You know the feeling, you have been there before, when you get the mail and something besides a bill or junk mail greets you. This little spark of mail joy is different in shape from the rest, maybe an interesting color, and is labeled with someone’s handwriting. Receiving a thank you note from someone after doing something nice for them is such a small thing that has such a big impact. This impact is both effective in building personal relationships, as well as business relationships.
As a domestic staffing recruiter, this is a conversation I have had with many candidates and clients throughout their interview processes. Jobs like household manager, estate manager, and personal assistants are very intimate roles that require the ability from all parties involved to get along as they work in unique and personal environments. The power of a thank you note during a domestic staffing interview process is a great way to stand out and show your true colors of how pleasant and professional you are.
I asked a successful household manager that I placed with a family in Florida to write about this topic following a conversation we had. Below is his response:
“As a household manager with a varied past working amongst extremely successful and professional individuals, I have studied their habits and practices to help me become better in my own personal life. It is common practice for wealthy and successful individuals to hand write thank you notes. Especially as people become more successful or famous, recipients feel even more appreciated as they know how valuable their time is. Our greatest assets are not measured monetarily, they are measured in real true relationships with people that support us, and we support them.
My earliest memory of writing thank you notes was my confirmation. I was not allowed to spend any of my money I received until I wrote a personalized note to each person for each gift. My work as a household manager now I can exercise some of the similar practices; I view some tasks as favorable and some as not. When I was young writing thank you notes, I did not see it as a fun task, but I knew once I was done, I would have access to my money. When working around the estate as an adult now, I try to do the hard tasks first and then the fun tasks are more of a reward.
Early in my career I spent time in business that was heavily relationship based on the product and client end. One tactic I used to find success was writing handwritten thank you notes to nearly everyone I would meet throughout my day from both ends of the business. You would not believe, how many people emailed and even called me because they were so happy to receive such a pleasant surprise. This also resulted in positive outcomes for me financially with business. Most of my competitors were just trying to meet their numbers, I was trying to meet numbers and build a good reputation.
Before joining the domestic professional industry, I worked in luxury hospitality environments amongst extremely high net worth individuals and celebrities. This is where I learned that words are powerful. One hotel I worked at as a concierge was very high touch with our guests, we provided an at home environment that was highly personalized. I have never seen a hotel go through so many stationery cards, but it always resulted in smiling and returning guests. With so many repeat and referred guests, I took any chance I could to put a note in their room prior to arrival with an amenity. We also collected data on what kind of wine and snacks they liked, to use for next time.”
Another house manager that I placed told me about how he used to work for families during holiday seasons to throw their parties. He would do everything from set up, cooking, bartending, and helping with clean up. After each gig, he would go home, pour a glass of wine, and write a thank you note for hiring him to assist with their party and include his personal business card. Through this simple task, he was memorable and received many referral calls from others that wanted his help with their holiday parties.
If you are working temporary domestic jobs, still carry thank you notes with you to write and leave with each of the people you worked with, noting something special you liked about them or thank them for something they taught you. Feel free to include a personal business card, that way they will remember to call you first next time they need help or if they are asked by a contact looking for employee referrals.
It is very common in the yachting industry that most crew members carry personal business cards on them whenever they go to a networking event. In an industry with such high turnover due to unusual work environments and global travel, a good captain or chief steward should have a wealth of contacts to call upon. Many of my great housekeepers and house managers come from the yachting industry and will appreciate your preparedness and ability to network and communicate.
If you are too mobile or do not have access to thank you notes, you can find online alternatives. One of my favorite tools is the application “TouchNote.” It allows you to create a postcard or regular card right from your phone. The company will then print it, post it, and mail it for you. One candidate I placed also swears by this type of thank you and communication, he used it heavily during his time working on yachts. He could send a postcard from anywhere in the world and personalize it with a picture of his travels. During his time freelancing, he would send a picture of him on a postcard working with a smile to his recruiter that placed him on the yacht, thanking them for their help.
In conclusion, go beyond a text message or an email and make a lasting impression. You can still buy a pack of thank you notes at the local dollar store. If you have the means and really want to step up your game, utilize one of the many online stationary services and get personalized stationery made. The options are endless and our resources of creatively expand each day.
The Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency strives daily to continue matching domestic candidates and clients than share similar values and professional characteristics as described above. We work in an exclusive world and place the highest value on our relationships and reputations. If you are seeking employment in a domestic setting, please visit our website to see current openings and register with us today. We are excited to continue finding domestic staff for our clients and have domestic professionals ready to interview with you. This would not be an appropriate post without ending with a THANK YOU to our great candidates and clients past, present, and future.