When you walk through the glass doors at McQuaid & Company at Bayfront, the spacious real estate and marketing boutique exudes fun and creativity.
Beige walls are highlighted with black and white, with pops of red sprinkled throughout, including lighting, chairs, giraffes and lions, the firm’s mascot. The black-white-and-red color scheme is a nod to the firm’s branding.
“I winged it initially, but then was inspired by Facebook headquarters,” company President Tiffany McQuaid says of her design inspirations. “I want everyone to always feel inspired. There’s so much color around that evokes different emotions and nostalgia. It stimulates more creativity and activity.
“It’s different from a standard commercial office,” she says. “We want to keep innovation first and foremost and stay inspired.”
In 2017, real estate news company Inman named McQuaid a Real Estate Influencer of 2017 and her firm was nominated for an Inman Innovator Award, which honors companies and agents that increase productivity, efficiency and transparency.
Inspirational quotes decorate the walls, alternating in print and script. “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” says one, while another proclaims: “To be successful, be excellent. If you want the best the world has to offer, then offer the world your best.”
McQuaid, who expanded her Bayfront office in 2013 from 2,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet, employs 48 agents and staff. The office features individual offices and 11 sections, such as the Think Tank, Realtor Store, Beverage Bar, Zen Room, Print Room, a title company and The Tides at Bayfront room, where potential buyers can see and feel finishes for the luxury condos.
“Once we sell out The Tides, I plan to put in two old-fashioned diner booths and close them in with glass to make it a super-fun meeting space,” McQuaid says. “I’m constantly evolving, shifting, moving and redecorating.”
The lobby windows overlooking the street are lined with pale wood cubicles, where real estate agents work as the firm’s signature scent, Happy Home, wafts through the air. “I bought a truckload of cubicles off Craigslist,” McQuaid says, explaining that a business that bought them shut down.
Inside a conference room, two large black-and-white-striped, drum-style lights hang alongside a red top-hat light above the conference table. “I found them at Ethan Allen on clearance,” McQuaid says. “We always use pops of red to unify the brand.”
Down a hallway, the Snack Bar features shelves of chips, Skinny Pop, pretzels and other snacks in red baskets, alongside a freezer packed with popsicles, ice cream bars and swirled frozen yogurt. It’s a first stop before real estate agents head out with clients.
An old jeweler’s safe was converted into a broadcast studio after McQuaid found it would cost $20,000 to remove the door, which now keeps the room quiet for recording.
In the Think Tank, shadow boxes featuring McQuaid’s early marketing efforts decorate the walls, inspiring employees to think outside the box while marketing. Red chairs surround a table with a checkerboard and a black chalkboard schedule covers a wall, while a giraffe inspires employees to stand tall above others. “We call it our creative conclave,” she says. A back area features a wall of bright red high-school lockers, where real estate agents can leave valuables.
“Everything is pieced together. Whenever I saw something online or locally, I kept adding and tweaking,” McQuaid says, adding that the offices undergo yearly refreshing and repainting after season ends.
When employees need a break, they head to the popular Zen Zone, where two large massage chairs sit alongside self-watering plants. “We’ve got to keep the agents moving and relaxed,” McQuaid explains.
Inside the Realtor Store, agents have an array of anything needed to make baskets for open houses. Branded baskets, T-shirts, gifts, marketing materials and other items line the shelves. “We make closing gifts. We do just about anything imaginable for teams in here. It’s kind of like one-stop shopping,” McQuaid says.
The marketing department handles the office and Realtors, in addition to large events McQuaid oversees, such as the Stone Crab Festival and Taste of Collier. Inside its production room, they can print brochures, booklets and mailers. “Everything is done in-house. It’s designed, printed and mailed out from here,” McQuaid says, adding that they do print jobs for a few outside clients.
Employees appreciate the inspirational touches and work freedom, which lured ABC7 anchor Krista Fogelsong to become McQuaid’s VP of communications and community relations. Marketing VP Nicole Hogue says of the atmosphere: “It makes it fun to come into work.”