An apartment doorman holding the door open for a resident.


Key takeaways

  • An apartment doorman or doorkeeper greets and opens the door for residents and their visitors. They also secure package deliveries and deter trespassers. 
  • Doormen offer luxury and security,  but they are costly and not perfect. 
  • The best solutions to pair with a doorman is the ButterflyMX front desk station and video intercom system.


An apartment doorman is a common physical security feature in apartment buildings across the country. They add a luxurious atmosphere to properties, and it’s hard to deny that they don’t make residents feel safe. However, are doormen really the best security feature for your property?

In this post, we review what an apartment doorman does. Next, we examine a few pros and cons of doormen. Finally, we provide some insight into the best access control technology that compliments a doorman.

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ButterflyMX front desk station


What is an apartment doorman?

Apartment doormen, or doorwomen, are employees of a multifamily building hired to look after the main entryway. Doormen are a staple feature of luxury apartment buildings. Doormen typically work 24/7 and operate in shifts. Most buildings only have one doorman, but some larger properties with multiple entranceways may employ more than one.


What is the difference between a doorman and a doorkeeper?

There is no difference between a doorman and a doorkeeper. A doorman is also commonly called a doorkeeper or gatekeeper. A professional name for a doorman is a porter.


A happy apartment doorman.


What does a doorman do?

A doorman’s primary task is to welcome residents and guests into a building. They commonly open the door for residents and guests, but this isn’t always the case. This is because some properties implement video intercom systems and other access control technology. Doormen also often share responsibilities with those of a concierge.

A doorman’s responsibilities often include:

  • Receiving and securing packages
  • Contacting residents when a package or visitor has arrived
  • Directing guests and visitors
  • Turning away loiterers and trespassers
  • Assisting residents if they have a lot to carry
  • Calling elevators for residents and guests


How much do you pay a doorman?

A doorman’s average yearly salary is $27,831.

However, you should keep in mind that your total apartment doorman cost will likely be five times that because you’ll have to hire multiple doormen to assist with your building throughout the year. Of course, you don’t have to hire a doorman 24/7. You could only post a doorman at your property between business hours or during a night shift when your building is most vulnerable.

The location also factors into a doorman’s pay. A doorman’s salary in New York City will likely be higher than one in a smaller city.


A luxury apartment doorman


What are the pros and cons of an apartment doorman?


  • Doormen can help prevent package theft, which is all too common across the country.
  • Buildings with doormen carry a luxurious atmosphere that can be appealing to renters. Thus, you can charge more rent to offset the costs of a doorman.
  • Social interactions with residents can make your property seem more welcoming.
  • The physical presence of a doorman helps residents feel safer.
  • Residents can be let into the property if they forget their keys.
  • Questions and concerns can be immediately brought to the attention of a doorman, who can then relay them to property managers.


  • Hiring multiple new employees is costly.
  • Doormen are still prone to human error.
  • Residents may have less privacy.


Do doormen make apartments safer?

Without a doubt, doormen make apartments safer. The human element of someone standing watch over an entrance is one of the strongest deterrents against trespassers. Additionally, they are a great deterrent to package thieves, who often act when nobody is around.

However, doormen are not the perfect solution when it comes to safety and security for your apartment technology. Access control and security technology are equally important.


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3 factors to consider before choosing a doorman

Before deciding whether your building needs an apartment doorman, you should first consider whether your building is even right for a doorman.

Factors to consider include:

  1. Building size. A smaller building likely doesn’t need a doorman.
  2. Other staff. If you have other staff members present in your building, then they might make the tasks of a doorman redundant.
  3. Location. Doormen are typically found in larger cities like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. If you live in a smaller city, there might not be enough foot traffic in and out of your building to warrant the costs of a doorman.

Important note: If you’re unsure about hiring a doorman, you may look into hiring an apartment receptionist instead, which may be a better fit for your property.


What technology works best with an apartment doorman?

When it comes to doorman alternatives or pairings, the ButterflyMX video intercom and front desk station are your best options. These devices not only make a doorman’s job easier, but they also provide some cutting-edge features to your property that make access control simpler for residents and visitors alike.

The ButterflyMX video intercom is perfect for controlling access to your property. Additionally, the front desk station software is great for handling tasks and responsibilities that a physical front desk station would handle.

The ButterflyMX video intercom features:

  • Authorized entry. Residents must be verified and registered with your building in order to enter the property. Thus, your doorman won’t have to look up records or guess the individual’s residency.
  • Video calling. Residents can see visitors and delivery drivers when requesting access on the intercom.
  • Keyless entry. Once residents download the ButterflyMX mobile app, they can enter the property by swiping on their mobile devices.
  • Remote access. Residents can grant access to guests and visitors remotely thanks to ButterflyMX’s cloud-based platform. That way, residents don’t have to be home.
  • Date- and time-stamped photos. A photo with the date and time is taken every time someone uses the ButterflyMX intercom to access the property. This data is then stored in the cloud and can be accessed at any time.

The ButterflyMX front desk station software features:

  • Live video. Your doorman can view the live video feed from the ButterflyMX video intercom for greater security and safety.
  • Communication. The front desk station solution enables your doorman to communicate with residents remotely to verify guests’ identities with a webcam. This way, the doorman can be sure they’re granting access to a guest a resident is expecting.
  • Remote management. Access credentials for residents and guests can be managed and assigned remotely.


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Nick Manzolillo

I'm a Rhode Island-based writer fascinated with real estate development, the inner workings of the real estate industry, and how real estate and technology blend together.

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