In 2020, agents at F.C. Tucker Company achieved remarkable feats and our company experienced the most profitable year in its history—all in a year that was as challenging and atypical as our wildest imaginations. Back in early March 2020, we never would have believed the year would be so profitable for sales associates. It’s an achievement like none other, deserving of a celebration like none other.
Honoring agents is a significant aspect of our culture. However, with COVID-19 restrictions, traditional in-person celebrations of music, lights, cameras, food and drink, and hundreds of agents walking across the stage to be greeted with an award and a warm handshake or a grateful hug for their accomplishments weren’t possible.
When we returned to our offices in late May 2020 after following a state-mandated stay-at-home order, we had hopes that by February or March 2021, the world would accommodate what we believed would be needed by then—a grand, live celebration worthy of an industry that weathered the pandemic. Yet, by the summer of 2020, our confidence in this possibility waned as returning to “normal” continued to be a slow and deliberate process for the entire country.
In early fall 2020, our leadership team decided we needed to forge ahead with something new and different. Celebrating in grand style was not an option, so the reimagined 2020 F.C. Tucker Awards Celebration began to take shape.
As with any awards celebration, there are multiple goals. We wanted agents to know just how much they are valued and appreciated—it’s a celebration about them. We also wanted to recognize agents for their incredible contributions and to help them celebrate their success with one another. When we can do all this in a way that authentically promotes and supports their ongoing business, we feel it’s a success and a worthwhile investment in our agents’ futures.
Our three leaders collaborated with our marketing and digital marketing staff to see how closely we could meet all our goals given the restrictions of the pandemic. With more than 400 agents to honor, it soon became clear that a livestream event with our leadership team reading each agent’s name wouldn’t express the excitement and recognition the agents deserved and could ultimately diminish their impressive achievements.
With the idea of a livestream set aside, our marketing and digital marketing professionals created a concept centered on a website, one that could be visited at the launch of the event date on February 19, but could also be revisited over and over and, most importantly, shared. The site had to have something unique, and we quickly realized that meant video—lots of video to showcase individual agents and their achievements.
Our marketing staff sketched out the site architecture, and our digital marketing staff contracted with an outside developer to build the framework. Our digital marketing staff, comprised of two people, fed the site with dummy data, and a series of proofing and testing steps took place. Marketing contracted its favorite video producer, who happened to be on sabbatical in Germany at the time, to coordinate the video work. He hired a local shooter and our vice president of marketing worked with him to coordinate all the shoots locally with editing taking place in Germany. Those steps were critical to give the site as much life and personality as possible.
The result is awards.talktotucker.com, which includes numerous videos showcasing reflections on the year 2020 by agents; individual “surprise” videos highlighting the top honors of Volunteer of the Year and the Tucker Senior Award; videos celebrating the dedication of our office staff; and even a behind-the-scenes video of how the reimagined awards celebration came together.
Highlights of the searchable website are individual congratulations pages for each of the more than 400 winning agents with a shareable graphic and a shareable custom video featuring a company leader personally congratulating the agent. The 400+ videos were recorded in a full-day video shoot and involved hundreds of hours of editing.
In addition to the website, each agent and staff member received a customized box of gifts to enjoy as part of the celebration. All 1,800 of these gift boxes were hand-assembled and shipped over a two-week period. Gifts were locally sourced, and several were even individually handmade by local artisans.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Since the site launch on February 19, the social media engagement of sharing graphics and videos has been incredible. Agents have told us they feel honored and appreciated and can share their success with their networks even more fully than a live event could have ever produced.
Angela Raab, F.C. Tucker branch manager, summed up her reaction to the webpages and shareable videos and graphics, “What a triumph! The awards website is spectacular. Just the right amount of bravado, humor, emotional impact, and professionalism.”
Like all families, our family of agents is eager to gather in person again. Until then, we want our agents and staff to know just how much they are appreciated and how honored we are to be their business partners.
In a year like 2020, it would have been easy to become discouraged, but our agents, like so many across the United States, persevered and were enormously successful. Especially in these uncertain times, it’s important to celebrate one another and our accomplishments as real estate professionals. We feel confident we tapped into something the agent’s needed—appreciation and recognition that can fuel their continued growth and success.