Good Day, Ma'am Greeting You at Your Door

 While a building’s facade might draw the eye initially, it’s usually the first employee a visitor encounters that forms a lasting  impression. And for many condominiums in New York City, the resident doorman  holds this coveted, all-important role. Good impressions are important—but what makes a good doorman or doorwoman?  

 Characteristics of a good doorperson are “honesty, dependability, courtesy, graciousness and the ability to communicate  well,” according to Rosemary Paparo, director of management at Buchbiner & Warren. Consideration of residents' privacy and alertness are also traits held  in high regard in the residential service industry, Paparo adds. “They need to be very, very discreet because the worst thing for a building is  when you have a doorman who talks too much, both to anybody coming in off the  street or tells other people's business to other residents. You have to really  keep a level head on your shoulders because you never know who is going to walk  in the door and what you have to deal with—you have to be alert.”  

 Career Profile

 Having a good doorman or doorwoman is a paramount concern of any property  manager or board, and the residential services market is saturated with  candidates. According to the Local 32BJ Service Employees International Union  (SEIU) based in New York City, the five boroughs employ almost 13,000 door  people. This begs the question: How do property managers go about hiring the  best doormen and doorwomen? There are several routes resident managers might  take when searching for a new doorperson.  

 While some prefer to hire through in-house resumes like Paparo, most New York  City-based managers turn to the SEIU to find skilled and reliable doormen and  doorwomen, according to Angelo Petitto, a SEIU 32BJ field representative for  the residential division of the Upper East Side. “Most of the time if there is an opening position, the resident managers or the  managing agent would contact a specific field rep in their designated area  because what they want is a qualified, experienced doorman and they will call  us—they would like to utilize that service rather than hire from the outside  because they know they’re getting an experienced, qualified doorman.”  

 SEIU provides its members a selection of courses, such as computer technology  and medical training classes, to fully prepare door people for situations that  might arise during the course of a day. This training sets SEIU members apart  from non-unionized doorpersons and offers peace of mind to residential  managers, Petitto says.  

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