When it comes to living in New York City, having a doorman in your condo or co-op is a luxury that almost everyone wishes they could have. A doorman has many functions, among them providing a sense of security and collecting packages for residents when they aren't home.
A doorman building can be expensive though, and many smaller and mid-sized co-ops and condos can't afford to hire a full-time staff to monitor their entrance all day. Experts say that the cost of providing a 24/7 service runs between $70,000-$100,000 per year because at least three full-time workers are needed, as well as some part time help.
In many of these buildings it's not uncommon to see missed delivery stickers plastered all over the door or signs warning residents not to buzz strangers into the building. But when it comes to the latter, it's hard to feel safe when your neighbors can let anyone in at any time of day.
Luckily, modern technology has begun to offer a few more economical solutions. Many buildings in the city have taken advantage of automated doorman systems, which can replicate some of the doorman's most important functions.
"Having a virtual doorman adds value to a location because they provide a sense of security and more," says Jeffrey Bennett, a principal of R&B Development, which has used video doorman services in several of their New York condo projects. "People are starting to hear about virtual doormen and know what it offers. It gives the projects that much more and makes them more desirable."