There is no shortage of residential design and home improvement-related Websites and social media—just think Houzz, HomeTalk and Pinterest. Remodelista.com is the newest Website to emerge. Two NARI members share their use of the new site, and how they hope to capture new clients on this platform.
Remodelista splits its focus on interior design and architecture. It’s a mixture of blog entries—which read like case studies of design or furnishing options, even pointing out brands and retailers of those items—and e-commerce, where readers are allowed to purchase the items through the site’s online shopping search engine.
You can search by room, and find all related content surrounding that room. Or, visitors can follow catchy blog topics such as “10 Easy Pieces,” “Design Sleuth,” “5 Favorites,” “Steal This Look” or “Domestic Science.” Visitors also can search all of the above by city, including internationally.
How remodelers can use the site
Many remodelers may wonder how to use a site like this to their advantage.
Andrew Trent, marketing director for Watermark & Company, based in Austin, Texas, believes sites like Remodelista are creating inspiration for his clients and therefore is an important tool for drawing potential clients to his company.
As a feature in Watermark’s e-newsletter, it’s obvious that Trent wants to send people to the site as a motivator for remodeling. “Remodelista is a fantastic idea-generator,” Trent says. “Selections can be challenging, and we want to push people to these sites to help them generate an idea of what they want.”
He hopes that by helping someone get inspired, they in turn will remember that they got the information from Watermark and will go to them when they are ready to “get the look.”
This was a natural progression for Trent as they started to notice clients coming to them for more design-related issues. “We’re trying to move from a contracting company into a fully functional design and interior design company, and this is helping us do it.”
Keeping up with the industry
Kirsten Shaw, marketing consultant at Jeff King and Company Inc., based in San Francisco, Calif., says Remodelista came to them through an interview series with architects and designers on the company’s blog.
“A lot of designers and architects we were working with would bring up Remodelista, so we decided to look into advertising on the site,” Shaw says.
Jeff King and Company is a general building contractor and many clients have their own designers or architects by the time they reach Jeff King, so maintaining those industry partnerships is just as important as getting in front of homeowners.
Remodelista helps Shaw reach both audiences at once.
“It’s a beautiful site, and it attracts the right audience that we want to get in front of,” Shaw says.
Some could easily compare Remodelista to Houzz, but Shaw says there are differences. The editorial content, the shopping aspect and the high-end directory of architects and designers separate the readership on Remodelista.
Houzz is more for someone who is actually launching a project or has launched and is interacting with a professional through the site, Shaw says. Remodelista is more for the inspirational browser—someone who hopes to remodel or has an interest in design, but not an immediate need.
Even with a soft-sell approach, a presence on Remodelista was still a worthwhile marketing tactic for Jeff King and Company, given the high-end nature of the site. Shaw inquired about advertising rates on Remodelista and was scrutinized by the site’s editors to make sure that they fit the site’s level of quality.
“There weren’t a lot of contractors, and they are selective of who advertises on the site,” she says. During this qualification process, everything from Jeff King’s image quality, to reviews and project types/size were taken into consideration before they accepted them.
Once accepted, Shaw says that the ad dollars are very affordable, and after being listed under the site’s Professional Directory, Remodelista is now one of the top five sites referring traffic to their company Website.
And that is without the editorial opportunity that comes with advertising. “We haven’t taken advantage of the editorial aspect because we are waiting to see which upcoming projects have the best potential for that space,” Shaw says.
Visit http://remodelista.com to see if this new site is for your company.—Morgan Zenner