Scott Chatel has found several ways to tell past and future clients about the high end work his company builds. He also lets them in on the fact that he knows how to work in the sometimes inhospitable urban environments of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

First, Chatel set up a Web site and hired a salesperson to handle smaller kitchen and bath projects from Internet leads. He also hired an advertising agency and a photographer to create a glossy, professional brochure. "We're selling a Mercedes, and there are only a small number of buyers for a Mercedes," Chatel says. "The brochure shows the quality of our work. You have to show the quality, in addition to giving them information."

When the market softened last year, Chatel sent the brochure to a targeted list of owners of expensive houses in a limited geographic area. He also continually contacts past clients by sending them letters and special promotions and runs ads in the local NARI consumer publication.