New research from home renovation and design platform Houzz reveals the most important factors that are affecting clients’ decisions to hire for renovation projects – we round up the key revelations.
* Which trades are homeowners hiring?
Electricians are the most sought-after trade professional for Houzz users, with 60% of survey respondents hiring one for their 2022 project and 45% saying they plan to hire an electrician in 2023.
Carpet and flooring specialists are also popular, with around 42% of renovating homeowners hiring one last year or planning to hire one this year. Other well-browsed categories include carpenters, painters & decorators, builders and roofers (37%, 36%, 28% and 26%, respectively).
Growing categories on Houzz include kitchen designers and fitters (up from 19% in 2021 to 25% in 2022) and landscape contractors (up from 16% in 2021 to 24% in 2022).
* Where do they look for tradespeople?
While referrals are the route many people take to finding a tradesperson (47%), more than a third of respondents said they used online directories to find their professional (37%).
Offline directories and publications are proving least useful to homeowners, with only 6% saying this was how they sought out a trade professional. However, it pays to maintain a good relationship with your clients, as 21% said they’d hired someone they’d worked with in the past.
* What challenges do homeowners need tradespeople to resolve?
It seems that finding the right contractor is tricky for many homeowners, with 40% of respondents saying this was their biggest renovation challenge in 2022. So it makes sense to ensure you’re well positioned to help with this decision.
It’s worth taking good photographs of your projects to allow potential clients to get a full idea of the type of work you do, and remember to ask previous clients to leave a review on your website or Houzz profile.
Other challenges include finding the right products or materials (30%), staying on budget (25%) and visualising the result (20%). To aid with these, a management platform can be really useful. You can use the software to put together mood boards and 3D floor plans and share product information, schedules and budget breakdowns quickly and clearly.
* What influences their decision when hiring?
The majority of clients rely on recommendations when choosing a tradesperson, with 75% of homeowners saying this was most important to them.
Cost is also crucial, as 67% said they wanted to know whether the price would be within their budget. It’s also important to show you have experience with the type of project the client is planning, with 52% of respondents citing this as an influence on decision-making. Half of homeowners (51%) also said they valued communication and organisation skills in the professionals they chose.
Interestingly, visuals have become more important to homeowners. While 10% said they were impressed by professionals who offered visuals of their project in 2021, this number jumped to 15% in 2022.
* What would homeowners like tradespeople to do more of?
When asked how their tradesperson could have made their project easier, half of the homeowners said they were completely happy with everything.
For others, there was some room for improvement: 28% said clear communication would have been beneficial, while 17% would have liked more guidance on product and material options. For 16% of respondents, transparency in schedule and expense tracking would have improved their experience.