Remodeler Geoff Martin of Cedar Mill Group, in Webster, N.H., is being proactive about finding new leads during the recession. “My idea was to take the best companies that we have a relationship with and aggressively cross-market,” he says.

He formed a group with nine firms in Webster that offer services including excavation, painting, water treatment, lighting, insulation, roofing, plumbing, and glass. The group created the NH Contractors website.
“I went to the owners and said we have to do something to help each other. I handpicked those companies — I only wanted companies that I could be 100% confident that I could refer to anyone under any circumstances,” Martin says.

Many of the companies have been trading leads for years. “We’re just showcasing and making it more visible,” Martin says. Each company invested $1,000 to start the group, and they each pay a percentage of additional costs. The companies include the NH Contractors link on their individual websites and marketing materials. They are currently researching ways to drive more traffic to the site and are reviewing two more companies that want to join. --Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.