Don't Talk Too Much

Seriously, Shut the %*!& up !

My friend and business associate, David Gonzalez, and I worked on a placement together and we had a few candidates blow the interview because they talked way too much during the interview. All of these candidates are excellent private service professionals. However, no one would even consider hiring them because they would drive the principal to drink. Here is a little blog from David to help you prepare for your next interview.

Sorry for the offensive headline, but it’s far less offensive than job candidates who don’t know how to stop talking during interviews.

I learned long ago from an old boss that some people can “talk themselves into one end of a deal, and then right out the other.” Loosely translated, this means that the most important point of any sales, negotiation, or presentation is knowing when to shut the *%!# up. It’s that simple, but so hard to do. I’m certainly guilty of this as well, because I love information and love to share it even more, but just ask my wife and kids… sometimes I just don’t know when to shut up! I can’t emphasize enough how vital this concept is while interviewing for a job or communicating important ideas, and so few know how.

Domestic Staffing Interview

Recently we’ve been hearing from candidates who seem unaware that employment agents and potential employers are not therapists. Perhaps the isolation of Covid-19 is depriving people of meaningful communication, but I can assure you that a job interview is not the place to relieve pent up quarantine conversations. At the informal stage a bit of small talk is genuine and human, but when it gets into the job and employment details, it is time to get focused.

Active listening and clear, concise answers are the most rare talents, and easily set apart the best candidates from their peers. We want to know more about you but we definitely don’t want to know everything! Listen, listen, listen, and then give back direct answers and examples based on exactly what was asked. Be professional and confident in your abilities, but don’t be arrogant. If we’re talking to you there is already a solid level of interest based on your written presentation and employment history, so you don’t have to re-sell any of the positives that are not in question. Again, listen and follow the interviewer’s lead so you can discuss what they believe is relevant to the next steps in qualifying you. When you finish your answer, just stop talking! And NEVER go on a self-promoting rant about how great you are, your own glamorous lifestyle, your IQ, or anything that can be interpreted as bragging or self-promotion. This isn’t about you, it is about how you can be of service and value to the employer. Full stop.

And it’s not just you. Some clients are horrible at this too! I’ve actually told several candidates before their interviews to try not to speak at all. Let the client ramble as much as they want, and they’ll think it was one of the best interviews they’ve ever had! Trust me, it works. Unfortunately, those clients don’t have the slightest idea how to conduct proper interviews, and they are lucky if they have a decent agency helping them hire. The point is, if you don’t have a feel for who is talking and how much during your professional interactions, you are the one blowing it. Know when to shut your own mouth to make the conversation work.

Talk Too Much

Pay attention to this concept in your next conversation. You might be the best candidate for the job but your awkward conversations have people pulling out their hair on the other end of the phone. I’ve had interview calls where I stopped talking completely and timed how long it took until the other person asked if I was still on the line. Their resume got a big X. Please don’t let this happen to you. I would suggest looking up articles on active listening and interview skills, and anything on effective communication. Learn and prepare before any important professional call and you’ll be well ahead of the pack. Good luck!

 

At The Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency, we value your expertise and aim to be a resource for you as a domestic staffing candidate. Our nationwide searches for domestic staffing have connected our team with an invaluable reach of advice, ideas, and expertise into the world of high net worth homes and estates.

Does everyone need Louis Vuitton Luggage?

To all of my house managers, personal assistants, and companions you can easily recall a time a client called upon your expertise and advice when they go to make a decision. Whether it be fashion, event, or otherwise; you add value to them by being knowledgeable across many avenues of luxury and quality aspects of life. As we continue our “Learning Luxury” series, I want to discuss the topic of what a good quality piece of luggage means to you and your boss, and also how to care for as you would any other of the belongings within the estate.

Having worked in many estates, mansions, and luxurious residences; without a doubt you have seen beautiful luggage and baggage. If your current or future employer is going to ask your opinion on luggage or ask you to go buy them additional pieces (trusting your judgement), what would you do? I think most readers that may not work at an estate or work with high net worth families as their staff would be surprised at some of the options and choices we will explore in this post.

If you are fantasizing the life of the “rich and famous” you are probably thinking about a reality TV show when the cast took a trip somewhere and the camera always pans to the beautiful, high-end luxury luggage. Probably the most noteworthy luggage we often see on TV associated with luxury is Louis Vuitton, you would be surprised that while they have excellent products and materials, many of the high net worth families we work with for domestic staffing utilize other noteworthy names more often than not.

