how to hire an estate manager

How to Hire an Estate Manager

Hiring an estate manager is an important decision for individuals and families with large or multi-property estates. An estate manager plays a pivotal role in overseeing the entire property, managing other household staff, and ensuring the smooth operation of the estate. Do you need an estate manager? Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process of hiring an estate manager, including estate manager responsibilities, when to hire an estate manager, and how to hire an estate manager.

What is an Estate Manager?

An estate manager is a professional private service staff member with extensive experience in managing large estates. They have the skill to efficiently manage multiple properties, domestic staff members, and projects for a family or principal. They take on the responsibility of overseeing the people and processes that keep large properties running smoothly, allowing the principal to focus on other matters.

Estate managers provide a much-needed sense of security and trust for property owners, whether they live on site full time, part-time, or travel often. Estate managers often seek long term positions, where they can dedicate their expertise and commitment. Estate managers often live on-site, but sometimes commute or work at least part-time remotely.

Estate Manager Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of an estate manager vary depending on the size and unique needs of the estate. However, typical estate manager duties include:

  • Household Staff Management: Hiring, training, supervising and managing household staff, typically across multiple properties.
  • Vendor and Contractor Management: Interviewing and supervising all hired contractors, managing household accounts, and overseeing vendor management.
  • Property Maintenance: Overseeing the maintenance and upkeep of the interior and exterior of all properties, including construction project management, interior design, and maintaining house maintenance budgets.
  • Financial Management: Processing and maintaining domestic staff payroll systems as well as cataloging and maintaining inventory of valuables such as art, heirlooms, and antiques.
  • Representation: Servings as the liaison for the principal(s) and their properties, making responsible decisions for the upkeep of the home, and representing the principal in a professional and discreet manner
  • Event Coordination: Planning and executing functions, stocking and maintaining the wine cellar, and scheduling preventative maintenance for the home, grounds, and vehicles.
  • Leadership: Demonstrating excellent communication, assertive leadership skills, and setting the overall tone for the household staff work environment.

How Can an Estate Manager Help You?

If you own a large or multi-property estate, you know how much detail goes into the smooth operation and maintenance of your properties. An estate manager can provide many benefits to principals, such as:

  • Efficient Household Management: Ensuring that the household runs smoothly, even in the absence of the principal, ensuring that nothing goes awry and that no projects slip through the cracks. 
  • Reduced Stress: Alleviating the stress of keeping up with day-to-day tasks, allowing principals to focus on their other priorities such as work-related projects, family obligations, or simple much-needed relaxation.
  • Time Savings: By handling a wide range of responsibilities, estate managers free up significant time for the principals, allowing them to focus on their primary priorities and enjoy more quality time in their lives. 
  • Innovative Solutions: Estate managers are expert innovators who think on their feet, introduce creative ideas, and find creative solutions to challenges faced by the principal and the estate.
  • Travel Management: For those who frequently travel for work or pleasure, or travel between two or more homes often, estate managers can ensure smooth continuation of household management no matter where the principals physically are.
  • Security: Providing an unparalleled sense of security, allowing principals to relax knowing that an expert is always overseeing, preserving, and protecting their properties and valuables. 
  • Quality of Life: Bringing an attention to detail that allows principals to enjoy a higher quality of life, with less stress and total peace of mind for estate owners.

When Should You Hire an Estate Manager?

When is the right time to hire an estate manager? You may consider hiring an estate manager when you have multiple properties, or one sizable estate. Do you employ multiple household staff members such as nannies, housekeepers, private chefs, butlers, or chauffeurs? Estate ownership entails a significant need for comprehensive management, including overseeing household staff members and ensuring the highest standards of service and care. It is wise to hire an estate manager when you have the need to manage multiple properties and household staff members.

Qualities to Look for in an Estate Manager

When hiring an estate manager, it’s important to look for qualities such as trustworthiness, reliability, professionalism, experience in managing busy households, expert organizational skills, and the ability to represent the prinicipal(s) professionally and discreetly.

How to Find an Estate Manager

How do you find an estate manager? To find an estate manager, you can utilize private service industry-specific job boards, candidate databases, or work with agencies specializing in household staffing.

Hiring an estate manager is an involved process, including:

  • Creating a detailed job description that includes your estate’s needs and goals
  • Connecting with qualified candidates
  • Interviewing potential estate manager candidates
  • Screening and vetting candidates, including verifying prior employment, speaking with references and running background checks
  • Securing ideal candidates with contracts of employment
  • Legally paying your household staff including understanding your state’s laws surrounding overtime, holidays, PTO, and tax obligations

How a Domestic Staffing Agency Can Help You Hire an Estate Manager

Domestic staffing agencies help make the estate manager hiring process easier by providing personalized introductions and service every step of the way.

At Nanny Poppins, we have more than two decades of experience helping high profile individuals and families to connect with expert domestic staff professionals. Our expert team can help you define your unique needs and goals, connect with the industry’s top candidates, and secure contracts to give you peace of mind. We are committed to the highest level of excellence in household staff placement and continue to be available to you after your estate manager begins their term of employment with you, ensuring an excellent working relationship.

Learn more about our placement process and complete a registration form to begin the estate manager hiring process today.


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  1. Pingback: Orange County Estate Management | Home and Work Staffing

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