Doorman or no doorman, that is the question. The rule of thumb is to expect to pay an extra thousand dollars per month for the services of your standard “white gloved” doorman, or more realistically doormen to provide 24 hour coverage, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Wow…. good god that’s a lot of money. We are talking about twelve thousand dollars a year, year after year. We are not talking about a few hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars a year, but a thousand dollars a month, people! That’s enough money to start a ridiculously expensive hobby, develop a true shopping problem, or start to actually pay off your student loans. I’m just kidding, we are all just waiting for the government to pay off our student loans.

Extra Thousand $$$

Open up your wallets or purses (whatever floats your boat), and pull out a thousand dollars and throw it down on the coffee table. I know, I know, if you are reading this and actually have a thousand dollars in your wallet/purse at any time… this probably doesn’t concern you. However for the rest of us, let’s play pretend just for a bit, one thousand dollars. What could you do each month with an extra thousand dollars? That extra thousand each month spent on rent doesn’t improve the location of your building or the quality of the building. It just gives you access to a bit of perceived prestige and affluence. I thought college was the last time we would have pay to “belong” to a community or group (think Greek organizations). Hindsight being 20/20, this was actually just giving us a sneak peek into the future. You continue to pay to “belong” long past college.

The White Gloves, Receiving Masters.

I think the first benefit that is uttered right out the gate is that the doorman can receive packages on your behalf. That’s true, but so can about fifty of your closest friends and acquaintances, as well as having your packages shipped to your workplace. Ecommerce is in a constant state of evolution. Retailers have become more and more accommodating, developing whole business models allowing the customer/consumer to make a purchase in a variety of ways. They have heard our complaints and troubles in regards to actually receiving our purchased products, and they have tailored their business models to simplify the process of ecommerce and receiving packages especially in high-density living areas like NYC.

My Neighbor, the Logistics Specialist Next Door.

In most cases, you can ask a neighbor for help (this method is usually more effective if you haven’t been an unsocial jerk for the past six months). I am not saying that I have ever experienced or been accused of this, but hypothetically speaking of course. Jerk or not, most people will find it in their DNA to help you. If for nothing more than they have been there as well, and wouldn’t want to be in your shoes anytime soon. A well placed apology can work wonders. Other less dramatic yet still effective options are getting a PO Box, delivering to your work, a friend’s apartment, or even a local business. Are you a regular somewhere? Ask them for a small favor, sign for a package. There probably needs to be a fairly healthy relationship already established before you take on this method. Yet it still can be very effective. I think more often than not, most people will try to accommodate. If the pony express was able to deliver mail throughout the Wild West during 1860 from coast to coast, we should be able to handle the logistics behind receiving a package in Manhattan.

The Invisible Badge.

Another highly touted benefit of Manhattan doormen is the security that they offer to the building and its tenants. I hear this one quite a bit as well. However, from my experience the perceived security that doormen offer is usually just that, perceived. The tenant has already formed an opinion that they will be safe because of the presence of the doorman. Whether that is true or not, is irrelevant because the tenant has already made the association with the building door man and safety. Again this comes down to your individual perception and life experiences. This simple fact correlates with the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety. We all just keep moving up the pyramid in our search for self-actualization.

Inside Job.

Unfortunately, we have all read the stories where the security presence (the doorman) was robbing tenants either directly, or indirectly by assisting co-conspirators. This is obviously not the norm, but unfortunately there isn’t a rulebook for criminals. The fact that they are criminals usually means they deviate from most publicly accepted standards of behavior. Just thinking out loud, do I spend an extra thousand a month so I can be protected by the doorman, or do I spend a fraction of that on monthly security monitoring, additional locks, or even a dog? Chihuahuas work best. Guard dog and alarm system all in one. Seal the deal by getting renters insurance.

Practicality vs. Perception.

Having a doorman creates the perception of affluence and importance. It also comes at a steep price, adding nearly a thousand dollars a month to the rent. Whether or not that perception of affluence is real or not can be debated, and can be argued from building to building. In these cases, it is important to work with a trusted advisor for your real estate needs. Triplemint has been helping New Yorkers navigate the rental market with ease. Triplemint’s concierge services are best in class, and add a unique touch to your real estate search. In the end, the choice is yours. Is the perception of affluence more important than practicality? For me, I do think in most cases a live-in super and/or proper planning is just as effective as a Manhattan doorman at a fraction of the cost, but that’s the beauty of perception. Your perception is your own, right or wrong, and of course I’m right.

I love NYC.