Concierge professionals are asked to do a lot for condo communities. While they aren’t hired to be security guards, this role blends elements of security work with administrative duties and proactive customer service.
Concierge may be asked to handle packages, book amenities for residents, document contractor arrivals and departures, take phone calls, respond to incidents and much more. So, when it comes to enforcing condo rules, should concierge be responsible for upholding the building’s bylaws, or should their primary focus be on serving residents? Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer.
The role of concierge staff
Most new condominiums are designed with a concierge desk in the main lobby. Concierge are the first people that guests and residents see when entering the building. Most condos hire a concierge team to:
- Reduce liability and enhance safety
- Provide an additional layer of support to residents
- Reduce work for the management team
Every condo building is unique, which means their challenges aren’t all the same. Some condo boards will seek to hire a concierge team to minimize the number of unregistered guests walking around the building, while others will bring a team on board to improve the community’s level of service.
Successful concierge staff will be comfortable performing an array of duties and roles, including:
- Knowing and understanding the layout of the entire condominium
- Knowing what to do in an emergency
- Patrolling the premises—including stairwells and parking garages—to ensure things are operating normally and no harm is being done to the building or to others
- Reading security logs from the previous team member on duty, completing shift logs and submitting incident reports
- Responding to alarms and altercations, and calling local authorities when necessary
- Monitoring surveillance footage
- Escorting contractors to units
- Signing visitors in and out
- Key management
- Issuing visitor parking
- Helping residents with general inquires
- Logging complaints from residents
- Storing and retrieving packages
- Property inspections
As you can see, concierge may be asked to wear many hats. The more the association expects the team to do, the more it should expect to pay.
Expectations and obligations should be made very clear before any contract is signed. The concierge company has a right to refuse certain tasks, but the manager should also understand what specifically it can ask the company to do. If you’re a property manager looking to hire a concierge team, it’s important to explain what you need from the company.
The obligation to enforce condo rules
A concierge team may be asked to help enforce condo rules. For example, if concierge receives a complaint about a rambunctious party at midnight, the person on duty would be expected to investigate and talk to the host about the noise level. However, it is ultimately the condo board’s responsibility to enforce rules.
The board of directors is responsible for the governance of the condo association. The directors have a duty to act honestly and in good faith. Board members are legally obligated to act in the best interests of the association; part of that includes enforcing the bylaws and rules. Every individual on the property is expected to follow the rules.
So, to answer the question asked in the title of this article, concierge teams may be given the responsibility to enforce some rules, but the obligation ultimately falls on the board.
More realistically, concierge should be tasked with the responsibility of defusing dangerous situations or stopping people from doing something that they shouldn’t be. They should document incidents, ideally using an online system, so that management and the board can handle issuing violations to the alleged offenders. Condo Control’s security and concierge console has several tools designed specifically to streamline operations for concierge staff. For example, team members can easily create detailed security logs, or complete patrols, in a few simple steps.
Examples of rules concierge may be asked to enforce
Below are a few examples of real tasks that corporations have asked their concierge team to do. Every company is different, and some companies may provide services that others do not. As stated before, expectations and obligations should be clear to both parties before a contract is signed.
- Prevent visitors, contractors or couriers from entering the condo building unless such entry is authorized by a resident, and such authorization has been communicated to the concierge in the manner and format prescribed from time to time by the board
- Have any cars which are improperly parked on the property tagged and/or towed from the vicinity
- If the resident isn’t home, instruct couriers to deliver a parcel to a designated parcel area (post office) and inform the resident of the delivery as soon as possible
- Send packages back if the resident hasn’t been properly registered in the parcel delivery system
- Deny the delivery of any large or heavy articles such as furniture if a resident has not booked a designated moving elevator
- If the resident is not home, deny the delivery of any large or heavy articles such as furniture if the resident has not left a key with concierge to their unit
- Ask pet owners to put a leash on their animals while walking them through common areas
- Ask residents to leave a shared amenity if they are misbehaving or misusing the facility
- Ask residents to wear or pull up their masks while in common areas
- Ask guests to sign in before they are granted entry to the condo building
- Investigate a noise complaint and try to defuse the situation
- Investigate a violent incident and, if necessary, contact police
- Issue parking passes based on the requirements and rules established by the condo building
- Conduct guest suite inspections with the guest or resident
While there are a few condo corporations that may permit concierge to issue written violations, this task is usually left for the condo manager. Concierge generally monitors behavior and directs people to do certain things as opposed to doling out fines or warning letters.
Concierge provides condo communities with a combination of desirable services, including security, customer service and administrative support. Offering such services is as much a win for management as it is for residents. One company reported a return of $1.70 to $3.20 for every dollar spent on concierge services. A good concierge team has also been found to increase resident retention, attract better residents and help increase management productivity.
Concierge can help to enforce some condo rules, but that’s not their primary job. At the end of the day, it’s up to the condo board to enforce the rules, and that responsibility can’t be transferred to concierge staff.