Michael Hochman
what does concierge service mean

From TV shows like Diff'rent Strokes to movies like Tower Heist, apartment concierges have always been a sign of wealth, affluence and an Upper East Side residency. But nowadays, you don’t have to be Don Draper, Veronica Lodge or Frasier to have fancy apartment services at your fingertips.

Concierge service is no longer just an extravagant luxury for well-to-do New Yorkers, it’s increasingly a perk you can find in any building, anywhere. But what does “concierge service” actually mean? What does an apartment concierge do?

What services do concierges offer?

The most basic type of concierge you may be familiar with is the traditional doorman. The name “doorman” is a bit of a misnomer, as a typical one does more than just open doors (and are not always men!). You can expect basic services from a doorman such as calling for a cab or Uber, accepting packages, calling up to permit visitors and providing security.

But true concierges are more than doormen, they are apartment building-wide personal assistants providing a variety of services. Some of the most common services include errand assistance, home services and personal amenities like:

  • Pickup and delivery of postal and overnight services (often even taking care of packing and forms)
  • Pickup and delivery of prescriptions
  • Pickup and delivery of dry cleaning
  • Dog walking
  • Pet feeding while you’re away
  • Plant watering while you’re away
  • Minor home repairs or helping hang wall decorations
  • Waiting for cable and internet installation or repair
  • Accepting furniture, appliance or other large deliveries
  • Personal grocery shopping
  • Grocery and liquor store order deliveries
  • Making dinner reservations
  • Making airline, hotel and theater reservations
  • Help with party planning
  • Help with move in and move out

Who needs concierge services?

Increasingly, all varieties of apartment buildings and complexes – not just luxury high rises – are offering personal and business assistance services to residents. For many, they are not just conveniences but essential services for busy lives.

Gone are stuffy New York doormen for the 1 percent, replaced by convenience services for busy professionals all around the country looking for a healthy work/life balance. More and more, time-strapped working professionals among Gen X’ers and Millennials are seeking a differentiating factor when apartment hunting. They are searching out these services when choosing an apartment to cut down on chore time and spend more time with families and friends, worry less about home issues while concentrating on work and improve their health and well-being.

Benefits of offering concierge services

What does offering concierge services mean for apartment owners, and by extension, you?

For landlords, increasing competition for renters is necessitating offering apartment concierge services as more apartment seekers expect them to be available. And as more renters turn to social media to choose apartment buildings and neighborhoods, Twitter and Facebook stories about friendly concierges and extra services go a long way toward building word-of-mouth marketing.

And the availability will exponentially increase as demand does. It may not be cost-effective for every building or complex to have full-time concierges on site, so a number of third-party companies offering concierges to landlords have begun to spring up, as have individual contractors working as “gig economy” concierges. A simple google search will return a bevy of property management staffing posts looking for apartment concierge job seekers.

Offering such services is as much a win for owners as is it for renters. A Houston-based company reports a return of $1.70 to $3.20 for every dollar spent on concierge services and increases in resident retention, new resident procurement and management productivity.

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

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About The Author

Michael is a Philadelphia-based writer with a variety of interests, including music, TV, politics, travel and sports (Fly Eagles Fly!). His background includes a decade as a programming executive in network television, six years as a marketing executive at a technology company and time at two magazines and two advertising agencies. He also sits on the board of a non-profit law firm that assists veterans with disabilities. His work has been featured in nexxt.com, Ale Street News and Radio TV Interview Report Magazine. Michael is a proud Syracuse grad (Newhouse) who has lived in Kansas, Chicago, Saratoga and beyond, and can be found at @phillyparttwo.

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