The Real.Est List
No doorman? No problem--thanks to these 5 cool finds
Sure those white-gloved doormen buildings are luxurious, but who wants to make small talk every time you walk into your building? Not to mention the fact that you may need to have your feet firmly planted in the 1 percent to afford holiday tips for a fleet of doormen.
Can you tell we're trying to make our doormanless-self feel better here? It's easier than you might think, actually, because in the last couple of years, a plethora of products and services have sprung up that make the unattended life easier (and safer, too).
Here are five to add to your personal survival kit:
1. Hop to it: TaskRabbit
Brownstone dweller Daniel Saynt says he and his wife cannot live without online restaurant delivery service Seamless, online supermarket delivery service FreshDirect, and mail services and deliveries from local dry cleaners and laundromats. But scheduling all of these deliveries to take place when they are at home can be a hassle, so they often use TaskRabbit to hire someone to accept deliveries when they are not available to do so.
“For $20 bucks an hour, we have someone home on weekends to accept all deliveries that come through, stock our fridge and even put our laundry away," says Saynt.
Prices vary depending on provider and specific services required.
2. Deliveries minus the hassle: AmazonLocker
Amazon.com set up set up these real-world locker stations around the city back in 2011. You can get Amazon shipments sent directly to the locker closest to you if you can't be home for the UPS delivery.
Use the locker locator to search and review locker locations by zip code. Once you've select the desired location, you can use that as your shipping address for no additional charge.
Items must be sold by Amazon.com and meet a size and weight requirement (smaller than 16.5x13.8x12.6 inches and a shipping weight of less than 10 pounds). To access the shipment at the location, you just swipe your credit card and punch in a code provided via text message.
3. Safety first: iWitness
This smartphone app for iPhone & Android provides an extra means of personal safety for those who don’t have the benefit of a doorman or security guard. Users download the app and “arm” it whenever they are out alone – especially when coming home after dark.
The phone begins to flash a light and is a single tap away from recording video/audio and transmitting your exact GPS location to a secure off-site server.
If you feel endangered, a tap of the screen will call 911 and an email/text message will be sent to up to six pre-registered friends informing them of your location and that 911 has been called. Even if your phone is snatched, the recording of what is transpiring on the street or any personal interactions are saved on a central server rather than your actual device so it can be used by law enforcment. Subscriptions are $2 a month or $29.95 a year.
4. A lobby attendant for the 21st Century: Virtual Doorman