The age old saying of “never mix friends and money” is wise and well known for a reason; money often adds a layer of to any relationship, personal or professional. In professional settings it is important for all parties involved to set the tone for how the use of employer provided funds is handled and tracked. This post will cover this topic from candidate and client point of view, as well as provide some useful suggestions for each.


For our clients:

Trusting any new employee takes time, especially if you may have had an unfavorable experience in the past with other domestic or professional staff. Introducing a new employee to your estate, home, or team and providing them with funds and/or a credit card can actually be a safe and effective way for you to gain trust between each other without risking too much. This will be a great tool to use for your new House Manager, Personal Assistant, Nanny, or Butler.

Your first and primary step to take should include setting a rather low credit limit at the beginning, this lowers your risk level. The limit could depend on your expenses and the position. If your house manager is responsible for buying groceries and not much else, perhaps you could start out with a $5000-$7,000 limit. If you have hired an estate manager that needs to hit the ground running and pay for larger costs, you may need to increase that limit to the thousands based on your budgets and projects. Alternatively, if your nanny is not doing much shopping and perhaps just buying snacks and small meals, a $2000 limit at first could be effective. It is important to note however, you should provide your new employee with a credit card as soon as possible. Providing them with their own form of payment method removes them from feeling awkward or obligated to use personal funds with the need for reimbursement. Most of us can recall a time when it was a struggle or impossible to retrieve funds that were supposed to be reimbursed to us.


For example, a private chef I placed on a large estate in Atlanta for a high-net-worth family noted a time when he began with a combo of card and cash, which allowed him to gain the trust of his clients and still be able to spend more than his card limit if needed, or if he were shopping somewhere such as a farmer’s market. Even a small cash limit that is reconciled can be a great way to provide your employee with funds in the meantime their new card is processing.


For our candidates:

It is very important to understand the necessity of having access to employer provided credit cards or funds. If you are a house manager, estate manager, or personal assistant many of the errands you will be running will include the need for you to spend money. Please think twice about paying for something on your own, especially in large amounts with anticipation of getting reimbursed promptly. If the principal you work for is affording to maintain a large estate with domestic staff, your small reimbursement may take as long as one or two paycheck cycles if it has to go through different channels and be reimbursed to you in the form of a check.

Additionally, you should be extremely responsible when handling others money, especially your boss’ money. A good house manager or estate manager should be well versed in tracking expenses and receipts. If you are newer to a domestic profession, you should research and ask trusted friends and sources how to best manage spending, track/report expenses, and maintain/organize your receipts. Many of the nannies that I work with know there are a lot of perks to caring for children of high-net-worth families, but be cautious to not let that cloud your judgement or integrity. If you are a nanny, house manager, or personal assistant, you must remember to never get lost for a moment and think that innocently adding a candy bar or a soda to the grocery cart for yourself is ever acceptable.


In closing, this is a friendly reminder for my domestic professionals, both clients and candidates, that it is quite important to give a fair amount of thought in how you anticipate expenses being handled. Reimbursement situations put too many people in vulnerable situations, and that trust and communication are above everything to make an estate run smoothly. If used properly, the ethical use of other people’s money can be a fantastic tool to develop trust on any estate or in any home.


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.

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.


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.


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.

Congratulations, you are recognized personally and professionally as a domestic genius. When it comes to organization, perfection, and attention to detail, you have it all. As you reach that point in your career where you are ready to step into a larger role that will benefit from your skills, the options are endless, however it is important you know the differences as you target your next career move.

In this post, we will talk about the differences between being a butler or a house manager. Each position will have its similarities and differences that are important as you think long term about the direction you want your domestic career to go. Ultimately, your actual duties will be defined by your new boss, however below is a general overview of differences.

Butler vs. House Manager Domestic Staffing agency

The basics of a house manager are easier to define as this domestic role will depend heavily on you being a critical and organized thinker as you will be responsible for items such as managing a household schedule, paying bills, supervising domestic staff/subcontractors, and event planning. You may find yourself at a computer screen more than you are used to, but also be ready to spend more than half of your day moving about supporting the success of the household running smoothly. House managers may still be called upon to assist the housekeeping team and groundskeeper, even if it is from the standpoint of quality assurance, that is why you are there; to make sure everything is done and done well. Prospective employers are going to look to you for your ability to lead a team. Please note, this will require leadership skills, not just an ability to manage a team. Each team of domestic professionals will generally come from many backgrounds and it is important you know how to motivate them and make them feel like a rewarded member of your team. 

Butler, House Manager staffing agency

If you find yourself in your current role being someone that makes a lot of your team members smile and you receive positive feedback from your peers, you may consider a house manager as a great next step for you in your domestic career. 