Many of the name brands we see within the closets of families we provide domestic staffing to include brands such as: Tumi, Rimowa, and even Samsonite, Globe Trotter, and Briggs & Riley.

 

 

When discussing this topic with a house manager that I placed with a family in Colorado, I was intrigued as he spoke about his time working in very high-end hospitality and how he took note of what luggage the high net worth guests would arrive with. More often than not, he noted on their choice of function and quality over name brands and flash. The two he saw the most included Tumi and Rimowa. If you research these brands, they offer extremely high-quality luggage, with both a reputation of functionality and also a dash of flare and fashion. The nice part of brands like Tumi and Rimowa is they offer high quality pieces at a price that can be considered an investment but isn’t based on a pop-culture fed value. Rimowa is known for their very high end and durable aluminum luggage that is very popular with high net worth households looking to ever so slightly flaunt what they got. Tumi is also known for their ability and desire to personalize their luggage with initials that will save your boss and potentially you time at the luggage carousel after a long international flight.

If you know your boss and understand they want the high-end flare of something like a Louis Vuitton, a well-trained salesperson should be able to guide you, but you should know the length of their trip, how many outfits/shoes/accessories, etc. so you can pick the appropriate size. You should also know if they want the traditional monogram or something more subtle.

As always in our “Learning Luxury” series we like to discuss how you yourself as a house manager, personal assistant, companion, etc. can experience the same impressive levels of luxury and high quality that your bosses experience on a day to day basis. My curiosity on what my successful house managers and estate managers buy for themselves led me to having this exact conversation with them. Many noted have some smaller pieces of very high-end leather goods such as Louis Vuitton, but as they fly commercial in their free time, they often opted for brands such as Tumi, Samsonite, and Away for their checked luggage. A house manager on a Florida estate was very impressed with Away luggage as they offer a lifetime warranty and has a stylish approach to their esthetic. He also noted it has been seen on many reality TV shows. If you have a boss that is perhaps a bit more fiscally conservative when it comes to purchases, this arena of brands may be a great option for them as they were designed to be thrown around when traveling commercially (this is good if the jet doesn’t do long trips internationally).

Caring for your bosses’ luggage should also be covered and taken seriously, especially given the amount of money they do ultimately spend on it and given your job as a house manager or estate manager is to care for their belongings and make them and their estate look good, especially when others are around. If the luggage comes with a dust bag, USE IT! They were designed to prolong the life and ware of the piece. If the luggage comes home from a trip with a scuff or a scratch, research with the company on how to best remedy the situation. If you are fortunate enough, your boss loves a good show and their closet features glass cases or cupboards to showcase their beautiful pieces, but chances are you don’t work for a Kardashian or a Real Housewife so keep that thing out of light and clean. If the piece is leather, you should also be cognizant of the moisture and temperature within your bosses’ closets.

In conclusion, luggage can say a lot about a person, just like any other material item. Get to know your bosses and you can help them in their purchases when asked, suggest gift ideas if needed, and help someone as they navigate sometimes newly chartered waters of wealth and quality products. As a house manager, estate manager, personal assistant, companion, or any other type of domestic professional working with The Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency, we value your expertise and aim to be a resource for you as a domestic staffing candidate. Our nationwide searches for domestic staffing have connected our team with an invaluable reach of advice, ideas, and expertise into the world of high net worth homes and estates.

 

 

You have seen them on tv shows and social media, and it is hard to not imagine taking your culinary skills and working as a personal chef to a professional athlete. You get to work for some of the most talked about and talented people in the world all while driving your passion for high end cuisine and helping professional athletes achieve their goals; it is even better if they play for your favorite team. However, as we know, the grass is not always greener, but sometimes the sacrifice is worth the reward. It is your choice on if you would like to pursue a career as a personal chef to a professional athlete, so let’s dive in.

Pros

The positives to being a personal chef for a professional athlete are relatively easy to come up with and are fun to imagine. Some of the dreamier perks would include being in close proximity to amazing individuals that have trained their bodies and minds for years to achieve success; wouldn’t it be great if some of that rubbed off on you? Being responsible for helping them achieve their dietary goals may also mean you get to travel with them to games and on trips to make sure they are able to easily maintain their diets. Not to mention, your “office” is likely in a multi-million-dollar home and your budget is very high or non-existent. As a personal chef, this is a huge blessing, especially if you are coming from a restaurant or other culinary business where it is about making money, not helping someone achieve a physical goal.

