The Estate Manager is the top level executive position in the principal’s household and works directly with the owners to plan and execute the overall management of property and service. The top Estate Managers in the “private services” industry are some of the most well rounded, thoughtful, independent and resourceful workers that can be found anywhere. Estate Managers must have excellent management and executive level communication skills. The unique and diverse skills set combination required to succeed in this position is rarely found in other professions.
Where there are large or multiple homes, the Estate Manager is the “CEO” of the organization, carrying out the wishes of the owner at each location. A common abbreviation for those in the industry is “EM”. Estate Managers need to understand the jobs of all staff they oversee (Household Manager, Butler, Head Housekeeper, Housekeeper, Laundress, Houseman, Chauffeur, Private Chef, Gardener, Nanny etc.). Estate Managers also have broad policy making authority over all household and estate operations, and manage extensive property and staff issues on a daily basis.
Above all, the right person for the job will be adaptable to the standards and desires of the employer. Execution of plans and tasks can be taught and developed with top level management skill sets, but only those who are truly passionate about their career and totally “in synch” with their Principals, and the private services environment will succeed for the long term.
Most Estate Management positions require the manager to live at the client’s estate, as the Estate Manager needs to constantly be prepared to address the needs of the client’s estate. The Estate Manager’s accommodation is often in the form of a self-contained cottage commonly provided on the property. Estate Managers are common in households of 15,000 square feet and larger, and especially in estates with multiple properties, extensive grounds, stables, golf course, vineyard, and so forth; elaborate art, antique, and wine collections, or complex technology; private aircraft and yachts.
The 21st Century Estate Manager of a large estate will have a Bachelor’s degree and or post-secondary education; many may possess an MBA or even might have a degree in Real Estate Construction Management, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Real Estate/Property Management and hold Household Manager certification. Top Estate Managers have many years of previous experience in estate management of a smaller estate or previous Household Manager experience in private services. Today’s Estate Manager is the CEO, managing and protecting the Principal’s and family’s extensive assets, their security and privacy.