Many of the large luxury homes offer staffing quarters or perhaps an entire wing of the home dedicated for staff. Have you ever wondered what type of staff is needed to run a 20,000+ square foot home and how much each of those employees cost? Well that of course depends on the lifestyle of the homeowners – how large the family, how much they entertain and how much time they spend at the home. There is an entire service industry dedicated to residential staffing. There are companies such as Starkey International Institute which created the first institute for Household Management to train on “service” expected from the affluent customer. Starkey International, along with many other companies such as The Lindquist Group (offices locally in CT & NY), also helps with placement and consulting. Those new to private service get educated on the types of positions available and how to pick the right candidate for their needs.
Residential staffing occupations could be very appealing for the correct person. It generally includes housing, benefits, vacation time and of course vacationing with the employers, all for a nice salary anywhere between $50,000 to well over $100,000 per year. The more multi-tasking involved, the higher the pay. However, many of the luxury homeowners know that you generally get what you pay for and having staff more specific to their specialty could offer the best outcome. As with any job, the candidate is expected to have formal training as well as plenty of experience and references. They are expected to understand everything about their specialty from the correct cleaners to use for each valuable piece of furniture to the best food and wine pairings for a dinner party. The schooling for these specialty professions can be extremely pricy and complex. The industry is very competitive but there are plenty of residential staffing postings to choose from. The postings are very detailed with pay, travel requirements and responsibility.
An ESTATE COUPLE or Domestic Couple generally consists of a married couple (often sharing the same room in the home for cost savings). One person is responsible for the inside of the home: cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, overseeing daily activities. The other is responsible for the outside grounds: gardening, light maintenance, automobile care etc… The salary range: $75,000 to $150,000+
A BUTLER is a common position among large households. Butler responsibilities are not limited to: supervise household staff, order household supplies, setting/serving a formal table, overseeing dinner parties and other events. The annual salary can range from $60,000 to $150,000+. Sometimes a household is divided into departments with the butler in charge of the dining room, wine cellar and pantry and the HOUSEKEEPER caring for the entire house and its appearance. The butler is usually in charge of male servants while a housekeeper is usually in charge of female servants. Housekeeper duties may also include some meal preparation and/or childcare duties with annual salary range: $35,000 to $55,000+
A CHAFFAEUR can range from $40,000 to $100,000+ and a CHEF can range from $40,000 to $225,000+. A NANNY/GOVERNESS can range from $40,000 to $100,000+ and a PERSONAL ASSISTANT from $50,000 to $110,000+. The Lindquist Group website is a great resource to find more salary ranges for some other popular specialties including: household manager, laundress, baby nurse, bodyguard, caretaker, gardener etc…
If you are a real estate professional active in the luxury market be sure to COMMENT on this article if you have any great residential staffing agency names you pass along. If you hadn’t considered, I hope this article put the idea on your radar. If you are in the process of looking for a home that has staffing quarters, be sure to check out the William Raveis fall EP digital Magazine which showcases luxury homes throughout the Northeast. We have also highlighted a few with staffing quarters on our Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/williamraveis/