Technology

Houzz opens up business directory to real estate agents

Agents can review and be reviewed by other site users

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Home remodeling site Houzz has added a professional category for real estate agents in response to requests from agents who want to join the site’s business directory, the company said.

Nearly 900 agents and brokers had signed up as of Wednesday evening, giving them the ability to review and be reviewed by other site users, upload photos and create “Ideabooks” and “Projects.”

The real estate agent category is one of 30 others that Houzz recently added, when it doubled the number of categories in its professional directory in order to serve a larger swath of real estate professionals and help homeowners hone in on specialists.

The company also recently said that it has more then tripled the number of subscribers to its paid-marketing service Pro+ since the product launched five months ago.

In addition to the new real estate agent category, the site now offers 59 others, including Decks and Patios, Kitchen Remodelers, Home Builders, Home Media, Ironwork and Fireplaces.

A recent survey conducted by Houzz found that more than 65 percent of the 200,000 professionals who are active on the site use it to generate business inquiries.

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In an effort to tap contractors’ marketing interest in the site, Houzz announced its Pro+ marketing program in January. At the time of the announcement, the product served only a handful of markets. But in March, Houzz expanded Pro+‘s coverage to 425 markets.

Pro+ allows subscribers to advertise their business profiles to site visitors who live in their markets. The number of subscribers to the service has jumped by 350 percent since Pro+ was announced, Houzz recently reported.

Houzz enables contractors and homeowners to showcase home remodeling projects by creating profiles and posting photos.

Zillow recently introduced a similar platform called Zillow Digs. The company recently announced that the site has grown by 165 percent since launching in February.

Like Houzz, Digs allows professionals and homeowners to showcase their work online. After it matures, it also could offer advertising opportunities similar to those provided by Houzz.

In addition to other features, Zillow Digs offers valuations of projects that are posted on the site, known as Digs Estimates.