Corporate Concierge Services Increasing Popularity – More Opportunities for Concierge Business

As reported by Corporate Property Executive (CPE), properties that offer an onsite  concierge service are building an advantage over those properties that do not. 

cpexecutive.com

Property Management: Striving for Satisfaction

At a time when the U.S. Secret Service is being touted as a hot new amenity at Trump Tower by agency Douglas Elliman, it could be an easy assumption that multifamily developers and owners are going overboard with their emphasis on amenities. A doorman and on-site laundry just aren’t enough to draw in today’s renter, especially in the luxury sector, where there are no shortage of choices. It’s not uncommon to see multifamily communities offering unconventional benefits like glass-bottomed pools, spin cycle studios, dog parks and leasing centers that look more like country clubs than business centers.

However, there is evidence to suggest that a specific amenity class may have staying power among the Bluetooth-enabled fitness machines and saunas of the apartment world. According to statistics from J Turner Research, Millennials and Baby Boomers ranked 24-hour security and service guarantees as the most important community services. It seems that in an increasingly digital and impersonal world, today’s renters crave personal attention and service above most other building perks.

Enter the multifamily concierge, an upgraded version of the traditional hotel concierge who knows your name and preferences and can help with everything from receiving packages to booking dinner or theater reservations.

Learn how to start a concierge business at Concierge101.com.

According to Nick Alicastro, vice president of business development at Western National Property Management, “These partnerships create an additional level of convenience for residents and add to the overall appeal of a multifamily community. This increased appeal will ultimately drive traffic to a community, as well as provide opportunities for premium rents.”

Going the extra mile

The multifamily concierge wears many hats, but overall, they are responsible for fulfilling the requests of all residents and anticipating their every need. “If they need for us to research local companies for them, like moving services or pet sitting services, we do that. In general, we provide information, and we provide this service six days a week, (including) Saturdays for those who can’t get to us on weekdays,” said Neil Trifunovski, general manager of Waterton’s Presidential Towers in Chicago. Waterton employs a third-party vendor called Corporate Concierge Services to plan, advertise and execute special events onsite; provide food on the community’s weekly “No Cook Wednesday”; secure discounted tickets to local attractions like the Willis Tower observation deck, the aquarium, museums or Big Bus Tours; and offer other services.

Premiere Concierge, another third-party service, is a similar company that takes an all-inclusive approach to integrating itself into the apartment community. The company, which is intimately familiar with the multifamily industry through its ownership of 18 communities, creates a custom-branded “virtual concierge” for each client, according to Business Development Specialist Aron Freeman. The virtual hub, accessible online and via a mobile app, allows residents to request maintenance service, reserve parking and allow others to enter their unit, among other features. Using the community’s branding for the digital assets draws a subtle connection for residents between  the benefits of the concierge service and their choice to live in the community, according to Freeman.

“At the time of renewal … it’s the service and the personalized attention and the personal catering to their needs that’s unique.”

Haley Rafferty, general manager at Related’s 500 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, said the building’s concierge acts as a “gatekeeper,” with responsibilities varying greatly depending on the individual resident and time of day. “It’s always going to be something different. During the day, they might be providing access with the resident’s permission for their housekeeper to come, or for the dog walker to come—taking care of the resident’s needs even when the resident isn’t here,” she said. “The resident can set preferences, (like) ‘My housekeeper comes every Tuesday, and they have permission to enter my apartment,’ (which) all is logged in Yardi, our software system, so they can see what that resident’s preferences are—if they have permission to check the key out or if the resident prefers to be called and grant permission.”

At 500 Lake Shore Drive, no request is unimportant. The concierge staff can deliver packages inside the resident’s unit, and if preferred, can even unpack and recycle the boxes. For residents who enjoy the convenience of online grocery shopping with services like Blue Apron, the concierge will unpack the food and put it in the fridge and freezer so it’s ready to go when the resident returns home. There is essentially no limit to the services offered—no matter the request, “our staff will deliver,” Rafferty said.

