Marketing Savvy: Concierge Service or Lip Service?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Napa Consultants DRE00893924

“Concierge Service” is a term that we advise luxury and other real estate marketing professionals against using when describing their own level of service because the term is so often misused.  The word concierge (French) is a designation for someone who has a concierge certificate.  There are concierge schools.  It denotes someone who has superb service skills, and they  usually wear on their uniform crossed golden keys

 

Unless you hire a highly trained professional concierge to offer authentic concierge services to your clients, you will just be offering lip service to those who know the difference. 

 

For example, Target, the massive discount chain is deploying beauty concierges” to sell cosmetics in 300 of their stores by year's end, according to Wall Street Journal.  Concierge service or lip service?

 

Nordstrom’s has a completely different approach.  They call their specially trained employees in their cosmetic department, “beauty consultants”. These experts are knowledgeable about each of the many cosmetic brands and can help at any counter. 

 

Perhaps, Nordstrom’s counterparts at Target are equally knowledgeable.  But, the label of concierge would be misleading to Nordstrom’s ideal customers, who most likely have experienced the genuine article. 

 

On a trip to Rome. we were extremely impressed by the highly professional concierge service at our wonderful hotel. For instance, each of the staff’s restaurant recommendations was excellent and actually exceeded our expectations. 

 

The concierges actually dined at each of the restaurants personally either with their colleagues, friends or families.  They also based their recommendation on continuous feedback from guests. 

 

When we returned to the hotel we made a point of offering our own glowing reviews. With this level of feedback, they certainly would know if the restaurants were sustaining their outstanding reputations or declining. 

 

Under some circumstances and with some clients t is great to provide extraordinary service above and beyond the call of duty, i.e., the real estate sales process and the transaction itself. 

 

Just do not call it “concierge service” as a standard offering. It dilutes your stature as a luxury or any other real estate marketing professional, who is advising your clients on perhaps their most expensive assets and investments. 

 

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Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

 

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Comments (42)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

So I'm back, because in the way things happen, I just had an experience with a service that called itself a concierge service. My son's been driving about 19 hours in the last few days on his way here, and when we spoke this morning he said he was going to get a hotel in a specific town, and I volunteered to find him one with the services he requested. I needed early check-in so thought I was calling the hotel I found online to see if they could accomodate. Instead, the phone was answered by "something concierge" and my ears perked up since I just read this post.  To make a long story short, the person I reached checked with the hotel on whether we could do early checkin and they were full so the answer was no. Then she volunteered to call other hotels in the same area who had the services my son needed. She did a fantastic job and was able to get him a hotel that would let him check in at 11am today, and had all the extras he was hoping for, at a great price. So... I am happy, he is happy, and my expectations were exceeded. I think that might qualify for concierge services.. Now I have to figure out what company it was so I can give them a great review.

Nov 23, 2021 07:54 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I am so, so with you on this subject, Alexandra. Concierge is one of those words that is overused, used incorrectly, and usually mispronounced! Sort of like "gourmet" kitchen. I see agents calling the most pedestrian kitchens "gourmet" just because they have an island and stainless steel appliances.

Nov 23, 2021 07:57 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Kat Palmiotti Thank you for sharing your son's experience!  And yes, that qualifies big time.  The good ones have a network, again from our Florence experience, we were booked into a dump the first night (the photos were great) and we able to cancel the next three night.  We walked up to a hotel we had previously stayed in, and they recommended on three doors down.  We were welcomed by the concierge, gave him our credit card and proceeded to have a great room,,.and a great experience...A

Nov 23, 2021 08:01 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Nina Hollander, Broker yes on the same page, the other word is "foyer" which is often pronounced to rhyme with voyeur...drives me crazy!  Just say entryway...I could go it and write a post on this...A

Nov 23, 2021 08:04 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Ron and Alexandra Seigel hi Alexandra... forgot about foyer... and then there's lingerie which most Americans pronounce as lingeray. I actually had a sales lady in Bloomingdales "correct" me once when I pronounced as lingerie and not lingeray.

