Time is a precious commodity, and for those who can afford to spend a little money, gaining just a bit more is worth it. This is where personal concierge services come in.
The concept of a personal concierge isn't new. While a personal assistant takes on tasks to free up their employer's time, when asking for something out of their pay-scale – like arranging vocal lessons from a famous music artist or fashioning a pile of 1,000 Hong Kong dollar notes into flowers as a Valentine's Day gift – special connections can go a long way, and personal concierge services usually have those in spades.
Vincent Lai, managing director for Greater China at Quintessentially Lifestyle, explains that requests to concierge services such as his can range from something as simple as booking a dinner reservation to nabbing a table at a restaurant with a long waiting list.
And whereas concierge services used to thrive on holding a wealth of information – and using that knowledge to gain a competitive edge in providing services – the availability of smartphones and the Internet has changed clients' expectations from "wanting to know to wanting to go," says Lai.
"A member had seen [the latest film in the The Fast and the Furious franchise], and called us wanting to drive one of the cars," Lai explains. After Quintessentially tracked down the cars' owners and found out where they could be driven, the client and his friends ended up in Italy.