When the recession hit, a lot of remodelers closed their doors. Todd Crockett opened up new ones in the form of a showroom and a handyman service. “That got our face and name out in front of people even more, and that helped develop a whole new segment of business,” says Crockett, the firm’s owner and president.

It also helped Crockett refine his business model. Today, an expanded showroom helps customers make all their decisions from inception to finished product—and sets Crockett apart from his competition. “They don’t have to go to 15 different vendors or separate contractors,” he says. “We facilitate the entire process.”

That process gets a technological assist: iPads help customers envision projects, vendor apps assist in choosing products, and 3D rendering software enables them to see their design come to life.

Crockett also relies heavily on Houzz to help clients—and gain new ones. Houzz’s lead generation program ensures that people in his area see Crockett’s name when they’re searching for projects that fit his company’s skill set. In just a year, he says, the program has boosted leads 15% to 20%.

Crockett stays in touch with past customers and keeps word-of-mouth business strong, through regular e-newsletters and promotional offers. But he says the most effective method is simply picking up the phone.

“I like to stay in contact with a lot of our past customers the old-fashioned way,” he says. “I catch up with them and their family and we start talking about simple, day-to-day things. And before you know it, they invite you back over to look at something they’ve been kicking around.”