Cons

As mentioned earlier, the grass is not always greener for personal chefs working for professional athletes. There are many factors that go into being a professional athlete, which include many variables that would impact your job and the sustainability of it. Many of the personal chefs for professional athletes that we work with have an average placement rate of one year. This is due to athletes being traded or injured on a frequent basis. On a positive note, this is a “pro” for a personal chef that is seeking more freelance opportunities vs. a long-term position.

Timing of meals is another tough hurdle that personal chefs to professional athletes must also overcome, especially while balancing a personal life. Many professional athlete chefs adhere to a workout, practice, and game schedule that is much unlike the normal meal schedule most Americans with a private chef would be used to. Consider your day if you worked for an athlete that awoke early in the morning for their first work out that required a hearty breakfast to accompany it, then serving lunch late in the afternoon, and yet still having to be on-call for an evening meal, especially late following a game. Add in even more factors if the athlete has a spouse, family, and staff that needs to be fed.

Creativity; it is important during your interview as a private chef to a professional athlete, that you discuss in depth the type of cuisine you will be cooking on a regular basis. If your chef skills are motivated and inspired by delivering beautiful and exquisite meals, how would you react to an athlete that relies primarily on chicken, rice, and vegetable on a daily basis?

The purpose of this post is not to dissuade you from pursuing a career as a personal chef to a professional athlete, but more to ensure all red flags are lowered before you start making moves. Working with a domestic recruiter, such as Robert Hanselman, gives you more opportunities for longevity and security, especially as you build rapport with their clients. Building a trusted and positive background with your domestic recruiter’s clientele, opens the doors for many more future opportunities. Especially if you find yourself obtaining more freelance gigs vs. a permanent position.

 

At Robert Hanselman Domestic Staffing Agency, we have been very fortunate to work with a number of professional athletes to deliver high quality results in helping them achieve their goals by providing them with supportive household staff including personal chefs that are eager and willing to go above and beyond a normal cuisine or schedule. We look forward to assisting many more personal chefs and professional athletes to help each party involved achieve their individual goals and create a harmonious domestic environment for our highly appreciated clients.

The Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency has been approached by various domestic professionals on how to handle certain situations. When it comes to the abuse of medication, alcohol, etc. we have found every situation is different. Please take the time to read what we suggest and who we recommend contacting with regards to addiction problems and overcoming them with in the private household.


 

Addiction Guide for Household Professionals
How to identify, bring to light, and help the people you serve

We are all aware that everybody struggles with issues throughout their lives privately and publicly, we also know there are varying degrees of severity when it comes to these issues. With a strong background in high net worth families, the team at In House Group understands and is able to relate to the struggles you may be going through in your own household, whether it is your home or the home you work in.

There is an old saying “the maids know everything” because it is the job of a domestic professional to be keenly aware of habits, likes, and dislikes in order to provide an exceptional living environment for the family they serve. As a domestic professional this sometimes means you witness the unsightly or not so glamorous aspects of being human, it is to your credit that you are able to operate professionally and confidentially. If you are reading this, it may be because you have genuine concern that someone in your household may be indulging in a behavior that is taking them down a dangerous path that could ultimately harm them, others around them, and possible even yourself. In this post we will discuss how to see the signs of substance/behavior abuse, how to approach the issue, and making sure you are also making your safety and well-being a priority.

Recognizing issues can be in many forms. The most obvious are the attitudes, moods, and energy of someone. If they seem to be acting different from their normal selves, showing quick changes in mood, or even having paranoid outbursts that are consistently lingering; these may be signs that they are abusing or misusing certain substances such as drugs and alcohol. Addiction can also take place in the form of behaviors such as sexual activity, gambling, and someone being repeatedly taken advantage of for their money or resources. There are also environmental signs to addiction that you as a housekeeper or house manager may be more aware of than anyone else in their house as you are emptying trashes, putting things away in drawers, changing bedding, and cleaning bathrooms. Being so involved in the details of people’s most private spaces means you quickly pick up on their normal habits and also quickly pick up on when something is “off.”

You have determined you are not comfortable anymore working in a home knowing that someone is potentially suffering from an issue; What do you know? How you decide to move forward with bringing this issue to light is very delicate and you now have to make a decision on many potential outcomes, including even the security of your job. The team at The In House Group reminds you that when being surrounded by someone in an addictive state does not create a harmonious environment, and over time that will also impact you personally. Most of us as domestic professionals have witnessed toxic environments in homes that we are able to tolerate for a certain period of time, but ultimately, we know that is a stepping stone for us leading us to more positive places.

