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Creating a Hybrid Gifting Experience

Written By Amber Breeden

July 21, 2022

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed incredible adaptability and resilience as people across all industries and roles learned to work and thrive in completely new and uncharted ways. One such industry that experienced a seismic shift is commercial real estate. This is a field where face-to-face meetings, tours, and handshakes win the day—that is, until it all came to a screeching halt.

Avison Young is a global real estate firm with a big presence in the DMV. Over the last seven years, we’ve worked closely with their Washington, DC office on everything from splashy marketing centers and signage to broker gifts and packaging. When COVID hit in March 2020, offices shut down and Avison’s marketing team had to rethink their outreach strategy. With the help of new technology, tours and meetings both became virtual, but one issue remained—how to send tour follow-up gifts. With everyone working remotely, Avison didn’t have the proper contact information to reach brokers at home. They decided to try a new approach and create a broker gifting microsite. Avison hoped brokers would be willing to provide their best mailing address—whether that was home, the office, or their in-law’s beach house—in exchange for a self-selected thank you gift. 

Working with Avison’s marketing team, we created a branded microsite with a page featuring locally curated gift options for the brokers to choose from. Avison emailed brokers a link to the site along with a one-time code to claim their gift. After selecting their gift option, the broker provided their contact information. As submissions rolled in, Avison’s marketing team (and later, our Experiential Graphics team) fulfilled the gifts on a weekly basis.

This hybrid gifting experience proved to be a great success. “Microsites have allowed us to create a customized gift-giving experience on behalf of our clients. Born from necessity during COVID when it was difficult to track down home addresses to send tour follow-up gifts, these microsites have forever changed the way we send gifts,” says Caroline Lawler, Marketing Director for Avison’s Washington, DC office. Over the last couple of years, Avison has leveraged the approach for many of their clients’ projects and plans to continue. “Even with most people back in the office at least part-time, microsites have streamlined the gift-giving process for us while also making it possible to provide more options so that the gifts we are sending feel tailored to each person,” Lawler says.

She added, “More Vang has been extremely easy to work with on these microsite projects. After providing an initial outline, content, and brand materials, they needed very little additional direction, and the final product exceeds our expectations every time.”

While this story may be specific to Avison Young, the possibilities for hybrid gifting reach far beyond commercial real estate. We’ve seen this approach work for events, high-value prospecting, and onboarding, to name just a few. Drop us a line if you’re interested in exploring this idea—from site design and development to custom branded packaging and gift fulfillment—for your next project.