A professional housekeeper manages and maintains the employer’s home in a clean and meticulous manner. Housekeepers are responsible for deep cleaning, organizing, laundry/ironing, dusting/vacuuming, polishing, running errands, scheduling contractors, supervising home maintenance projects, shopping for household supplies and basic meal preparation and/or childcare. They can be live-in or live-out.
House managers assume many responsibilities. They oversee one or multiple residences, and no detail is too large or too small. House managers have considerable input – and often sole discretion – regarding all hiring (housekeepers, cooks/chefs, laundresses, landscapers, gardeners, pool maintenance staff, drivers and butlers).
They are responsible for training; scheduling and supervising of staff; and overseeing the planning/preparation of entertaining, events, business functions, and contractor/vendor scheduling/interactions. Additional duties include supervising food purchasing/handling, maintaining wine inventories, maintaining security systems, making travel arrangements and managing the household budget.
The house manager is often responsible for coordinating remodeling/redecorating of one or several homes, overseeing the acquisition and care of properties, art, antiques and more. A “team captain,” the house manager must work well with employers and employees. Flexibility is a must, as he or she is often on call.
Personal assistants keep up with an employer’s social and professional demands, including arranging reservations, travel bookings, ticket purchases, event planning, secretarial duties, shopping and running errands.
These are typically married couples – usually, one spouse manages the inside of the home (cleaning, cooking, shopping, menu planning, laundry, serving and day-to-day household activities), while the other maintains the outside grounds and gardens, including car care. In formal estates, couples generally oversee only the inside of the home. Generally, this is a live-in position.
Chefs are responsible for anything and everything food or kitchen related, including organization, clean up, shopping, menu planning – and of course, cooking. A chef prepares detailed menus and food for family/social events and may cook for staff. Some are basic cooks, while others are degreed, gourmet professionals.
Chauffeurs drive family and guests to and from social and professional appointments. They care for the family car, ensuring it is always clean, well maintained and filled with gas. They may also do administrative duties or run errands. Many drivers have a military or law-enforcement background. Since hours constantly vary, flexibility is a must.