A concierge is considered a value-add to a residential building and something developers will provide in higher-end properties in Japan. It is important to understand that concierges in Japan may not offer the same type of services that may be standard in other countries.
Some buildings may only have a caretaker who cannot provide any of the services of a concierge. If you are looking for a building with a concierge, please be sure to check what services on offer and do not mistake an on-site caretaker’s office for a concierge desk.
Services offered will vary building to building. Some services are free of charge, while some incur additional costs. Some of the services that may be offered include:
- Greeting and guiding visitors
- Dry cleaning drop off at the front desk counter
- Photocopies and faxes
- Accepting reservations for the building’s guest suites, party rooms, etc
- Receiving parcels and deliveries (not always offered)
- Booking taxis
- Referrals to babysitters, house cleaners, repair companies, florists, food caterers etc.
Concierges also provide peace-of-mind for residents, keeping an eye on who is coming and going from the building while deterring any suspicious persons from loitering around.
Neither the front desk concierge nor the caretaker has the authority to enter your apartment unless there is a fire. If you need interior repairs, maintenance, housekeeping, linen or shopping service, you must hire various service providers. The concierge may be able to help refer you to these service providers.
Buildings with concierge services usually have higher monthly fees in order to pay the salaries of the rotating staff that are on duty. For a building with a small number of apartments, the burden on each apartment owner will, naturally, be higher than a building with several hundred apartments to spread the cost over.