A recent Financial Times article wrote that a house manager should be “as adept with an Excel spreadsheet as they are with a bottle opener”. But what does this mean in real life? What does a House Manager do?
Modern house managers often need to be both butler and major-domo, being able to combine traditional skills such as managing the wine cellar and serving drinks alongside technical know-how to prepare complex household financial budgets or operate Smart Home Systems.
Nostalgic memories of Jeeves (who was actually a valet) paint an outmoded picture of this very valuable role. Gone are the days when households employed vast numbers of staff for very niche roles; nowadays top-flight staff need to be willing and able to put their hand to all manner of duties.
A good House Manager will take the reins; overseeing all aspects of running your property (or multiple properties). Your household should run smoothly at all times. It is your House Manager’s job to make sure that your needs and wishes are cared for, your homes are maintained and secure and that your other members of staff are working well together as a team to give you the best possible service. Their experience and professionalism means that you can rely on them to act on your behalf for your benefit.
As a general rule, the duties of a house manager would include:
- Overseeing the day-to-day running of the residence
- Supervising and managing other members of staff
- Troubleshooting and maintenance
- Managing Smart Home Systems, Security and other technology
- Administering the household budget & tracking expenses
- Preparing properties for your arrival (if you have multiple properties)
- Coordinating events such as private dinners or shooting parties
- Table service & serving refreshments
- Receiving guests and visitors
- Arranging travel and preparations for travel
Good candidates may come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Some have made this role a lifelong career, perhaps working up to the position from other roles such as footmen or valet, or they may have obtained a qualification via one of the butler training schools. Other candidates may move into private service from a completely different career, and bring with them the skills and experience learned in those fields.
Regardless of their professional history, ideal House Managers will be very organised, pro-active and possess a meticulous eye for detail. They will have good leadership and social skills so that they can confidently liaise with you as their employers, your guests and other staff members, and represent you when dealing with suppliers, tradespeople and other visitors.
If you are looking for a House Manager to take the helm in your household, please speak to us about how we can match you with your ideal candidate. Read about how we work here. Franklin candidates will have many years of experience in similar roles, and have the potential to transform your household. Alternatively, if you would like to improve the skill-set of a loyal employee, then we also offer bespoke 1-1 training that draws from our Royal Household experience.