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Doorman Buildings – Pros & Cons for Residents

In big upscale buildings, it’s common practice to have a doorman. It’s their job to stand at the building’s main entrance helping people to quickly enter and exit. 

History of the Doorman

Doormen are also known as “porters” or “doorkeepers.” They’ve  been used from as far back as 200 BCE. In The United States, they are most often found in larger cities like Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New York City. 

It’s often said, “A good doorman sees everything and says nothing.” These men and women hold open doors for everyone coming and going; they bear witness to whatever happens in and around their buildings, and yet live by a motto of keeping mum about all of it. 

Pros of Living in a Doorman Building

By always having a staff member on-site, the safety of a doorman building increases. Would-be criminals see someone guarding the entrance and walk away. The doorman is also able to screen visitors entering the building. This means residents won’t have unwanted company arriving at their doorstep uninvited.

Other potential pros include:

  • Doormen help residents and their guests by carrying luggage and groceries.
  • Concierge Services: An all-inclusive style building may have a concierge who acts as a service coordinator. Some days they might perform the duties of a doorman. Other days they may be making dinner reservations or arranging for limo services.
  • Socialization: A doorman’s smile and friendly, “Hello,” can start you off on a happy note.
  • Community Events: Much like a concierge, a doorman will be able to keep residents apprised of what’s going on in the building and nearby in the neighborhood too.

Cons of Living in a Doorman Building

While there are many benefits to living in a building with a doorman there are also a few drawbacks. The most obvious is likely to be the cost. These buildings tend to be considered luxury-level and charge residents a higher rent to off-set the cost of having someone attend the building’s entrance. 

Other potential drawbacks may include:

  • Sometimes a doorman will block family members or friends from entering the building.
  • Limited Privacy: Doormen can be the ultimate “busy-bodies.” They overhear many conversations, and you can bet they know all about exactly what’s going on in unit 2-C…
  • This job has a high turnover rate, you won’t always know who that person is or what background checks they’ve gone through in order to get the job. 
  • Inconsistent Service: Since no single person works 24 hours a day, a building may only have a doorman on duty during the busiest hours. On the other hand, they may have more than one doorman who rotates. While some may be fantastic, others may not be as competent. 

Another problem that can occur in doorman buildings is an increase in noise. This can be especially noticeable if your unit is on the ground floor. In buildings that aren’t manned, people tend to come and go quietly. However, in a doorman building, someone’s always striking up a conversation with whoever is standing vigil.

Factors To Consider

When deciding if you want to live in or manage a building with a doorman there are many factors for you to take into account. 

  • Location: Doorman buildings tend to only be available in larger cities.
  • Building Amenities: Even in a building offering these services, they might not be provided 24 hours a day. The building might be better served by reallocating those financial resources and providing other services and amenities.
  • Building size: Doorman buildings tend to be larger, and not everybody likes living in such a highly populated place. Those types of apartment buildings may also be more challenging to manage.
  • Type of Staff: What duties do the doormen perform and what other staff members are available? Some apartment complexes might be better served by offering housekeeping services in lieu of someone at the entrance. 
  • Building Policies and Rules: Some of these buildings with doormen are older and the atmosphere might be stuffy, They could have some older outdated rules or policies in place. If that’s the case, younger residents might not be as happy, and property managers might have a harder time with so many rules to enforce.  

Building Security Options Available

While doorman buildings are status symbols of luxury, they’re also expensive. Recently renters have found themselves having to live on tighter budgets. As the price of rent has increased, residents are now less likely to be willing to pay for services such as this.  

However, a building’s security and the ability to have packages delivered properly are still extremely important!

Thankfully there are alternatives to doorman buildings. Electronic security systems allow you to see who’s coming and going. Access can be granted or denied remotely using a mobile device. This technology also allows package deliveries to be easily tracked, and residents can be quickly notified when their orders’ have arrived.

MVI Systems can show you how a mobile security system can be installed to benefit your building. Contact us today!

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