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Simply put, a concierge's job is to meet the needs of the client. The more upscale the property or business, the more tasks the concierge is given to do. Requests from clients can be anything from finding good seats for a sold-out concert to researching the best Moroccan restaurant in town. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly income for a concierge is $28,760 but this may not include tips. A good concierge can earn anywhere from $50,000 to well into six figures, including tips, according to a 2005 article in Condé Nast Traveler.
A concierge’s role in a hotel or apartment building is more defined than that of a concierge for a personal concierge service. The concierge usually has a desk in the lobby of a hotel or high-rise apartment building. Duties in a hotel include making dinner reservations, mapping out directions, purchasing hard-to-find tickets, booking tours, or finding a doctor who makes house calls. Most hotel concierges have a sort of built-in network through the hotel. For instance, if a guest wants to attend a sold-out concert or show, the concierge can usually get tickets by calling a ticketing agency or agencies regularly used by the hotel.
The concierge in a hotel often serves as a liaison between departments, as well as a liaison between the guest and other businesses. For example, if a guest is not receiving her luggage on time from the bell captain or is not able to reach the spa for an appointment, she may ask the concierge to work on this. Many times in a very busy hotel, the front desk agent will send a guest to the concierge to make a call to an airline. Apartment concierges perform similar tasks for residents, such as getting a cab or finding a personal shopper.
Personal Concierge Services
Personal concierge services cater to high-end clientele and act like personal, on-call “for everything” assistants. Often corporations will pay top dollar for personal concierge services if they're trying to impress a high-end client. Top executives also use personal concierge services. The motto for these expensive services is often "do what it takes." Tasks can include taking care of dry cleaning, limo service, cell phone service in a foreign country, personal shopper appointments, personal chef service, and obtaining theater tickets or a table at a restaurant.
The difference between a reasonably good concierge and an excellent concierge is often their list of contacts. If you are a top hotel concierge, for example, you will not only have your network of contacts through the hotel, but you will also have your own personal contacts who can help get things done for guests. Fluency in more than one language is also a plus.
Heather Langone has been a professional writer for six years. She has a master's degree in writing from the University of Southern California and has written for TV, print and online media. Recently, she was a writing finalist in the Great Lakes Film Festival. Currently, Langone is a full-time freelance writer and has published how-to articles through sites such as eHow.com and Travels.com.