The Drill Down: AI Special Edition

Learn how Houzz Pro’s AI advancements are a game-changer for builders and designers.
by The Drill Down Team on May 20, 2024

Fans of The Drill Down know that we keep tabs on artificial intelligence and its role in home improvement and construction. For this Q&A, we went right to the heart of the AI matter: The Houzz Pro platform. 

Houzz Pro provides builders, contractors, and the design community with a business management and marketing SaaS solution that helps them win projects, collaborate with clients and teams, and run their businesses efficiently and profitably.

Liza Hausman, VP of Industry Marketing, is giving us the inside scoop on how Houzz Pro’s advancements in AI are setting the stage for even bigger things to come.

A construction worker wearing an orange hard hat looks at a modern house in the distance, with a digital visual representation of a project plan extending towards the house. The text overlay reads, "We identified a gap in the market for a comprehensive tool that supports professionals from project inception to final payment, incorporating kitchen and bath trends.

Q: Liza, Houzz has made significant strides with its Houzz Pro software in recent years. Can you share how this platform aids professionals in the remodeling and construction industries?

A: Four years ago, we identified a gap in the market for a comprehensive tool that supports professionals from project inception to final payment. Houzz Pro was our answer to this need. It integrates functions like CRM, estimating, product sourcing and online payments into a single platform, eliminating the inefficiency of moving data between systems. This not only boosts productivity but also significantly reduces the risk of data loss.

Q: Before we dive into the technical aspects of how AI is working behind the scenes, what types of businesses benefit most from Houzz Pro?

A: Our platform is designed to be scalable, serving a wide range of business sizes. Large firms find the short learning curve and team collaboration features a major draw, often switching their entire operation to Houzz Pro. Mid-market and smaller businesses appreciate the affordability and the ability to grow with the platform, utilizing tools that make their operation more professional without unnecessary complexity.

Q: AI seems to be a cornerstone of your strategy. How does it enhance the Houzz experience for professionals?

A: Absolutely, AI is a crucial part of our product development strategy. We've branded our AI tools as AutoMate, focusing on making daily operations more efficient for professionals. From voice-to-text documentation on mobile that formats itself, to a central messaging system that integrates email and SMS into the project files, AI is all about removing the repetitive tasks without removing the personal touch professionals bring to their projects.

A man sits at a desk looking thoughtful with one hand on his forehead. The background is a blend of orange digital circuitry patterns. The text overlay reads, "Our goal is to remove the drudgery, not the human element," aligning with modern kitchen and bath trends.

Q: Can you dive into some specific AI features Houzz offers that professionals might find particularly useful?

A: One of the most innovative features is our Takeoff tool, which now uses AI to automate tasks that used to be manual and time-consuming, like counting outlets on a plan or tracing flooring areas. This lets professionals focus on the creative and client-service aspects of their projects. Our goal is to remove the drudgery, not the human element, allowing our users to move quickly and efficiently.

Q: How does AI specifically accelerate tasks for Houzz users?

A: AI excels in automating the repeatable yet critical aspects of business operations. For example, it can generate email marketing content or routine client communications, freeing up professionals to concentrate on their areas of expertise. This automation is embedded across our platform, enhancing everything from project management to client engagement.

Q: Looking ahead, how do you see Houzz evolving in the next few years?

A: Our focus will continue to be on integrating AI throughout our toolset, making every aspect of running a business smoother and more efficient. Specifically, AI will facilitate the repeatable pieces that are both critical and time consuming. It will be centered around all the contractor’s communication and marketing tools. Businesses don’t always have a specialist for every single role and Houzz Pro will fill those needs.

We're also dedicated to strengthening our community through events, thought leadership, and educational content, ensuring our users have the support and knowledge they need to succeed.

A man and a woman stand outdoors, smiling and looking at something in the distance. The man holds a tablet. Overlaid text reads, "AI tools that allow real-time updates to both costs and visuals reassure homeowners." Colorful data points on kitchen and bath trends are superimposed in the background.

Q: The construction and home improvement industry faces unique challenges today. How does Houzz help professionals navigate these issues?

A: Post-COVID, the competition for discretionary spending is fierce. Our platform helps professionals showcase the value of their services, combining high-tech efficiency with the personal touch that clients expect. This balance is key to convincing clients to invest in their homes instead of travel or other expenses. AI tools that allow real-time updates to both costs and visuals reassure homeowners and make for a seamless sales experience.

Q: Houzz's business model focuses on subscriptions. How do you balance this with providing value to manufacturers and professionals alike?

A: While subscriptions form the backbone of our revenue, we also ensure that manufacturers find value in our platform through complementary listings. This neutrality helps us maintain a diverse and rich product library — essential for the professionals using our tools.

The Drill Down’s conversation with Liza Hausman highlights Houzz's commitment to leveraging AI to simplify and enhance every aspect of the home improvement and construction process. As the industry continues to evolve alongside this new technology, Houzz Pro's innovative approach offers a glimpse into the future of professional project management, marketing, and client engagement. For professionals looking to stay ahead of the curve, embracing these technologies will be key to their success.

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