Nov 23, 2021 11:34 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

This is a very interesting and thought-provoking post. I have toyed with the idea of using "concierge" once or twice in the past but never did. While I understand the idea and sentiment behind it, it reminds me, too, of extraordinairy service at a hotel. 

My assumption is that the term itself has been americanized and the meaning expanded to express superb service in general?! Language is fluent and ever evolving, but there are just some evolvements/assimilations that I can't get behind... concierge, or Über! As a German the latter bugs me a lot. There is no German who über-uses this word as much as Americans do. 

Nov 23, 2021 08:09 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Andrea Bedard some things are better left unexpended, and there used to be a firm out of Canada called über agent!  I hated that name.  And I hate the overuse of any word.  Our language is so rich, so why not use it...As we watch lots of French productions for TV (keeps my French current), I notice "cool" is used pronounce French style, le weekend, le parking, etc...I understand why the French bristle, and my mother would have been beside herself...LOL A

Nov 23, 2021 08:30 AM
Andrea Bedard

I hear you Ron and Alexandra Seigel. When I visit Germany, I am always shocked to hear so much "Denglish" (the mix of Deutsch/German an English). I have morphed into the aunt who corrects her nephews. In public! 😄 But I'm their favorite, so it's ok. 


I am very glad to never have used the word "concierge". I didn't think about it the way you presented it, I just knew it's not a correct synonym for our profession. 

Nov 23, 2021 12:04 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

This is really great advice. I think agents copy what other agents are doing. Not sure how that is supposed to set them apart?

Nov 23, 2021 08:46 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Ron and Alexandra Seigel, before I obtained my RE license, I was in the hospitality industry, there's no brokerage that can actually do what concierge service offers, yet, without checking, I know of three brokerages that claim to have this service. Perhaps, I don't know what the service entails. 

Nov 23, 2021 09:12 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Probability and reality are worlds apart and your post explains concierge, perfectly. I would not dare call my business a concierge, it just doesn't fit. It's like McD's trying to give coffee shops competition by offering pre-mixed iced coffee drinks, doesn't compare! Fantastic post!

Nov 23, 2021 09:24 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Beth Atalay I recall you worked for Disney, and Disney has hospitality perfected.   Whatever, the service entails, it has nothing to do with great service in the real estate industry, unlike entertainment (Disney) or excellent hotels.  Thank you for the feature in one of my favorite groups. A

Nov 23, 2021 09:27 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty yes, it is a world of copy cats.  Many do not realize that it is not the best way to do business.  A

Nov 23, 2021 09:29 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I am seeing more and more agents claiming that they offer concierge Service to their clients. Some of these agents don't answer the phone when I call them. Go figure Alexandra 🙂.

 

Nov 23, 2021 04:13 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I hadn't considered the real definition of what concierge service is until you covered it in this post, Alexandra!  I learned something new today.

Nov 23, 2021 07:38 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! Wow, thank you for your kind words.  I have no idea why MacD went into competion wiht the coffee places.  A

Nov 23, 2021 08:21 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS they are probably waiting for their assistant concierge to answer their phone?  A

Nov 23, 2021 08:22 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Myrl Jeffcoat lots of words get bandied about, without anyone looking up their real meaning..,and they cannot even pronounce it,,,most say concier...they live out the "ge".  LOL A

Nov 23, 2021 08:23 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

excellant Ron and Alexandra Seigel as always 

Nov 23, 2021 09:29 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I can't be anybody but myself. That's all there is to it dude I'm nothing it's not authentic to me and to others

Nov 23, 2021 10:31 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Great post! I find when I recommend someone or an establishment that I have personally used or been to holds allot more credibility and trust.

Nov 24, 2021 03:40 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Good morning Alexandra,

I've seen agents do that here.  Maybe because we have 35,000 agents in our MLS, but it always seemed strange to me.  Old fashioned good service is what most people want.

Nov 26, 2021 02:50 AM