Houzzer Profile: Miki Sugawara, Industry Solutions
As part of the Industry Solutions team in Tokyo, Miki helps home professionals harness the power of Houzz to build their brands and connect with homeowners. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time playing, reading and cooking with her daughter. Miki and her family love to travel and plan to visit Finland next.
How did you hear about Houzz?
My husband was working as a software engineer for a U.S.-based tech company, I visited his office and loved the environment and people there. When I was back in Japan, I researched similar companies with offices in Tokyo and found Houzz. At the time, I was working in sales for a manufacturing company that had ties to the housing industry, so when I found Houzz, it seemed like the perfect fit. It combined the environment of a tech company with a sector where I had experience.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
What I enjoy most is seeing my clients thrive after we’ve worked together to make sure they’re getting the most out of Houzz. Listening to their needs, building a customized strategy for their business, and seeing those efforts bear fruit is really inspiring.
Our team is very collaborative. I love that we work together to improve the service we provide to our clients and celebrate wins as a team. We also work closely with the product and engineering teams, and it’s great to see that they take our community’s ideas into account when developing new features.
What’s something that has surprised you about working at Houzz?
Despite being a global company, I was surprised by how well connected we are to the wider business. I am often in touch with teammates in the U.S., Europe and Australia, and I spent a week at the Houzz office in Sydney for in-depth training when I was promoted to a new role. Houzzers from around the world regularly visit Tokyo, and we always have a blast taking them out to enjoy the city when they’re here.
What is your favorite Pro+ feature?
My favorite feature is Pro Spotlight, which is an editorial story that gives professionals on Houzz the opportunity to share their story and express their style beyond what is available on their profile.
What qualities best reflect your role?
Teamwork. We have a team full of skilled individuals, but we all enjoy and benefit from working together to ensure success.
What advice do you have for others looking to start their career?
Stay positive, be patient and remember to listen! If you’re doing all the talking, you will not learn what your client actually needs.