, swanky bathroom retreat, living room entertainment epicenter … you get the picture, and quite literally!
Once an ideabook is created we can then present design ideas with the visual tools available in Houzz Pro. Clients can search Houzz for stunning photos that inspire and encapsulate their vision. They can simply click the “Save” button at the bottom of the photo, for example, to add it to their individual Room Boards. That way we can share concepts, ideas and visuals before the initial proposal. The Mood Board tool is another great one. Our designers can add product images via the Houzz Pro Product Clipper function, like the Recharge color palette from the Sherwin-Williams Living Well paint collection. There’s even a 3D Floor Plan tool! Helping clients see the big picture is so worth it. Adding visual representations to interior design ideas clearly communicates expectations, reducing any chance of miscommunication. Ideabooks are like a vision board for your home, where with the click of a button dreams can become a reality.
Project Lifecycle Management
All messages between our clients and my team can be seen in one place, and attaching estimates and proposals is a breeze. The platform has built-in templates for estimates too. You can input line items from a database of location-specific costs for labor and materials. The entire approval process is streamlined and digitally documented, so an estimate gets converted into a project as soon as it’s approved.
The efficient product-acquisition process through ready-made proposals and tear sheets is also a lifesaver — especially for our procurement team since SKU numbers and product details are all in one place. No returns equals no upset clients! Products can be added from anywhere, such as the Houzz Shop, your library or the internet through the Houzz Pro Product Clipper function we mentioned. Clients can then approve each product line by line.
Clients get access to seeing project progression, costs, timelines and order changes to ensure full visibility. And once a project is complete, invoices and payment schedules are automated and clients can pay online instantly — snail mail be gone! Fun Fact: You can add team members to specific projects, giving them access to the stopwatch function to keep track of billable hours in real time. Additional Perk: The platform can synchronize estimates, proposals, invoices, purchase orders and expenses with QuickBooks!
Why I Love It
Houzz Pro software streamlines the entire interior design process for us from beginning to end, paving the way for remote collaboration in today’s economic climate. Ultimately it takes so much off my plate so that I can focus on what I love most: creating beautiful interior designs! Click here if you’re interested in learning more about Houzz Pro.
Till next time…
About the Author
Gaining exposure to the interior design industry at a young age, John McClain learned everything he could through his family’s home building and renovation business. He discovered a natural talent for creating aesthetically pleasing spaces. His big break came in 2010 when he appeared on HGTV. With the ability to create elegant interiors under any interior design style, John has since appeared on Bravo, NBC, KTLA and as the host for the “House Tipster Industry” video series. In 2020 John was awarded three prestigious American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) awards and the title of HGTV’s Designer of the Year in the Color + Pattern category. He is also a Fashion Police contributor for Us Weekly magazine and has been selected as one of the six members of the 2020 & 2021 distinguished Sherwin-Williams Design Council. Visit www.JohnMcClainDesign.com for more info.
Please note I am a Houzz Pro ambassador, however, all opinions shared in this post are my own.