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Concierge Appreciation Day: Q&A

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On 6th February, we congratulated our residential superstars on Concierge Appreciation Day. Our concierges work within the beating heart of some of London’s most iconic and luxurious residential developments, with a complete focus on supporting their residents’ lifestyles as well as working behind the scenes to maintain the property standards.

 

This year we’ve taken a closer look at two of our key Portico concierges that help to make our guests’ experience so exceptional.

 

Kerstin is one of our capable Concierge Hosts and often the first point of contact for guests, while Thomas makes sure everything is running smoothly as our amazing Head Concierge. Together they form part of the team at Gasholders London, a luxury residential site at the heart of King’s Cross.

 

We spoke to them about their roles, the ins and outs of concierge life and how they like to relax on their days off.

 

 

Kerstin – Concierge Host

 

What’s a typical work day for you?

 

My day starts with a full building check to make sure everything is in order. That includes the private entertainment suite, the conference rooms and even the spa – we need to check the sauna and steam room are on and the towels are stocked up.

 

When the checks are done, the first residents will be heading off to work. I always wish them a nice day and call them a taxi if they need one. If anyone has the meeting room booked, I’ll greet the guests and show them where to go.

 

Throughout the day I’ll do regular checks to make sure everything is running smoothly. And then of course I’ll be helping with requests from residents, which are different every day.

 

Favourite part of the job?

 

I love building a connection with the residents. I see the same people every day, so we get to know each other and learn things about each other’s lives. For a lot of them I’ll be the first person they see in the morning and the last person they see at night.

 

I’ve worked here for more than two years now and I feel like part of the building. To me it’s not like coming to work, it’s like coming to my second home.

 

What skills are essential for concierge work?

 

You definitely need to be friendly, and you need to enjoy working with people – the guests will realise very quickly if you don’t!

 

Multi-tasking is essential, as I’m always dealing with three or four things at the same time – I’ll be helping a guest with a problem and then a delivery will come in that I need to sign for. Patience definitely helps for the same reason.

 

Any good stories?

 

One day I noticed a lady I didn’t recognise outside the building, and she looked confused and upset. I brought her in for a cup of tea and it turned out she was visiting her daughter-in-law in our building who’d just had a baby.

 

It had been her first time travelling by train on her own and she’d got quite stressed out and lost. I stayed with her and we had a chat until I could get in touch with her daughter-in-law, who was really grateful for my help. It was really nice knowing I’d made her bad day better.

 

Favourite day-off spot?

 

When I’m not working, I try to visit as many places outside of central London as possible. I recently went to Hampton Court Palace for the first time, which was so beautiful. Since my job is so high-energy, it’s nice to escape to some peace and quiet sometimes.

 

Any advice for future concierges?

 

Be open to learning new skills, and to be constantly communicating. We’re like a little family here, so if you love people, you’ll love the job.

 

 

Thomas – Head Concierge

 

What does your role involve?

 

One of the main things is making sure everyone in the team has everything they need for the day. I’m mainly back of house, but I often come to muddle in and help out with the guests. It’s a very hands-on role.

 

Most common question you’re asked?

 

Mainly I get questions about the building and the facilities, but sometimes residents will ask us for restaurant recommendations that we’ve picked up along the way. It’s nice to point them in the direction of somewhere they’ll enjoy.

 

Favourite part of the job?

 

Talking with the residents and building good relationships. You’re a part of their home, and they need to be comfortable around you, so having a good chat is important. I like helping them wind down after a working day.

 

What don’t people know about concierge work?

 

We look after the building itself more than people realise. We work closely with the maintenance team, so I need to know where the water and electricity metres are located, and a lot of other things that need some basic technical knowledge.

 

Favourite day-off spot?

 

I like going to Brockwell Park, which is really nice to relax in after a shift. It has great views over the city.

 

Any advice for future concierges?

 

Be prepared to work hard and always make yourself available to help. You need to be friendly, polite and constantly smiling, no matter what else is going on.

 

I’d compare concierge work to being like a swan. Your feet are paddling away underwater to get things done, but you always appear calm!

 

 

Find out more about the reliable, intuitive and personalised guest services we deliver to our clients.

Posted on 6 February, 2020

Category: Our People

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