NYC Buyers Want Doormen and Renters Want Pets

StreetEasy BlogOctober 19, 2015

What’s the one amenity that New York City buyers seem to want? A doorman. And for renters, it’s the freedom to have a pet.


And guess what’s No. 2? For buyers, it’s a pet and for renters, a doorman. Go figure!


We looked back over the past nine months to see which amenities were the most-searched on StreetEasy and as you’ll see in the chart below, buyers and renters are almost lock-step in searching for the same amenities. The only deviation in the top 10 is when renters wanted furnished properties more often than buyers.


What Kinds of Requests Are Brokers Seeing?

And while this list solely serves up the amenity choices that appear on StreetEasy, we were curious to know what kinds of amenities buyers are requesting through New York City brokers and yup — you got it: Doormen came in on top again.


“People will say, ‘I want a doorman building,’ said Mindy Diane Feldman, a broker with Halstead. “Parents are always asking for a ‘doorman building’ to make sure their children are safe once inside the building and doormen are just another layer of protection.”


The second-most requested amenity brokers are seeing are concierge services. And while the responsibilities of doormen and concierge are almost interchangeable, doormen generally offer security and a person at the door, while concierges are there mainly to receive packages, exchange keys and basically make life’s little challenges go away.


Here’s a look at the top 10 amenities brokers are seeing. Keep in mind that these buyers are looking for apartments for sale for $2M and up, so if wine cellar isn’t on your list or within your budget don’t be surprised!


No. 1: Doorman

Monitoring the entry, opening cab doors, scoping out clientele and keeping things neat and tidy — that’s what doormen do and homeowners love it.


“Buyers in that $2M-plus price range want services,” said Ben Jacobs of CORE. “The most important service that this buyer requires is a doorman for the security, the assistance, and the prestige. Lets face it. NYC is a big city with a lot of people. The doorman enables the homeowner to feel protected and safe.”


No. 2: Concierge Services

Accepting deliveries from Amazon or Zappos or passing keys along to a friend arriving from out of town are among the many duties of an on-staff concierge. Depending on the building, some concierge services will track down tickets to a hot play, make dinner reservations and find care for homeowners’ pampered pets.


No. 3: Live-in Super

When your AC conks out in the middle of a 95-degree night, who are you going to call? That’s right — the building super. “It’s like having a family member as he is held accountable and is protective of the owners needs,” said Frances Katzen of Douglas Elliman. “Supers are a big factor in the comfort and running of a building.”


No. 4: Above-ground Gym/Fitness Center

Fitness centers and swimming pools are usually assigned space in the bowels of a building, but no more. These amenities are emerging from the darkness and being situated higher in buildings where natural light can pour in.


No. 5:  Roof deck/Outdoor Space

As anyone who lives in NYC knows, having additional getaway space is valuable — not only for personal enjoyment, but also for resale value. “An important part of my role comprises advising my investors as to which amenities will influence resale as well as which will be particularly attractive to potential tenants,” said Feldman. “As an example, most of my clients own homes in places of abundant beauty, fresh air, light and nature. It’s often a challenge to convey how coveted even the most modest patch of outdoor space is in Manhattan.”


No. 6: Residents’ Lounge

This residents’ lounge at 1 West End takes a page out of California’s attractive indoor-outdoor living. Floor-to-ceiling doors can be opened to a massive, 12,000-sq ft rooftop garden terrace. Plus, this extra getaway space can also be reserved privately for parties and events. Community space is a great “add-on” for tight NYC living.


No. 7: Swimming Pool

The pool at the Halcyon features a 52-foot indoor two-lane pool on the 22nd floor with floor-to-ceiling windows. “An indoor pool is already a rarity in New York City, but it becomes a mark of distinction when elevated to a high floor with natural light and great city views,” said Tricia Hayes Cole, Executive Managing Director of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, the exclusive sales and marketing firm for Halcyon. “That effect is compounded when it’s a full amenity suite with panoramic views comparable to those of premium residences in the building.”


No. 8: Storage/Cold Storage

Storage, storage, storage. Whether it’s storage for your bikes, extra furnishings or your own personal wine collection, people want storage. Some new developments are now equipping their lobbies with cold storage for tenants’ deliveries from Fresh Direct. No need to dash home from work to refrigerate your organic lettuce delivery!


No. 9: Children’s Play Room

The adults have getaway spaces, so why not the kids? Some buildings even have hangout rooms for teens in addition to playrooms for children so that everyone stays happy.


No. 10: Valet Parking and On-site Garage

According to Katzen, valet parking and on-site garages are big-ticket items that are very much in demand. “This service provides ease in bad-weather months to provide efficient ‘load and leave’ fast on a daily basis, which is a big help in this busy town.”


Other Amenities Worth Mentioning

Other amenities mentioned by brokers include: Pet spa, valet dry cleaning service, private dining rooms, and hotel-level services (e.g., room service and turndown service.)


“As the NYC luxury real estate market continues to boom, developers are needing to become more and more creative in providing stellar amenities as a means to maintain a competitive edge in this vastly hectic and cut-throat market,” concluded Jacobs.


And if developers build luxury condos with pet spas and wine lockers, people are sure to come.