Houzz survey: Home pros bullish on business growth

by rheselbarth@solagroup.com

Ninety percent of North American home remodelers, builders, interior designers, architects and landscape professionals surveyed on Houzz.com expect revenue in 2014 to grow, according to the first “Houzz Residential Design & Renovation Outlook” report based on data provided by more than 6,500 service providers on Houzz. From one-person shops to large firms, pros are bullish on growth, with sole proprietor architects slightly less confident than average, though still strong at 85 percent. Houzz.com, the world’s leading platform for home remodeling and design, also found that large companies with six employees or more reported a stronger 2013 and were more bullish about revenue growth this year.

“These findings are consistent with other leading industry indicators forecasting healthy growth for our industry,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “People are more confident about putting money into their homes, and feedback from our professional community shows that’s translating into more business for home pros around the country, from architects to general contractors and from sole proprietors to large firms.”

The majority of home professionals reported a strong 2013, with 70 percent saying revenue grew compared to the year prior. This number is highest for landscape pros with nearly three quarters (74 percent) reporting revenue growth from 2012 to 2013. As expected, the larger the firm, the more likely they are to have grown revenue in 2013: 80 percent of firms with more than six employees reported revenue growth versus 2012 compared to 72 percent of firms with two to five employees and 64 percent of sole proprietors. More than half (58 percent) of home professionals surveyed said their business performed better than expected in 2013. This number was even higher for architects, with 65 percent reporting that business beat projections, as well as designers, at 60 percent.

Additional findings include:

  • On average, 69 percent of home professionals said they have taken on more diverse projects over the past two years. This number was higher for landscape architects, designers and contractors with 72 percent saying they have diversified their projects and lowest for architects (64 percent). Larger firms were also more likely to have diversified their business: 72 percent of firms with six employees or more said they have taken on more diverse projects compared to 66 percent of sole proprietors.
  • Irrespective of company size, the majority of home professionals (64 percent) reported that the size of their projects (in terms of overall project cost) increased in 2013 compared to the year prior. More landscape professionals (67 percent) and contractors (66 percent) said project size was larger compared to 2012 than other professional types.
  • Firms expect revenue growth to come from both higher average revenue per project, as well as a larger number of projects. New project starts are expected to increase in 2014 across all professional types surveyed.

More than 350,000 home improvement professionals, including home builders, architects, interior designers and contractors, use Houzz as a critical business tool to interact with clients, prospective clients, and other building, remodeling and design professionals locally and around the world.

The Houzz Residential Design & Renovation Outlook is an online survey of Houzz professional users conducted in February 2014.

You can download the full report at http://info.houzz.com/rs/houzz/images/2014ResidentialDesignRenovationOutlook.pdf

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