Why Your Condo or High-Rise Needs a Great Front Desk Team

Five seconds. Science tells us that’s how long it takes to form an initial judgement about a person or thing. First impressions are even faster – they happen in an instant. Given this limited time to make a positive impact, the need for a great front desk team is clearer than ever.
This team is more than just the “face” of your building. They’re a point of contact for homeowners and guests. And they represent a hub of essential services, such as security, providing information, handling deliveries, providing notices to residents, helping with appointments, and being the primary point of contact for first responders when emergencies arise. Some teams take it further, offering dining reservations, ticket reservations to special events and much more. This goes a long way toward creating the personalized services and lifestyle that many people seek.
“We liken the level of service you receive from the front desk in a residential building to the experience you have when you enter a great hotel,” said Todd Cooper, President of FirstService Residential Ontario. “That interaction is critical to how much you enjoy your stay at a hotel, and it’s even more essential when it comes to enjoying the place where you live.”
So it’s clear this team is important. Yet assembling one can sometimes be a daunting task for Condominium Corporations. That’s why it’s so important to engage with a good property management company – especially one that provides integrated property management services. FirstService Residential is unique in the Toronto market by providing condominium communities with traditional property management services combined with top-tier front desk, cleaning, maintenance and security associates. The integrated services provide condominium corporations with greater efficiencies by simplifying the delivery model through a single trusted vendor for full services, rather than having to deal with multiple service providers.
“We’re big believers in ‘residential hospitality’”, said Eric Gattoni, Vice President of Property Services for FirstService Residential, Ontario. “That means we personalize services for every condominium that we manage to enhance the resident experience and lifestyle.” To do so, FirstService handpicks candidates based on their strong hospitality and customer service backgrounds – not to mention their outstanding character.

“A hospitality background is a plus, but not a requirement,” he said. “We want to offer career opportunities for individuals who are pleasant to be around, are proactive, and are able to face challenges with a smile.” That’s because the duties of front desk management can be learned through training of new employees, whereas a sense of genuine understanding and caring is more about who the employee is as a person. Those qualities just can’t be taught.
Of course, for FirstService Residential, hiring is just the beginning. Every front desk associate undergoes ongoing education and hands-on learning sessions through the company’s Centre of Service Excellence. “We’re not satisfied to teach someone how to do a job,” said Cooper. “We want them to help elevate the lifestyle. And we want them to invest themselves in their role. After all, when you think about it, it’s a privilege to have the ability to affect so many lives in so many ways. It’s a big job, and we treat it that way.”

In fact, by offering integrated management services across a variety of roles, the company ensures a higher standard in every facet of the community – from maintenance to cleaning and beyond.

You can’t overlook the tools of the trade, too. That’s why FirstService Residential’s front desk teams use the company’s proprietary management tool, FirstService Residential Connect™. This solution enables front desk teams to access an up-to-the-moment database of all residents so they can personalize the service they provide. The tool tracks guests (so they can be greeted by name), provides delivery notifications and much more.  
Clearly, it goes beyond first impressions. Your front desk team is the heart of a lifestyle and culture for your residents and their guests. For more information on hiring and managing a quality front desk team, contact FirstService Residential.

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