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Interior Designer Kaitlyn Wolfe on How She Uses Technology to Boost Her Bottom Line, Foster Trust, and Blend Aesthetics With Function

Read our interview with interior designer Kaitlyn Wolfe as she reflects on what makes her business so successful.

Stephan Rabimov

As technology has revolutionized the interior design industry, many professionals are turning to digital solutions to streamline their business operations. One of them is Kaitlyn Wolfe, who uses Houzz Pro, a business management software that offers an all-in-one solution for lead management, estimate building, client collaboration, online payments, marketing and more.

Wolfe, an interior designer who also has a general contractor’s license, founded the firm Iconic Design + Build. Her background in construction gives her an edge when it comes to blending aesthetics with function.

“When we are figuring out how we want something to look, we're also taking into consideration what the structure is like and how that gets affected,” Wolfe says.

Describing her style as “desert, modern, Scandinavian, midcentury industrial iconic design,” she favors natural materials such as concrete, steel and wood and is a big fan of texture. Her incorporation of classic elements within a contemporary design stems from her time living in the small English village of Elham, where she was inspired by European architecture and history.

Wolfe’s design-build projects have a lot of moving parts. How does she manage to stay on top of it all? Wolfe relies on Houzz Pro to help ensure that her business runs as efficiently as possible. One of the Houzz Pro features Wolfe finds especially useful is the ability to create and share proposals with clients, including a breakdown of costs and deliverables. “It just really streamlines that process,” she says. 

Once the design phase begins, Houzz Pro helps Wolfe to visually present her ideas to clients and let them click on individual items and pull up specific information. “They can see the individual pricing, the dimensions, the additional photographs of those items, they can ask a specific question about those items, and then they can click approve or deny,” she says. “It makes the approval process really nice and it allows them to see the price of each individual piece instead of just getting one lump sum.”

Once the clients have given their approvals, Houzz Pro automatically generates an invoice, which they can pay electronically. “That whole process just saves us so much time. It's how we do all of our billing, so it's synced with our QuickBooks,” Wolfe says. 

Another benefit, according to Wolfe: Houzz Pro has strengthened her client relationships and fostered trust by allowing clients to stay informed and feel involved every step of the way. “I think just the ease of use for the clients to access the information and also ask us questions, it just gives much more confidence,” she says. “The client can access it at any time, even if it's 10 o'clock at night. Instead of me having to go out to the client's house every single time to explain something, that interface is just so easy.”

Wolfe says Houzz Pro has saved her many hours and improved her accuracy. “Before I was using Houzz Pro, I was doing everything in Excel spreadsheets and it was just so time-consuming. There's a lot of errors doing that,” she says. Wolfe notes that Houzz Pro software has also improved communication among her team and allows everyone to be on the same page. “When it's just one person, you can maybe manage an Excel spreadsheet, but then as you're growing the team, you all need to be able to access the platform and communicate to each other better,” she says.

Wolfe believes using Houzz Pro is the wisest decision a designer can make for their business. “If anyone is trying to scale their business and delegate tasks, then technology is a huge way to do that,” she says. “If it's a money thing, I think it's going to allow you to be more efficient and take on more projects. I think that outweighs the cost of the program.” See Houzz Pro plans and pricing here.

And to answer those worried about learning a new program, Wolfe says: “It's worth the time investment. At the same time, it's so user-friendly. I think it's something that can be picked up really easily.”

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Stephan Rabimov

Stephan Rabimov leads Content Marketing at Houzz. Portland resident. Global citizen. Nature loving.

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