First, remember you are judged on your ability to be confidential when working in a household, the less people you speak with about someone, the better. Always go up your “chain of command.” If you are a housekeeper and start noticing things like liquor bottles in the closet trash, or the smell of vodka when you empty a water bottle, or alcohol hidden when you put clothes away; these actions are not normal. If they are persistent and you see effects on a someone that you work for, you may be saving their life by saying something.

As a housekeeper your household manager should be your point of contact, they generally have a closer relationship with the principals and can help you identify if an issue is necessary of the staff intervening. If there is not household management, trying to talk to your domestic recruiter for advice as they may be able to have the conversation for you and/or provide you with a less toxic working environment should the principal not be keen on helping or getting help with the issue.

addiction guide for domestic professionals

If you approach a principal directly, they should see a side to you that they rarely or may never have seen; emitting deep genuine concern. If someone’s spouse, child, or relative in the house is struggling with a potentially life-threatening addiction, it should not be something that lightly affects you as a compassionate human being. The team at The In House Group can also help you prepare for this conversation and be readily available for your principal to advise them on how to move forward. If well received, this will truly show your authentic commitment and concern for the people in the household in which you serve. Many domestic professionals spend years, and even decades serving a single family, you are more than someone that picks up messes and makes things pretty.

When approaching your principal, it is best to do it at a time and place when you best feel your conversation will not be interrupted, perhaps even when the affected individual is not home. If meeting in their office or study, ask if you may close the door; this sets the tone that this is not a casual conversation. Also consider using words and phrases such as:

  • “I hope I am not overstepping my boundaries”
  • “After all of these years, you know I would not bring up something delicate unless I truly felt someone may be in danger”
  • “My job and your happiness are some of the most important things to me, and that is why I need to have a sensitive conversation with you”

Maybe the conflicted individual is the child of the principal that you cared for in their younger years, but now as a young adult, you have noticed things that are leading them down dangerous paths. The years of service and dedication you have given to a family will undoubtedly be in your favor during this conversation:

  • “You know I love John as one of my own children, and that is why I want to have this conversation with you”
  • “I remember when I started working for this family and John was in 8th grade, but now that he is home from college for the summer, I am worried about him”

Remember that The In House Group is not just a resource for helping you have this conversation and identifying potential addictive behaviors, but we are ultimately a resource for the household in which you serve. We provide a non-traditional addiction treatment approach to individuals that have great things at stake should their addictive behaviors overtake their lives to a point of extremely difficult return. We are also there for individuals who are feasibly unable to attend a traditional addiction recovery program in which they are “checked in” for weeks or months at a time. Many executives in companies and organizations that have extensive leadership roles can highly benefit from this type of recovery therapy by remaining at home and work and working through the environmental triggers that would ultimately be waiting there for them when they return home from a traditional recovery treatment center.

The The In House Group will continue to provide you with resources, topics, and information on how to approach sensitive addiction situations and help you or your loved ones with creating an in home addiction treatment plan that not only delivers results, but creates an even brighter future for all parties involved.

The In House Group.com

For the team at The Robert Hanselman Domestic Staffing Agency, this has proven to be one of the most unusual times we have ever experienced, much like the rest of our society. As we prepare for a comeback, it is important to remember your greatest asset is you. As an advisor to domestic candidates and clients alike, we are consistently advising to make smart decisions and remember your long-term goals. How domestic employees and employers react during this time could have long term impacts for them in the near and far future. If you find yourself becoming uncertain of your employment security, or if you have been affected by the recent economic impact, the best place to focus your energy is your resume.

Very soon, we will be back to a form of normalcy and commerce will begin again, hopefully even greater so than when this mess all started. For you, as a domestic staff member, if that means you are starting your career search again, this is the time to spend your energy at home focusing on how to best market yourself for the type of job that you want with the type of employer you want.

When discussing previous employment with candidates, we strive to go beyond just knowing facts, but it is important to understand how you performed, enjoyed, and excelled in previous roles. Your resume should reflect what you enjoyed and did well, this is to serve as a conversation piece with your next prospective domestic recruiter or private employer.

For example, if you are a great elite nanny, private chef, household manager, or estate manager and you are out of work, remember the industry of elite domestic jobs also has its seasons. Target the East Coast, nobody will be ready for a vacation like those who have a home in the Hamptons, with that will come household jobs. Do research on different summer hotspots that boom with visitors and vacation homeowners during the summer months. If you live in Florida, you may find that a Florida based family spends their summers in the Hamptons and is looking for a new elite nanny for their children once quarantine is over to travel with them. The options are endless and require a unique individual such as you, ready to be flexible and professional.