House manager has the added benefit of being different in every household. You get the advantage of opening some really great doors to different environments that compliment your skills and allow you to continue flexing the muscles you are already bringing to the table. Perhaps you go to work for a smaller household where you get to focus on a family with children that have nannies and housekeepers, but the family would like a house manager that enjoys cooking healthy meals three times per week. House manager roles are an excellent opportunity for you to really think about what you enjoy doing in a domestic capacity and work with your recruiter to market you to the best family and household possible. Other house manager positions may require you to work on a larger scale to oversee the chef, the housekeepers, the groundskeepers, the cars, and the proper functioning of all the property’s many mechanical aspects.

Now that we have dove into what a house manager looks like, what are the differences between a house manager and a butler? In most instances a butler will be called upon for larger estate that is seeking to give the principles a highly tailored level of focus and attention. If you are someone that knows everybody’s smallest preferences down to the color of skittles they do not like, perhaps the butler path is for you. 

A butler role is also an extremely intimate and confidential role that will reward you handsomely for being genuine, likeable, and professional. You will not only be working and possibly living behind the gates of the most magnificent estates in the country, but you will be actively involved in very personal aspects of your principles’ lives. As a butler for a large estate, you should do well at working with others as you will report to and work along domestic professionals such as estate managers, housekeepers, and personal assistants. 

If you think the butler path is for you, you should also be good at small details such as packing for travel, managing funds and money as needed, delivering exemplary meal and cocktail service, silver service, and caring for priceless artwork and wardrobes. 

At the end of the day, each of these domestic roles all have one goal in common: to make the lives of the principles as enjoyable as possible. Many principles have members of their domestic teams that have been with them for decades, as they begin to retire, it is time for a new generation of domestic professionals to continue moving up into roles such as house manager and butler. 

Choosing Robert Hanselman Domestic Staffing as a candidate or a client gives you an unparalleled level of service and personalization during a domestic search. With decades of relationships with some of the most well run and successful estates in the country, we have access to connecting domestic professionals and clients. Our ability to reach candidates and clients on a national level means delivering the highest quality of domestic candidates to market for the best clients seeking to hire loyal and professional staff. We also go beyond just submitting a resume or CV to a job post, we thoroughly screen all of our candidates before delivering to clients to ensure the best match possible.

If you are ready to add a butler or interior professional to your estate or home, a great place that the Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency works alongside with for great candidates is the yachting industry. It should come as no surprise that many of our candidates have spent time in the yachting industry as they are trained and expected to deliver extremely high levels of service to guests paying up to $1 million dollars per week for a vacation. 

Thanks to our national relationships that span various industries and reach countless domestic professionals, we are able to deliver yachting professionals to your land-based estate or home that bring along with them their extremely high levels of expertise and attention to detail. 

As you look to hire a butler to assist you with your day-to-day needs, you may be keen to review a candidate with yachting background as they come with the ability to balance and manage time well, give extremely high levels of attention to details when cleaning, and also how to care for priceless dishes/cutlery/stemware.

Butler Placement AgencyYacht Steward Placement agency

Thanks to various TV shows and social media, we have opened up the domestic professional industry to a whole new market of highly skilled and motivated individuals. Our domestic staffing agency has worked diligently to stay involved with these emerging professionals. 

A common question for prospective employers reviewing a resume from the yachting industry is, “why aren’t they staying in yachting?” Many stewards on yachts seek to transition to land based for more stability. This is a positive for prospective employers as yacht stewards come to them and are appreciative for them having provided stability and the “luxury” of being able to sleep in a bed larger than a cracker jack box. 

Nanny Placement Agency

Hiring a yacht steward as your butler can also bring many other advantages you may not have been aware of. On average, stewards spend $1,000 of their own money to complete their safety certifications including first aid, CPR, and basic firefighting. Many stewards are also certified in food safety handling, giving them the advantage to not let the little things pass by that may be harmful for you and your family in your kitchen or pantry. 

Stewards are also great hires as butlers because they are conditioned to seeing the smallest details that most of us would not even think of. Most yachts require every square inch of bedding, including each sheet to be ironed to eliminate every wrinkle. Now imagine you have 5 stewards with seven rooms to flip in one day between charters and they must be perfect along with three lounges, three day heads, and the entire back of house. Yacht stewards train themselves to be not only perfectionists, but efficient. 

While yacht stewards support the front of house for their guests, they are critical parts of ensuring the back of house and crew quarters are kept immaculate as well. They live their lives around making sure their fellow crew and guests are happy and taken care of. 

At the Robert Hanselman Domestic Staffing Agency, we look forward to partnering with you as you add to your team. We are fair, honest, and reliable. These key characteristics resonate in our proven track record and many years of partnering with our clients.