Imagine hardly a work day goes by without someone prefacing a conversation with, “I know this may be a strange question …” For Sharon Stillman, that’s just another day at the office. She serves as the concierge at The Luxe Apartments at Ridgedale, one of Minnetonka’s latest entries into the luxury residential living game.
“It is my job to provide the equivalent of what feels like a personal assistant to every tenant in the building. Needless to say, no request is too large or small,” Stillman says, adding, “I have what I call my Concierge Concertina file in which I keep information about anything from a local florist to a private chef to a museum-quality art installer. Each of these services has been personally vetted by me …”
Typically on duty from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Stillman’s day begins by waking up the building—turning on public televisions, settling the outdoor spaces, getting updates on service calls, booting up the golf simulator and reviewing the site’s cleanliness. “We have a cleaning crew on site seven days a week and pride ourselves on making sure that the building is as COVID safe as possible for the residents,” Stillman says
Some of Stillman’s other duties include coordinating maintenance requests, providing move-in assistance, aiding in daily needs (Need a limo driver, a dog groomer, a florist or even a personal stylist?), scheduling presentations on health and highlighting events in and around the area. “Many of the residents have relocated here, so they are not familiar with the area or any resources available from a nearby hospital to a gift shop to a walking trail. Having lived in Minnesota for over 30 years, I am very familiar with the area and all that it has to offer,” she says.
Some of the most common requests revolve around technology. “Our building has the most up-to-date technology for security purposes, and most residents need a little extra help figuring out the various apps required to allow guests to enter the building, pick up their packages and their dry cleaning in addition to entering and exiting the building,” Stillman says.
“Most days, I’m fielding questions, assisting delivery drivers with deliveries, answering the phone, coordinating maintenance calls … just generally making sure everything is running smoothly in the building,” Stillman says. But she’s not opposed to using a bit of elbow grease during her shifts. “On occasion, I have been known to repair a drawer that has come off its rails, check on an electrical outlet that has tripped and also problem solve a running toilet.”
Once her day is done, home is only steps away, as Stillman is also a resident of The Luxe. “It’s quite a unique situation. I signed a lease before I was offered the position as concierge,” she says. “At first, I was concerned that working and living in the same place may be difficult to separate myself from, but I have found that not to be the case, and it’s almost as though the whole building has become my home.”
Stillman didn’t start out as a concierge—in an official capacity, that is. She was a stay-at-home mom and a working artist for 25 years, managing her three children’s schedules, maintaining a large home and assisting her ex-husband with his business. “I’ve always been pretty good at multitasking and having to juggle a bunch of things happening at the same time, so … I don’t have a problem prioritizing what needs to get done based on its importance,” she says. “Plus, we are a great team and always work together to get things done.”
Given the hand dealt by 2020, many of us have a fresh appreciation for the great outdoors, and there’s more area parkland with year-round elements in the offing. Plans are in the works to break ground this spring on a multiuse, urban park at 12590 Ridgedale Drive, just a short walking distance from The Luxe. It’s anticipated that the project stands to be mostly completed by fall, according to Carol Hejlstone, park and trail planner with the City of Minnetonka.