The concierge desk at Presidential Towers in Chicago takes center stage in the lobby. Image by Darris Lee Harris

The concierge desk at Presidential Towers in Chicago takes center stage in the lobby.

Best practices

It takes a specific breed of multifamily community to run a concierge service smoothly. First, the nature of the service is more tailored to larger, luxury communities where the rent costs can justify the expense of extra hires. At 500 Lake Shore, operating a concierge service means having two people on a shift rather than just the doorman.

“Some of the smaller companies are perhaps not equipped to handle this type of a service, or perhaps they’re too small to handle something of this nature or their model is just not set up that way,” said Trifunovski. With more than 2,000 units, “I think our sheer size at Presidential Towers helps us provide that service.”

One of the motivations for adding a designated concierge office at Presidential Towers six years ago was the foot traffic coming into the leasing center with non-leasing-related inquiries. It was overwhelming, and keeping leasing agents from their work. “This way, we have a department that specializes and spends time on doing research into what’s happening in the city, where people are going, what the prices are, what the discounts are, planning events and doing different things,” Trifunovski explained.

500 Lake Shore Drive opened its doors in 2013, when concierge services were more of a priority for a new community than they were when Presidential Towers was built in 1986. “(The concierge service) started before the building opened, so all of our staff underwent a proprietary training program, learning how to anticipate residents’ needs and understand their preferences,” Rafferty said.

During this training period, employees were educated on the 24/7 aspect of service, a component that Rafferty said is integral to ensuring resident satisfaction. “If you’re going to say you have this service, you have to be able to execute it, and it has to be done consistently,” she said. “It has to be consistent across all 24 hours of the day and all seven days of the week. …If you’re going to promise this to your resident, you have to live up to that promise.”

The bottom line

For many, investing in a concierge service program may not seem feasible or worthwhile, but for luxury properties, especially in metropolitan areas with lots of competition, it can provide a much-needed edge. As more of the renter pool consists of renters by choice, luxury communities must provide more equity than home ownership would, and having a dedicated staff to attend to errands, entertainment and appointments can ensure satisfaction and loyalty. According to those who employ concierges, the payoff in resident satisfaction is evident when it comes time to renew their lease.

That return on investment is “hard to quantify,” put in Freeman. However, he added, “for every dollar you spend on a concierge service program, you see about a $3.80 return on your investment, and you see that a couple of ways. You see that through resident retention, new resident procurement … and then also in removing the burden of non-leasing issues off the shoulders of the management team.”

“(The concierge) is an integral part of developing relationships with our residents so that their stay here is happy and satisfactory, and we try to go beyond expectations anytime we possibly can,” said Trifunovski. “I think it shows when renewal time comes. Folks feel that they’re part of the community. We have folks here that have lived here for years and they keep renewing.”

Noted Rafferty: “We do resident satisfaction surveys, and consistently, they give a special shout-out to a certain individual who goes above and beyond.” At 500 Lake Shore Drive, according to Rafferty, the personal relationships that residents develop with concierge staff prove to be one of the most appreciated benefits of living in the luxury high-rise. “At the time of renewal … it’s the service and the personalized attention and the personal catering to their needs that’s unique,” she said. “Our staff has established trust with the resident, and they feel good about that. … They aren’t going to get that somewhere else, or they’d have to start at square one somewhere else.”

While a Nest thermostat or keyless entry may be forgettable, personalized service isn’t. “You’re getting someone who knows your name, who greets you the way you want to be greeted, who treats you the way you want to be treated,” Rafferty summarized.

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Austin Texas Concierge Like No Other

With the recent influx of people relocating to the Austin area, now more than ever, on-the-go Austinites have found an immediate need for support.  Club One Concierge provides a high-touch service, so that its clients don’t have to lift a finger. Anything the concierge can’t do themselves, they project manage through the company’s trusted Preferred Provider Network comprised of more than 200 vendors. They’ve managed everything from interior design projects, chicken farms, travel, establishing small businesses to transporting patients to and from surgery.

