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Ask an Expert: Why don't all doormen open doors?

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
June 12, 2012 - 1:48PM

Q. Why don't all doormen open doors? Isn't that their job?

A. This is probably a case of mistaken identity, say our experts.

"Typically, 'doormen' who don't open the doors are technically not doormen but security guards," says real estate broker and asset manager Roberta Axelrod of Time Equities

Security guards are usually hired through security companies as independent contractors; they are paid much less than a doorman and have significantly fewer responsibilities. For instance, they don't take packages, lift strollers or hail a taxi. They may not even announce guests.

Doorman, meanwhile, are typically employees of the building and members of the union...which is a big reason why security guards do very little, says Axelrod.

"In a union building, if a security guard were to open the door, he would be considered to be performing the function of a doorman and therefore be required to be a union employee," she explains.

If the attendant in question is a bona fide doorman, says Axelrod, they should be opening the door--and if they're not, blame it on "poor supervision," she says. 

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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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