Time is money, and that’s what it will cost you if you’re looking to buy time for yourself by loading off the daily and sometimes cumbersome tasks that consume parts of our day. Although many of us may not have the means to employ a personal assistant to manage our daily tasks, there is an alternative that is becoming increasingly common in luxury developments—concierge services.
In New York, residents have enjoyed the perks of doormen buildings for more than one and a half centuries. For those who choose to live in these buildings, they benefit from services such as receiving packages and dry cleaning on their behalf while they're away at the office or on vacation. They also benefit from having cabs hailed for them during downpours, receiving assistance with heavy lifting, and finding comfort in knowing the doorman holds their keys, allowing access to dog-walkers, contractors, housekeepers and whoever else may need to enter the apartment in their absence.
Over the years, the demand for additional services and added amenities has grown, and residential developments are catering to those needs. Some condominiums are going so far as to offer “in-house lifestyle directors”, which can be described as a cross between a five-star concierge and a cruise director. They assist residents in actively participating in healthy and life-extending social activities ranging from yoga to pickleball to fencing classes, both among fellow residents and with their own guests.
And in a city where insatiable wants are never ending, luxury developments are luring in wealthy buyers by offering lifestyle managers who do everything for residents, from arranging dinner parties to stocking the kitchen with groceries to helping plan vacations. Some buildings offer a sommelier to assist with sourcing rare vintages and ensuring the resident’s wine collection is always fully stocked. Wellness concierges help schedule personal training sessions, IV drips and spa treatments, while butlers and valets fulfill requests such as assisting with packing for a trip and satisfying late-night sushi cravings.
Michael Lawrence, the onsite lifestyle manager at One Wall Street, recalls a most recent request to book a trip to Nashville for a resident to catch the Taylor Swift concert that also included planning out the entire itinerary from dining at the Nashville’s best restaurants to a shopping tour and a museum visit. And these services or what some may call “spoils” are catching on across the globe. Director of Melbourne-based developer Orchard Piper, Luke McKie says, “The market’s expectation of what a high-end property should offer has evolved.”
Whether it’s more free time or the convenience of these tailored services that buyers are seeking, we can only expect to see this “luxury” eventually become more widespread for those who are willing to pay for it.