A woman-owned boutique company founded by native Texan, Shan Davis, Club One Concierge is rapidly expanding to meet the growing needs of some of the city’s most influential individuals and businesses – and no task is too big or too small when it comes to helping busy Austinites.

Learn how to start your own concierge business or errand service today at http://www.Concierge101.com!

Anything the concierge can’t do themselves, they project manage through the company’s trusted Preferred Provider Network comprised of more than 200 vendors. They’ve managed everything from interior design projects, chicken farms, travel, establishing small businesses to transporting patients to and from surgery.

The services don’t stop with busy individuals, however. Club One also offers the same kind of white-glove services to businesses in the Austin area by rolling into corporations’ benefits packages as an added perk, similar to a gym membership or other benefits corporations may offer to incentivize employees.

Club One Concierge offers a host of services such as:

• Property Management

• Relocation Coordination

• Vendor & Staff Management

• Event Planning

• Virtual Services

“I think the most important reason clients engage Club One Concierge is trust. It’s not multiple people with your keys or passwords, it’s one person who’s totally committed to you. With that level of trust we become an integral part of our client’s family,” says Davis.

“Resourcefulness, confidentiality, and always thinking a few steps ahead is what helps clients have peace of mind, which enables them to thrive personally and professionally. We truly are the one trusted resource for our clients’ busy lives.”

Clients hiring Club One Concierge have the option of purchasing blocks of time from 10-40 hours a month or based on an as-needed basis.

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Business Newsmaker Micah Bennett, Hudson Valley Concierge Service ⋆ Hudson Valley News Network

Micah Bennett, Ceo & Founder Of Hudson Valley Concierge, is the focus of this installment of our weekly series, Business Newsmakers.

Source: Business Newsmaker Micah Bennett, Hudson Valley Concierge Service ⋆ Hudson Valley News Network

Posted in baby boomers, business, corporate concierge services, employee concierge, entrepreneur, home business, human resources, income, lifestyle, luxury concierge business, marketing, millenials, niche, personal concierge service, SEO, small biz, small business, start up, startup, work from home

Life circumstances drove entrepreneur to startup what is now a global corporate concierge company

Cathy Leibow, Senior Vice President of Leverage Concierge, a global corporate concierge company, is planning to expand her concierge business into Mexico soon.  In this article featured in the Huffington Post, she reflects on how she got to where she is today and gives advice to fellow entrepreneurs in the work/life management industry…

As we celebrate National Work and Family Month, I cannot help but reflect on how dramatically our ideas of ‘ideal workers’ and ‘ideal families’ have shifted since I began my career as a working parent in the early 1980s. Yes, we had shoulder-padded power suits, sneakers with panty hose, and movies like Working Girl and Baby Boom to inspire women to push for equality and respect in the workplace; but in many ways, we were (and still are today) challenging the “ideal worker model” of the early 20th century. This ideal worker model presumes that “the good worker is someone that is there full time, in an uninterrupted way, over the course of their careers, and that they will put work first” as described by Kathleen Gerson, professor of sociology at New York University. Having pioneered one of the first work-life companies in the 1980s, and now working with tech powerhouses and Fortune 500 companies on building great places to work, I am proud to say that this non-inclusive ‘ideal worker model’ is becoming obsolete. I see leaders today more interested in building a diverse, engaged, passionate, thriving workforce where there is no one-size-fits-all ‘ideal worker.’ And I definitely see a major emphasis on finding solutions for healthier work-life integration.

As a business leader and mother, I have seen, experienced and learned a lot over the past 30 years. While I do not presume to have all the answers, here are a few things I know for sure about work, life, and what’s really important.

Life will throw you curveballs. I went to school to be a teacher, and then ended up as an executive at Intel. When my son Jason was born with Down Syndrome, I started researching specialized child care providers and the idea for my work-life referral business was born. This idea has now blossomed into Leverage Concierge, a global corporate concierge company, and I am grateful that life led me down a path bigger than my dreams could have imagined.

