With an official launch party last Thursday, community-based renovation resource and startup sensation Houzz.com has opened its .au chapter. indesignlive spoke with co-founder Adi Tatarko to hear about the company’s experience in Australia so far, and plans for the future.
September 2nd, 2014
Born of a frustrating personal renovation ordeal, Houzz.com has rapidly grown into a hugely popular and comprehensive resource for anyone looking to build, renovate or furnish, with tens of thousands of service providers, projects and products browsed by over twenty million visitors each month.
With 35% of these visitors based overseas, the company has naturally begun looking to expand internationally and cater to these new markets with a local office. This fits with the company’s core philosophy of always striving to provide the best possible service – not just by creating an intuitive, engaging and relevant website for visitors, but in providing local, accessible support for service providers.
Designed to help renovators of builders connect with tradesmen locally, or at most regionally, who best met the brief, one of the more surprising developments Tatarko recounts is the degree of international connection facilitated by the website. Pool builders have been flown from Miami to Dubai and Architects from Australia to the United States, demonstrating impressive curiosity (and budgets) from visitors and exacting tastes.
When asked if there were any particular traits that stand out in the Australian market, Tatarko is fairly prosaic – the industry is booming (no surprise there), we build lots of swimming pools (again, predictable), with the one cure ball that Australian warehouse and church conversions to residential spaces are hugely popular in the United States.
But Tatarko insists that Houzz.com has no interest in promoting (or even identifying) trends, this is the domain of their community. The website is simply there to facilitate and reflect its users needs and wants. A further example of this focus on users’ comfort and convenience is the absence of advertising from the Australian site. “We want to focus on getting the service right first”, explains Tatarko, “the revenue streams will come later”.
Photography: Bagnato Architects
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