When Tim Lawrence and his sharp marketing team at Blue Ridge Home Improvement, in Seattle, were looking for an easy way to build their exposure, they came up with a creative solution that increases their visibility and endears them to their customers On their own color printer, Blue Ridge uses before and after pictures they've already taken for their portfolio and creates an attractive flyer with the headline, “Take a Look at What Your Neighbors Did!” On the inside are striking pictures of the work that was done, along with a written description of the project.

The flyer includes a quote from the homeowners, sometimes just a few lines, sometimes several paragraphs, affirming their happiness with the project and with Blue Ridge. It is then direct mailed to between 50 and 200 people, depending on the neighborhood.

This type of marketing tactic works well for two reasons: It ups Blue Ridge's name recognition in the neighborhood, and it satisfies the desire of most contented homeowners to parade their new remodel in front of the neighbors a bit.

Lawrence likens it to a more budget-friendly version of those neighborhood wine-and-cheese gatherings that many remodelers offer. He says that they have noticed increased business in the past year since sending out the first flyer and a rate of almost 100% of homeowners agreeing to participate. To reduce costs and optimize the marketing, the company is choosy about which design/build projects it creates flyers for.