Follow your passion. I am passionate about helping other women succeed and making work and life easier for families. I’m lucky that what I do every day is fulfilling personally and professionally. But doing something that you’re passionate about might not always come with a big paycheck. Women still need to make a living and take care of themselves financially. If you can’t do what you love at your job, supplement work with something that gives your life meaning and purpose, whether its volunteering for a cause, mentoring other women, or giving back in some other way.

Keys to Starting & Operating a Concierge Business

How to Start a Concierge Business

Take risks. I took a huge leap of faith by changing career fields and starting my own business. But I truly believed in what I was doing, and I had a strong support structure made up of my family and friends. If big changes aren’t realistic, what small steps can you take to move in the direction you want to go?
Work-life “balance” isn’t real. We’re often told that women can do it all. But honestly, you really can’t – at least not all at the same time. Looking back, I know there were times I sacrificed my personal life for my career, and I should have said “no” to work more often, and “yes” to my family and kids. Figure out what works for you, and don’t hold yourself to anyone’s standards except your own.

Stay curious. I’m at the age where I’m wondering, what’s next? I love working, so the idea of a traditional “retirement” is not going to work for me. Life stages are different now, and I have so much more to look forward to. My husband and I recently bought a home in Mexico, and we’re learning Spanish again. I want to travel more, meet new people, connect with nature, and volunteer. I’m considering starting a concierge business in Mexico with a focus on helping expats acclimate to their new surroundings. Why the hell not? It’s easy to be complacent, but continue challenging yourself and pushing your own boundaries. You’ll surprise yourself what you’re capable of.

Lead by example. Exceptional leaders are good listeners. They care. They communicate. They build trust and respect. As an entrepreneur and CEO, I couldn’t always pay people as much as I wanted to, but people stayed with me for years because I treated them fairly. I understood what they were going through in raising families and dealing with life outside of the office. My business was an example of what I’m trying to teach other employers about creating better workplaces. It’s all about integrity. If I’m selling the idea of being a best place to work, I better be modelling it.

Take care of yourself. I’ve discovered that having a well-rounded approach to life is the key to well-being and happiness. I love to hike, do yoga and be active. I read novels for pleasure, and business and leadership books for self-improvement. I spend time connecting with family and friends, as well as time alone connecting with myself. Be your own person, acknowledge your individual needs, and do what you need to do to stay healthy. If you can accept yourself for who you are, that is the ultimate measure of success. You’ve won.

Cathy Leibow is Senior Vice President of Leverage Concierge, a global corporate concierge company.  For more than 30 years, Leverage Concierge has provided innovative, robust and highly customizable corporate concierge benefits to help customers drive employee engagement, boost productivity, and enhance company culture. Leverage Concierge offers 24/7 convenient access to unlimited concierge services through the myLeverageOnline website and mobile app. With an average 95% customer service rating and 98% client retention rate, Leverage Concierge proactively partners with each client to assure the program perfectly aligns with internal goals, initiatives, and culture and can seamlessly integrate with existing benefit programs. Leverage Concierge is affiliated with ACI Specialty Benefits—a Top-Ten provider of employee assistance programs (EAP), corporate wellness, student assistance, concierge and work-life services to corporations worldwide.  Learn more at https://leverageconcierge.com/.

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Entrepreneur Opens Concierge Business for New Moms

Source:  Julie Cross, Manly Daily

A CONCIERGE service dedicated to helping mothers with their list of household chores has been launched by a northern beaches entrepreneur.  Natalie Kilburn, 41, from Beacon Hill, said New Mum Concierge was the only service of its kind in Sydney where mums could get their laundry done, their house cleaned and the dinner made, with just one phone call.

“Usually if mum needs help in a few different areas (such as cleaning, laundry and meal delivery), she’d have to call three different companies and organise three separate services,” said Ms Kilburn, who has two young boys.

“That’s three phone calls and three companies to co-ordinate, while she is already time poor.

“With us, all she needs to do is make one phone call and we’ll co-ordinate the separate services through our verified partners.”

