How much is that doorman in the doorway? What owners pay for staff

what can you do with two-tenths of a doorman?
Yesterday’s NY Sun has an article about doormen that focuses on costs. They estimate that 24-houir coverage costs about $160,000 pre year (for “4.2” doormen). Shared among 100 owners in a building is only $133 per month per unit, but is $665/mo per unit in a 20 unit building.
doormen do not work alone
Of course, lots of buildings that have 24-hour coverage have other staff as well – at a minimum, a part-time superintendent. But The Sun talks about a building with 40 employees (that would be for a resident manager, doormen, concierge, porters, and handymen out the proverbial wazoo … everything but a candlestick maker). Figure a million and a half dollars for that staff – at a minimum. That is a big nut to carry, even among several hundred units. (Over $500/mo per unit just for staff in a 250 unit building.)
feeling squeezed at the holidays?
Then there is the delicate matter of the vig (I mean tips for the staff at the holidays). Lots of people I know tip a couple hundred bucks in even small buildings with small staffs – on top of a holiday “bonus” from “the building”. In a large building? The sky is the limit.
[one anonymous resident] estimates he collectively spent roughly $3,000 on year-end gifts for about 40 building employees last year, including the superintendent and maintenance staff.
For lots of buyers, the cost of staff is almost irrelevant – they must have the people running to the curb with an umbrella when they pull up in a cab in the rain, or the engineer to change the light bulb immediately.
With those people I think it is hard to say “what the doorman [etc] is worth” because they simply will not buy in a building that lacks the requisite staff. And they will to count on changing a non-staff building to a staffed building, because it is very hard to get a group of residents used to a certain level of ‘service’ to radically increase their monthly expenses to add more service. Not to mention that many smaller buildings literally do not have the lobby space to accommodate any staff.
but not ‘true’ loft-dwellers
Most of those people are not loft buyers – at last not ‘classic’ loft buyers. But that is for another post.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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