By Lynda Ellis
In today’s competitive market, many commercial real estate companies are searching for innovative and cost-effective ways to attract and retain tenants. The question is, how can a property deliver a sense of luxury without costly upgrades? A new trend in the real estate world may hold the answer. Concierge services accommodate the hectic lifestyles of busy professionals, and have emerged as an increasingly valuable amenity for companies seeking space.
Concierge services provide a wide array of benefits for companies including employee retention, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity. For property owners and managers, concierge services give their buildings a competitive edge and make them more marketable.
Concierge services provide tenants with desired amenities and the ability to give their employees access to services that make their lives more manageable and enjoyable. On-site concierges work in a property’s lobby to personally tend to the needs of tenants, employees, and guests. Whether a property owner or manager is looking for a concierge, lobby attendant, and/or front desk staff, concierge services can be implemented to the property quickly, without costly investments.
A common misconception associated with a concierge service is that individuals pay more for items they request. In fact, when concierge services are an amenity provided by a building’s management, tenants and their employees incur no additional fees to have these service. And at Capitol Concierge, our concierges are not allowed to accept gratuities. Additionally, concierges have the ability to save clients’ money with access to exclusive cost saving and value-added deals. And, a concierge’s personal connection to a service partner should lead to a higher quality of service.
When considering a concierge company, it is important to establish the level of service that will be provided.
Will the company act as a liaison between management and the tenants?
Does the concierge service accept personal requests from tenants and their employees?
Will the company provide well-trained concierges who have the resources to fulfill client requests?
A concierge company should be able to accommodate management’s expectations and provide amenities that add value to the tenants in their buildings.
A concierge’s exclusive expertise of the surrounding area, knowledge of happenings around town, access to resources, and ability to instantly inform clients of upcoming events demonstrates the array f services a committed concierge can provide. From organizing a large corporate event to coordinating travel arrangements, concierge services take the pressures off of planning and researching, freeing up time for tenants and their employees to make the most of their time. Clients can rest assured knowing that these tedious tasks have been taken care of in a timely manner.
For example, the night before Saint Patrick’s Day, a property manager contacted me to request that all of the building’s tenants and employees receive a holiday message. We set to work to be sure everyone was greeted in the morning with a Saint Patrick’s Day message and a chocolate on their desk. Because concierges have the resources, they know how to make things happen efficiently and immediately.
The Virtual Concierge
Once only found in hotel lobbies, concierge services have not only made their way into the real estate world, but can also be found in the virtual world. As a complement to traditional services, a virtual concierge provides clients with access to an array of online services, while providing the personalized touch of a dedicated concierge. Clients are able to place online orders and requests through a concierge team that services their property and facilitates the fulfillment of the orders.
Ordering online has become the norm for busy professionals looking for products and services. However, what makes a virtual concierge so valuable is that the service they provide goes beyond order placement. From making dinner reservations at an exclusive restaurant to finding sold out concert tickets, a virtual concierge has the resources needed to fulfill even the most challenging requests.
While it’s difficult to measure the benefit of a warm welcome and smile at the desk, services that reduce stress and create a peace of mind are inarguably valuable in today’s hectic world. Happy employees lead to happy tenants, and happy tenants lead to tenant retention. For property owners and managers, concierge services make their buildings more marketable and reduce tenant turnover.
Ellis is President, CEO, and owner of Capitol Concierge, a provider of services for commercial office properties, upscale apartments and condominiums, shopping malls, private corporations, and individuals. Ellis and the company’s accomplishments include being named an Enterprising Women Magazine 2013 “Enterprising Women of the Year;” Smart CEO’s 2013 “Future 50 Award” and 2012 Brava! “Business Hall of Fame”, winning the prestigious 2012 “National Capital Business Ethics Award;” Inc. 5000 list for three years; and the Apartment and Office Building Association “Outstanding Leadership Award” for seven consecutive years.