Natalie Kilburn’s new business New Mum Concierge offers to help mums with their to-do list. Picture: Troy Snook

Learn how to start a concierge business at Concierge101.com today!

Ms Kilburn, who is originally from the UK, said the service was great for mums who didn’t have family nearby.

Friends and family can purchase a concierge gift package for someone, or mums can phone up and pay themselves.

The premium gift package, which costs $395, includes one hour of personal concierge for mums to help with the to-do list, three delicious meals, two laundry runs and a two-hour cleaning appointment.

“Think of us as your personal assistant for your home life,” said Ms Kilburn. “We’ll take care of the little stuff, so mums spend quality time with their precious baby.”

For more information visit newmumconcierge.com.au

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Concierge looks to create ‘lifetime experience’ for Napa guests

Ania Gatto said one of the things she likes best about her work as a concierge is the feeling of accomplishment “knowing you have made someone’s trip a lifetime experience.”

Source: Concierge looks to create ‘lifetime experience’ for Napa guests | 10 Questions | napavalleyregister.com

Ania Gatto said one of the things she likes best about her work as a concierge is the feeling of accomplishment “knowing you have made someone’s trip a lifetime experience.”

“That is what lets me sleep well at night,” said Gatto.

Three years ago Gatto joined Wine Country Concierge. In 2015, she bought the business from then-owner Jackie Richmond.

1. You said you were born in Warsaw, Poland. How did you end up in the U.S.?

My dad was an Olympic coach for sailing. He worked for the Spanish, American, German and Portuguese team (for 40 years).

I tell people my heritage is Polish, my education is Spanish and I’ve lived 20 years in the States. (Having) lived in three different cultures allows me to adapt quite quickly and I think that’s one of my gifts.

2. What’s a common misconception you get about your business?

They think I’m a limo driver. Or that I have a driving company.

3. What does Wine Country Concierge provide?

We are a high-touch, non-pretentious, luxury concierge service. We have intimate relationships with local wineries, farmers, owners and of course, we also (arrange) lodging.

4. What was your first job?

I started my long-time love of hospitality and wine during college in Philadelphia. I was a daytime bartender at a restaurant in downtown that featured 120 wines by the glass. Ristorante Panorama is still in existence and holds the largest Cruvinet system, which is system where the wines poured on tap, meanwhile the bottles are hooked up to a line of Co2.

5. What’s the worst job you ever had?

When I worked harvest in Stag’s Leap, I realized that wine making and production was not for me. I am programmed to be around people and missed human contact. After working for the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons I realized that hospitality and people are what I thrive in.

6. How did you get into this business?

After working four years at Panorama in Philly, I worked for the Ritz Carlton Hotels in the wine department which led me into my sommelier career in New York City.

After eight years in NYC and being part of four opening teams of multiple Michelin star restaurants, I moved to Napa so that I could stay close to my love of wine and yet distance myself from the restaurant world, while using my skills of hospitality, attention to detail and wine knowledge. Wine Country Concierge allows me to thrive in all of those.

Learn how to start a concierge business today at Concierge101.com.

7. What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?

Our challenge has become our biggest asset, which is to be able to work with clients that we don’t meet in person and yet fulfill all of their wishes when visiting the wine country.

 

8. What’s on your to-do list?

I have visited over 300 wineries in Northern California and tasted thousands of wines. While I keep a tight schedule to continue my search and knowledge on a weekly basis, my goal is to visit and meet the people behind all of them.

9. Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?

-Julia Child would be a hoot, especially if we could dine in one of Napa’s three-star Michelin restaurants so that I could hear her thoughts on the cuisine.

-André Tchelistcheff would be the ideal winemaker to share current Napa’s cult wines.

-George Yount because he was the first permanent Euro-American settler in Napa Valley.

10. Who do you most admire in the business world?

-Robert and Margrit Mondavi for creating a brand that is world famous and put Napa Valley on the map.

-The Gamble Family for continuing to farm Napa Valley since 1916. Specifically, Tom Gamble for continuing the family legacy meanwhile supporting sustainability and preservation of agriculture in Napa Valley.