We are confident that this summer and fall may be one of the greatest we have seen as people are yearning so greatly for human interaction. Plenty of families have second home all over the country that they will be eager to visit this summer to reconnect with loved ones. Are you ready to join them and perhaps meet one of your greatest employers of all time? Let’s get that resume in order!

1) Think about what you are targeting. If you are a flexible domestic professional with transferrable skills that will apply to different job titles, you should have a tailored resume for each job title that speaks to your domestic skills. Search job postings and take note of what they are asking for. Find the common keywords used most in these postings and work them into your resume. With technology of today, view your resume as a google search. If a domestic recruiter or private employer were to search for your resume in a database using relevant keywords, would you be on the top of the stack for results?
Example: If you are seeking to be a nanny to the elite, consider what your next employer may be searching for and telling their recruiter they are looking for. Normal qualifications may include “CPR certified” “bilingual” “au pair” “teacher” “nursing” “therapy” “fitness” “active” “first aid” “clear driver’s license”

2) Put those keywords to use in your resume. If I am an elite nanny, I will have sentences under past jobs such as:

  • “Cared for two children under the age of 8 focusing on education and helping them learn French, which I am fluent in.
  • “Certified in CPR for both adults and infants, maintain recertification on a yearly basis.”
  • “Drove three children between the ages of 8 and 13 to school on a daily basis, clear driver’s license.

3) Next, let’s quantify your entire resume as much as possible. This answers black and white questions a prospective employer may have and opens the door for more meaningful conversation during an interview.

  • “Worked on a three-nanny team in shifts to provide round the clock childcare to four children under the age of ten.”
  • “Balanced daily care for three children ages six, nine, and thirteen.”
  • “Effectively communicated with two chauffeurs, the household manager, and private chef to ensure scheduling, care, meal, and transportation needs for the two children were met consistently.”

4) When working on your resume remember the following questions:

  • How many (how many staff, kids, principles, guests, rooms, square feet, acres, homes)
  • How often (child events, corporate events, dinner parties, vacations)
  • Emphasize the time period (two 10-person corporate dinners per week, one trip per month to vacation home in Hamptons, planned six birthday parties per year for 30-60 guests).
  • Answering these two questions for each bullet point of your resume will make you standout, save you time, and showcase your abilities and experience.

While you tweak your resume, look at it in detail and notice if there is anything on there that you actually do not enjoy doing (and hope you never have to do it again). Take it off. If you hated polishing silver, or the pressure of cleaning priceless artwork is too much to handle; do not showcase it on your resume. Showcase what you are good at and what brings you joy. This is a new season of realizing what makes us happy and perform at our highest level possible for our employers.

Finally, keep your files organized and your documents properly labeled for each version of your resume. They should read “John Smith Household Manger Resume” or “John Smith Estate Manager Resume” or “John Smith Butler Resume.” Now you will be more prepared than ever to take on your job search and stand out from the rest. As always Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency is here for you and thanks you for your continued support and trust yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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.

Learning Luxury: Architecture, Design, and Real Estate

As staff working in incredible homes and amongst extremely cultured and well-traveled individuals, it is key to be able to speak their language and understand the experiences they are desiring. With a little bit of creativity, you can easily maintain familiarity with the same brands, travels, and trends your boss experiences and follows without having to pay the price.

If you have recently transitioned to working as a domestic professional or perhaps made a step up into working for a large estate from a large home, do not be afraid to start small and find ways to expose yourself to luxury by avenues that interest you. By starting with topics and experiences you truly enjoy, it will help you be more engaged and retain knowledge.

household manager floridaSpeaking from a personal standpoint, one area of luxury I enjoy is architecture, homes, and real estate. As a household manager, this is a great area for me to stay informed with so I can stay current with design trends coming our way. My role as a household manager splits my time between South Florida and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. From a design aspect, these are two of the hottest markets in relation to architecture and real estate. However, each market is vastly different from each other, and even within their respective markets have their own unique factors. For instance, compare Miami to the Florida Keys. Miami design can take cues from a massive art scene and over the top, in your face luxury, while the Florida Keys follows a much more laid-back luxury. If you think about Colorado Rocky Mountain luxury, you instantly think grand log cabin style homes with heavy emphasis on natural elements and dark tones.

