Beyond websites, tour collateral, and targeted email marketing campaigns, commercial real estate marketers understand the power of an impactful physical tour experience. While storied brands and active marketing campaigns raise awareness and peak initial interest, in-person asset previews and the ability to connect story propositions to physical space remain the ultimate decision driver for prospects in search of a workplace home.

With so much riding on this part of the user journey to leasing success, this month we invited Maria Royal, Nimble. Design Co. Brand Strategy Manager, to share a few considerations for building effective marketing centers. As a design consultancy dedicated to Branding For The Built Environment™, Nimble.’s team is driven by the mission to continually impact the intersection of where brand meets place across commercial real estate.

Find four strategic steps for approaching marketing center design with best practices from coast to coast.

Commercial Property Marketing Center | Nimble

Marketing center featuring environmental graphics and select paint application | Summit | Peachtree Corners, GA | Copyright Nimble. Design Co.


Should Your Commercial Property Have a Marketing Center?

From full-floor, museum-quality experiences to small suite introductions the function of a marketing center is to connect brand to place in a way that aligns with business goals, leasing objectives, and allocated budget. 

Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Real Estate Marketing

Whether it makes sense to design a marketing center for your asset or not should depend wholly on your business objectives. Whether the goal is to help audiences visualize what renovations will look like once debuted or to demonstrate an intangible benefit like quality ownership — with a strong intent behind the design, creating a marketing center can help control the environment for a memorable and impactful user experience.

If you’re considering creating a marketing center, here are a few strategic drivers you should determine first:

  • Who is our audience, and what is their attention span?
  • What is our differentiating offering and what type of content will we plan to showcase?
  • Which tour script points will these visuals support?
These questions should stimulate productive discussion around the most strategic space to host your marketing center.


Marketing Centers for Commercial Real Estate

Dual marketing center and community breakout space featuring branded vinyl wall graphics, custom tone-setting neighborhood imagery, and curated FF&E | 5256 Peachtree | Chamblee, GA | Copyright Nimble. Design Co.


How To Select a Marketing Center Location

Once you’ve honed your ‘why,’ you will need to select a location. While there are a number of things to consider while scouting, here are a few to get the conversation started:


Understanding whether there is a need for this experience to be modular or designed to suit one space in particular will be the first step. If there is a need for the ability to migrate a marketing center experience from vacancy to vacancy as spaces lease, you would need to design a modular solution. On the flip side, if a marketing center is going to live in a semi-permanent place across the duration of a construction cycle, you might think about a more bespoke solution.


Technology can be a strong addition to a marketing center when real-time flexibility is top of mind. Digital screens can be useful for customizing a tour experience to a particular prospect, pulling up an orienting site plan, or playing a brand video. In this case, a foundational conversation on how the space can support tech needs becomes critical to spatial planning. Electrical additions, WiFi extenders, and seamless ability to access and update planned tech are important things to logistically program pre-design.

Lighting Conditions

If lighting conditions in a chosen location are sparse, absent, or dated design will fall flat. Lighting is a fundamental consideration and should be a preliminary capital planning item reviewed and determined pre-design phase. Quality task lighting enhances the tour experience and allows graphic presentations to be easily seen and read.


How much does it cost to build an effective marketing center?

Low-Cost, High-Impact Marketing Centers

The simple fact is that marketing centers quite literally center, or anchor, the 10 to 15 minutes you have in front of a prospect to leave a lasting impression. Depending on the desired impact of the finish, the market and the size of the selected location are just a few variables to consider for proper allocation.

Nimble. recently designed a multi-purpose conference room/marketing center/BisNow event space for a commercial asset in Johns Creek, GA utilizing a combination of temporary paint, environmental graphics, and retractable banners. This marketing center educated tenant, prospect, and industry audiences about the quality of ownership across multiple office portfolios in the surrounding area, with nomadic elements intended to travel to new vacancies in the future. For a low-cost (high-impact) project similar to this, you should expect to pay $5,000 to $7,500 in production fees with design fees of roughly 20-35% for temporary paint, select graphics, and strategic signage.
Marketing Center for Commercial Real Estate

Multi-purpose marketing center/conference room/BisNow event host space featuring select accent paint, evergreen environmental graphics, and nomadic retractable banners for easy updating | Johns Creek Collection | Johns Creek, GA | Copyright Nimble. Design Co.

One step up from the Johns Creek example is a marketing center Nimble. recently designed for a client in Downtown Minneapolis, MN. Utilizing a combination of strategic paint application along with first and second-surface clear acrylic stand-off graphics, we successfully crafted a tour experience that felt higher-end and dimensional. The ability to swap renderings in and out of the two-panel frames as architectural plans progressed allowed for limited ongoing production fees across a long-term construction cycle. For a more customized and elevated marketing center similar to this, you should expect to spend anywhere between $14,000 to $18,000 in production fees with design fees of roughly 20%.
what is a marketing center in commercial real estate

Full-floor marketing center design featuring select paint application, acrylic stand-off graphics for flexible content change-out and vinyl applied graphics | Forum | Minneapolis, MN | Copyright Nimble. Design Co.

High-end, High Impact Marketing Centers

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the possibilities and associated costs for high-end, show-stopping marketing centers can grow exponentially when the value is there and aligns to project goals. Considering your marketing center alongside capital plans can result in fully branded spaces with maximum impact.
Nimble. recently consulted on one for a mid-construction project in the heart of north San Jose, CA’s Silicon Valley. With this project’s target user in mind, we created custom-designed displays, showcased VR-generated renderings, and utilized technology to support the tour experience across two floors of the building. While more dollars were certainly allocated to support the custom look and feel desired for this space, the result was a completely unique and differentiating marketing center experience built around the new mixed-use development’s brand and its promise to consumers.

Nimble Design Co. Marketing Center

Two-floor marketing center design featuring custom fabricated steel frame displays, custom sculpture art and hospitality-driven FF&E selections | Northtown | San Jose, CA | Copyright Nimble. Design Co.

In recap, effective marketing centers are capable of adding a level of engagement for enhanced tour experiences. By strategically honing the why, planning the tour sequence, and defining the location and budget, you will set yourself up for success.

Maria Royal

As Brand Strategy Manager at Nimble. Design Co., Maria leads, develops and manages end-to-end experiences through brand and content strategy that supports core business objectives, differentiates and connects brand to place.

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