Everyone can use a little help now and again. The residents of condominiums, co-ops or homeowners’ associations are no exception. There are tons of tasks that just cannot be left up to the board or residents, who are busy people themselves, juggling multiple roles and responsibilities of their own.
To lighten the proverbial load, many associations turn to a concierge service. These come in various shapes and sizes; some provide 24/7 on-site help, while others may be part-time or operate only during regular business hours. But the commonality between all of these models is that a human person will be at the property for a designated time period during the day, available to aid residents with tasks ranging from the simple to the complex, while also providing a sense of security and authority to the building at large. Even if a resident does not utilize the full range of concierge services, they may still take comfort from the sight of a familiar face upon their return home, and the knowledge that someone is looking after the building while they’re gone.
“Everybody on the planet is trying to squeeze 36 hours into 24-hour days,” says Katharine C. Giovanni, a founder of the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Network, an online concierge directory. “The concierge is saying, ‘let me do the things that need to be done so we can give you the time you need to live.’”
A concierge service is certainly not a necessity for every association. While an urban high-rise may certainly stand to benefit, a smaller association may find it too costly per unit, or too underutilized to make financial sense. And in a more sprawling community or a townhome layout, residents may not even realize that the concierge is there. It’s important to assess the pros and cons before entering into any long-term (or even short-term) commitment.
“There’s a high cost associated with the concierge service,” concedes Abdullah Fersen, CEO of Newgent Property Management in Yonkers, New York. But, should your association have the budget, Fersen says the benefits are “limitless.”