For most of us, there simply are not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. We rush to pick the kids up from school, make it to that impromptu work meeting that just got called, or even find the time to grab some take out dinner before we climb into bed and do it all again the next day.
Thankfully, a growing number of New York co-op and condo residents are finding a helping hand as more and more of the city’s residential buildings and communities are offering concierge services. “Everybody on the planet is trying to squeeze 36 hours into 24-hour days,” says Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS, founder and president of Triangle Concierge, Inc., and founder and chairman of the board of the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association. “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.’ ”
And for New Yorkers, this kind of service is becoming more of an expectation than a luxury as more buildings than ever before are offering it. “New Yorkers in general, when we choose to live in high-rise building, it’s because of the services,” says Kathy Braddock, co-founder of Rutenberg Realty.
How It All Began
In the past, personal service and attention meant turning to the doorman or superintendent for help with unit repairs or some other mechanical issue. Now, residents are able to look for assistance with a far broader range of needs. “With the concept of the concierge, it’s not just about the mechanics of fixing things in your home, but in your life,” Braddock says. That includes walking the dog or getting theatre tickets as well as business-related services such as booking flights or securing a car service. “It’s like having a platinum American Express card,” says Braddock.
Concierge service first made its mark in the hotel industry, as out of town guests would seek insider knowledge on where to eat, what show to see or who could help with a dry cleaning emergency. Soon, those services began spreading to other industries. “Now you’re seeing concierge specializing in everything from hospitals to helping divorced men to helping patients of plastic surgery,” says Giovanni. The thought, she says, was that “if it works in the hotel industry, ‘I bet I can bring it to the greater public.’ ” And so far it has worked, especially in the real estate market.