Special Guest Blogger
Special Guest Blogger by NMG Team / with 0 comments

If you missed out our Houzz/Robert Allen event in May, well, you’re in luck! It gives us great pleasure to introduce you to our guest blogger, Kathy Hinds Banfe, Operating Vice President - Residential Sales (East) of Robert Allen. Kathy will explain just how beneficial a tool like Houzz can be in helping any designer jumpstart their goals for their client projects.

Robert Allen hosted a panel discussion with three prominent designers in the Southeast (SE) Florida market. Designer Resource Center (DRC) in Boca Raton was the perfect place to host this event in a beautiful, inviting, showroom space with knowledgeable staff. DRC is a SE Florida multi-line showroom that represents and showcases the Robert Allen and Beacon Hill fabric brands.

I was lucky enough to leave our corporate office (and cold weather) in NYC for lovely Florida. I was able to attend and listen to the panel discussion with many local designers while enjoying champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres.

The panel shared various ways that designers can communicate their BRAND to potential clients and how it can be beneficial to building their career using Houzz, a professional online tool.

By looking at the Designer as a brand, it’s fascinating the flexibility Houzz affords them to custom create a profile and give control to the way their “brand” as a designer goes to the public. Houzz offers multiple uses for designers in various stages of their career cycle. A designer who is new to the market will have a different need and message than the designer who is more seasoned and known in the marketplace.

The tips shared by the designers on building their profiles were extremely useful and many designers in attendance were taking copious notes on the various ideas. A few that stood out to me were based on photography and biography:

  • Designers should have their photos taken by a professional
  • Photos of their work are part of the brand they are communicating and should be taken seriously
  • They silently communicate who they are and what type of work they deliver
  • Designers should use an updated and professional photo

Allowing a client to “see” them starts building that bond even before they meetA biography is a critical source of information about the designer, aesthetic AND their personality. We all know that designers and their clients spend a great deal of time together in the most personal of spaces… their homes with their family and friends. It is essential that they work well together. A bio is a source to start that selection process. It is also a way to communicate how they work, what their end goal is with each client, and their philosophy of that working relationship.

From the client’s perspective, it offers an avenue for clients to communicate their style, desires and wishes through the “Ideabook” offered by the Houzz tool. A client can create an Ideabook to share with the designer – examples of what they like, what they are looking for in their own space. It replaces the torn (and messy) pages from a glossy magazine that we all have kept in folders! Houzz offers a privately shared digital scrapbook that the designer can access online. A great way to start the create process with a new client.

Houzz is an incredible tool for designers to share their brand, showcase their talent, find and retain new clients!

Kathy Hinds Banfe
Operating Vice President, Residential Sales - East