When Josh Berghuis started his company, he had one mission: Be the go-to modern contemporary builder in his area. “There are a lot of great builders and a lot of competition where we are,” says Berghuis, owner of Berghuis Construction in Walker, Michigan. “We had to find a way to distinguish ourselves with our branding in order to show that we were unique and a little bit edgy.”
Berghuis, a member of the HBA of Michigan, has since built a name for himself and his company in his area as a custom home builder whose specialty is unique, modern projects. “When people see contemporary houses in our area they ask if we’ve done them,” he says. “It starts with branding. We always go back to our goal of being the go-to modern contemporary builder for our area and we make sure all of our branding represents that well. We always keep that mission in mind and that makes our branding consistent.”
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Here are four areas to stay consistent in your branding:
The images you showcase in your projects are the best representation of the work you can do. Consistency in your photos can help home owners associate certain styles or looks with your company.
“Photographs are the most important thing for our branding because that’s what people see first, even before they read any text,” says Cass McNinch of Aberdeen Building Group and a member of the Greater Houston Builders Association in Texas. “I have one photographer and I use her every time so the images we get are consistent.”
Once you receive the images from the shoot, choose the ones that are the most representative of your brand.
“Once I get the photographs, I won’t put every one online, just the ones that I think showcase our work the best,” McNinch says. “It’s not necessarily always about having the same style of work because the work we do for our clients is fairly broad, but I want all of the photographs we post to have a consistent style in terms of good composition and lighting.”
How you describe yourself and your company on your website and Houzz profile is a great opportunity to define your brand for potential clients. The words you use and the story you tell contribute to a home owner’s overall perception of your business.
Berghuis’ mission to stand out as a unique, modern builder lead him to create a website that deviated from the websites of other traditional builders. “We don’t have the typical ‘About Us’ page with the typical fonts and wording,” says Berghuis, whose website is a stark modern gray with block lettering and alternating bright yellow fonts. “Everything is done with purpose. We want to think outside the box and do something different so people view us differently.”
Reviews are the No.1 thing home owners look at when deciding whether to hire a professional. The more reviews you have, the more potential customers can read and learn about the way you work with clients and complete projects. They’re an essential part of your brand.
“Reviews are incredibly important to our business since more people are finding us online and clients seem to be relying on those reviews more than word of mouth these days,” says Colin Flavin of Flavin Architects in Boston, a member of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Northern Vermont. “We always ask for a review as the project is approaching completion and we ask if they could talk specifically about our design work and what it was like to work with our team. Those are two of our strengths and we want our reviews to reflect our brand.”
Houzz allows you to respond to your reviews with a short thank you message and ‘Like’.
The way you work with home owners online is indicative of the way you interact with potential clients offline. Spending time answering questions and sharing your expertise on forums and discussions shows homeowners you’re a business that likes to help, both online and in person.
“We’ve found that answering a few quick questions shows that we’re generous with our knowledge and willing to help people in general,” says Jenny Sneller of Sneller Custom Homes in Spring, Texas, who is also a member of the Houston HBA. “It’s not always easy to see the immediate business benefit when we’re helping people out of our area, but we really are just in it to help people. That’s part of our brand and now people know us as a business that genuinely wants to help.”
In addition, any comments you leave on discussions or photos on Houzz appear on your Houzz profile, so prospective clients visiting your profile get a sense for what it’s like to work with you.
Interested in learning more about building your brand online? Download our free ebook.
For builders, remodelers and other home pros, Houzz is where people around the world get smart about home building and renovation. More than 40 million people visit Houzz each month to manage every aspect of their projects, including researching, connecting and collaborating with professionals. NAHB members on Houzz have access to exclusive benefits through the Houzz NAHB Strategic Alliance program and leading industry research.