By REMODELING Magazine Staff. Is it time to hire a marketing manager? Start by looking for someone with these characteristics:

1. Market savvy. They should know how to assess your market and how to target the right clients or adjust if new leads aren't in your demographic.

2. Writing skill. They should understand what your advertising should look and sound like and be familiar with newsletters, presentation packages, and testimonials.

3. Technology know-how. They should know how to build a Web site, or how to manage someone who does, and be adept at using computers and databases to track leads.

4. An analytical eye. They should be able to analyze job cost reports to determine which jobs are most profitable, then determine how to target similar jobs.

5. Room for growth. They should have potential to progress into client management, keeping clients happy through their remodels, a function Steve Heffner of Davitt Design Build grew into. He also qualifies leads by phone and gives prospects a general idea of budget. And he politely tells them, if the company is too busy, that "we can't work with you now" -- without prospects hating the company or never coming back.

Thanks to Howard Walker of Helping Hands Construction of St. Simons Island, Ga., who hired a marketing manager two years ago for his $1.2 million-a-year business, and Heffner, long-time marketing manager of the $5 million-a-year Davitt Design Build of West Kingston, R.I., for these tips.