A couple of weeks ago, a rep for Instrata Pentagon City, a high-end luxury apartment building on 15th Street S. near the Fashion Centre mall, reached out to us about a unique amenity the building offers its residents: a “lifestyle concierge.”
Having not heard of such a thing before — most local news reporters do not live in buildings with a lifestyle concierge — we asked Stephanie Student, who holds that position, what a lifestyle concierge does and why an apartment building should have one.
Here are some excerpts from that interview.
ARLnow: In your own words, what does a lifestyle concierge do?
Stephanie: As a lifestyle concierge, my job is to make residents’ lives easier! I’m here to take care of their needs, no matter how big or small, and assist wherever I can. Another big part of my job is organizing resident-exclusive events — everything from cake-decorating classes and oyster shucking to beer-tasting and fitness classes. These events and classes really help create a sense of community among residents and I’ve seen some wonderful friendships blossom between residents who had never met before but attended the same event and really hit it off.
ARLnow: Why is it important for Instrata to have a lifestyle concierge?
Stephanie: Luxury lifestyle apartments are not uncommon in most metropolitan areas, but Instrata has recognized that renters want more than just high-end finishes and nice common spaces. They also want a place where they feel they have friends and connections–a place that feels like its own “neighborhood.” By providing residents with a concierge who can act at a “go-to” for questions and assistance, and fun events that encourage interaction, they get all of that plus the more typical perks of high-end buildings.
ARLnow: What are some of your personal favorite activities in the neighborhood?
Stephanie: Pentagon Row is full of fun shops and restaurants, not to mention amazing venues and events! There’s a skating rink in the winter, 5K Fridays through the month of April, and outdoor movie nights in the summer. This August and September, the movies will be a complete run of the Star Wars series. I can’t wait!
ARLnow: What are some of your residents’ favorite events inside the building?
Stephanie: Anything that gets their hands a little dirty and allows them to meet new people! Namely, our oyster-shucking lessons, flower-arranging classes and cake-decorating classes. These tend to be on a smaller scale and allow for the residents to have great conversations and learn a new skill.
ARLnow: What’s the average day like for you?
Stephanie: I always kick off the day by checking emails and catching up on the latest D.C.-area news. Throughout the day, I research local cultural events, happenings, and restaurant and store openings. I’m always on the lookout for new event ideas and party trends to inspire me for future resident events. When I’m not reading, researching or tending to a request, I’m working on the logistics for our upcoming events, negotiating with vendors, or catching up with residents.
ARLnow: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever gotten from a resident?
Stephanie: Our residents tend to turn to the concierge team to assist more with research and suggestions, so I have yet to receive a wildly out-of-the-ordinary request. That said, I did have a resident who wanted a massage but insisted on staying in their apartment as opposed to popping downstairs to use the in-house massage room. Luckily, I was easily able to find a massage therapist nearby who was happy to come up to the apartment and tend to the resident.
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