Chris Genge is a Montreal-born, Torontonian at heart. He’s a former luxury property manager bent on helping people. Not necessarily what you’d call the classic humanitarian – though I’m sure he’s got a great heart – his company Jet Concierge is concerned with aiding an alternative type of individual – the ones who can pay for it.
Starting his career working with a well-respected condo developer, he handled executive condo rentals and got his first glimpse into the expectations of wealthier clientele. He followed that up by creating a furnished rental program for that business and then started his own furnished housing company called City Locators soon after that. Inspired and more adept at assisting with the needs of these exclusive individuals, Chris launched Jet Concierge, a discreet personal concierge service for Toronto’s most prominent.
“While running City Locators, one of my clients, a pro athlete, couldn’t get in touch with his wife while he was on the road,” Chris recalls. “He called in a bit of a panic as she was new to the city and on top of that, didn’t speak any English. After I helped find her I was asked to assist with pretty much everything. I helped with shopping, organizing trips, airport pick-ups, and anything else that might ease the pressure of living in a new city. It didn’t take long for word to spread, and before I knew it, I was helping others in similar situations.”
Offering services from temporary housing to driver service, landscaping and design to house sitting, car repair to key replacement, Jet Concierge is as unique and expansive as one might imagine. Most of their business in concentrated in Toronto, however Chris has frequented New York and Montreal to serve the needs of his clients.
“Most professionals are fighting a losing battle with time, “ he explains. “Between their careers, family and other responsibilities, there’s just not enough time in a day to get everything done.”
Though the majority of us lot are forcibly bludgeoned by the tyrannical fists of time, athletes, business executives and celebrities are enjoying the personal freedom that a service like Jet Concierge offers. That said, Chris is convinced that the price point for a service like his is becoming more accessible.
“It used to be a luxury of only the very wealthy, but certainly not anymore.”
Perhaps the best part of Chris’ business is the relationship building. Gallivanting alongside his clients is certainly not something he gets to enjoy everyday, but being the go-to guy for his frequenters has its merits, both experientially and emotionally, he tells me.
“One of our athletes asked my wife and I to spend the Christmas Holidays with his family at their home in the Dominican Republic. I was honoured when they asked me to play Santa for their annual village festival. It was a lot of fun, but what made it really special was the overwhelming response of the children when we gave out the new bicycles and gifts. It was a tremendously humbling experience.”
Though he’s enjoyed many interesting life experiences as a result of Jet Concierge, there’s always another side of the card that one must contend with. Without naming names, he’s occasionally forced to turn down a request, like booking up two penthouse suites (one for the client and the other for their private chef) who were notorious for throwing massive parties and wrecking suites.
Eccentricity is to be expected, but some of the things that have been asked of him have simply been odd.
“I was once asked by a client to assist them and their family through airport customs and to wait with them at the gate until their plane took off. Even my connections could not persuade US Customs,” he laughs.
Though his obvious discretion keeps him from divulging the identities of some of the athletes, entertainers, politicians and dignitaries he’s assisted, the personal approach to his business is what keeps these bigwigs coming back.
“We take the time to listen to our clients. We remove the hassles by specifically tailoring our services to meet their needs, and we always make it personal. Imagine one call to handle most of life’s headaches and bring you that much closer to the lifestyle you want.”
One call to handle most of life’s headaches… sounds like being best friends with a mafia Don… except the difference between that relationship and one with Jet Concierge is you’re never expected to pay back the favour – just the bill.