The people have spoken, and Houzz has recently announced the Best of Houzz 2020 winners.
The Best of Houzz awards program recognizes just three percent of more than 2.5 million active home professionals and interior and architectural photographers on the Houzz platform. The categories are in Design, Service and Photography.
“The awards are based entirely on input from the Houzz homeowner community,” says Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “The Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Service honors are based on several factors, including a professional’s overall rating on Houzz, as well as reviews received for projects completed in the year preceding the award.”
Hausman says Houzz offers the awards as a way of not only recognizing the professionals but it allows homeowners to benefit from peer recommendations. The Best of Houzz badges appear automatically on the winning profiles to help homeowners see who the top-rated professionals are on the site.
Houzz says the best way to become eligible for the Best of Houzz Design award is to upload high-quality photos on your profile page. Photos that get high amounts of saves to Houzz idea books, along with other user engagement, have a higher chance of winning a Design award.
As for a Best of Houzz Service award, professionals need at least one client review from a project completed in the year leading up to the award year. So, if you’d like to earn a 2021 badge for service, encourage clients to leave a positive review this year.
Outdoor Dreams, based in Richmond, Virginia, has been on Houzz since 2011. Greg Koehler, owner and lead designer of Outdoor Dreams says he fell in love with the site the first time he visited it and every year, they find a new way to utilize the website in their sales and design processes.
Outdoor Dreams has earned Best of Houzz awards for both Design and Service since 2016.
“The Best of Houzz Design award is a wonderful recognition of the hard work and meticulous attention to detail from our design and build teams,” Koehler says. “It’s truly an honor to know that people respond to and appreciate all of our work.”
Koehler says it’s hard for them to pinpoint the exact reason why the Houzz community responds well to their projects for the Design award, but he credits his team’s commitment to detail and craftsmanship, as well as having a capable photography team that includes photographer Becky Rees and stager Catherine Heleniak.
“Quality photography is of utmost importance for winning the Best of Houzz Design award,” Koehler says. “Even before we hired a professional photographer, Outdoor Dreams invested in a professional-grade camera and top-of-the-line editing software to ensure our photography was the best in our market. In today’s world, to grab someone’s attention, your photos have to be better than ones taken on their phone.”
One example of a project that resonated well in the Houzz community was the Mechanicsville Hillside Makeover, which is pictured at the top of the article.
“The project is beautiful, but not over the top and unattainable, and it was thoughtfully designed to solve the problem of an unusable backyard,” Koehler says. “Additionally, along with our meticulous attention to detail, we think our work resonates with the Houzz community because we work with the highest quality of materials from manufacturers like Techo-Bloc.”
He says Outdoor Dreams earns the Service award by working hard to deliver the highest quality service that sets proper expectations and educates the clients on everything from the costs to the design options. Koehler says that in the company’s 15 years of experience, they have learned that communication is key.
“Throughout construction, along with a dedicated project manager, we also provide our clients with weekly progress reports that keep them informed about what work has been completed, the next steps and an estimated date of completion,” he says.
Koehler says earning the Service award is an honor because it shows their hard work toward providing quality service isn’t going unnoticed.
“We know that in today’s busy world, a business has to deliver the highest quality of service for anyone to take the time to write a quality, thoughtful review,” Koehler says. “The fact that such a great number of our clients take the time to do so means that we are impacting our clients’ lives in a positive way.”
The badges not only serve as a form of recognition for Outdoor Dreams, but they also help the company stand out on the site. Koehler says they get numerous job prospects on Houzz.
“New clients are preparing to make a big investment in their homes, so they want to make sure that the people they work with can be trusted,” Koehler says. “The Best of Houzz awards are Credibility Badges that tell prospective clients that others appreciate your work and enjoy working with you. The fact that people respond to your work is so important.”
Click here to view all of the Best of Houzz 2020 award winners.