houzzuk

Online consultations – do you offer them and what tips can you share?

HouzzUK
last year
last modified: last year

Calling all Houzz professionals. Are online consultations a key part of your business? Are you considering introducing them? We'd love to know how you work remotely and hear your advice for others who might be considering it.

Please share your tips and thoughts below.

Comments (10)

  • PRO
    OnePlan
    last year

    We have been on Houzz offering a remote design service since 2013 !!

  • PRO
    ANDREA JENKINS INTERIOR DESIGN.
    last year

    Not having done this before, its something I'm looking into!

  • PRO
    Sophia's Gardens
    last year

    I've been adapting in-person meetings to using Zoom and its screen-sharing facilities. It's working really well so far. Luckily, until we reach the build stage, most of the work can be done from the home office. Plus, initial site visits/surveys with appropriate safeguards are also still feasible, so many projects can get underway at least.

  • PRO
    Ivy Project Management
    last year

    I offer virtual client consultations via zoom and Google hangouts and find that for the initial stages of most projects this method enables us to get the project planning and budgeting elements underway.

    In addition to this I offer a 'Home Concierge' service whereby clients can share any works they'd like done around the house, or even problems or issues they're having in their home, send me videos and/pictures and together with my partner trades we're able to provide advise and quotes for works required. In the current climate I'm finding this works well with social distancing measures in place and puts clients and trades at less risk. Only once client is happy with the proposal and tradesperson (who they meet through a virtual meeting online as well) the works progress.

  • PRO
    Design Work Studios Ltd
    11 months ago

    We have managed to move our entire process online! Many of our clients were sitting at home with spare time on their hands to think about their home extension, or were suddenly reminded by close proximity why they needed the extra space. So we do all our calls via Zoom, we screenshare to present proposals, clients receive a laser measure so they can take rough dimensions for us, and we send out a pair of VR goggles so we can take them through a virtual walk-through of their new home. Planning applications get submitted so they can be working while we're all sat at home. It's worked great so far! And we are still gathering tenders from build contractors for our clients so they hit the ground running once things are back to normal.

  • PRO
    Spark Garden & Landscape Design
    11 months ago

    I've been doing a lot of garden design consultations remotely since lockdown began and I've surprised myself at how well they've worked.


    Admittedly they have mostly been typical London terrace back gardens, so not exactly challenging - I know this kind of garden very well and can predict the dimensions, soil type and issues almost with no client input - but still, each project and the resulting design has been different and interesting, and has helped me stayed motivated and in the loop. I've also been able to turnaround designs more quickly and for people who wouldn't normally have the budget to engage a garden designer.


    Hopefully these projects will lead to bigger commissions in the future, but even if they don't it's been fun and I've 'met' some lovely people who will now have lovely gardens to match.

  • PRO
    Jane Harries Garden Designs
    11 months ago

    I set up as a remote garden designer 10 years ago and have enjoyed it. There are of course drawbacks - not being able to be involved with the build, so you have little influence on how it turns out, for one - and doing complicated gardens would need lots of videos and a professional survey - but for simple small gardens they work well, and also planting plans. You have to let people know clearly what they must do and help them do it, and keep asking questions about their photos and videos until you know the garden well. That takes a bit of time. Good luck with your designs, other designers!

  • PRO
    i-architect
    10 months ago

    I did my first online design consultation way back in 2010 or 2011 for a client in New York State, which seemed very exciting at the time. But I wasn't happy with the the technology I had access to and how it limited the quality of the service compared to my in-person version, so I stopped offering that and stuck to in-person. But at the end of last year I decided to go back to offering a less location dependent service and invested in a bit of tech - webcam and tablet, so now I use zoom with a screenshare and have a design briefing process that my clients work through before we talk. It's now just as good as the in-person workshop and I'm not sure I'll got back to offering an in-person version even once we're able to. I can do everything else, bar the measured survey without a site visit too, so I'm now taking projects through planning and building control stages with all client meetings done online using zoom. It's also handy that you can record zoom calls too, so you have a record of them if needed.

  • PRO
    Kids Rule Interiors
    9 months ago

    I only work remotely. I offer consultations using FaceTime, Skype, zoom, WhatsApp or by phone after going through the client's replies to my detailed client questionnaire. E-design works well and is a growing field, already very popular in USA and Australia before the pandemic. As people are more used to engaging via video conferencing and email the process becomes easier - often people are more honest about their likes and dislikes.

United Kingdom
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