Download the full Wall Street Journal Article here-LR_SAF_mansion_florida_3.13.15
By Jeryl Brunner
There’s a famous quote — “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” Just the same, though,
belonging to such a club can result in considerable perks — some even career-making. The tricky part is getting in.
That’s when some club-member aspirants turn to their personal, well-connected concierge.
Take the case of a 20-something heiress and aspiring actress whose high-net-worth family regularly
works with Victoria Hoffman, the founder and CEO of Miami- based Concierge & Events by Victoria.
The actress/ heiress longed to embrace all things Hollywood and meet as many power players as she
But how does one penetrate this epicenter ofa world filled with heli-skiing actors, directors and
producers who make deals over dinner in private mansions?
The heiress turned to Hoffman, her trusted con-
cierge. Because of Hoffman, this budding actress landed an invitation to an intimate wine-tasting
din- ner held for a blockbuster movie star. Not only did the heiress get to mingle with the actor,
she also got to go out with the group after. She was given the kind of in- sider access that is
nearly impossible to get without
the right connections.
The “star encounter” is just one kind of beyond-thevelvet-
rope experience that Hoffman’s clients have
grown to expect — at a cost running anywhere from
$5,000 to $100,000. Meanwhile, for the price of home
ownership, similar services can extend to owners of
some of South Florida’s high-end condominiums.
Several offer a bespoke, high-level concierge unit:
Turnberry OceanClub has a full-timemultilingual concierge
service. And the concierge mantra at Old Palm
Golf Club? If there’s something he can do for you, consider
“In this world of private wealth, it’s not enough to
just give a client entry to an event,” says Hoffman, who
worked in film and TV more than 16 years, giving her
a vast database of contacts. “It’s taking it that one step
further — doing something
more insider and
Special in Hoffman’s
world can mean accompanying
oceanographer on an expedition
playing touch football
with a pro football Hall of
Famer, followed by dinner;
meeting a celebrity
designer at his or her fashion show or having the designer
act as a personal shopper for the day.
The experiences Hoffman offers can be as big as the
imagination allows. “I’m an adventure-seeker myself,”
says Hoffman, who will soon launch the new company,
LuxePass (as in, passport to luxury). Her criteria areoften,
“What would be on my bucket list?”
Hoffman has even arranged for music-loving clients
to go into a studio with a recording star while he writes
and records. She’s also opened doors into impossibleto-
penetrate couture fashion shows in Paris. And during
Art Basel, her clients can visit collectors’ homes and get
up closewith priceless paintings not publicly shown.
Hoffman’s offerings even extend to the unusual.
She has arranged helicopter excursions to Florida’s
Okeechobee area to hunt wild boar, followed by dinner
(of said boar) at a private ranch. She can send people to
Tuscany for truffle hunting.
She’s commissioned designers
to outfit clients with one-of-a-kind period costumes
for privatemaskedballs in 15th-century Venice palaces.
Francis V. Cuttita, a prominent New York real estate
attorney who represents celebrities, models, professional
athletes, CEOs and high-net-worth individuals
in commercial and residential real estate transactions,
believes concierge services are now a necessity, rather
than a luxury, for condo owners. Because of his clients’
busy schedules, Cuttita sees a strong demand for
world-class, hotel-type services and amenities.
“Convenience is everything, and a concierge service
only adds to the value of a condo,” Cuttita says.
Typically, the concierge service expense is included in
the monthly condominium common charges, he notes,
adding, “Our discerning buyers consider concierge
services a must-have in a luxury condo building, especially
given the demanding schedules of owners who
typically own multiple residences. We are seeing a rise
in concierge condominium services offered in luxury
“People buying real estate in new buildings like to
know that there is complete and total service at their
beck and call,” Hoffman says.
As for Hoffman’s personal practice, the challenges
continue to grow. Reports Hoffman, “People say,
‘What’s the next big thing you can do for me?’”