As we discussed in a previous post, one of the most important things to consider when hiring a lifestyle manager is their ability and commitment to getting to know you and your family on a personal level. This is someone who will look beyond the surface requirements – such as managing daily schedules and overseeing travel and events – and cultivate a nuanced understanding of what you need to simplify your complex lifestyle. If you’re still not sure you need a lifestyle manager, or have yet to connect with the right person or company, you might consider looking closer to home and hiring an estate manager. With an estate manager, you do not need to worry about receiving specialized attention, because by the very nature of their position they are already familiar with, and focused upon, you and your family. If you already have an estate manager, you may be underutilizing them and overlooking an invaluable asset.
At first glance, their roles appear quite different; for example, lifestyle managers work in a larger space that includes arranging travel and purchasing hard-to-get items, while estate managers are limited to the domicile. Though this is technically the case, your estate manager often handles things that ripple out to other areas of your life. Let’s say, for example, you have planned a trip from your primary residence in New York to Europe, but some items you would like to bring with you are stored in your home in Florida. An estate manager can arrange for their proper storage and delivery to your destination, thus eliminating a potential headache for you.
Then there are the many traditional tasks that fall under the purview of estate managers, such as overseeing the rest of the household staff, as well as any service providers who show up for repairs and installations. Oftentimes they also serve as the bookkeeper, paying bills and ensuring that expenses stay within the budget, and stewards of physical assets on the property, such as artwork and automobiles, that need to be maintained on a regular basis. If the home is undergoing renovations, they manage construction workers, delivery people, and other personnel. If they work at a vacation home or part-time residence, they know how to prepare it ahead of your arrival, as well as how to make it comfortable for visiting friends and relatives. Nowadays, they are often responsible for making sure that staff and others entering the home are complying with Covid-19 guidelines, ensuring not only your convenience, but your safety and peace of mind.
Like lifestyle managers, estate managers also have connections with the people who can deliver the best services, such as local staffing agencies. And, perhaps most importantly, they serve as your representative and have the ability to communicate with a combination of politeness and authority to get the job done. Bottom line: whether an estate manager works in your primary residence or a vacation home thousands of miles away, they can handle a thousand little details to reduce your stress and free up your energy so you can get back to living the life you love.