As a household manager in South Florida, I like to see what designers and builders introduce to the market from aspects of materials and how they incorporate them into beautiful homes. 80% of Florida’s residents live within 10 miles of the coast, this means we are constantly battling upkeep against the elements such as salt in the air, heavy rain, and hurricanes. This topic is especially important if you work in a home that is oceanfront.

Following realtors in your local area is easier than ever thanks to social media such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. I could spend hours scrolling through pictures and virtual tours of the many incredible properties showcased online. When looking at South Florida properties, I put on my household manager glasses and look at how a property is intentionally designed, especially new construction homes on the waterfront. Look closely at design elements and then imagine a hurricane coming through. Items like outdoor kitchens, pools, lighting fixtures, and exterior art are all thoughtfully placed with nature in mind.

domestic staffing floridaIf there are open houses that are open to the public and you are able to go, these are great opportunities for you to expose yourself to luxury at no cost. Do not be shy, and openly introduce yourself to the realtor as a household manager, estate manager, head housekeeper, personal assistant, etc. Be forthright in your agenda, let them know that while you are not here as a prospective buyer, you work in a similar level of property and want to know who the real estate players are and keep abreast of the current properties in your area. Your appearance should be professional and well groomed, even make sure your car is clean and you act appropriately throughout your tour. As you continue growing within exclusive communities, you will quickly learn, they are very small, and everyone knows everyone.

Always be on the look-out for home shows and garden tours. These are regularly put on by various organizations, usually with a goal of raising funds. This is a spectacular opportunity to go beyond the gates and help charity at the same time. You might also be surprised at the various properties that are opened up to the public in the name of charity. If you do not live in the same community you work in, look for various Facebook groups that you can join and get on the mailing list for places like botanical centers, art museums, and local charities.

Garden Tour

staffing robert hanselman agencyAs always, a great way to stay up to date is by subscribing to magazines and email newsletters. Set up a separate email account for these subscriptions to keep your personal inbox clean and allow for you to focus solely on these emails when you decide to sit down and go through them. Chances are, your boss also receives publications regularly that would be valuable for you to read. If you see them in the recycle or they give you to discard, ask if you may take it home to read so you can stay informed on the latest trends, any good boss will respect and note your interest to go above and beyond. What better way to see what they are reading, than reading the exact same thing?

Stay tuned for more topics on finding unique ways of exposing yourself to luxury, travel, and culture that your bosses experience on a daily basis. Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency is committed to their clients and candidates beyond just making the match. We understand the importance of life-long relationships in order to best serve you with all of your domestic staffing needs including estate managers, household managers, personal assistants, and beyond.

Making the right decision when a Principal wants you to be a 1099 employee.

Every year I receive phone calls from candidates (Butlers, House Managers, Estate Managers, etc.) who have been confronted by their potential new principal who state they want to have the staff on a 1099 employment.  This is a situation where you should not panic but you need to understand the different pay schedules. Making a choice can be a big step and have future consequences. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself.  Do you want to be an employee of the household or self-employed? What can I write off? Am I getting the “short end of the stick” on this deal? Most household staff members are usually on payroll, either through the family office or they have a payroll company take care of the payroll.  There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides with regards to self-employed and employment. You will still have IRS consequences. Uncle Sam always has his hand out.

Butlers, House Managers, Estate Managers Staffing Agency

 

Here are some of the differences for you to consider.

Estate Managers and House Managers Staffing w2 or 1099

*Uniforms, Laundry, Training Manuals for Staff, Special Equipment like Private Chef Utensils, Travel Miles, Computer Equipment, Depreciation of your Vehicle, Office Space in your own home, etc.

Domestic Staffing w2 or 1099

Based on an annual salary of $100,000, here are the gross and net monthly checks.

House Managers, Estate Managers, Staffing w2 or 1099
*These figures are based on $1,000 of expenses per month (some candidate will have little to no expenses (write off).

 

House Managers domestic staffing agency tax

As you can see the 1099 looks as if you would be making more money at the end of the year. However, there are a few things that will come into the equation; Health Insurance. If you are a W-2, usually, the client will put the employee on the company health insurance policy or a separate health insurance policy for the household staff.   There is also a possibility the client will pay you a stipend for your insurance (up to $300/$400 per month). Please also keep in mind the employer may offer a 401 K match to a W-2 employee. All of these options can work for you with a little discipline (especially if you are a 1099).

If you have any questions with regards negotiating a salary and which route is best for you contact The Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency.  We would be happy to discuss which way would best fit for you. Contact us today.