-Dick Peterson, Heidi Barrett’s father. He is an incredible winemaker that is an open book about farming and wine making in Napa in the late ‘60s. His book “The Winemaker” is one of my favorites and so is his sparkling wine.

Gatto can be reached at 707 965-2400.

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City Errands: A helping hand for Vancouver

For as long as he could remember, Paul Stokes has been an errand runner for his friends and family. Helping people complete their “To-Do” lists gives Stokes a sense of gratification. With the motto “Freedom is in your future”, City Errands is becoming an essential service to some of his regular customers.

Learn how to start an errand business at Concierge101.com

Paul Stokes - City Errands

According to Stokes, the business blossomed from something he had been doing for friends and family over the past decade. As a “buddy with a van,” Stokes found himself being called upon to help out with mostly any task. Through the help of social media, City Errands is growing a steady amount of buzz. They offer a variety of time-saving or task-completion services, 24/7 throughout Vancouver. Services range from general errands, personal assistance and corporate level requests. Each service is charged per errand (with a maximum of 1 hour before additional fees kick in) and there needs to be a 12 hour notification time. Requests can be made for outside of the Greater Vancouver area, however additional charges may apply.

Since opening in August 2014, Stokes has added a team of “Errand Runners” to his roster. Together, the team has assisted many Vancouver families, businesses and elderly individuals across the GVA. City Errands offers a 10% discount to seniors as well as a 25% discount on Tuesdays.

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Concierge Service Brings Miami’s High-End Homebuyers Straight to the Beach

Learn how to start a concierge business. Concierge101.com

Miami residential concierge service brings more business to developers.

In an effort to attract more homebuyers to luxury properties and upscale neighborhoods, condo developers are turning to concierge services.

Learn how to start a concierge business at http://www.Concierge101.com.

In the South of Fifth enclave of South Beach, the boutique condo Louver House will offer a “beach concierge” service to provide residents with full-coverage umbrellas, sun beds, towels, and a variety of dining options. Since the property, still under development, is about a 10-minute walk from the sand, a chauffeur will shuttle residents to the beach and back.

“We … added signature touches like on-call transportation and a branded paddle board to offer residents the true Miami experience year round,” said Camilo Miguel Jr., CEO and founder of Mast Capital, the developer of Louver House.

As the number of oceanfront lots dwindled in Miami Beach and the cost of land increased, condo developers turned to non-waterfront properties for their projects. Now, they’re looking for ways to entice potential buyers, particularly those who’d prefer to live on the water.

It’s a great time for a concierge business or errand business startup.  In many areas where there is significant development in the luxury market (residential and commercial), you will find increasing opportunity for concierge service providers.  I remember my first job as a residential concierge, which helped me start a concierge business from home.  The knowledge I acquired while employed by an established concierge business set the groundwork for my long-term career as a concierge business entrepreneur and author.  Now, it is my pleasure to share with you everything you need to know to not only start a concierge business, but also how to operate a successful one!  Visit Concierge101.com today!

 

Posted in business, corporate concierge services, employee concierge, entrepreneur, home business, human resources, lifestyle, luxury concierge business, marketing, personal concierge service, SEO, small biz, small business, start up, startup, Uncategorized, work from home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concierge Business Growth as the Wealthy Chinese Pay to Meet the Pope

Source: The wealthy Chinese who pay to meet the pope, drive Fast and Furious cars and more | South China Morning Post

Learn how to start a concierge business at Concierge101.com

“Luxury concierge companies are serving a growing number of China’s uber-rich who want exclusive access to global figures and personalised holiday itineraries, or are simply too busy to accomplish mundane tasks.” Continue reading

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Foresight Wealth Management Introduces Concierge Services Amidst String of New Hires

Source: Foresight Wealth Management Introduces Concierge Services Amidst String of New Hires

Posted in business, corporate concierge services, entrepreneur, home business, human resources, income, lifestyle, marketing, personal concierge service, SEO, small biz, small business, start up, startup, work from home | Leave a comment